Articles Tagged with oil and gas

The securities fraud attorneys at Malecki Law are interested in hearing from investors who have complaints against stockbroker Michael Margiotta.  Mr. Margiotta has been employed and registered since June 2015 with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., a broker-dealer, according to his publicly available BrokerCheck, as maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Per his BrokerCheck report, prior to his employment Merrill Lynch, Mr. Margiotta was employed by UBS Financial Services Inc. from October 2008 to June 2015, and with Citigroup Global Markets Inc. from December 2003 to November 2008, as well as other prior firms.

Mr. Margiotta’s BrokerCheck report indicates that he has received two customer complaints.  The first complaint received by Mr. Margiotta involved allegations that he purchased securities that were unsuitable for the investor and sought damages of $1 million, according to the BrokerCheck report.  That complaint resulted in a settlement to the investor of $355,000 to the investor the BrokerCheck report details.  The second complaint received by Mr. Margiotta alleged unsuitability and that the broker informed the client “oil had bottomed out for sure prompting [the investor] to purchase securities which plummeted,” according to BrokerCheck records.

The Bexit vote in Britain appears to be exposing fault lines across various investments.  The Wall Street Journal reported today that emerging market currencies are taking on steep losses a day after Britain voted to leave the European Union, termed Brexit.  According to the article, this comes as the British Pound dropped to a thirty year low and Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.K. down from Triple-A status.

Other investments are also showing strain, including oil, and foreign companies, including European banks.  These investments are often packaged into products such as exchange traded funds or limited partnerships, which are generally considered risky and not suitable for certain investors.

For instance, we have commented in recent blog posts that oil and gas limited partnerships are not appropriate for investors that cannot afford to have a significant portion of their portfolio locked up in such an illiquid investment that generally pays high commissions to the brokers who recommend them.

The investment fraud attorneys at Malecki Law announce the firm’s investigation into potential securities law claims against broker-dealers relating to the improper sale of natural gas and oil linked structured notes and similar products to investors.

Malecki Law is interested in hearing from investors who purchased structured notes issued by well-known financial institutions, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE: BAC), Citigroup (NYSE: C), Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), JP Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), UBS (NYSE: UBS), and Barclays (NYSE: BCS).

These investment products, often bearing such names as “Phoenix,” “Plus,” “Enhanced Return,” “Principal Protected,” “Bullish,” “Leveraged Upside” or “Accelerated Return,” were reportedly marketed to investors as a way to make significant returns and income from the rising price of oil.  In addition to promises of increased gains, investments like these are frequently also sold to investors with assurances that their potential losses would be limited and their initial investment would be protected.

Oil briefly dropped below $30 per barrel today.  For those who drive SUVs, this may feel like a blessing. However, for those who are heavily invested in Oil and Gas, it can be frightening.  People who invested in Oil and Gas at the recommendation of their financial advisor may be feeling anger and confusion, in addition to that fear – these investors rightfully want answers.

Aside from buying Oil and Gas futures directly, there are two frequently used products that investors use to invest in Oil and Gas – Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

As we wrote here last year, investors lost millions as gas prices dropped at the beginning of 2015.  As prices have continued to slide over the past 12 months, losses have compounded.  This is terrible news for those whose financial advisors recommended that they invest in Oil and Gas, and then convinced them to stay in and “ride it out” on promises of a price recovery.