6 Ways Brokers and Financial Advisors Charge Excessive Fees and Commissions: Advisory Fees, Churning, Reverse Churning, and Private Placements

By Montgomery G. Griffin and Theodore S. Avery  This research post begins with two simple premises in mind:  (1) Sometimes financial advisors charge their customers excessive commissions or advisory fees; (2) When this does occur, the customer—who likely has reposed great trust in his or her financial advisor—has no idea that excessive commissions or fees […]

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3 Things I Learned at UBS That Help My Team and Me to Better Analyze Investor Claims Related to Yield Enhancement Programs, Including UBS YES

By Montgomery G. Griffin  In a recent edition, the Wall Street Journal reported the UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy to be, “A complex investment strategy pitched as low-risk by stockbrokers at UBS Group AG” that has “triggered a backlash from clients of its securities unit.”  The WSJ also informed, “In just one month late last year […]

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Financial Elder Abuse: California and Florida Law

By Montgomery G. Griffin and Theodore S. Avery It is a disturbing and unfortunate fact that senior citizens are among the most targeted groups for financial abuse.  Indeed, it is estimated that seniors in the United States lose as much as $36.5 billion to financial exploitation annually, with many believing that such estimates are dramatically […]

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Core Investor Issues with UBS YES Claims: The Four Areas of Focus with Our Ongoing Analysis and Investigation of the UBS YES Program

By Montgomery G. Griffin and Theodore S. Avery It has been widely reported (including by the Wall Street Journal) that some investors around the United States—including some seeking low-risk, steady yields—incurred losses in the UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy program.  The program involved, among other things, the use of options transactions, which included added costs due […]

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Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), Mortgage Real Estate Investment Trusts, and Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs): Shopping for Higher Yields Means Shopping for Higher Risks

by: Montgomery G. Griffin and Theodore S. Avery We have written elsewhere about how high-yield investments reliably yield high risks.  This prior post addressed the risks inherent in junk (or high-yield) bonds.  Two more specific examples of this proposition can be found with Real Estate Investment Trusts (“REITs”) (including Mortgage REITs, or “mREITs”) and Master […]

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High Yield Securities Can Yield Big Problems: Junk Bonds, “High-Yield” Bonds, and “High-Yield” Bond Funds

By Montgomery G. Griffin and Theodore S. Avery   Elderly investors seeking income and relative stability of their principal are often encouraged by their broker or financial advisor to buy bonds (or bond funds).  Often, high-yield bonds, and their high risks, are not suitable investments for elderly and retired investors due to the higher probability (vis-à-vis […]

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4 Questions to Ask Your Broker or Financial Advisor to Help You Determine Whether You Own High-Yield (or “Junk”) Bonds

By Montgomery G. Griffin and Theodore S. Avery  As recently as March 5, 2019, Kiplinger published an article focused on the risks of “high-yield” or “junk” bonds.  Its headline did not mince words: “Junk Bond Funds Don’t Belong in Long-Term Portfolios . . . Safety-Minded Investors Can’t Overlook the Risk that Comes Along with Them.” […]

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Selecting the Right Lawyer for Your FINRA Arbitration: 3 Reasons Why Specialized Knowledge and Experience Matters

By Montgomery G. Griffin and Theodore S. Avery  Disputes between aggrieved investors and their former brokerage firms are heard and decided in a highly specialized forum (FINRA arbitration) and they typically involve highly specialized issues (suitability, churning, calculating market-adjusted damages, complex securities, etc.).  To optimize your chance of achieving a substantial recovery, the lawyer you […]

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Determining Fair and Reasonable Damages, Investors Don’t Entrust Their Savings to Financial Advisors to “Hide Their Money Under a Rock”: Leading Authorities Agree that An Investor’s Damages Should Be Adjusted for Market Movement

By Montgomery G. Griffin and Theodore S. Avery In late 2019, the Law Offices of Montgomery G. Griffin (“LOMGG”) obtained another FINRA arbitration award on behalf of one of its clients against J.P. Morgan Securities, this one ordering J.P. Morgan Securities to pay the aggrieved investor market-adjusted damages.  Market-adjusted damages represent the difference between how […]

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Specific Transactions: A Wholly Appropriate and Legally Supported Damages Approach in Many Instances

By Montgomery G. Griffin and Theodore S. Avery It is common for aggrieved investors to base their securities arbitration damages analysis on the losses or underperformance associated with specific transactions in their accounts, as opposed to netting out the results from all of the transactions in their accounts. When investors do this, Wall Street’s lawyers […]

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