Securities Attorney Assisting Clients in New York and Nationwide
Brokers and financial advisors do not need to commit fraud or act with malicious intent to be held accountable for the harm caused by their professional misconduct. An investor can pursue claims against an investment professional who caused the investor financial harm through their negligent or reckless acts. If you suffered financial losses due to the negligence of a broker or financial advisor whom you entrusted with your investments, you should consult a skilled securities litigation attorney to discuss your case and whether you may be able to seek compensation. New York securities lawyer Irwin Weltz at Weltz Law can assess the evidence in your case to determine which claims you may be able to pursue against the individuals or entities that caused your harm. Weltz Law will represent investors harmed by the negligence of their brokers in securities arbitration and litigation in New York and throughout the nation.
Duties Imposed on Brokers and Financial Advisors
Federal laws and regulations impose a fiduciary duty on financial advisors, which essentially means that they are required to put their clients first. Specifically, financial advisors are obligated to disclose any potential conflicts of interest and explain the benefits and detriments of a particular investment. Advisors also owe their clients a duty of loyalty and are obligated to act in good faith, which means that they must act in a client’s best interest. While brokers do not owe a fiduciary duty to their clients, they nonetheless are required to avoid causing their clients financial harm. Furthermore, brokers owe a duty of suitability to their clients. This means that brokers must recommend investments that are suitable to the client’s financial goals, resources, and risk tolerance.
Broker and Financial Advisor Negligence
If either a broker or a financial advisor negligently breaches one of the duties owed to a client, they may be liable for any harm caused by the breach. Negligence claims differ from many other claims filed in securities lawsuits in that they do not require the plaintiff investor to show that the financial services professional acted fraudulently or with malicious intent. Instead, an investor who alleges harm due to negligence must show that the broker or financial advisor who allegedly caused the harm owed the investor a duty, and the duty was breached. The investor must also prove that the breach caused the investor to suffer financial losses.
A common example of broker negligence involves failing to diversify and over-concentrating in one type of investments, which can cause financial losses when certain types of investments are in jeopardy. Similarly, if a broker recommends an investment that poses a higher risk than the investor is comfortable with undertaking, it may constitute negligence. If an investor suffers substantial losses because his or her broker does not sell an investment in a timely manner, or because his or her brokerage firm does not warn the investor to take action to correct an issue, it is likely negligence as well. In many cases, an investor harmed by negligent acts will have a claim against both the broker and the firm that employs the broker.
Negligence claims often accompany other claims in a securities lawsuit, such as misrepresentation, unsuitability, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud. If you believe that you were harmed by the negligent actions of your broker or financial advisor, you should consult a seasoned securities litigation attorney to discuss your options for seeking compensation.