November 12, 2014– According to a story published in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) today, South Floridians, especially elderly & wealthy retirees, have plenty to worry about when it comes to stockbrokers with a troubled disciplinary/regulatory history.
“Jackals always follow the herd.” See this for the observations of author and satirist Carl Hiaasen on how “bad brokers” seek out the gathering spots of wealth retirees.
The WSJ concludes, and rightly so, that troubled brokers tend to cluster in same areas where the wealthy and elderly reside. That ‘free meal’ at the investment seminar may end up costing more than you think. According to the WSJ, brokers who troll for clients with dinners are knows as “plate-lickers” and are also the subject of a FINRA Investor Alert.
Analyzing data on some 630,000 brokers, the WSJ identified 16 areas nationwide where the “red flags” for brokers in those areas substantially exceeds the national average, sometimes by as much as 300%. “Red flags” are things most investors would like to know about their broker before handing over their hard earned nest egg; Things such as state and federal regulatory actions, criminal charges, client complaints, recent bankruptcies and terminations.
The five areas in south Florida (which has 4 out the top ten) identified by the WSJ are:
- Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, including Delray Beach– Ranked #1 on the WSJ list. Brokers with 3 or more red flags is 2.9 times the national average.
- Sarasota– Ranked #3 on the WSJ list. Brokers with 3 or more red flags is 2.6 times the national average.
- Collier and Lee Counties, Florida– Ranked #4 on the WSJ list. Brokers with 3 or more red flags is 2.6 times the national average.
- Treasure Coast, Florida-Ranked #5 on the WSJ list. Brokers with 3 or more red flags is 2.6 times the national average.
- Southern Miami-Dade County, Florida-Ranked #11 on the WSJ list. Brokers with 3 or more red flags is 1.8 times the national average.
Before opening an account, wouldn’t you like to know if your broker recently filed for personal bankruptcy, or had been the subject of numerous customer complaints, or had been fired from one or more of his prior employments?
See our discussion on how to research the regulatory background of brokers and brokerage firms to protect yourself and your loved ones. It costs nothing and can save you everything.
Rex Securities Law provides nationwide representation to investors seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney. Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.
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