Some investors lose money simply through downturns in the market or because of unfortunate investments. But other investors lose money, or fail to realize their rightful gains, because of actions or inactions by their stockbroker or investment advisor. Stockbrokers have an obligation to deal fairly with their customers.
Most common claims fall into the following categories:
These actions sometimes cause investors to lose their inheritance, their retirement funds or their life savings. Securities regulators "police" the securities industry and issue fines and suspensions. Regulators are both government agencies (federal and state) and industry organizations (so-called "Self-Regulating Organizations").
Some investors don't speak up about their losses out of embarrassment or because they don't think there is anything they can do. This is a mistake. If a financial professional breached his or her duty, you may be able to recover losses, and you can also help prevent similar problems from happening to other investors.
The first step for an investor is to determine whether or not any of the above situations occurred in the management of their account. Please click on any of the four above for a more detailed description of each.