It is an all too common scenario, a person hires a financial advisor to help them with their finances. The financial advisor learns all about the person's finances and then begins using the person's money as their own. Many families especially elderly people are taken advantage by financial advisors and lose their life's savings. If you have lost your life savings or a large amount of money through misappropriation of funds by a financial advisor, please feel free to submit an inquiry or send an e-mail message to Texas Financial Advisor Fraud Lawyer and Texas Financial Advisor Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawyer Jason Coomer. He may be able to help you recover your losses, your family's losses, or at least help prevent a financial advisor from getting away with fraud and stealing money from other families.
A financial advisor is a financial professional who helps clients invest and manage their finances with the goal of maintaining a desired balance of investment income, capital gains, and acceptable level of risk by using proper asset allocation. In working with a financial advisor, the client usually will need to disclose financial information to the financial advisor and give the financial advisor authority over some of the assets so that investments can be made.
Unfortunately, some financial advisors when they are not being closely watched will take advantage of retirees, elderly persons, widows, and unsophisticated investors that trust the financial advisor to properly handle their money and investments.
To prevail on a breach of fiduciary duty claim under Texas law, a plaintiff must first prove the existence of a fiduciary relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. See Lundy v. Masson, 260 S.W.3d 482, 501 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2008, pet. denied). “[A] fiduciary duty arises out of agency law based upon a special relationship between the two parties.” In re Bass, 113 S.W.3d 735, 743 (Tex. 2003) (orig. proceeding) (citing Johnson v. Brewer & Pritchard, P.C., 73 S.W.3d 193, 200 (Tex. 2002)); see also Shands v. Tex. State Bank, 121 S.W.3d 75, 77 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2003, pet. denied) (stating that an agency relationship creates a fiduciary relationship as a matter of law). An agent is a person who is authorized to act for another and is subject to the control of the other. SITQ E.U., Inc. v. Reata Rests., Inc., 111 S.W.3d 638, 652 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2003, pet. denied) (noting that agency is generally a question of fact and that the trial court, as factfinder, was free to resolve any inconsistencies in the conflicting testimony to support its implied finding of agency). “Texas law does not presume agency, and the party who alleges it has the burden of proving it.” IRA Res. Inc. v. Griego, 221 S.W.3d 592, 597 (Tex. 2007); Tex. Cityview Care Ctr., L.P. v. Fryer, 227 S.W.3d 345, 352 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2007, pet. dism’d) (same).
In Western Reserve Life Assurance Co. v. Graben, 233 S.W.3d 360, 373-74 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2007, no pet.), the Fort Worth Court of Appeals concluded that an informal fiduciary relationship existed where an individual (Hutton) began performing as a financial advisor to two clients who were not sophisticated investors and represented to them that he would monitor and manage their investments and make appropriate financial plans. The clients had specifically told Hutton that they depended upon him for his counsel, experience, and advice. Also, Hutton testified that the relationship he had with the clients was “a very sacred trust” and that he treated them “better than I would treat myself.” Also, an expert witness for certain brokers who also were sued testified that “someone who represents themselves as an investor advisor [like Hutton did] has a heightened responsibility to review the account and act as a fiduciary.” Importantly, on the specific facts of this case, the court of appeals rejected the broker-defendants’ argument that a fiduciary relationship must have existed prior to, and apart from, the agreement made the basis of the suit.
Finally, in Lee v. Hasson, 2007 WL 236899 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] January 30, 2007, pet. denied), the Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston found sufficient evidence of a confidential relationship to support the imposition of fiduciary duties. There, a financial advisor had a long-standing personal relationship with the client, they had vacationed together, and the client had relied upon him for support and advice during the client’s divorce.
Recent decisions by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) imposed over $1.4 billion in penalties on several top investment banks, brokerage firms, financial advisors, and brokers. As such, it is apparent that you cannot always trust financial advisors to give you the complete picture regarding stocks, bonds, and other securities. If you feel that your financial advisor has not been honest and has caused you to suffer significant investment losses, your best bet to recover your losses from investment fraud or securities fraud losses is to speak to an experienced financial advisor fraud lawyer regarding your financial fraud concerns.
In reviewing financial advisor fraud, an investor should know that investing in any investment can be a risky proposition. Markets and investments can fluctuate and the majority of investment losses result from such fluctuations rather than from financial advisor theft, fraud or misconduct. However, financial advisor fraud does happen, and you should understand common forms of financial advisor fraud and misconduct. Some of the most common forms of financial advisor fraud and broker fraud are as follows:
Purchase of Unsuitable Securities
Investing in Variable Annuities/Variable Universal Life Policies
Risky or negligent Retirement Planning
Failure to Advise of Risky Investments
Unauthorized Risk Profile Changes
Stock brokers are paid commissions for the transactions they generate, which can encourage some stock brokers to trade excessively or churn stocks for the purpose of generating commissions instead of working for their client's investment goals. Churning is essentially a form of excessive trading for the purpose of generating commissions for the broker's benefit.
Austin broker fraud Attorney, Jason Coomer helps investors that have lost money through wrongful acts of majority shareholders, corporate officers, and brokers. He reviews investment strategies, accounting records, corporate actions, and investor trading; negotiates settlements; and if necessary files claims against negligent or fraudulent brokers. Austin Texas Business Lawyer, Jason Coomer is an experienced business litigation attorney that handles investment fraud, shareholder actions, commercial real estate law, computer law, ponzi scheme claims, and other business litigation. His office frequently works with other professionals including Houston Investment Fraud Lawyers, Dallas Broker Fraud Lawyers, San Antonio Investment Fraud Lawyers, and other Austin Investment Fraud Lawyers to provide high end professional legal services at reasonable prices.
Texas broker fraud lawyer, Jason S. Coomer, helps investors protect their assets and seek back their losses from fraudulent financial advisors. If you have lost your life savings or a large amount of money through misappropriation of funds by a financial advisor, please feel free to submit an inquiry or send an e-mail message to Texas Financial Advisor Fraud Lawyer and Texas Financial Advisor Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawyer Jason Coomer. He may be able to help you recover your losses, your family's losses, or at least help prevent a financial advisor from getting away with fraud and stealing money from other families.