Investment Losses

If you have lost money purchasing securities at a brokerage firm you may have rights. Click here to contact us.

Do you believe your investment advisor/stockbroker has caused you to lose money?

Did the broker, investment advisor or financial planner:

  • Fail to follow your instructions?
  • Sell you investments unsuitable or inappropriate for your age, goals, objectives or financial situation?
  • Misrepresent the risks of the investments?
  • Act negligently, which contributed to your losses?
  • Repeatedly trade (“churn”) your investments?

[Note: These questions illustrate only a few of the most common investor grievances that justify recovery of losses.]

Whether an investor can recover losses from stocks, bonds, limited partnerships, mutual funds and other types of securities is not easily determined.

To determine whether your losses are recoverable:

Discuss your case with an attorney experienced in representing investors against brokerage firms, stockbrokers, investment advisors and financial planners. Provide the attorney with documentation – this will help them determine the amount of your losses.

Must I go to court?

Most investor complaints are resolved through arbitration, not in court. Although you do not have to be represented by an attorney in arbitration, your interests are best protected and represented when you have an experienced lawyer on your side. After all, investment firms are represented by attorneys.

Note: There are “advisory organizations,” that are not licensed to practice law or give legal advice; they offer to represent investors in arbitration proceedings. Anyone using such an “advisory organization” risks losing significant rights due to lack of legal representation.

The Law Offices of Mitchell S. Ostwald is experienced in arbitrating investment disputes and can provide knowledgeable and effective legal representation.

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a private dispute resolution method that uses objective, knowledgeable persons as neutral arbitrators, to decide investor grievances. Different organizations offer arbitration services, including Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA, formally NASD) and the American Arbitration Association (AAA).

Arbitration is similar to a court trial, but is less formal, less time-intensive, and less expensive. Other things to consider about arbitration:

  • There is no jury.
  • Witnesses testify and documentary evidence is presented.
  • Arbitrators make a decision, which is generally not appealable.

How long will it take?

The average arbitration concludes approximately one year after the filing of the grievance. Approximately half of the securities cases filed in arbitration end up settling before going to hearings. Because appeals are rarely allowed, the risk of a lengthy appeal is substantially reduced.

How much will it cost?

When a request for arbitration is filed, a filing fee is required. The amount of the fee is determined by the dollar amount of losses claimed. When the arbitrator rules in your favor, the award may include all or part of the arbitration filing fee.

The Law Offices of Mitchell S. Ostwald represents investors on either a contingency or hourly fee basis. Most investors prefer to retain us on a contingency fee basis, whereby the attorney is paid a percentage of the recovery. If a recovery is not obtained in your favor, there are no legal fees.

If you have lost money purchasing securities at a brokerage firm, you may have rights. Click here to contact us.