Are bank trust departments and bank brokerage firms a safe place to invest your money?

Stockbroker Law - Friday, January 07, 2011
Are bank trust departments and bank brokerage firms a safe place to invest your money?

In the past ten years, a number of large upstate banks have aggressively pursued the sales of speculative variable annuity, trust services, and investment product sales to bank depositors, who had formerly been invested primarily in safe certificates of deposit and other cash-nominated investments.  Unfortunately, many bank depositors are lulled into a false sense of security that the product sold by a bank is likewise as safe as a bank deposit. 

 


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Private Placement Scams - Be Careful!

Stockbroker Law - Friday, January 07, 2011
Private Placement Scams - Be Careful!

We have been representing a number of hardworking individuals approaching retirement age, who have been convinced to place a significant portion of their life savings in shady private placement investments.  Private placements are generally illiquid and unmarketable investments usually designed for high net worth individuals.  Investors in private placements are generally required by Regulation D to meet the “accredited investor” standard, which includes a net worth exclusive or private residence in excess of $1,000,000.00, or earned income over the past two years in excess of $200,000.00 – very few Americans meet these parameters.   


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Beware of Ponzi Schemes and Theft of Monies from Individual Retirement Annuities, IRA Accounts and Variable Annuities

Stockbroker Law - Friday, January 07, 2011
Beware of Ponzi Schemes and Theft of Monies from Individual Retirement Annuities, IRA Accounts and Variable Annuities

In the past year we have seen theft and embezzlement schemes whereby monies in IRA retirement accounts have been stolen by financial advisers with the diversion of monies from legitimate financial institutions.  These accounts have been wrongfully transferred from accounts with The Hartford, Nationwide, MetLife, and SunLife America/Sun Life Financial.  In each of these instances, the theft of monies might have been prevented had these firms employed more thorough, operational, compliance, and supervisory procedures designed to detect scams such as this.  If you feel your monies have been stolen in this manner, we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your possible remedies. 


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Retirement Fixed Annuity or Rollover?

Stockbroker Law - Friday, January 07, 2011
Retirement Fixed Annuity or Rollover?

Many private employers in Upstate New York (National Grid, Finch Pruyn Paper, Kraft, Alcoa, to name a few) offer retirees two main retirement benefits options – a fixed annuity or a lump sum rollover.  Fixed annuities are usually guaranteed payments for life, which can also be structured for payouts to surviving spouses.  A rollover on the other hand involves a retiree being presented with a sizeable check (as opposed to a fixed annuity), with the retiree investing the monies through his or her private broker of his or her own choice.  Unfortunately, many retirees who take the rollover option have seen their life savings quickly dissipated through bad investment advice and other improper early retirement strategies known as a 72t rollover withdrawal election. 

 


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