A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) arbitrator issued an Award yesterday in a simplified (paperwork-only) arbitration ordering Cetera Advisors, LLC to repay a claimant $43,500 out of his $50,000 arbitration claim, based on his losses suffered in unsuitably risky and illiquid real estate investment trust (“REIT”) investments. The winning claimant was represented by the Frankowski Firm.

The investments at issue were sold to the client by Cetera advisor Steven F. Brandt. The Claimant had expressed an interest in only low-risk investments that would preserve his principal. Instead, Mr. Brandt sold the claimant two REITs which exposed the claimant’s account to unsuitably high risk – a risk realized when the REITs plummeted in value. One of the REITs was not available to trade on a public market, leaving the client essentially “stuck” with the losses as the REIT declined. None of these risks were disclosed to the client at the time the REITs were sold to him and the unsuitable investments made up a disproportionately high percentage of the client’s account.

In arbitration, the claimant requested $50,000, the maximum available in a simplified case, and was awarded $43,500 plus his $600 filing fee.

If you lost money as a result of an investment which was unsuitable or was misrepresented to you by Steven F. Brandt or Cetera, please call the Frankowski Firm at 888.741.7503 or fill out this contact form.