Generally, individual investors purchase securities for their personal account rather than for an organization. Individual investors are referred to as “retail investors” within the brokerage industry. In most instances, individual investors trade in much smaller amounts than institutional investors and generally pay higher fees and commissions. In the past few years, it has been widely reported that the brokerage industry is becoming less concerned with its retail clients because institutional accounts generate greater revenues. This trend, however, in no way diminishes the duties financial professionals and brokerage firms owe to an individual investor during the course of their business relationship.
For many retail investors, the year of 2008 has been a period of financial unrest and upheaval. Corporate and Wall Street scandals have become daily headlines. Major financial institutions like Lehman Brothers Holdings and Bear Stearns faced financial collapse. Others such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Citigroup sought and received financial protection from the federal government in order to survive. Amid this financial meltdown, hundreds of thousands of individual investors watched their investment portfolios and life savings vanish because of the unethical, negligent and often conflicted actions of brokerage firms.
There are two fundamental duties financial professionals and their brokerage firms must adhere to in the course of advising clients.
- They are duty bound to make investment recommendations based on the client's suitability, the client's age, income, risk tolerance and investment objectives; and
- They are duty bound to fully and fairly explain each investment to a prospective investor in a manner that allows the investor to make an informed investment decision.
Failure to abide by these fundamental duties is often the basis of valid claims for financial recovery by individual investors against brokerage firms and financial professionals.
Our Individual Investor Experience
Maddox Hargett & Caruso P.C. is an “AV” rated law firm, representing individual investors from around the globe in securities arbitration and litigation proceedings.
Our experienced lawyers understand the complexities of securities law and have a long standing history in the financial and securities industry. As a result of this experience, we've been able to recover tens of millions of dollars for investors through arbitrations, independent settlements, mediations, jury trials and class-action lawsuits.
Since the firm's founding in 1991, Maddox Hargett & Caruso P.C. has established a national reputation for successfully representing victims who've suffered financial losses because of the unethical and negligent financial advice of investment firms, insurance companies, brokerage firms and other entities.
Many of these cases have been against some of Wall Street's biggest and most prominent firms, including: Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Solomon Smith Barney, Citigroup, Wachovia Securities, Prudential Securities, UBS, A.G. Edwards, Edward Jones, and Bear Stearns, among others.