Can I Sue My Financial Advisor Over Investment Losses?

If you have lost money in the stock market due to fraud, misrepresentation, negligence, or for other reasons, we can help you. We have successfully recovered over $250 million in FINRA securities arbitrations.*

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Updated on: December 5, 2023

If you’ve experienced investment losses as a result of your financial advisor’s actions, you might be wondering if it’s possible to pursue legal recourse against them.

You put your trust in your financial advisor to act in your best interests. If you are reading this, then the odds are that they have failed you, and your trust was misplaced.

This article will cover whether or not you can sue your financial advisor, the process of doing so, and what to expect.

Can I Sue My Financial Advisor?

The short answer is yes—if your financial advisor has acted negligently or fraudulently, then it may be possible to sue them for damages resulting from their advice or actions. Advisors are held at a high standard, so any breach of trust or duty can be grounds for a lawsuit.

Unlike typical lawsuits, most investment loss claims are handled through a process called FINRA arbitration. This process bypasses the court system and provides a quicker and more efficient way to resolve disputes.

If you have significant investment losses in your account and believe that your financial advisor committed fraud or acted negligently, contact the investment fraud lawyers at KlaymanToskes today at +1 (888) 997-9956 to discuss your legal options.

What is FINRA Arbitration?

FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) is a self-regulatory organization that oversees brokers and brokerages. In the event of a dispute between an investor and their financial advisor, investors can choose to file a FINRA arbitration claim. FINRA is overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

The arbitration process is designed to be much faster than the court system and allows both parties to present their case before a panel of arbitrators. The arbitrators will then decide how to resolve the dispute, including ordering the advisor to pay damages for any losses suffered by the investor.

The Legal Duty of Your Advisor as Outlined in FINRA Rules

Your financial advisor’s commitment to you is grounded in a legal obligation encompassing care and loyalty, as outlined by FINRA rules. These regulations necessitate every advisor’s registration with FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Throughout the registration procedure, advisors pledge their adherence to well-defined rules and regulations that outline the benchmarks for their professional behavior.

Note: You can look up your financial advisors FINRA registration through their online BrokerCheck tool here: https://brokercheck.finra.org/

The legal duty of your advisor, as outlined in FINRA rules, includes the following:

  • Acting with reasonable care when advising you.
  • Making sure that any and all recommendations they make to you are suitable for your unique goals, financial situation, and needs.
  • Acknowledging potential conflicts of interest or risks associated with their advice.
  • Communicating all material information to you in a manner that is easily understandable.

When financial advisors fail to meet any of these obligations and there are damages as a result, they can be held liable for those losses.

INVESTORS: If you have suffered investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of your financial advisor, you can pursue legal recourse to help recover those losses. Contact the investment fraud lawyers at KlaymanToskes today at +1 (888) 997-9956 or request a free case evaluation to determine if you are eligible for recovery.

Common Reasons for Suing a Financial Advisor

There are a few common reasons why investors may choose to sue their financial advisor. For a successful lawsuit, there must be evidence to show that the financial advisor committed fraud or acted negligently and that these actions caused your investment losses.

Most securities violations fall under one of two categories:

  1. Negligence – This occurs when your financial advisor fails to exercise the level of care that a reasonable person would have in similar circumstances.
  2. Fraud – This occurs when an advisor intentionally misrepresents, omits, or conceals material facts related to your investments in order to induce you into making specific decisions.

Within these two categories, there are a variety of different types of misconduct that may trigger a lawsuit. Common examples include:

  • Breach of fiduciary duty. This occurs when an advisor fails to act with care, loyalty, and trust when offering you advice or managing your accounts, or if they fail to disclose any potential conflicts of interest.
  • Unsuitable investments. This occurs when an advisor recommends investments that are not suitable for you given your individual goals, financial situation, and needs.
  • Misrepresentation of investments or materials facts related to the investment. This occurs when an advisor intentionally misrepresents or omits material information in order to induce you into making certain decisions regarding your investments.
  • Churning. This is an illegal practice that occurs when an advisor executes trades in your accounts in order to generate commissions or other fees for themselves rather than for the benefit of your account.
  • Unauthorized trading. This occurs when an advisor executes trades in your account without your prior authorization or approval.
  • Lack of diversification. This occurs when an advisor fails to invest your assets in a wide range of investments in order to reduce the risk of your portfolio.

In addition to the above, there have even been cases of outright theft, where an advisor misappropriates funds from client accounts to use for their own personal benefit.

What To Do If You Think Your Financial Advisor Committed Fraud or Negligence

If you believe that your financial advisor has committed fraud or negligence, then the first thing you should do is contact an experienced securities attorney who has expertise representing investors in FINRA arbitration claims. They will be able to review your case and advise you on the best course of action.

By speaking with an attorney, you are giving yourself the best chance at recovering your investment losses and holding your financial advisor accountable for their actions.

INVESTORS: FINRA recommends that all investors who are considering pursuing a legal claim against their financial advisor seek legal counsel. Our office has helped investors recover over $600 Million* in losses. Contact us today.

Have You Suffered Investment Losses?

Contact the investment fraud lawyers at KlaymanToskes today at (888) 997-9956. We’ll listen to your story and provide you a free, no obligation account review.

investment loss recovery

How Do You Prove Negligence or Fraud?

It’s really frustrating and stressful when you lose money from an investment. There are two things to consider if you want to make a claim: did the financial advisor mishandle your account (liability), and did their actions lead to you losing money (damages)?

Determining liability, the initial aspect, encompasses more than mere financial loss. To substantiate your claim, you must demonstrate that your financial representative committed an act of negligence or fraud, and that their misconduct directly resulted in your monetary setback. Bear in mind, the mere occurrence of a financial loss is insufficient to establish wrongdoing on their part.

Sometimes, it’s clear your advisor did something questionable, but things can get complicated. That’s when a good lawyer comes in. A lawyer can help you:

  • Gather evidence of fraud or negligence.
  • Interpret industry regulations and standards of practice to determine if they were violated.
  • Calculate your losses and build a strong legal case.
  • Determine who may be held responsible for the losses (multiple parties may be involved).
  • Improve your chances of receiving a favorable outcome in any legal proceedings.

The Limitations to Suing Your Financial Advisor

There is a limited timeline in which you can file a FINRA arbitration claim against your financial advisor. A failure to act within this timeline can mean the loss of your right to recover any losses.

According to FINRA Rule 12206 and Rule 13206, a FINRA arbitration claim against your financial advisor must be filed within six (6) years of when the misconduct occurred.

Do not wait to file your claim.

The longer you wait from the date of the misconduct, the more likely it is that any evidence you may have to support your claim will be lost or destroyed due to the passage of time.

To determine whether or not you have a potential claim against your financial advisor, FINRA suggests that discuss the matter with a qualified securities attorney.

While some investment losses can be easily identified and attributed to the misconduct of a financial advisor, the vast majority of losses will require an experienced attorney to review your case and provide you with advice on how best to proceed.

If you have significant investment losses in your account and believe that your financial advisor committed fraud or acted negligently, contact the investment fraud lawyers at KlaymanToskes today at +1 (888) 997-9956 to discuss your legal options.

You Trusted Your Financial Advisor and Got Burned – Why Put Your Trust in an Attorney?

Chances are you’ve built a close relationship with your financial advisor over the course of your investment history. You likely felt comfortable enough to rely on their advice and guidance when making investment decisions. It is crucial to remember that financial decisions should be based on careful analysis and due diligence rather than solely relying on personal relationships.

Now that your trust has been broken, you may be wondering why you should put your trust in an attorney.

At KlaymanToskes, we have seen countless individuals suffer from financial losses due to the negligence or misconduct of their financial advisors. We understand how difficult it can be to make the decision to hire an attorney, especially if you have already been burned by a financial advisor.

That is why we only work on a contingency-fee basis, which means you don’t pay us a penny until we recover money for you. This ensures that our interests are aligned with yours and our goal is to help recover the maximum recovery possible in your case.

At KlaymanToskes, our team of experienced attorneys has a deep understanding of this complex area of law, allowing us to provide invaluable insight and tailored guidance that directly addresses your individual needs.

The firm previously represented brokerage firms and brokers, and attorney Lawrence Klayman has a background in economics and was a licensed stock broker himself. With this combined experience, KlaymanToskes has inside knowledge of the brokerage industry and their defenses giving us an advantage as we navigate your case.

If you suffered losses due to the actions of your financial advisor or have concerns about your investment portfolio, contact KlaymanToskes at 888-997-9956 or fill out a short contact form for a free and confidential consultation.