Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Aug 9, 2013

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Like most people, you do everything you can to make sure that your investments are sound by trusting your broker to invest wisely. However, according to stock fraud lawyers – sometimes, even the best laid plans don’t work out. You may suspect that your broker may not have invested wisely, but how can you really be sure?

Looking For Stock Broker Misconduct

Broker misconduct is typically going to show up in the losses; the clients are going to lose money because this broker has not acted in their best interest and has taken action that’s actually harmfulto them. Many times when the market falls, that’s when so many people get hurt because they weren’t adequately protected. The market crashes, the brokers sit there and let the accounts fall and people can’t ever recover from those kinds of losses.

Again, it may be the type of product that they have and many times people don’t even know what they have. So, people need to inquire with their current broker, ‘What exactly do I have?’ They need to understand what they have and then they need to seek answers by doing some of their own research or by seeking out competent counsel to determine if the manner in which there was money was invested was suitable for their situation.

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Why the Elderly & Less Educated Are Targets

The elderly are particularly vulnerable when it comes to misconduct, as well as those without higher education. According to securities fraud attorneys, it’s typically the elderly, those that are retiring or are already retired. In addition, while educated people can certainly be taken advantage of, those withouthigher education generally tend to be the victims of these types of conduct because they really have no understanding of what’s going on.

Another area to watch for is employer based programs. Many employees that are retiring meet with a broker which their company chooses. They’re very trusting in that type of a situation and think, ‘Oh well, my company let this person speak to us, they must know that they’re a good person. They must know what they’re talking about.’ These brokers are extremely good salesmen and may not be the best financial analysts.