FINRA arbitration

What’s FINRA Arbitration and How Can an Attorney Help?

Oct 4, 2021

If you have been the victim of stockbroker fraud or brokerage firm negligence, you will have to resolve your claims for recovery of investment losses through FINRA arbitration.  FINRA arbitration is a mandatory dispute resolution process that you agree to simply through opening a brokerage account with a member firm. This type of resolution process uses a panel of one to three neutral arbitrators to hear your case instead of the usual judge and jury, to determine your claim for damages as a result of your securities losses.  The FINRA Arbitration Agreement Many people are surprised to learn that they have agreed to arbitrate their claims for stock market losses due to negligence or fraud through FINRA arbitration. If you signed a contract to open a brokerage account, it is likely that that contract contains specific language as follows which is required by FINRA Rule 2268 : This agreement contains a pre-dispute arbitration clause. By signing an arbitration agreement the parties agree as follows: (1) All parties to this agreement are giving up the right to sue each other in court, including the right to a trial by jury, except as provided by the rules of the arbitration forum in which a claim is filed. (2) Arbitration awards are generally final and binding; a party’s ability to have a court reverse or modify an arbitration award is very limited. (3) The ability of the parties to obtain documents, witness statements and other discovery is generally more limited in arbitration than in court proceedings. (4) The arbitrators do not have to explain the reason(s) for their award unless, in an eligible case, a joint request for an explained decision has been submitted by all parties to the panel at least 20 days prior to the first scheduled hearing date. (5) The panel of arbitrators may include a minority of arbitrators who were or are affiliated with the securities industry. (6) The rules of some arbitration forums may impose time limits for bringing a claim in arbitration. In some cases, a claim that is ineligible for arbitration may be brought in court. (7) The rules of the arbitration forum in which the claim is filed, and any amendments thereto, shall be incorporated into this agreement. Even if you did not sign a contract agreeing to arbitrate your claims, if your stockbroker or brokerage firm is a member of FINRA (which most are) you have the right to force them into FINRA arbitration. As a brokerage firm customer, you have the power to require that  your broker resolve your dispute in FINRA arbitration even without a specific agreement to arbitrate. In any event, a careful review of the documents that you signed when you opened your  brokerage account will detail the specific arbitration terms that apply to you. Your FINRA Case If your case is filed with FINRA, whether by choice or agreement, your arbitration will follow some very specific rules. The case is initiated by filing what is known as a “Statement of Claim.” The FINRA statement of claim is the document that tells the brokerage firm and broker the basis of your claim. […]

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Investment Fraud

How Can You Recover Stolen Money Due To Online Investment Fraud?

Aug 9, 2021

Investors using social media platforms are vulnerable to online investment scams. If you are engaging in online activities—even relatively commonplace ones like Facebook or YouTube, or if you are posting in chat rooms on forums like Reddit, you are vulnerable to online securities fraud or to being hacked. The Securities and Exchange Commission has published a warning warned that using such media platforms or Iphone apps can expose investors to fraud in the Internet. You may be surprised to learn that your private account numbers or passwords can be sold to fraudsters on the dark web.   Criminals are selling credentials for customers of E*Trade, Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Robinhood Financial, and others on the dark web and such fraudulent activity has sharply increased over  the past year.  In fact, the dramatic rise of Robinhood users, as well as those trading themselves on other self-directed platforms, has led to an increase of account hacking victims. This is likely due in part to the fact that these brokerage customers are using social media outlets to publicize their investment successes. Robinhood investors who are on the subreddit platform /rwallstreetbets have been known to tout their accomplishments (and failures)  online. When an investor appears to be making large sums of money in their online postings, they may draw the attention of bad actors and create  “online bait” for securities account hackers. Hackers have been known to look up people’s social media accounts and use this online information (such as birthdates and names of family members) to get information allowing them to easily access the victim’s brokerage accounts. Once they gain access, the hacker can then sell their securities, and transfer out the money to outside accounts that they control. Compounding this issue at Robinhood is that there is no telephone contact provided nor is there the ability to speak in person to a live  representative when this fraudulent contact is happening. Although other online platforms may be subject to hacks, Robinhood is the most vulnerable to hacks.  The volume  of Robinhood-related emails that are up for sale to users of the dark web greatly outnumbers other brokerage firms by a margin of  5-to-1. Why? Because fraudsters reportedly believe that these accounts were easier to hack. An internal probe by Robinhood found that 2,000 of its customer’s accounts had been hacked.  Robinhood Accounts Were  Hacked Following complaints by Robinhood’s customers that hackers liquidated their investments and withdrew balances from their accounts, a class action suit was brought covering the time period between July 22, 2021 to October 5, 2020 .  According to the lawsuit, beginning  on or before July 22, 2020 through at least October 5, 2020, Robinhood negligently and illegally allowed unauthorized third-party access to approximately 2,000 customers’ personal and financial information, access to the funds customers had deposited into their Robinhood accounts, and control over securities positions customers purchased through Robinhood. The suit goes on to allege that these unauthorized users viewed, used, manipulated, exfiltrated, and stole this personal and financial information and took control over customers’ accounts so as to rob them of money and valuable securities and harm their privacy. Thus, as a consequence […]

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signs of a Ponzi scheme

Learn the Signs of a Ponzi Scheme Before You Fall Victim to One

Aug 2, 2021

Many investors only learn that they have been a  Ponzi scheme victim after the investment goes bust. Of course, some have received more notoriety than others, like Bernie Madoff or Allen Stanford who were both jailed for scamming investors out of billions of dollars through relatively simple scams. Ponzi schemes are easy to perpetuate because they appear to be legitimate to investors who receive the so-called “profits.” In truth, these profits come from later investors whose money is used to pay the earlier investors.  Ponzi schemes and other related financial fraud cost investors billions of dollars a year. Their victims range from ordinary people to high-level executives and business people. It seems that no one is immune from a well-sold investment scam. This is particularly true when a potential investor has friends or colleagues who have invested. Word-of-mouth endorsements of a “successful” or “profitable”  investment or a financial advisor from someone you know can go a long way in legitimizing a scheme.  In its most basic form,  the functioning Ponzi scheme pays returns to old investors with cash from newer investors down the line. Of course, a  constant flow of new investors is what is needed to keep the scam going. Once the source of new investors dries up,  the scheme collapses and is uncovered when investors stop being paid or are unable to make withdrawals from their accounts. Fraudsters running these financial cons use remarkably similar bait to lure potential investors. In the book The Ponzi Scheme Puzzle: A History and Analysis of Con Artists and Victims by law professor Tamar Frankel, there are four warning signs that are similar to most Ponzi schemes: 1. High return! Low risk! Those familiar with investing know that investments that pay higher returns generally require higher risk. If an investment is presented promising a big return with little downside, this is a red flag.  Also, beware the close cousin– Incredibly consistent returns year after year whether the market goes up or down. Bernie Madoff famously did this by creating false returns of the same percentage amount every year. Because this amount was not astronomical and was attained year after year on fictitious account statements, it was believable. Similarly, Woodbridge Securities was charged by the SEC for doing the same thing- promising mostly senior investors consistent returns of between 5-10% a year. 2. The Explanation of the Investment is Complicated.  Fraudsters often weave complex stories to explain their high returns or special skills. The original con man for whom the scheme is named, Charles Ponzi, told his victims that he invested in international postal-reply coupons — which at the time could be sold for multiple currencies—thus making money on the exchange value. Allen Stanford claimed to invest in off-shore CDs where he represented larger but safe, returns could be made outside of the U.S. Complex trading strategies are also sold by scammers who represent that their special skills or knowledge can reap extraordinary benefits. 3. It’s illegal, but it’s okay. Ponzi schemes are often very up-front about concealing things from investors. The reasons given may be concerns about competitors so that confidentiality is […]

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Complex Exchange

UBS Returning 8 Million For Sales of Complex Exchange-Traded Product

Jul 26, 2021

Last week the SEC announced that it settled its action against UBS Financial Services Inc. (“UBS”)  for supervisory failures relating to selling a volatility linked exchange-traded product.  Currently exchange traded products, also known as“ETPs” are the focus of the SEC Enforcement Division’s current ETP initiative which has been going after volatility linked ETPs since the end of 2020.  In November of last year, the SEC  announced actions against American Portfolios Financial Services/American Portfolios Advisors Inc., Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc., Royal Alliance Associates Inc., Securities America Advisors Inc., and Summit Financial Group Inc. resulting in $3 million being returned to harmed investors for the improper sale of ETPs.  As described in the SEC’s recent  order against UBS, UBS brokers sold a particular ETP meant to track short-term volatility expected in the market as measured against derivatives of  the  “volatility index.”  According to the regulator’s order, the issuer of the product called iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (“VXX”) warned UBS that it was inappropriate to hold the product for a long period. Additionally, the offering documents for VXX made clear that this investment, if held over  a longer time period,  was more likely to decline in value.  The SEC found that although UBS prohibited its brokers from soliciting sales of VXX and placed other restrictions on its sale to customers, it failed to similarly place restrictions on financial advisers’ use of it in some discretionary accounts.  In addition, UBS had a concentration limit on such volatility-linked ETPs, and did not implement a monitoring system to enforce those limits for a five year time period.   Finally, the SEC found that between January 2016 and January 2018, some financial advisers did not have an appropriate understanding of the proper use of VXX and thus failed to understand the risks associated with extended periods in which their customers were holding  the product.  Because of this failure, these financial advisers both purchased and held VXX in their clients’ accounts for longer periods than were appropriated, including holding it in hundreds of accounts for over a year,  which resulted in those customers’ suffering  meaningful losses. Although it did not admit or deny the SEC’s findings, UBS agreed to a censure, and will pay profits and prejudgment interest of $112,274, as well as an $8 million civil penalty. That penalty will be used to reimburse UBS’s customers harmed by these actions. Volatility-Linked ETPs Can Be Useful Where Used Short-Term When properly recommended, these complex ETPs can be useful in a customer’s portfolio to manage short-term market volatility. However, in order for them to be sold in a suitable way to the customer, they must be thoroughly understood the advisors and brokers who are recommending them. The SEC’s  in this recent action and the earlier ones, make abundantly clear that firms who recommend such products must have proper systems in place to ensure they are sold properly for their intended investment objectives, including that of  short-term holding. As explained by FINRA, investors in volatility-linked ETPs could risk major losses if they do not fully understand how they work. Some might believe, for instance, that the ETP product can be used […]

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Investment Scam

Am I the Victim of an Investment Scam?

Jul 19, 2021

If you are reading this blog, you might be wondering if you’re the victim of an investment fraud or scheme. More and more, fraudsters are coming up with new scams to extract money from helpless victims. These victims come from all walks of life. In our offices we see investment fraud victims ranging from school teachers, customer service reps, athletes, engineers, doctors, and even  sophisticated lawyers who have been scammed. No one is immune from securities fraud. In fact, one of the most wide reaching frauds involving the famed Wall Street securities guru Bernie Madoff prayed mostly on wealthy and successful business people. So, if you feel you have been scammed, don’t blame yourself. Anyone can fall prey to a crafty securities fraudster.  There are some typical types of securities scams to look out for. The Securities and Exchange Commission has highlighted them through  investor education posts.  Some of the more common types are: Affinity Fraud In affinity fraud, a fraudster targets  members of an identifiable group, such as members of a religious organization, club or people having the same ethnic background. The fraudster often is – or pretends to be –  a member of that group. In order to capture investors, they often use the group’s leaders to get others to invest in the scheme, convincing them that the investment is legitimate and profitable. These community leaders are often also the victims of the scam they promoted. Affinity fraud scams, such as religious scams, work because they exploit the trust and friendship of the group’s members. Also, sometimes they do not come to the attention of law enforcement because of the close and private structure of many social or religious groups. Also, due to those relationships, many securities fraud victims try to work things out privately within the group instead of getting authorities involved or suing the wrongdoer.  Affinity scams commonly  involve “Ponzi” or pyramid schemes whereby new money from new investors is used to pay out earlier investors, thus making the investment seem legitimate within the group. Advance Fee Fraud In an advance fee fraud, the perpetrator will ask investors to pay an up front fee – in advance of receiving any proceeds such as money or stock– before receiving payment from the upcoming  deal. The payment in advance is often characterized as a fee, commission, or  an  expense that will be repaid to the investor at a later time. Sometimes an  advance fee scam will  target an investor who’s already bought and suffered a loss in a security by offering  to sell that security for the investor if an “advance fee” is paid upfront. In this type of scam, fraudsters may tell the investor  to wire the advance fees to an escrow agent or a lawyer attempting to make this scheme appear legitimate. Another tactic is the use of official-sounding websites and e-mail addresses.  Some types  of advance fee frauds can involve the offering of products, investments, lottery winnings, or “found money” which belongs to the victim.  Binary Options Fraud Today, most binary options are traded through Internet-based platforms which aren’t complying with applicable U.S. regulatory. The SEC has […]

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robinhood fined

Robinhood Fined For Improper Options Trading Approval for Customers Under 21

Jul 5, 2021

On June 30, 2021 FINRA announced that it has ordered Robinhood Financial LLC to pay approximately $70 million dollars for its system-wide supervisory failures and widespread harm  inflicted on its millions of customers.  The consent order includes a  $57 million fine as well as approximately $12.6 million in restitution payments to thousands of affected Robinhood customers. These penalties amount to the single largest financial fine ever ordered by FINRA. The SEC has previously fined Robinhood for other misstatements and non-disclosures.   FINRA’s investigation uncovered a number of regulatory violations  committed by Robinhood including  its providing of false or misleading account information, its March 2020 systems outages, failures to report customer complaints, and its improper approval of thousands of unqualified customers for options trading—many of whom were under 21 years old. Taking a swipe at Robinhood’s stated goal of innovating and “demystifying finance for all,” FINRA reiterated that all brokerage firms must comply with the stated rules governing the brokerage industry. These  rules, stated FINRA, have been put in place to protect both investors as well as the integrity of the stock markets, and cannot be overlooked simply because a firm seeks to innovate securities trading.  Robinhood’s Bots Improperly Approved Young Customers for Options Trading In its order, among other things,  FINRA found that Robinhood failed to exercise the required due diligence before approving its customers for options trading. Because Robinhood relied on computer algorithms known as  “option account approval bots,” there was very limited oversight by the firm’s options principals as required by FINRA rules. Because of this obvious lack of human oversight, the automated bots often approved customers for options trading based on both inconsistent or illogical information. The use of these bots led to Robinhood’s improper approval of thousands of its customers for options trading. These customers should not have been approved for options trading because they either did not satisfy the firm’s options eligibility criteria, or their  accounts contained red flags alerting the firm that  options trading may be inappropriate for them. Many of these customers were under 21 and had represented to Robinhood that they had at least three years of options trading experience, when in fact they were prohibited from trading in  accounts when they were under 18 years of age. Robinhood’s System for Options Approval Did Not  Look all Available Information  Since allowing options trading on their platform beginning in December 2017, Robinhood’s system for approving customers for such options trading has been almost entirely automated. This is true for all levels of options trading provided by Robinhood. Level 2 approval  for options trading allows for basic options trading, including cash-secured puts as well as covered calls. Level 3 approval allows for more advanced trading, such as engaging in options spreads. In conducting the analysis for its customers to be approved to trade options, Robinhood’s bots review customer responses to numerous eligibility questions, and then automatically (and in most cases almost instantaneously) either approve or reject the customer’s options application based on the responses. FINRA found that because those bots failed to look at all the account  information available to the firm, Robinhood’s has  […]

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Investment Fraud Attorney

How Can An Investment Fraud Attorney Help Me?

Jun 28, 2021

If you are reading this blog, chances are you have suffered losses in an investment and believe that you have been the victim of investment fraud. However, it is not always the case that investment losses are caused by fraud. To have a claim for investment fraud you must be able to establish that there was a misrepresentation, or an omission, of a material fact to you  regarding the investment and that  you relied upon that misrepresentation in making or maintaining the investment, leading to monetary loss. Investment fraud can be perpetrated through oral statements as well as through written materials, or by information published on the internet. It can be accomplished by both making a false statement or by omitting facts that should be disclosed. What to Look for In Hiring an Investment Fraud Attorney When looking for an attorney to bring your investment fraud case, it’s crucial that you find someone who has experience in this area.  This is because, in most cases, you must arbitrate your investment fraud case through FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). If you lost money in your  investment  account at a brokerage firm such as Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Charles Schwab and even a self-directed account on an app such as Robinhood , your account agreement likely contains an arbitration agreement requiring that your claims be arbitrated through FINRA. The claims in FINRA are subject to the FINRA Code of Arbitration Procedure which sets out the procedures to be followed. Hiring an investment fraud lawyer who knows these rules, as well as one who is familiar with the arbitration process, can maximize any recovery you might get in your case. When deciding whether to hire an  investment fraud attorney, you should ask  the following questions to be certain that you’ve found the right attorney to  help recover your investment fraud losses. You should ask these things: 1. WHAT’S  YOUR EXPERIENCE? While there are lots of attorneys advertising on the Internet that they handle investment fraud cases,  there are very few of them who have actually have 20 or more years of experience handling FINRA arbitration cases—which is the place where most cases are required  to be arbitrated if you’re suing a brokerage firm or stockbroker. Be sure that you discuss with the prospective lawyer just how many investment fraud cases that attorney has handled and exactly how many years of experience that attorney has worked in this legal area.  An experienced investment fraud lawyer will more than likely know the lawyers who regularly represent the defendant brokerage firms, and these relationships are important to advancing your case to hearing as well as in  settlement discussions. Additionally, an experienced FINRA arbitration attorney will also be familiar with the pool of FINRA arbitrations who might be deciding your case. Knowing which arbitrators to select (and most importantly who not to select) to hear your potential case can go a long way in affecting the results of your case. Also , hiring an attorney who knows the special  FINRA discovery process  knows what documents and information to ask the brokerage firm to ask for […]

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financial advisor

Can I Sue My Financial Advisor / Stock Broker Over Losses?

Jun 21, 2021

Most people who come to our law offices have relied on a financial advisor to help them invest and protect their money. While we have seen hundreds of unsophisticated and inexperienced investors lose money as a result of the negligent or intentional actions of their financial advisors, they are not alone. Generally, no matter how educated an investor is, if they are not savvy in the securities markets or know about the products sold,  they will rely on their securities broker to provide them with investment guidance and insight.  We have seen doctors, lawyers, accountants, scientists, and financial professionals who have been the victims of financial fraud or broker negligence. Often, these people blame themselves for being duped.  But this is not the reality.  The truth is that securities professionals receive advanced education and training, and must pass a series of exams as well as obtain certain licenses, in order to sell securities to the public. So, it is quite understandable that their customers rely upon them for sound and unbiased advice, and to protect them from financial harm in accordance with their specific investment objectives.  The Most Common Reasons For Suing Your Financial Advisor for Investment Losses Just because you lost money in your brokerage account does not give you the right to bring a claim against your stockbroker. You also need a valid legal claim.  Brokers and financial advisors can be sued in their professional capacity for a number of types of claims or causes of action. The most egregious types of these claims against stockbrokers involve forgery, theft, and elder fraud. In the more garden variety types of claims, negligent brokers steer an investor’s money into risky, inappropriate, or unsuitable investments, generally motivated by the promise of higher commissions. Our lawyers handle a broad variety of investment fraud and broker negligence cases. Some of the more common types of cases that we see involve: 1. Conflict of Interest: Under the Regulation Best Interest Rule, your broker or investment advisor owes a duty to not put their own interests ahead of yours. The  Regulation Best Interest rule borrows principles from fiduciary duty concepts. It was established to align the broker’s standard of conduct with their retail customer’s  reasonable expectations by requiring that they “act in the best interest of the retail customer at the time the recommendation is made, without placing the financial or other interest of the broker-dealer ahead of the interests of the retail customer.” 2. Breach of Fiduciary Duty: A broker’s fiduciary duties to its customers include, among others,  that of recommending a stock only after studying it sufficiently to become informed as to its nature, price, and financial prognosis; carrying out orders promptly and in a manner best suited to serve the customer’s interests; informing the customer of the risks involved in purchasing or selling particular security; refraining from self-dealing; not misrepresenting any material facts to the transactions, and transacting business only after receiving proper authorization from the customer. 3. Unsuitable Investments: Brokers and financial advisors can only recommend securities that fit within their customer’s specific investment profile. The suitability rule states that the […]

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financial advisor

Does My Financial Advisor Have a Conflict of Interest?

Jun 14, 2021

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently adopted a new rule which established a standard of conduct for brokers and their firms when making recommendations to retail customers. This includes recommending both a securities transaction or recommending any investment strategy which involves securities. This new rule is called “Regulation Best Interest”. The  Regulation Best Interest rule was established to align the broker’s standard of conduct with their retail customer’s  reasonable expectations by requiring that they “act in the best interest of the retail customer at the time the recommendation is made, without placing the financial or other interest of the broker-dealer ahead of the interests of the retail customer.”  The Regulation Best Interest rule also addresses conflicts of interest by requiring brokerage firms to establish, maintain, and enforce policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to both identify as well as to and fully and fairly disclose material facts about conflicts of interest. In cases where disclosure is deemed insufficient to reasonably address any conflicts of interest, the rule requires that steps must be taken to mitigate or eliminate the conflict. Importantly, the standards of conduct established by Regulation Best Interest rule cannot be satisfied simply through disclosure alone.  In enacting this standard of conduct, the SEC borrowed from key principles underlying two fiduciary obligations, including those that applied to investment advisers under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”).  To align the duties owed to retail customers of both  broker-dealers and  investment advisers, the  SEC mandates that retail investors are entitled to a recommendation (from a broker-dealer) or advice (from an investment adviser) that is in the clients’ best interest. This means that the advice or recommendation does not place the interests of the firm or the financial professional ahead of the interests of the retail investor.  Under the Regulation Best Interest rule, a conflict of interest is defined as “an interest that might incline a broker, dealer, or a natural person who is an associated person of a broker or dealer—consciously or unconsciously—to make a recommendation that is not disinterested.” Regulation Best Interest Applies to  All Recommendations  What is a recommendation? Deciding whether a broker-dealer has made a recommendation triggering Regulation Best Interest turns on the specific facts and circumstances of each case. Factors that are considered in determining whether in  fact  a recommendation has been made include whether the communication “reasonably could be viewed as a ‘call to action’” and “reasonably would influence an investor to trade a particular security or group of securities.” The more tailored to the customer or targeted group of customers the communication about a security or group of securities is, the greater the likelihood is that it may be viewed as a “recommendation.” Type of Account recommendations  Regulation Best Interest expressly applies to account recommendations including recommendations of securities account types generally (e.g., to open an IRA or other brokerage account, or an advisory account), as well as recommendations to roll over or transfer assets from one type of account to another (e.g., from a workplace retirement plan account to an IRA). There are many different account types within brokerage firms. […]

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REIT

Is Your REIT A Bad Investment?

Jun 7, 2021

Real Estate Investment Trusts (“REITs”) are common income generating investments bought by individual retail investors.  REITs are defined as a company or investment trust that retains diverse portfolios of real estate assets.  A REIT both owns and operates real estate with 90% of the generated income paid out to its shareholders as dividends. They are popular as they are designed to provide  a steady payout of dividends which investors are attracted to when interest rates are low. Risks Associated with REITs Non-Traded REITs are not publicly traded investments. Because these REITs aren’t traded on any public exchange (such as the NASDAQ) it can be very difficult for investors to find out current information as well as prices. Non-traded REITs are generally “illiquid” making it very hard for investors to sell. Publicly traded REITs, those that are traded on an exchange, are subject to losing value when interest rates rise.  How REITs Operate  Since REITs are required to pay returns of at least 90% of their taxable income out to their shareholders,  they generally pay out a higher yield as compared to other market alternatives. This makes them particularly attractive when interest rates are low. While some REITs focus on a particular real estate sector, others invest in more diverse holdings. REITs are allowed to invest in many different types of real estate including: Residential apartment complexes Healthcare buildings Hotels and resorts Commercial office buildings Self-storage buildings Shopping centers and malls REITs provide the investor an opportunity to earn dividend-based real estate income while not having to buy the actual underlying property. They are popular because the investor can participate in real estate opportunities without the headaches associated with being a property owner. If a REIT has a proven and experienced management team, a good track record, and owns desirable properties, it can be a successful investment. But, there are many pitfalls and risks to investing in  REITs that investors should be informed about before buying any REIT. Risks of Non-Traded REITs Non-Traded REITS, also known as non-exchange traded REITs, do not trade on a stock exchange. Because of this, there are special risks associated with them. Share Value Because they are not listed on any exchange, investors are generally unable to perform research on these REITs. Significantly, it’s very difficult to determine the true price or value of the REIT’s. Its also hard to find out what assets the REIT holds at any given time.  Lack of Liquidity When an investment is “illiquid” this means that there may not be buyers available when an investor wants to sell their REIT. Also, often the investor is prohibited from selling the REIT for a period seven years. While some REITs will all investors to redeem a small portion of their investment after one year, there is usually a cost to doing so. Distributions The way that a REIT operates is that it has to pool the investor’s money to buy and manage properties. Sometimes, if there is not enough income generated from the property, the REIT may end up  paying out dividends from other investors’ money. When this happens, this can limit […]

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