Many brokers (also known as financial advisers, investment advisers, stockbrokers, or registered representatives) advise their clients appropriately and treat them fairly. Unfortunately, however, not all do, and those few can cause extensive financial damage and emotional pain.
In many instances, brokers ignore their customersâ€™ wishes and best interests in favor of generating huge commissions for themselves. They may do this by recommending and selling unsuitable investments, executing trades too frequently and sometimes at inappropriate times (known as â€œchurningâ€), over-concentrating a customerâ€™s assets in a single or small group of investments rather than diversifying the customerâ€™s holdings, and other strategies designed to distract customers from the truth. In some cases, brokers engage in outright fraud by having customers sign blank documents, making investments without the customerâ€™s consent, or misrepresenting or omitting important facts about the investments they sell, like the risks associated with a particular investment.