Do you know how to protect yourself from the next
Bernie Madoff when you choose a broker or make an investment? Attorney
Lee Holland, of Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C. of Boston, MA,
firmly believes in the age-old adage that if an investment opportunity
sounds too good to be true it probably is.
However, Attorney Holland, who is also a Public Arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
(FINRA), the largest independent regulator for all securities firms
doing business in the United States, urges investors to go a step
further to arm themselves against the potential of investment fraud.
“Education and information are the best tools against
possible investment fraud. As a FINRA arbitrator I see the aftermath of
poor choices made by both investors and financial industry
professionals. As a result of this experience, I have become a strong
proponent of promulgating information to better educate those on both
sides of the investment equation and have found FINRA to be a great
educational resource,” explains Holland.
Despite the high profile cases of investment fraud in
the headlines, the potential for new fraudulent investment schemes may
increase as investors, eager to recoup their losses in times of
continued economic uncertainty, fall prey to a new generation of scam
To help avoid investment fraud:
1. Verify the license of anyone promoting an investment opportunity:
- For brokers check www.FINRA.org
- For investment advisors visit www.adviserinfo.sec.gov
- For insurance agents check your state insurance department
- For all sellers check with your state securities regulator
2. Verify that an investment is registered:
3. Be aware of the warning signs of investment fraud:
- Unreasonable guarantees
- Unregistered products
- Promise of no fluctuations in returns
- Complicated investment strategies
- Undocumented securities or stocks
- Incomplete or inaccurate account statements
- Pushy salespeople warning you must “act now”
4. Avoid fitting the investment fraud victim profile found in a 2007 FINRA survey:
- Victims often own high-risk investments, including penny stocks,
promissory notes, futures, options or private investments in foreign
- Victims tend to rely primarily on friends, family, co-workers for investment advice (70 percent)
- Victims can be too open to new investment information (for
example, three times as many victims went to a free investment seminar
than the national sample)
- Victims may fail to check the background of an investment or a broker
- Victims are often unable to spot persuasion tactics used by fraudsters
Holland urges all investors to invest their time
becoming better educated, before investing their money, to avoid the
risk of becoming a future victim of investment fraud. Attorney Holland,
an Associate in Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers’ Litigation Group, has extensive experience with alternative dispute resolution, both as an advocate and as a neutral.
FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority,
is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing
business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection
and market integrity through comprehensive regulation. FINRA touches
virtually every aspect of the securities business - from registering
and educating all industry participants to examining securities firms;
writing and enforcing rules and the federal securities laws; informing
and educating the investing public; providing trade reporting and other
industry utilities; and administering the largest dispute resolution
forum for investors and firms.
About Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C.
Formed in 1991, Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C.
is committed to providing high quality, comprehensive legal services to
its clients. Featuring a breadth and depth of experience and
perspective usually found only at larger law firms, Tarlow, Breed, Hart
& Rodgers. P.C. offers sophisticated legal counsel to
entrepreneurs, businesses, individuals, families, and institutions.
Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers’ areas of expertise
include corporate law, employment matters, mergers and acquisitions,
litigation and dispute resolution, estate planning, taxation, real
estate, bankruptcy, and municipal law.
The offices of Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C.
are located at 101 Huntington Avenue, Prudential Center, in Boston, MA
02199. For additional information, or to arrange for a consultation,
please call 1-617-218-2000, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.tbhr-law.com.