In the past year we've seen unprecedented changes in the financial markets: Bank of America's buyout of Merrill Lynch, the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the Federal Reserve's bailout of AIG, the conversion of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs from investment banks to bank holding companies, and the collapse of Washington Mutual. These events have already translated into real losses in individual portfolios. Market turmoil often exposes problems in brokerage accounts, since gains from a rising market can hide wrongdoing.
For investors who've been victims of misrepresentation, fraud, or negligence by a broker or investment advisor, our goal is to restore your financial position and get your portfolio back on track. Disputes arising over securities transactions are often governed by arbitration agreements. FINRA arbitration (formerly run by the NASD and NYSE) covers many different types of instruments and investments. These include variable annuities, mutual funds, stocks, equities, bonds, junk bonds, derivatives, stock options, mortgage-backed securities, use of mortgages as collateral, margin accounts, auction rate securities, and others. For more information on FINRA arbitration, see "Arbitration Process" page.
We also represent securities industry members in employment, deferred compensation, raiding disputes, and defense of customer claims.
Current news for February 25, 2010. We've learned that Kirkland, Washington broker and financial planner Rhonda Breard of Breard Associates and Wealth Management has gone missing. The Seattle PI reported February 25 that ING, Breard's clearing firm, terminated her relationship for allegedly altering customer account statments. The PI further reported that at least one customer of Breard has reported to the state securities that ING said it had no record of the customer's investment. The full article is here: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/415866_broker25.html. If you are a Breard customer and are concerned about your investment, please contact us.
Past news items:
Charles Schwab Yield Plus.We're seeing an increase in Charles Schwab customers who purchased Schwab Yield Plus Select Fund (SWYSX) or Schwab Yield Plus Fund (SWYPX) and who suffered significant losses. These customers believed that they were investing in low-risk money market investments. In reality, Schwab invested a considerable percentage of the funds in mortgage backed securities. When that market collapsed, so did the share price of the Schwab funds. If you owned these funds and wish to discuss your losses, please contact us.
Lehman Brothers Structured Products.We've learned that many investors seeking low risk investments were sold complicated derivative products they thought were index funds, but in fact were Lehman Brothers bonds tied to index funds. When Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy those bonds lost their value. If you owned these securities and wish to discuss your losses, please contact us.
Auction Rate Securities.We've seen an increasing number of cases involving auction rate securities. These instruments, which were sold by many firms as a cash or money market alternative, became largely illiquid in February of 2008. While a few firms have agreed to buy auction rate securities back from customers, many customers are still unable to sell. If you have cash tied up in auction rate securities, we can advise you on how best to approach the firm about refunding your money.
1601 5th Avenue, Suite 2150 Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 621-1111
Carlson & Dennett, P.S. serves clients in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska, including the communities of Seattle, Anchorage, Boise, Portland, Eugene, Tacoma, Bellevue, Spokane, Everett, Vancouver, Bellingham, Yakima, Olympia, Port Angeles, Bremerton, Redmond, Kirkland, Ellensburg, Wenatchee, King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Thurston County, Kitsap County, Multnomah County, Anchorage County, Ada County, Puget Sound, the Kitsap Peninsula, and Central Washington.