Investing Crossword Puzzles: When Things Go Wrong

Imagine a scenario in which you suspect your Broker of churning your accounts. The SEC describes churning as a broker’s “excessive buying and selling of securities in a customer’s account to general commissions that benefit the broker.” Because churning is illegal, it may be possible to remedy the damage done. Some investors may choose to weather the storm on their own, but reaching out to a third-party for guidance may be beneficial.

Investors can reach out to the Secretary of State (SOS) for information regarding the registration of different securities products. Investors can also submit a formal complaint to the SOS office, which will initiate investigation proceedings.

Another option is to contact the Investor Advocacy Clinic  (IAC) at Georgia State University College of Law. When evaluating your claim, the IAC will submit document requests to your brokerage firms. Subsequent document reviews will allow the IAC to determine whether arbitration proceedings are appropriate, and if so, to use the received documents to draft the initial FINRA arbitration filing known as a Statement of Claim.

Sometimes the IAC is not appropriate for investors. If the IAC is unable to assist you with your claim, you should contact PIABA (Public Investor Arbitration Bar Association). PIABA will guide you to resources such as an attorney directory, consumer complaint websites, and investor education materials.

When Things Go Wrong

Across
4. This illegal activity occurs when a Broker engages in excess buying and selling of securities in a customer’s account to generate commissions that benefit the Broker.
5. This agency allows investors to research the registration of the product, as well as to file a complaint if they believe they have been victims of fraud or of a Broker’s breach of duty. (3 Words)
8. This out of court dispute resolution proceeding is binding on the parties.
Down
1. This process allows the investor to review all papers associated with his accounts. (2 Words)
2. This non-profit organization affiliated with Georgia State University provides pro bono representation for eligible investors. (3 Words)
3. This document is filed with FINRA to initiate arbitration proceedings. (3 Words)
6. You should file one of these if you believe you are a victim of churning.
7. This organization provides attorney referrals, investor education materials, and regulatory agency directories.