Are You A Retiree Who Suffered Serious Variable Annuity Losses?
Investors File FINRA Lawsuit Seeking Up To $1M In Damages from Ameriprise Financial
For years the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has been cautioning brokers against selling variable life insurance to retirees. The self-regulatory organization (SRO) has even said that certain products, such as deferred variable annuities, could be too risky for many older retirees. Yet that hasn’t stopped many financial advisors from unsuitably recommending that seniors use their retirement money to invest in variable annuities (VAs). Such investments tend to be illiquid and are generally long-term investments, while many older investors, because of their age, are best suited for financial products with shorter-term investment horizons and aren’t too volatile or high-risk. It is important to note that this holds true even with VAs that come with riders specifically for seniors.
Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, the Annuity Fraud Law Firm, is currently representing two older Texas investors in their variable annuity loss lawsuit against Ameriprise Financial Services. The claimants, who are seeking up to $1 million in damages, contend that ex-Ameriprise broker Anthony George Makransky, who is now an LPL Financial registered representative, disregarded their best interests when he recommended that they place nearly 75% of their life savings into one variable annuity that he claimed would guarantee them 6% for life.
Because of this allegedly unsuitable investment recommendation, these investors cashed out their employer retirement plans so they could invest in the VA. Meanwhile, the Texas financial advisor purportedly failed to apprise the couple that they would be paying a yearly fee for the life of the policy which would dramatically impact its performance. He also allegedly did not tell them that the “guaranteed 6%” was merely money from their savings that they would be allowed to withdraw every year. (Not only that, but also if the account ever went down to 0 dollars while the investor was still alive, the issuer would keep paying 6% of the policy value until his death at which point his wife would end up with nothing.)
This single annuity paid high commissions and fees—about $112,000—to Ameriprise and its former broker. Not only that, but the brokerage firm placed the rest of the claimants’ savings in equity indexed universal life insurance policies and structured notes that were also unsuitable and too risky for them.
The tragic outcome of this was that within three years of retiring, this Texas couple was told that they had to cut down on their living expenses dramatically or they would run out of funds. They have since suffered substantial losses that cannot be recovered outside of this arbitration claim.
In their FINRA lawsuit, these senior investors are alleging misrepresentation, omissions, negligence, gross negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and supervisory failures by Ameriprise.
How Can Our Trusted Variable Annuity Loss Attorneys Help?
Over the years, we have helped many variable annuity investors to recover damages from the brokerage firms whose bad investment advice, misconduct, or negligence caused our clients serious losses. Not only can we help you determine whether you have grounds for a claim during a free, no obligation case consultation, but also we can help you explore your legal options.
Our skilled elder financial abuse attorneys know how devastating it can be to lose your life savings especially when such losses could have been avoided or lessened were it not for the wrongful or careless actions of the financial advisor who you entrusted to manage and keep your assets safe. We have the knowledge, experience, and resources to go up against even the largest Wall Street firms. More than 90% of our clients have received full or partial financial recovery with our help.
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