Articles Tagged with Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab Should Have Known RIAs Were Promoting the Fund 

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at is looking into losses suffered by Vida Longevity Fund, LP investors. Many investors were recommended this open-ended hedge fund by Creative Planning, Pin Oak Investment Advisors, or other registered investment advisors (RIAs) that Charles Schwab Corporation referred them to. 

While it is not uncommon for Schwab to recommend RIAs to clients, the broker-dealer either knew or should have known that these firms were marketing the Fund to customers.

Over the last several months, it has come to light that brokers from some of the largest firms on Wall Street firms sold Collateral Yield Investment Strategies (CYES Strategies) that may not have been suitable for many investors, causing them to suffer devastating losses. Offered through registered investment adviser Harvest Volatility Management, LLC, the CYES Strategy is a type of Yield Investment Strategy (YES Strategy), only even more risky and complex.

YES Strategy Investments

Reportedly, UBS (UBS), Credit Suisse (CS), Bank of America’s (BAC) Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley (MS), and other brokerage firms brokers sold YES Strategies to many wealthy investors, touting the approach as safe way to increase returns on conservative portfolios. These were supposed to be small returns at a low risk, using a strategic approach that involved the purchasing and selling of SPX index options spreads.

Former Centaurus Financial Broker’s Certified Financial Planner Designation is Suspended

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has suspended Texas broker’s Larry J. Templin’s CFP designation. The interim suspension comes after Templin, who is accused of bank fraud, refused to provide the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) with information related to the allegations against him.

Templin was a Centaurus Financial broker until last year when he was fired by the Texas-based brokerage firm. Previously, he was registered with USAllianz Securities and First Global Capital, which are both headquartered in Texas. Templin worked in the securities industry for over 20 years.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is fining Charles Schwab & Co. (SCHW) $2 million. The self-regulatory organization said that between 5/15/14 and 7/1/14, Schwab was capital deficient by up to $775M because of cash inflows that went beyond what it could invest with existing facilities on three occasions. Because of this, said FINRA, the firm moved $1 billion to its parent company for overnight investment. Under a revolving loan agreement, Schwab’s Treasury group approved the funds as an unsecured loan.

The SRO claims that Schwab lacked the procedures that would have mandated that its Treasury group consult with the company’s regulatory reporting group. It also contends that the firm’s supervisory systems were not designed in a manner reasonable enough to stop the Treasury group from going into unsecured transfers with affiliates that could lead to a net capital deficiency.

Schwab is not denying or admitting to the FINRA alelagtions. A firm representative did issue a statement expressing regret over the failure to note the overnight cash transfers.

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A panel of U.S. Judges says that Charles Schwab & Co. (SCHW) must face a lawsuit brought by Northstar Financial Advisors Inc. The investment advisory firm claims that Schwab invested the assets of a bond-index fund in high-risk mortgage debt prior to the financial crisis. The plaintiff is proposing that this case be a class action securities claim, which could include investors who have owned the fund since 2007. In particular, notes Northstar Financial Advisors Inc., the Schwab Total Bond Market Fund (SWLBX) placed lots of risky debt into the fund, resulting in losses of tens of millions of dollars, as well as underperformance against its benchmark.

Reuters reports that the plaintiffs claim that because Schwab invested over 25% of assets in non-agency mortgage securities and collateralized mortgage obligations, the firm’s portfolio managers disregarded the fundamental investment objectives of the fund to track the Lehman Brothers U.S. Aggregate Bond Index and stay away from industry bets. Because of this, they argued, the fund lagged its benchmark from 9/1/07 to 2/27/09, suffering a 4.80% loss while the index posted a 7.85% positive total return.

Northstar Financial Advisors Inc. filed its securities case in 2008 but the complaint was mired in procedural matters until now. This latest appeal was argued in 2013 in front of three federal judges of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Their decision, finally—albeit nearly two years later—reinstates the breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and other claims.

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