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SSEK Law Firm’s Update to Investors During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) extends our sincerest sympathy to all who have been affected by our recent COVID-19 outbreak. The physical, emotional, and psychological toll that national and global issues cause to people are still unknown to most experts. Oftentimes, the quickest way to follow the changes the pandemic is causing is by tracking the financial impact it has on the world. The global coronavirus pandemic has already significantly impacted industries and markets of all kinds and we expect our financial sector to continue to be severely impacted.

SSEK Law Firm will Continue to Serve its Current and Future Clients During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

During this unprecedented event that has disrupted the lives of almost every American, SSEK Law Firm is reinforcing our commitment to meeting the needs of our clients and potential clients. Like many businesses, SSEK Law Firm is adjusting and evolving to best serve or clients and the many investors contacting us during these grave financial times in the market while also taking steps to ensure the safety of clients, employees and colleagues.

Beginning March 25, 2020, SSEK Law Firm will be servicing our clients and the investing public by working remotely. Shepherd, Smith, Edwards & Kantas has invested in the most up to date equipment and software so that we may serve you while working remotely. Our lawyers and staff have the tools to field questions and to send and receive documentation from clients, potential clients and those that just need some assurances. We will be available by email, phone, and video such as Zoom, Skype and Facetime. Client and potential client meetings are happening without interruption. We are prepared during these trying times. Clients should not see any changes in our services.

Shepherd, Smith, Edwards & Kantas is focused on the long-term and will be here no matter how long this crisis lasts. We will continue to offer our free, confidential consultations and evaluate new client cases. It goes without saying that the law firm of Shepherd, Smith, Edwards & Kantas will continue representing current clients with the same zealousness as ever. The legal process has not stopped. Discovery and case management continues. We are currently still filing cases for new clients. The ability to file cases has not ceased. The only change is that everything is done remotely.

The lawyers and staff of Shepherd, Smith, Edwards & Kantas stand ready to answer your questions. Our staff of professionals, with years of combined legal and financial experience, are the hallmark of our firm. This level of knowledge and experience is what sets us apart from most law firms serving the needs of wronged investors.

A lot is happening in the financial markets and your particular situation may require immediate attention. Please do not hesitate to contact us as soon as you are able. At the very least, our expertise may be able to provide you with piece of mind. Our toll-free number is operational 24 hours a day as is our online chat feature. We will be available to answer any questions you might have, provide guidance on complicated issues or maybe just have a conversation.

Investors Should Beware of Brokers Looking to Make High Commissions

With the market crashing in the wake of the Coronavirus, many investors are suffering from massive losses in their portfolio and are looking to their brokers for investment advice. Unfortunately, not all stockbrokers work with their customers’ best interests at heart, breaching their fiduciary duty in the process.

There are also dishonest registered representatives who may even seek to take advantage of these hard times and try to persuade investors to buy risky investments that charge high commissions. Such fraudulent and negligent behavior will lead to even more investment losses. These and other acts of stockbroker misconduct often rise in falling markets, so you should be extra cautious when pitched a new investment right now.

Variable and Fixed Annuities

Already, our investment fraud attorneys have been hearing about stockbrokers and financial advisors trying to sell annuities as a “guaranteed” way to protect principal. While some annuities do have features that offer some protection against losses, most annuities are very complicated and charge large expenses that can greatly harm your return.

For example, gains involving fixed and variable annuities are limited even in a rebounding market, the upside may not be worth the risk at this time – not to mention that annuities tend to charge high commissions of around 7% or greater. Most importantly, most annuities “lock you in” for a number of years, meaning you cannot access your money without paying a significant penalty. Unless you’re willing to NOT withdraw these funds for years, an annuity is not for you.

Private Placements and other Alternative Investments

In times of market turmoil, unscrupulous brokers and financial advisors often push private placements and other alternative investments as a save alternative to being invested in the market. However, the truth is that these investments are almost never safe. Instead, they are represented as stable or a good way to diversify as they do not typically change their value since they are not traded on any exchange. This suggests to some investors that the security is not losing value, when that is simply not true. Instead, investors simply have no idea how much their investment is worth until they often find out much later that the investment is virtually worthless.

Regardless of what’s going on in the market, private placements and alternative investments are only ever suitable for the most experienced investors. Do not let a financial advisor convince you otherwise. Our private placements and alternative investment fraud lawyers are here to tell retail investors that now is NOT the time to get involved in these illiquid, high-risk investments that also charge high commissions.

Indexed Universal Life Insurance Policies

Indexed Universal Life Insurance Policies are very expensive life insurance policies that have a large investment component, in most cases. Promoted by brokers and insurers as a profitable way to make money while offering death benefit protections, indexed universal life insurance policies tend to depend on market growth before investors can make money. Premium payments can rise annually, and these investments have been known to lose value, with returns sometimes significantly capped. Moreover, because of the premium costs, these investments can lapse in value and evaporate completely if you cannot keep up with the premium payments in future years.

SSEK Law Firm has successfully helped investors recover losses involving all of these investment types. If you have recently been advised to take on one of these investment types as part of your portfolio, it may be worth looking out for signs of broker fraud.

Senior Investors Are at Greatest Risk For Investor and Broker Fraud

Senior Investors throughout the United States are grappling with financial investment losses as markets continue to remain volatile in the wake of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The recent oil price drops, the rise of long-term care costs, and a flailing economy have done nothing to assuage growing concerns.

While the stock market has caused recent losses for most investors, it is important to remember there may have been other factors at play that contributed to your investment or retirement losses, including broker fraud or negligence. You may be able to recover your savings if any of the following occurred:

  • Failure to take the necessary steps to safeguard your investments during COVID-19
  • Breach of contract
  • Selling away
  • Misrepresentations and omissions
  • Poor investment advice
  • Failure to recommend the sale of a stock
  • Unauthorized trading
  • Failure to supervise
  • Overconcentration
  • Churning
  • Investing your money in riskier investments than what you agreed
  • Trades made for the purpose of earning commissions instead of in your best interests
  • Selling of unregistered securities
  • Employing an investment strategy that was too aggressive for your portfolio or investment goals

These are just a handful of the various claims that may be available to you to recover investment losses in this historically volatile market. DO NOT accept the representation from your broker or financial advisor that “everyone” lost money just like you or that this is normal. Have a professional at SSEK Law Firm review your investments to make sure you do not have a claim.

What Steps Do You Take if You Suspect You Are a Victim of Broker Fraud

You worked relentlessly for years for your retirement investments, and SSEK Law Firm remains hard at work helping investors, especially during these turbulent and unpredictable times. We know that your investments are more important than ever, which is why we are continuing to prepare and pursue broker fraud and negligence claims on our clients’ behalf.

Here Are Steps You Can Take If You Suspect Broker Negligence or Fraud:

  1. Reach out to your stockbroker, financial advisor and broker-dealer and talk to them about your concerns. It is important that you notify your brokerage firm as soon as possible that you believe fraud or negligence may be at play.
  2. Begin compiling all documents and information related to suspected fraud.
  3. Contact SSEK Law Firm immediately so that we can help you determine whether you have grounds for a case. An investor fraud complaint is not the type of case that you want to pursue without legal help.

The chances of financial recovery are considerably stronger if you have an experienced financial fraud law firm representing you.

Stockbroker and Investment Advisor Fraud Attorneys

SSEK Law Firm is committed and continuing to provide excellent legal representation during the COVID-19 Pandemic by helping investors throughout the US to recover losses. Contact us online or call us today on (800) 259-9010 to receive a free, no-obligation case consultation.

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