Spirit of America Energy Fund (SOAEX)
Launched in 2014, the Spirit of America Energy Fund (SOAEX) is a proprietary mutual fund offered exclusively by David Lerner Associates to its customers. It is also one of the three energy and gas-related investments, sold only by this broker-dealer, that has cost customers significant financial losses. The other two are Energy 11, LP and Energy Resources 12, LP, which are both non-traded real estate investment trusts (non-traded REITs).
Spirit of America Energy Fund (SOAEX) is one of six mutual funds from Spirit of America Investment Fund, Inc. With nearly $192M in assets, SOAEX has invested at least 80% of its assets in energy companies.
Its investment holdings include master limited partnerships (MLPs), upstream exploration and production (E & P) companies, and companies involved in energy research, energy conservation, or the making or servicing of products involving energy-related activities. Some of the entities that SOAEX invested in have since filed for bankruptcy protection.
Unfortunately, despite its stated objective of “seeking to provide investors with total return,” the Spirit America Energy Fund has seen a significant drop in value since its inception.
Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) is representing SOAEX investors who have suffered significant losses in fighting to recover their losses from David Lerner Associates.
It appears that many of the firm’s customers may have been unsuitably sold this energy investment. Contact SSEK Law Firm today at (800) 259-9010.Highly Volatile, Risky, and Unsuitable for Retail Investors
Because Spirit of America Energy Fund is heavily concentrated in a sector of the market that can be very volatile, this is not the kind of investment that is suitable for many investors. This includes retail customers, retirees, older investors, and unsophisticated investors who need a great deal of liquidity or have short-term investment time horizons.
The risks that can come with investing in the oil, gas, and energy industry, especially for conservative investors, was never more evident than in 2020 when COVID-19 started to wreak havoc on the world.
Oil prices went down to -$40 a barrel. Class A shares of SOAEX, which sold at $91/share in 2014, had dropped to $14/share in March 2021. Class C shares, which were selling for over $17/share in 2017, were being offered at around $13/shares, also in March of last year.
Toward the end of 2020, the Fund’s year-to-date returns had gone down by -40%. However, even before the pandemic, the oil and gas industry was already seeing a decline.SOAEX Investors Lost Money While David Lerner Associates Brokers Earned Commissions
There is also growing concern that David Lerner Associates' financial advisors may have made misrepresentations and omissions when marketing Spirit of America Energy Fund to their clients.
Even as the Fund performed poorly and SOAEX investors paid high fees— including up to 5.75% of the offering price in sales charges, another 1% in deferred sales fee if shares were redeemed within 12 months of buying them, and other costs—the brokerage firm and its registered representatives reaped the financial benefits of these transactions.David Lerner Associates Brokers Who Appear To Have Recommended SOAEX To Customers
- Alan Lowenfels
- Richard Lerner
- Francisco Cabral
- Gary Isler
- Martin Lerner
- David Oser
- William Campbell
- Rafael Klein
- Daniel Lerner
- Charles Bonilla
- Michael Norton
- Glen Werner
Brokerage firms have a duty to properly supervise their financial advisors and their activities in customers’ accounts to make sure that nothing untoward is occurring. Brokers must only recommend an investment if it is suitable for a client’s investing profile and financial goals. Customers must be apprised of all risks.
Failure to do any of these can be grounds for filing a claim against your broker-dealer to pursue damages. This is not the type of investor case that you want to take on without experienced Spirit of America Energy Fund investment lawyers advocating for you while protecting your legal rights.What Should You Do If You’ve Suffered Losses in SOAEX?
If you are someone who lost money in the Spirit of America Energy Fund or any other energy-related securities, contact our experienced SOAEX investment attorneys online or call (800) 259-9010.
SSEK Law Firm represents SOAEX, Energy 11, and Energy Resources 12 investors in their Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claims against David Lerner Associates.