My father died early last year. My parents were always very secretive about their finances, so it came as a shock to me and my brother to discover what happened to their investments after Dad died. Their broker had her sell stocks that were very conservative (like IBM and Exxon) and go for new issues that he said were the "new equivalents of old Dow stocks." They weren't, and she lost more than $100,000 from where she would have been. The broker told me that she wanted to do this and that he didn't have to convince her. Not true. She knows almost nothing of the stock market, and has always been afraid of my father's losing money on his blue chips. Isn't there something we can do to to recover her loss? The broker's company says that it is backing the broker. I'd like at least to prevent this guy from hurting others. Incidentally, my mother is 81.
What Harry says: I think his employer is engaging in game of CYA. They are as much on the hook here as the broker. They should supervise their employees enough to prevent this kind of manipulation. For years, such inappropriate investments have been strictly forbidden. Contact the company for a form to submit this situation to arbitration before FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority 301-590-6500). I see no reason to expect anything less than a full recovery.
Write Harry Gross c/o the Daily News, 400 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19130. Harry urges all his readers to give blood - contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.