Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP
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Wave of FINRA Arbitration Claims Expected From Bad Bets on Energy

Investors across the country have been shocked to see the real impact that the dropping price of oil has had on their retirement savings. Many investors do not closely monitor their retirement funds and only become aware of the losses incurred when reviewing their year-end statements or when filing tax returns in April with their accountants. Because of the extent of the losses that many investors have uncovered, FINRA has received many oil-related arbitration demands.

Some investors are concerned about the proportion of their retirement accounts that were invested in oil-backed securities and ETNs (Exchange Traded Notes). Brokers have the obligation to diversify investments for their clients in order to protect against any market irregularities that can occur. Investors filing with FINRA claiming large losses due to over-investment into the oil industry assert that this duty was not followed.

Other investors claim that their brokers should have been more aware of the possibility of declines in the energy market and should have moved the bulk of their investments in oil as soon as the price per barrel began its decline in June of 2014. Brokers justify their decision to keep their investments in oil by noting that a long-term rebound in prices is expected and should be able to recover the losses incurred. It is likely that FINRA will have many filings surrounding these losses as long as the price per barrel for oil remains under $50.

The legal team at SFMS has significant experience litigating FINRA matters. If you have any questions regarding this subject or this posting, please contact Alec Berin ([email protected]) or Chiharu Sekino ([email protected]). We can also be reached toll-free at (866) 540-5505.

Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP is a law firm with offices in California, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. SFMS is an active member of Integrated Advisory Group (, which provides us with the ability to provide our clients with access to excellent legal and accounting resources throughout the globe. For more information about our firm, please visit us at


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