Protect Your Parents from Investment Fraud

We see it all too often, an elderly couple or investor taken advantage by a broker gone bad, putting them in unsuitable investments, churning their accounts, taking advantage of diminished cognitive capacity and/or he limited financial and computer literacy many of them have.

While the financial services industry, including FINRA and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIMFA) have begun to take the protection of senior investors more seriously, there is still plenty of opportunity for dishonest brokers and advisors to take unfair advantage of elderly investors.  As noted in Investment Executive, The International Organization of Securities Commissions (ISOCO) has been working on protecting senior investors on an international basis.

That said, one of the best ways to protect your parent(s) is to know what they have, what their goals are and to regularly go over their statements with them.

We know that elderly investors can be very private and reluctant to let their children know what they have and where they have it. As the sandwich generation, raising families of our own while helping our parents as they age presents a number of practical and theoretical problems. There is an abiding sense of privacy they have that can be difficult to navigate and break through as well as related family dynamics to consider as siblings can at times mistrust those who are the boots on the ground dealing with their parents needs week in and week out. There may come a time they are incapable of being able to appropriately manage their own matters including investments on their own.

A few thoughts on what you can do to help. First, have an open dialogue with the about your desire to help them meet their objectives, whatever they may be, assuring them you want nothing from them other than what they want. Make sure siblings and other close relatives with influence know what you are doing if appropriate, and understand hat many times your efforts will not be readily accepted by your parents. If they are willing, consider having them give you a limited power of attorney to help them with finances and allow you to interact with their brokers and advisors.

If you suspect that they may be suffering losses in their investments due to broker misconduct of any kin, call us for a free consultation. We take great pride in helping investor that have been defrauded and take an even greater satisfaction of protecting the elderly, the most vulnerable investors in the market.

Daniel O’Brien is an attorney at Halling and Cayo, a full service law firm in Milwaukee, WI and part of its Securities Litigation team.

He focuses his practice on insurance defense, commercial and coverage litigation, insurance fraud investigations and Plaintiff’s personal injury work.

Contact him at (414) 271-3400 or via e-mail at to see if he can help recover funds.