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Miami Broker Facing FINRA Complaint for Misrepresentation, Unsuitable Investment Recommendations

Roberto A. Hernandez (CRD#: 1404389) is licensed securities broker and registered investment adviser (RIA). Since 2007, Mr. Hernandez has been employed as a representative of Merrill Lynch. Pierce, Fenner & Smith at a branch office in Miami, FL.

In the fall of 2019, an investor filed a complaint against the Merrill Lynch broker alleging losses due to material misrepresentations and unsuitable investment recommendations. In the claim, the customer is seeking $1.26 million in financial compensation. As of January of 2020, the complaint is listed as ‘pending’ by regulators.

Broker History: Settlement of Unsuitable Investment Claims 

According to information obtained through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck database, Roberto A. Hernandez has settled two investor complaints since the beginning of 2015. Specifically, the following details are available regarding this financial advisor’s history:

  • In December of 2015, an investor filed a claim arguing that they suffered illegitimate investment losses as a result of unauthorized trading, unsuitable investment guidance, and misrepresentation/omission of material facts. Eventually, the complaint was settled for $16,550.
  • In June of 2017, an investor submitted a claim on the grounds that illegitimate investment losses were suffered due to unauthorized trading, unsuitable investment guidance, and misrepresentation/omission of material facts. This complaint was resolved for $380,000.

Notably, another investor also filed an unsuitable investment claim against Mr. Hernandez in November of 2018. As of January of 2020, the case is listed as ‘pending’ and FINRA does not provide the amount of damages being sought by the customer.

What is a Suitable Investment? Three Levels of Analysis 

In determining whether or not an investment opportunity is suitable for a given investor, brokers and financial advisors must perform three levels of analysis: 

  1. Reasonable Basis: To start, financial professionals must perform basic due diligence on the securities or financial products in question. The financial advisor must have a reasonable basis to believe that the investment is legitimate and its prospect for the future is positive.
  2. Appropriate for Specific Customer: Next, brokers and advisors need to consider the investments aims, objectives, and needs of their specific customer and must have a reasonable basis to believe that the product under consideration fits those parameters.  For example, a risky investment opportunity may not be suitable for older or more conservative investors.
  3. Quantitatively Sound: Finally, investment guidance must be quantitatively sound when taken as a whole. Trades that, taken individually, may be sensible, could be deemed unsuitable if they occur so frequently as to make it nearly impossible for an investor to make positive returns due to transactional costs.

Once those three levels of analysis are completed, the advisor then has the additional duty to inform the customer of the risks involved in purchasing or selling a particular security.

If you or your loved one is an investor who suffered financial losses after receiving unsuitable investment guidance, you or they may be eligible to recover compensation for damages or losses that were suffered.  You should contact an attorney who is knowledgeable in this area of law right away. 

Call Our Miami Unsuitable Investment Attorney for Immediate Assistance

At ​Carlson & Associates, P.A., our Miami unsuitable investment attorneys fight hard to help our clients recover financial compensation for their losses. If you suffered damages as a result of a broker’s misrepresentations or unsuitable investment guidance, we are here to help. For a confidential consultation with a top-rated securities fraud lawyer, please call our Miami law office today. We handle unsuitable investment claims throughout Florida.


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