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You may have lost money in your investment portfolio,
due to mismanagement and not even know it.

Oil/gas investments: some people might have overconcentrated

Much of the world -- and certainly the United States -- seems to be virtually drowning in oil.

In the U.S., people in every state are staring with wonderment at gas station prices for fuel that are plummeting -- and with regularity -- to levels unseen in years.

This is all good, right? Everyone benefits, correct?

That might be the knee-jerk reaction of many people who relish the sudden savings at the pump and now see themselves as primary beneficiaries of an oil glut that for once seems to be stinging only manufacturers. The thinking among many is that those entities are bulletproof , anyway, and can certainly take the hit.

There is much more to the picture, though, and in realms that stray far from power politics and global economic complexities.

Take investors, for example, some of whom have suffered large losses from progressively falling oil prices. As the investment advocacy group Wall Street Fraud Watchdog (WSFW) states, the wealth of many high-net-worth investors who overly concentrated in the gas/oil sector "has now been flushed down the tube."

WSFW recommends that select investors do something about that, specifically, reach out for legal help if there was a reasonable likelihood that an investment broker or adviser inappropriately positioned them with a portfolio unduly tilted toward oil investments. The advocacy group states that many of the conditions that have collectively contributed to the fall in oil and gas prices were reasonably foreseeable and arguably should have put investment professionals on notice that overly concentrating in this single volatile sector was an inadvisable strategy for many clients.

That could well be true. Brokers and advisers make mistakes. They sometimes recommend investments that make money for them, not their clients. They sometimes act in ways that suggest a conflict of interest. They can be too quick on the trigger in making portfolio changes, or overly hesitant to do so when good sense dictates they take prompt action.

And, as the WSFW states, they can invest dangerously and inappropriately at times.

Any investor who has questions or concerns regarding an adviser's conduct might reasonably want to have a discussion with a proven securities lawyer experienced in probing investment fraud and negligence. Lost funds can be pursued and recovered in many instances.

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