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

Lots of ways to fleece an investor: take "churning," for example

How can an investor be taken advantage of by an unscrupulous adviser or broker?

Let us count the ways.

Indeed, there are many, and that is hardly surprising where money is concerned. Where dollars are in the mix, so, too, is sheer human ingenuity aimed at lining one's personal pockets through machinations that fleece innocent third parties.

We have noted in past select blog posts some of the myriad ways that bad-faith money managers steal investment assets belonging to consumers who are justifiably relying upon those advisers to act in their best interests.

Brokers invest money in unsuitable ways, for example.

To wit: If you're a retired individual on a fixed income and seeking to preserve principal pursuant to a conservative investment strategy, you don't want to be 100 percent invested in oil futures.

And if you're seeking a balanced approach by having money spread across multiple investment categories, being heavily invested -- that is, overly concentrated -- in one type of offering (health care stocks, for example) won't do the trick for you.

A recent article on Finra disciplinary action in a securities fraud case spotlights so-called "churning," which is excessive trading by an adviser to generate commissions.

Churning is illegal, given that the practice promotes only the personal interests of the money manager engaging in it, while harming an investor through a markup that attaches to each trade. Investors who are preyed upon often don't spot evidence of churning until many trades have already been executed.

In the cited Finra case, the adviser reportedly made more than 700 trades in hundreds of securities, charging the client as much as 4.25 percent in some instances.

Persons with questions or concerns regarding any aspect of investment fraud can contact a proven securities law attorney for guidance and, when necessary, aggressive representation aimed at securing their best interests.

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