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

Case spotlights investment churning: What exactly is that?

If you sit down with an investment broker or adviser to carefully evaluate your financial position and set forth your expectations regarding the application of your money going forward, don't you reasonably expect to see actions taken by that professional that closely accord with your stated objectives?

Put another way: Would you not be a bit surprised down the road to find out that that your adviser was executing trades at such a frantic and frenetic pace that your portfolio holdings and objectives were seemingly subjugated in lieu of his or her personal aggrandizement?

It happens, to be sure, and every day in California and across the country, with news reports routinely conveying the unethical and often flatly illegal conduct of brokers that spotlights their brazen attempts to personally enrich themselves in lieu of promoting their clients' interests.

So-called "churning" is often at the core of such conduct. As noted in one recent media account, one broker with a national bank was just barred from the securities industry for churning activities in an elder client's account. The proximate definition of such behavior is excessive trading that generates commission income for the adviser, while often yielding only losses -- and, frequently, additional tax liabilities --- for the client.

An online spotlight on churning is more succinct, stating that the activity entails "frequent buying and selling of securities that does little to meet the client's objectives."

As that primer additionally notes, churning often occurs in accounts that charge various loads and fees to open. Although this is often profitable for the broker, it certainly undermines the best interests of any individual who is justifiably relying on that individual for candor and professional advice.

Questions or concerns regarding churning and other broker behavior that an investor finds perplexing or otherwise questionable can be directed to a proven attorney whose sole focus is to protect investors against securities fraud and to seek remedies for them when they are harmed by it.

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