Posts belonging to Category Ameriprise

Today’s ‘Alternative Investments’ Resemble ‘Limited Partnerships’ of the Past


Wall Street’s recent promotion of alternative investments should warrant serious concern among investors. It serves as an unpleasant example of history repeating itself. In the mid-1980s, Wall Street firms became enamored with limited partnerships (a form of alternative investment) that invested in so-called hard assets, paid the firms high commissions and fees, were illiquid and […]

Will Alternative Investments Fuel the Next Financial Debacle?


Investors are being sold more and more alternative investments and large broker-dealers are ramping up to supply that demand, according to the Wall Street Journal (“Alternatives Get a Boost”). The trouble is that most investors do not fully understand these products and their brokerage firm advisers do not fairly explain the risks and problems associated […]

KBS REIT I Wreaks Havoc on Retirees and Other Investors


Much to their dismay, investors in KBS Real Estate Investment Trust I (“KBS REIT I”) recently learned that shares which they purchased for $10 per share now have an “estimated” value of only $5.16. In his March 26, 2012 letter to shareholders, chief executive Charles Schreiber, Jr. also told them that they would no longer […]

Is the SEC Too Soft on Major Wall Street Firms?


Questions continue to arise regarding the too-cozy relationship between the SEC and Wall Street. Recent reports claim that the SEC, when settling with big Wall Street firms, has a practice of granting waivers that preserve special privileges enjoyed by those firms, and protect them from serious consequences that would otherwise result from their wrongdoing. For […]

SEC Report Reveals Serious Abuses in the Sale of Structured Securities


On July 27, 2011, the Staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations published a report entitled “Staff Summary Report on Issues Identified in Examinations of Certain Structured Securities Products Sold to Retail Investors.” This report was based on the Staff’s review of eleven broker dealers that sell various structured […]

FINRA Warns Investors about Structured Products and Other Non-Conventional Securities


The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has issued an investor alert warning against chasing yield with structured products, junk bonds and floating-rate bank-loan funds. The alert was prompted by “significant recent inflows” into high-yield products. Investors may find enhanced yields attractive in the current market environment of low yields on conventional fixed-income investments and higher […]

Georgia Securities Regulators Initiate Investigation of Reverse Convertible Securities


The Georgia Securities Commissioner has launched an investigation into sales of structured products called reverse convertible notes made by broker-dealer firms to Georgia residents. The brokerage firms under investigation include UBS AG, Morgan Stanley and Ameriprise Financial. The investigations were begun after the Commissioner received complaints from investors who lost money in these purportedly safe […]

Troubled Securities America is “For Sale”


Securities America is on the shopping block, according to an InvestmentNews article by Bruce Kelly entitled “Ameriprise shopping Securities America.” The firm was sued along with Ameriprise Financial by a class of people who purchased hundreds of millions of fraudulent securities issued by Medical Capital and Provident Royalties. Ameriprise Financial is the corporate parent of […]

Victims of Reverse Convertibles Abuses Span the Globe


The Spanish bank, Banco Santander SA, agreed to pay $2 million to resolve charges that its Puerto Rico-based brokerage improperly sold a group of structured products known as reverse convertibles to retail customers, including the elderly. (“Sale of reverse convertibles dings another B-D,” InvestmentNews, April 12, 2011).

Regulators Begin Investigations of Reverse Convertibles and Other Structured Products


The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) announced that it is conducting “targeted exams” known as “sweeps” of certain member brokerage firms in order to gather information about their advertising for a group of structured products called reverse convertibles, according to Zeke Faux’s Bloomberg article, “Finra Asks Brokers for Reverse-Convertible Marketing Materials.”