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Our lawyers are investigating Boca Raton, Florida-based Raymond James & Associates, Inc. (CRD# 705) senior vice president Martin L. Waldman (CRD# 4566228), also known as “Skip,” for unsuitable recommendations in oil and gas securities.

Waldman has been in the industry for 13 years and has 6 disclosures on his FINRA BrokerCheck report.  He currently has a FINRA arbitration pending that alleges unauthorized trading and damages in the amount $121,000.

Our lawyers have filed claims against Raymond James for oil and gas losses for investors who have collectively lost thousands of dollars investing in risky, unsuitable oil and gas securities.  In those instances, the investor lost much of the initial investment after a Raymond James broker unsuitably recommended and overconcentrated the investor’s funds in the oil, gas, and energy sector.

As most individual investors now understand, oil and gas securities, including common stock, bonds and master limited partnerships (MLPs), can be extremely volatile, high-risk and lead to substantial losses.  Over the last few years, certain financial advisors and stockbrokers, and the financial institutions for whom they worked, fell in love with oil and gas securities, particularly for their high-yield dividends in an otherwise low-to-no yield market environment.

As a result of this reckless infatuation by some trusted financial advisors, throes of conservative individual investors, many retired and elderly, sustained major financial losses in their nest-egg portfolios when the oil and gas markets nosedived.  Given their advanced age and life-stage, this class of elderly, conservative investors simply does not have the ability to replace these losses.  The effect has been devastating — ruined retirements, a down-size in quality of life, and a theft of a sense of financial security that took decades of hard work to achieve. Unfortunately, we are seeing this far too often these days.

The truth is that this should never have occurred in the first place.  Had financial advisors, and the securities brokerage firms obligated to supervise them, ensured that such conservative investors were never over-exposed to, or over-concentrated in, such unsuitable and inappropriate oil and gas investments, these life-changing losses would not have been realized.

A report published by the law firm Haynes and Boone on August 1, 2016 found that 90 gas and oil producers in the United States and Canada have filed bankruptcy from January 3, 2015 to August 1, 2016.  Over half of the bankruptcies have come in this year alone.

According to the report, the total debt defaulted on by the 90 companies is $66.5 billion.  Some of the more notable firms listed in the report are Linn Energy, LLC; Breitburn Operating LP; Sandridge Energy, Inc.; and Atlas Resource Partners, L.P., all of which have filed for bankruptcy in the last three months, many of which were heavily recommended by financial advisors and their respective institutions.

The numerous bankruptcies are the product of oil prices’ dramatic fall from the over-$100 per barrel heaven it occupied for some time.  While the prices of the commodity have always been volatile and difficult to determine, the prices have dramatically dropped.

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