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When people think of securities, they typically think of stocks and bonds, but there are other products in which individuals and businesses can invest as well. While there are benefits to investing in alternative products, there are fewer safeguards for investors, making investors more likely to suffer harm due to negligent or fraudulent practices. If you suffered financial losses due to an investment in an alternative product, it is vital to seek the assistance of a capable securities litigation attorney to help you recover any damages that you may be owed.
Examples of Alternative Investment Products
Essentially, any investment product that is not a stock, bond, or cash is an alternative product. Common examples of alternative products include:
- real estate investment trusts (REITs)
- hedge funds
- promissory notes
- asset protection programs
- private placements
Alternative investment products are typically riskier and more complex than traditional investments. Investors may be tempted to invest in alternative investment products due to promises of higher returns.
Risks Associated with Alternative Investment Products
Alternative products are typically not registered with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and are not regulated or monitored by the SEC or the Financial Services Regulatory Commission. Thus, investors must exercise due diligence or rely on the advice of the broker or financial advisor who recommends an alternative product to determine whether an alternative product is a good investment.
While there are risks associated with any alternative product, certain products, such as REITs and private placements, pose higher risks. An REIT is a company that owns and operates income-producing real estate or real estate-related assets. REITs allow investors to earn a share of the income produced by a property or real estate asset, without needing to purchase commercial real estate. REITs are advanced investments that are not well understood by ordinary investors. Thus, there is a substantial risk of fraud associated with REITs. The risk is so significant that both the SEC and FINRA have issued warnings about REITs.
Similarly, private placements pose significant risks for investors. Private placements are securities that do not need to be registered with the SEC and are not publicly offered but instead are offered to a limited number of investors. Private placements often lack transparency and in many cases are fraudulent investments.
Pursuing Damages for Losses Caused by Investments in Alternative Products
If you invested in an alternative product due to the advice or recommendation of a broker or financial advisor, you may be able to pursue a claim against the broker or financial advisor for any harm that you suffered because of the investment. Brokers owe their clients a duty of suitability, which means that they must analyze whether an investment is appropriate based on the client’s age, financial resources, investment goals, and risk tolerance. Brokers can be held liable for breaching this duty if it causes an investor harm.
Additionally, financial advisors owe their clients a fiduciary duty, which includes placing their client’s interests first, and a duty of care, which means that they must conduct due diligence and investigate any potential investments to ensure that they are appropriate. If a financial advisor did not uphold his or her fiduciary duty, he or she may be held liable for a breach of the duty.
Discuss Your Case With Our Experienced Attorney Today
Alternative products are not as heavily regulated as traditional securities and pose significant risks of fraud. If you sustained losses after investing in an alternative product, you should meet with a skilled securities attorney to discuss the circumstances surrounding your losses and whether you may be able to seek financial compensation.
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