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Variable Annuities

Variable annuities are “hybrid investments containing securities and insurance features.” Because of this, they are complex investments. If your broker sold you this product, without disclosing the risks and features that accompany it, a New York variable annuities law firm like Malecki Law can review your variable annuities at no cost. A variable annuity is a contract between you and the insurance company. The variable component means that the returns are not stable, therefore you may incur profits or losses on the investment.

Moreover, the sale of variable annuities is fraught with issues for investors, from high sales charges, penalties for early withdrawal to choices in underlying investments and lifetime insurance benefits. If your broker recommended you invest in variable annuities, it may have been unsuitable for you. You need to contact a New York variable annuities attorney like the lawyers at Malecki Law to review and assess your portfolio. Sales of variable annuities are regulated by both the SEC and FINRA. Many issues can arise around questionable sales practices fueled by high pay-outs for brokers.

Variable annuities may seem like mutual funds because of the way the financial instruments are invested, however there are distinctions between the two. For example, earnings in variable annuities are tax-deferred. Further, variable annuities may offer death benefits and guaranteed living benefits as well. Variable annuities are complex financial instruments. Therefore, your broker should understand how variable annuities work, explain how they work to you, as their client, and disclose the relevant risks and costs that come with investing in them.

FINRA Rule 2330 provides guidance and a standard from which to judge whether a broker or advisor has breached their obligations to you for which you might have a negligence, contractual and/or fraud case. Further, the rule imposes heightened suitability and additional requirements regarding variable annuities specifically. If your broker recommended that you purchase variable annuities, without properly informing you of the inherent risks, your broker probably should not have sold you variable annuities in the first place. An experienced variable annuities lawyer in New York at Malecki Law can review your investment portfolio at no cost. FINRA may suspend a broker’s license for recommending variable annuities to a client when it is unsuitable for the client. For example, FINRA suspended a broker’s license for recommending a retired couple to purchase a variable annuity.

FINRA holds brokers and brokerage firms accountable for recommending variable annuities when they are unsuitable investments for clients. For example, FINRA fined Banc One $225,000, for unsuitable variable annuity sales and related supervisory issues. The firm sold the unsuitable investment to twenty-three of its customers, twenty-one of whom happened to be over the age of seventy years old.

Recovering Investment Losses Through Arbitration or Mediation

Investors who lose money because of unsuitable investments may have grounds to hold the responsible broker and brokerage firm accountable through investor arbitration or mediation, which are types of dispute resolution processes that function as alternatives to litigation. If you notice all your investments are locked up, your broker may have wrongfully sold you variable annuities. You need a New York variable annuities law firm like Malecki Law to review your experience with variable annuities in a free consultation and to ultimately determine if you have a case. Depending on the circumstances, investors may allege unsuitability, misrepresentation, and/or other fraud and misconduct claims against a broker. They may also look to hold the representative’s brokerage firm accountable for failures to supervise and other breaches of conduct.

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Testimonials From Former Clients
I highly recommend Jenice and her team at Malecki Law. I had a challenging, and lengthly case. Jenice was professional, very knowledgeable, and a pleasure to work with. She managed to make the process far less stressful during a very difficult time. They care about their clients, and it definitely shows. Mario
Jenice is truly a miracle worker and one of the top securities lawyers. She handled a very difficult case for us, displaying her legal knowledge, intelligence, and savviness throughout the process. I cannot recommend her enough. The quality of work from her team rivals that of corporate law firms. She was always available, extremely professional, and made sure to know all the details of the case. We were very fortunate to have been referred to Jenice and highly recommend her for any securities related legal issues. Nathan A.
An excellent professional who represented us in trial regarding a bank fraud, an unexpected and difficult time. A professional that worked hard, persevering and who stood toe to toe against firms that had a team of excellent lawyers backing them up. Her unflinching determination really stands out, it makes you feel you have someone who really cares about trying to recover what you lost from the people that wronged you. Salomon Levi
It is difficult to thank you in words when gratitude comes from the heart, so I will try to link feelings with writing. It is essential for us to mention your excellence as a professional, your aptitude on legal fields, and your unavoidable persistence. All of these virtues that elevate the profession you exercise in such an admirable way, go hand in hand with your sense of ethics, your human warmth and the transparency in your actions. To sum up, thank you for being a listening ear and for having the right word while transmitting information about the legal process. Having you as our representative during such an adverse situation was a privilege and enough reason for our eternal gratitude. Angeles Aparain
To say that my securities litigation was complex would be a severe understatement. With multiple parties involved and spanning many years, trying to understand the issues was daunting to say the least. Jenice and her team broke down the transactions by segment and by party uncovering every hidden expense. In the end, I was more than happy and could not thank Jenice and her team enough. I would not hesitate to recommend Jenice to anyone. She is highly professional, incredibly knowledgeable, well connected to industry experts, has a tireless work ethic and is so pleasant and easy to communicate with. Five stars for sure! Andrew Loughrane