Many investors are familiar with investments in common stocks, bonds, mutual funds, certificates of deposit and other traditional investments. Losses in these investments often form the basis of a legal claim. In addition, you may have followed the advice of a financial advisor and put money into a less traditional investment, based on the promise of higher than average returns. There is a large variety of non-traditional investments, many of which are explained below.
Many less traditional or 'alternative' investments pose significant risks that are hard to understand. Often investors do not understand the full risks of an investment. Frequently the risks are not properly explained or disclosed.
If you have lost money in one of the investments described below (or another investment product), call Moulton, Wilson & Arney, LLP now for a free evaluation and consultation: 713.353.6699.
- Bonds ' Bonds are debt instruments or securities in which the holder (investor) is owed a debt by the issuer, generally a corporation or government. The issuer is obligated to pay interest to the holder of the bond at fixed intervals and to repay the principal read more'
- Certificates of Deposit ('CDs') ' CDs are contracts with banks or credit unions whereby the investor agrees to keep a specified amount of money on deposit for a specified time, for example three or six months or one or more years. read more'
- Closely Held Companies ' A closely held company is a private company with a small group of shareholders or owners. You may be a shareholder, partner or owner in a closely held corporation, partnership or family-owned business. Interests in a closely held company read more'
- Commodities/Gold/Silver ' Investments in commodities (such as crude oil, coal, sugar, coffee beans, wheat and other goods) and precious metals (such as gold, silver or platinum) can be made indirectly through stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, or derivatives, or directly read more'
- Exchange-Traded Funds ('ETFs') ' An ETF is an investment fund, similar to a mutual fund, but it can be traded on stock exchanges throughout the trading day at a fluctuating market price, much like stocks. (A standard, open-end mutual fund may be resold by the read more'
- Foreign Exchange ('FOREX') ' The foreign exchange market is worldwide financial market for trading currencies. Brokers who offer investors the ability to trade foreign currencies ('FOREX' or 'FX') are regulated by the CFTC and NFA. The CFTC has warned read more'
- Hedge Funds ' A hedge fund is a private investment fund that implements a variety of investment strategies designed to protect investors from market downturns or maximize returns during market upswings. Participation in a hedge fund is limited to accredited or read more'
- Private Placements ' Limited partnerships and limited liability companies are generally private companies (i.e., companies that are not traded on stock exchanges) in which investors can buy interests similar to shares of stock in a corporation. Oil and gas investments read more'
- Promissory Notes ' Promissory notes are simply contracts under which an investor loans a specific sum of principal in exchange for the promise to receive interest over the term of the note, plus return of the principal at maturity. Payment of interest and repayment of read more'
- Margin Accounts ' A margin account is a brokerage account in which the broker-dealer or securities firm loans money to its customer to buy investments. The securities firm generally holds the investments (and other assets) as collateral for the loan. Margin accounts give investors 'leverage' read more'
- Mutual Funds ' Mutual funds have dramatically gained in popularity since the 1970s. Mutual funds are professionally managed collective investments that pool the money of several investors. Instead of directly owning a stock, bond, or other security, investors in read more'
- Options/Derivatives ' Options are one of the most common types of derivative investments available to individual investors. Derivative investments are contracts that derive their value from another, underlying investment (e.g., a stock, bond, or commodity). A read more'
- Penny Stocks ' In the U.S., shares trading for less than one dollar are known as penny stocks. Their low valuation and low trading volumes make them susceptible to price manipulation schemes. read more'
- REITs ' A 'real estate investment trust' ('REIT') may be a trust, corporation, or association that owns (and sometimes operates) real estate. Ownership in a REIT takes the form of transferable shares or 'certificates of interest.' Owners expect to receive periodic read more'
- Stocks ' Stocks provide an investor with equity ownership in a company. Each share of stock is a unit of ownership in the company. Shares of major U.S. companies are typically traded on well-known stock exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange ('NYSE') or the read more'
- Variable Annuities ' Variable annuities are an insurance product, a contract between you and an insurance company. They combine the features of an annuity (a guaranteed single or periodic payment from an insurance company) with the possibility of market gain read more'
- Viaticals/Life Settlement Contracts ' The sale of a life insurance policy before the death of the insured is a viatical. An investor who buys viatical purchases the right to receive all or a fractional portion of the death benefit from a life insurance policy insuring someone read more'
Securities Litigation and Arbitration
Moulton, Wilson & Arney represents investors in securities arbitrations and litigation nationwide. We have successfully represented thousands of individual investors in securities fraud lawsuits and arbitrations, with combined claims of hundreds of millions of dollars. Our experience also includes the representation of registered representatives/brokers in FINRA regulatory investigations and disciplinary proceedings.