Shepherd, Smith, Edwards & Kantas: Retiree Couple Says NBT Bank VP & LPL Financial Broker Bret Hartman Unsuitably Recommended XOP Note

7/7, 3:10 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

BUFFALO, N.Y., July 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lawyers with Shepherd, Smith, Edwards, & Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) recently filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against LPL Financial, LLC (LPLA) and its broker Bret Alexander Hartman (Hartman) on behalf of an elderly retired couple who sustained significant financial losses due to the unsuitable recommendation to place their retirement funds in a risky structured product tied to the price of oil.

According to their FINRA arbitration claim, the couple entrusted LPL Financial and Hartman to take care of their retirement funds. However, Hartman recommended that they invest in a structured note that tracked the XOP, which is the Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Index.  The XOP tracks the stocks of companies in the oil and gas sector. This index uses an “equal-weight approach”, meaning it gives exposure to an industry that while dominated by a few big names also gives a huge bias to midcap and small stocks.  As a result, the XOP usually brings with it a higher market risk compared to the less volatile cap-weighted benchmark.  Not only that, but structured notes in general are unsuitable for investors like this couple, who are older, conservative, unsophisticated investors with a portfolio that can’t handle too much volatility or risk.  Yet, LPL Financial misrepresented the XOP note to the claimants as a safe investment.  The couple then proceeded to lose most of what they invested in this product.

If you are or were a client of Bret Alexander Hartman, LPL Financial, or any other brokerage firm that marketed structured products to you or your loved ones and suffered significant losses, contact SSEK Law Firm for a free, no obligation evaluation of your account.  All communications will be kept strictly confidential.  We have a team of attorneys, consultants and staff with more than 100 years of combined experience in the securities industry and in securities law. For more than two decades, our firm has represented thousands of investors nationwide to recover losses.

Contact Info: 800-259-9010

Kirk Smith: ksmith@sseklaw.com

Sam Edwards: sedwards@sseklaw.com

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