The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the alleged misconduct of former securities broker Michael Speer. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, Michael Speer has been the subject of multiple customer disputes.
Michael Speer was a Colorado based securities broker. He worked in the securities industry for twenty-three years. During his career, he was registered with three different securities firms. He is no longer working as a registered securities broker in any fashion.
- Chatfield Dean & Co. (1995-1996)
- Presidential Brokerage (1996-2012)
- Cambridge Investment Research (2012-2018)
- In August 2014, a customer alleged that Michael Speer misled her and failed to disclose material facts regarding non-traded REIT investments. Part of this was that Michael Speer allegedly did not inform her that the investments were illiquid.
- Also in August 2014, a customer alleged that Michael Speer breached his fiduciary duty and handled their account negligently. This case was settled for $30,000 in damages.
- In December 2014, customers alleged that Michael Speer recommended unsuitable investments, engaged in fraud, breached his fiduciary duty, made negligent misrepresentations, handled their account negligently, breached contract, breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing in connection with the sale of a TIC investment. This case was settled for $87,500 in damages.
- In November 2017, a customer alleged that the illiquidity of REIT investments had not been properly explained to them by Michael Speer. They also alleged that the fees had not been adequately assessed and that Speer forged their signature.
What Does This Mean?
Non-traded REITs, or real estate investment trusts, are some of the most illiquid securities plaguing the market right now. They are private investment pools that do not trade on any public securities exchanges. Because of this, they lack the guaranteed redemption that accompanies publicly traded securities. This means that an investor in a non-traded REIT can’t just sell their shares for the stated market value anytime they want.
These investments usually only last a few years until such time that they are made public, or they are liquidated entirely. Investors are told to wait until this time if they want to liquidate their shares for the stated market value. If investors need to withdraw funds before that time, they usually have a very difficult time doing so. Some non-traded REITs offer scheduled buy outs on a quarterly, bi-annual, or yearly basis; however, only a finite amount of buy outs are usually offered. Sometimes, investors are offered buy outs from third party investment companies; however, these buy out prices are usually substantially less than what investors are told their shares are presently valued at. It is imperative that securities brokers disclose this illiquidity factor to investors when recommending these products.
Oakes & Fosher Can Help
Many investors are unaware of the legal recourse available to them after losing money due to securities broker fraud and/or negligence. The truth is that investors who have lost money in this fashion may actually be entitled to damages. Oakes & Fosher dedicates its entire legal practice to helping investors across the nation. If you, or someone you know, have lost money investing with Michael Speer, please contact Oakes & Fosher for a free and private consultation. Oakes & Fosher handles cases on a contingency basis, which means there are no fees charged unless we collect for you.