The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the alleged misconduct of securities broker Rodney Potratz. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, Rodney Potratz has been the subject of multiple customer disputes over the course of his career.
Rodney Potratz is an Iowa based securities broker. He has worked in the securities industry for twenty-six years. During his career, he has been registered with three different securities firms.
- The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States (1993-2000)
- AXA Advisors (1993-2003)
- FSC Securities (2003-Present)
- In December 2011, an attorney, on behalf of a customer alleged that Rodney Potratz spent years recommending unsuitable investments. The attorney also alleged that Potratz had executed multiple trades without authorization from the customer.
- In November 2019, customers alleged that Rodney Potratz recommended highly inappropriate alternative investments. This case is presently pending. The customers are seeking $6 million in damages.
What Does This Mean?
The term alternative investments is a term used to describe privately traded securities not traded on any public securities exchanges. These private investment funds usually have very singular and short-sighted goals as they are only designed to operate for finite periods of time. There are many different kinds of alternative investments; however, they are all very similar in how they operate. Due to their private nature, these investments are accompanied by a distinct lack of oversight. This can often lead to investors experiencing significant financial harm as this lack of regulation allows less than scrupulous securities brokers ample opportunity to misrepresent these types of investments as safe and consistently lucrative. The truth is that alternative investments, such as the ones Rodney Potratz allegedly recommended to his customers, are incredibly speculative and illiquid securities accompanied by incredibly high fees that drastically drain investor principals.
Managers of these alternative investments need to maintain capital until such time that their project is completed and the company is officially liquidated–which can take years. Some alternative securities offer scheduled buy outs to investors; however, only a finite amount are usually offered, and the buy out price is almost always significantly less than what investors are told the shares are actually worth. Investors often have to wait until such time that the fund is officially liquidated to get the full amount of their shares’ value; however, at that time, depending on the company’s success, the shares may be completely worthless at that point.
Despite how unsuitable alternative investments can be, many securities brokers continue to push them onto unsuspecting investors because of the excessively high commissions they receive when transactions are executed. Broker commissions for these products can be as high as ten percent of the investor’s principal investment. These commissions compounded with other upfront fees can drain an investor’s principal of up to 17 percent just for the opportunity to invest in one of these alternative investments. When an investor’s principal is drained that substantially, it makes it almost impossible for them to see a profit under anything besides booming market conditions.
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 Rodney Potratz, please contact Oakes & Fosher for a free and private consultation. We work on a contingency basis, which means there are no fees charged unless we collect for you.