As baby boomers hit retirements, bringing with them the largest amount of wealth a single generation has ever possessed, regulators at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) foresee an ever growing number of financial scams designed to separate boomers from their hard-earned savings.
In the many dozens of securities litigation cases we have worked on for investors, we have noticed that, when it comes to protecting yourself against broker misconduct and financial fraud, there several "golden rules" which, if regularly observed, would prevent the vast majority of abuses in the securities industry.
Philadelphia is getting serious about its elder financial abuse problem. As we noted in a recent blog post, the Philadelphia Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it would be hosting public awareness talks and meetings to combat the growing problem of elder financial abuse. That announcement was followed by the District Attorney for Philadelphia Larry Krasner's statement that he would be creating a special task unit targeting perpetrators of financial fraud against senior citizens.
Every year, new and more elaborate schemes appear to bilk older investors out of their life-savings. Fortunately, FINRA has committed itself to several early detection measures aimed at stemming the tide of elder financial abuse. The new measures also encourage broker-dealers to further supervise their own employees when it comes to suspicions of broker misconduct.
Widely considered one of the most pressing problems of our times, elder abuse and particularly elderly financial abuse have received national attention, thanks to initiatives by the Department of Health, the Department of Labor, and the Obama Administration. These agencies have focused on the loss of billions of dollars per year in retirement savings among not just millionaires but ordinary hard-working and retired Americans.
As an important recent report by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation indicates, nearly two-thirds of financial fraud victims experience severe emotional trauma and hardship.