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Investors Seek Over $1 Million in Disputes with Howard Hsieh

Howard Hsieh (CRD #: 4947882), a broker registered with Cetera Investment Services, is embroiled in several investor disputes, according to his BrokerCheck record, accessed on April 5, 2023. Investors may have also engaged his services through Cetera Investment Advisers. Keep reading if you want to know more about his alleged conduct as a broker.

Pending Investor Disputes

Three pending disputes, filed from October 2021 to December 2022, allege that Howard Hsieh made unsuitable investment recommendations. Two of these disputes seek a total of $1.05 million in damages.

On June 22, 2022, an investor alleged that Howard Hsieh overconcentrated them in unsuitable alternative investments. The client made further allegations of negligence and failure to supervise. They seek $120,000.

On July 9, 2021, an investor alleged that Howard Hsieh misrepresented the timeframe for a real estate investment trust (REIT). This dispute remains pending.

FINRA Rule 2111

FINRA Rule 2111 requires brokers to take into account investors’ financial goals when recommending investments. Brokers must use the information in an investor’s profile, such as their tax status, age, and risk tolerance.

Investors who rely on brokers for recommendations may be able to recover their losses by seeking out FINRA arbitration.

FINRA Rule 2020

FINRA Rule 2020 prohibits the use of manipulative, deceptive, or otherwise fraudulent tactics to influence investors’ decisions. Misrepresenting an investment’s fees, limitations, or other features violates this rule.

FINRA Rule 3110

FINRA Rule 3110 requires that firms establish supervisory systems designed to detect and prevent violations of securities regulations. Among other things, firms must appoint supervisors and provide them with Written Supervisory Procedures (WSPs) to follow.

What are REITs?

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) allow investors to earn income from a portfolio of real estate. Timeframes for REIT investments can be quite long – they are often highly illiquid, meaning that investors may not be able to cash out for an extended period of time. This makes REITs unsuitable for investors who may need to access their funds.

What is broker negligence?

Brokers may act in many negligent ways, ranging from omitting material facts to executing unauthorized trades. Investors who have lost money due to broker negligence may be able to recover their funds through FINRA arbitration.

Settled and Denied Disputes

On September 15, 2021, multiple investors filed a dispute alleging that Howard Hsieh recommended unsuitable investments. This dispute was settled for $450,000.

In a dispute filed on August 19, 2020, an investor alleged that Howard Hsieh misrepresented a REIT, among other service issues. The firm denied the dispute, but investors should know that firms can deny disputes without any external review.

Investors should know that they can still pursue FINRA arbitration and recover their losses following a denial.

On July 29, 2019, investors alleged that Howard Hsieh violated state securities statutes and made contractual promises that investors could recover their losses. The investor sought $500,000 in damages and received a settlement of $290,000.

Howard Hsieh Background Information

Howard Hsieh has passed the following exams:

  • Series 65 Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination
  • Series 63 Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination
  • Securities Industry Essentials Examination
  • Series 7 General Securities Representative Examination
  • Series 6 Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative Examination

He is a registered broker in California, Florida, New York, and Texas. He is also a registered investment adviser in California and Texas.

Howard Hsieh has worked for the following firms:

  • Bancwest Investment Services (CRD #: 29357)
  • Primevest Financial Services (CRD #: 15340)
  • CitiGroup Global Markets (CRD #: 7059)
  • CitiGroup Investment Services (CRD #: 23988)

Kurta Law Can Help

If you worked with Howard Hsieh and you have concerns about your investments, contact Kurta Law today. Call 877-600-0098 or email