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Stephen Medina is Facing Allegations of Unsuitable Investment Recommendations

Stephen Medina (CRD #: 2614773), a broker registered with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, is the subject of a new investor dispute. This disclosure appears on his BrokerCheck record, accessed on November 28, 2023. Previous disputes on his record have six-figure settlements. 

On September 27, 2023, an investor alleged Stephen Medina misrepresented unsuitable investments between February 2022 and December 2022. The investor is seeking $782,500. 

Previous Disputes 

One dispute, dated May 12, 2018, alleged Stephen Medina made unsuitable investment recommendations. The dispute was denied by the firm. 

Another dispute, filed on June 15, 2016, alleged Stephen Medina recommended unsuitable investments, engaged in unauthorized trading, and misrepresented securities. The dispute was settled for $270,000. 

What is a Suitable Investment?

FINRA defines suitable investments as securities that fit an investor’s profile. An investor’s profile includes information about their risk tolerance, financial goals, and age. 

FINRA Rule 2111 identifies the three prongs of a suitability determination as 1) reasonable-basis suitability, 2) customer-specific suitability, and 3) quantitative suitability.

  1. Reasonable-basis Suitability: Brokers are required to use reasonable diligence before making a recommendation. This means they have an obligation to understand an investment strategy and its potential risks or rewards.
  2. Customer-specific Suitability: Before recommending a particular security or investment strategy involving a specific client, brokers are required to have reasonable grounds for believing it will be suitable based on that client’s personal profile. The profile includes information on the investor’s financial goals, investing experience, and risk tolerance. 
  3. Quantitative Suitability: Brokers with control over a customer’s account must have a reasonable basis to believe that the series of transactions they recommend are not excessive before executing them. Excessive transactions run the risk of incurring too many fees and negating any returns. 

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

Background Information 

Stephen Medina has passed the following exams: 

  • Series 65 Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination 
  • Series 63 Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination 
  • SIE – Securities Industry Essentials Examination 
  • Series 7 General Securities Representative Examination 

He is a registered broker in 18 states and is a registered investment adviser in Texas. 

Stephen Medina has exclusively registered with Merrill Lynch (CRD #: 7691) during his 28 years of experience. 

Kurta Law Can Help 

If you have worked with Stephen Medina and have concerns about your investments, don’t hesitate to contact us today at 877-600-0098 or for a free consultation. 

For nearly 20 years, Kurta Law has advocated for investors to recover their investment losses from brokers and brokerage firms. Kurta Law is a nationally recognized law firm that exclusively represents investors against brokers and brokerage firms on a contingency basis. This means that the firm only earns a fee if our securities attorneys recover money on your behalf. Do not let securities fraud go unchecked. Start your recovery process today.