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United Planners Financial Services

United Planners Financial Services of America (CRD #: 20804) is registered as a brokerage firm and an investment advisory firm. The firm’s main address is in Scottsdale, Arizona. Investors should know about the risks associated with its products and the potential conflicts of interest posed by commissions and fees.

United Planners offers a variety of investment products, including but not limited to:

United Planners Broker Fees

Investors can expect to pay the following fees:

  • Transaction-based fees
  • Mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), Unit Investment Trusts (UITs), alternative investments, and variable annuities all come with internal costs.

There are separate fees associated with advisory accounts.

Conflicts of Interest

United Planners states in its Customer Relationship Summary (Form CRS) that the firm is obligated to act in its customers’ best interest under Regulation Best Interest and their conflicts of interest are further managed by the firm’s policies and supervisory system.

Conflicts of interest are unavoidable, however, and investors should keep the following in mind.

  1. Financial professionals receive different fees and commissions for different products. They may have an incentive to recommend one product over another. Make sure to have your financial professional explain these fees to you.
  2. Firm representatives also have an incentive to encourage you to trade more often.
  3. If you are wondering what type of services to engage – either a brokerage account or an advisory account – you should keep in mind that the financial professionals’ earnings depend on what type of account you choose. Financial professionals may therefore have a conflict of interest when making a recommendation.
  4. Certain products come with revenue-sharing agreements. United Planners has such arrangements with a clearing firm called Pershing.
  5. United Planners is a clearing correspondent firm of Pershing, which means that the firm is directly responsible for opening and managing accounts at Pershing. In return, Pershing shares revenue generated by these accounts with the firm. The Form CRS states that this is not a conflict of interest since the Pershing business represents only approximately 10% of the firm’s business.

Regulatory Actions

Investors may be interested to read the details of certain regulatory actions and Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent agreements (AWC) on United Planners’ record. An AWC allows a firm to settle with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority without litigation. With AWCs, firms can consent to the entry of findings without denying or admitting the allegations.

These are the most recent allegations. Investors who want to review the complete list of disclosures can find it in the firm’s detailed BrokerCheck record.

GPB Recommendations and Allegations of Ponzi-Like Payments

In May 2022, United Planners entered into an Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent agreement (AWC) with FINRA in which the firm consented to the findings that the firm negligently failed to tell four investors information concerning GPB Holdings II in 2018. In 2017, a former partner alleged that GPB Capital had falsified financial statements to conceal the fact the firm was defrauding its investors.

In 2018, United Planners allegedly received an email notifying the firm that the company was not going to file its financial statements with the SEC until they had undergone a forensic audit. The AWC alleges that the firm sold four limited partnership interests in Holdings II after receiving the notification that GPB had failed to make the required filings.

The SEC alleges that GPB made Ponzi-like payments to investors using new investor funds.

United Planners consented to a $40,000 fine and a partial restitution payment of $37,125 plus interest.

$225,000 Following Allegations that It Failed to Catch Problems with Consolidated Reports

According to an Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent agreement (AWC) from August 2016, United Planners supervisory systems failed to catch problems with consolidated reports sent to customers. The reports allegedly contained inaccuracies, such as manual entries reflecting positions the customer no longer owned and incorrect prices for certain positions.

As part of the terms of the AWC, United Planners consented to a censure and a fine of $225,000.

Massachusetts $100,000 Fine Following Allegations of Selling Away

Massachusetts Securities Division alleged in February 2018 that United Planners failed to supervise the outside business activities of at least one representative, leading to investor harm. The outside business allegedly involved private placements.

  • FINRA Rule 3270 prohibits “selling away,” which is the act of a broker selling investment products to its clients that are not offered by the firm.
  • FINRA Rule 3110 requires brokerage firms to supervise their representatives to ensure compliance with investment laws.

United Planners consented to a fine of $100,000.

Options for Investor Recovery

Investors should know that they have options if they have suffered losses following broker misconduct. Our securities attorneys provide free case evaluations and are experts in FINRA arbitration. Most investment contracts require investors to use FINRA arbitration rather than suing in civil court as an avenue of recovery. Contact (877) 600-0098 or