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Investors Name William Stokes in Dispute Alleging Unsuitable Investments

Jan 30, 2023 Unsuitable Investments

William Stokes (CRD #: 1103601), a broker registered with Berthel, Fisher & Company Financial Services, is involved in a pending dispute, according to his BrokerCheck record, accessed on January 24, 2023. Investors may have also worked with him through BFC Planning. If you have questions about his alleged conduct as a broker, keep reading.

Investor Disputes

On November 30, 2022, several investors alleged that William Stokes facilitated the purchases of unsuitable investments from 2013-2017. The clients seek $125,000 in damages in this pending dispute.

In a dispute filed on December 30, 2021, multiple investors alleged that William Stokes misrepresented certain unsuitable investments purchased between 2011-2020. These investments were allegedly “significantly concentrated” in non-traditional alternative investments, specifically non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and limited partnerships.

These clients further alleged that Berthel, Fisher & Company Financial Services failed to conduct due diligence on these investments, failed to supervise, and failed to provide William Stokes with proper training. They sought $300,000 in damages and received a settlement of $92,500.

FINRA Rule 2020

FINRA Rule 2020 prohibits the use of deceptive or manipulative tactics, like the misrepresentation or omission of material facts, as they relate to the purchase and sale of securities.

FINRA Rule 2111 and Regulation Best Interest

FINRA Rule 2111 requires brokers to take investors’ profiles into account when recommending investments. An investor’s profile contains information about their risk tolerance, financial goals, and age.

Regulation Best Interest (Reg-BI) is an SEC regulation that requires brokerage firms to put their clients’ best interests first. For example, firms must conduct reasonable due diligence when researching investments to ensure their recommendations are suitable for the investor.

FINRA Rule 3110

FINRA Rule 3110 requires that firms establish systems of supervision over their employees in order to detect and prevent violations of securities regulations. Firms must ensure that supervisory personnel have the training or experience necessary for their role.

What are REITs?

A real estate investment trust (REIT) allows investors to generate returns from a real estate portfolio without assuming responsibility for managing the properties themselves. The illiquidity of many REITs can make them unsuitable for some investors.

Background Information

William Stokes has passed the following exams:

  • Series 63 – Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination
  • SIE – Securities Industry Essentials Examination
  • Series 6 – Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative Examination

William Stokes is a registered broker in six states and a registered investment adviser in North Carolina.

He has also worked for the following firms:

  • Raymond James Financial Services (CRD#:6694)
  • Manulife Financial Securities (CRD#:5249)
  • Forth Financial Securities (CRD#:14363)
  • Mutual Service Corporation (CRD#:4806)

Kurta Law Can Help

If you worked with William Stokes and you have concerns about your investments, please contact us today at 877-600-0098 or for a free consultation.

For over 20 years, Kurta Law has advocated on behalf of investors who want to recover their investment losses from brokers and brokerage firms. Kurta Law is a nationally recognized law firm and 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.