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Can You Afford To Trust Your Stockbroker?

2/18/2003

NBC4.TV

LOS ANGELES — Marilyn and Dean Aspinal of Orange County are having a financial crisis after losing nearly a quarter of a million dollars in the stock market. They claim their stockbroker recommended investments inappropriate for people about to retire.

“He said, ‘I’m going to put you in some technology stocks. We’re going to make lots of money,'” said Marilyn Aspinal.

“I have a problem. A disease… Non-curable. So my retirement is gone — going — excuse me,” said Dean Aspinal.

The stockbroker AG Edwards is declining to discuss the case, except to say the Aspinals’ broker has left the firm.

The Aspinals’ plans are ruined.

“I retired cause I hated working. Now I can’t use it… the money’s not there,” said Dean Aspinal.

The Aspinals are accusing their stockbroker of making unsuitable investments. The case is now going to arbitration, as they are trying to get back the money they lost.

Beverly Hills attorney Phil Aidikoff, who specializes in fighting for investors, is representing the couple.

“Keep in mind… losing money isn’t enough. You have to prove that the broker, or the brokerage firm, committed wrongdoing,” said Aidikoff.

Thousands of people have lost huge amounts of money in the current bear market, but to recover losses through arbitration, you must prove the broker made unsuitable investments, did excessive selling or buying, or misrepresented the stock or risk.

“Brokers rarely convey risk. Brokers are selling a product and they tell you what great things are going to happen, but they never tell you what could go wrong,” said Aidikoff.

“He showed me a printout of how we would have a million dollars in five years,” said Marilyn Aspinal.


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