While the purchase of any particularly speculative security may not be actionable as unsuitable, the over concentration of an investors portfolio on one security, or the securities of one issuer, may be actionable as a failure to diversify. See In re Rafael Pinchas, Exchange Act Rel. No. 41816, at 10-12 (Sept. 1, 1999)(“the suitability rule can be violated if a representative’s recommendations are quantitatively unsuitable”)(emphasis added).
FINRA Conduct Rule 2310, with respect to the suitability of investment recommendations, and that duty to only make recommendations consistent with the customer’s stated tolerance for risk or expressed investment objectives, “is especially true where a broker/dealer’s recommendation leads to a high concentration in the customer’s account of a particular security or group of securities that are speculative.” See, e.g., In re Clinton Hugh Holland, Exchange Act Rel. No. 37991, at 8 (Dec. 21, 1995), aff’d., 105 F.3d 665 (9th Cir. 1997)
Over concentration or “the breach of the duty to diversify constitutes an independent basis of liability, separate from a breach of the general duty of prudence.” Liss v Smith, 991, F. Supp. 278, 301 (S.D.N.Y. 1998)(emphasis added); See also Stephen Torlief Rangen 52 S.E.C. 1304, 1308 (1997) (finding that broker’s recommendations were unsuitable, where they resulted in 80% of the equity in customers’ accounts being concentrated in one stock – ‘”by concentrating so much of their equity in particular securities, [the broker] increased the risk of loss for these individuals beyond what is consistent with the objective of save, non-speculative investing”).
Guiliano Law Firm – Over Concentration Fraud Lawyers
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