A DOZEN or so new victims file into Joseph Peiffer’s law offices each month.
There was the 51-year-old woman who worked at BellSouth, he recounted, who was told to invest her retirementmoney into nontradable real estate securities. He has also worked with retirees who were advised to put theirI.R.A. savings into pricey variableannuities or other illiquid investments, when other options would have been far more appropriate.
“It is really on the broker to do the right thing, because the typical investor doesn’t know enough to know if the broker and his firm have the investor’s interest at heart,” said Mr. Peiffer, a consumer lawyer in New Orleans who represents investors with cases against banks and brokerage firms.
Many brokers already do the right thing for their customers. But Mr. Peiffer said a new rule by the Labor Department that had been in development for five years would go a long way to help protect average investors from those who don’t. The proposal would require more financial professionals, including brokers, to put their customers’ interests ahead of their own when they are providing advice on how to invest in tax-advantaged retirement accounts, such asindividual retirement accounts and 401(k)-type plans.
– The New York Times