The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or "FINRA" has issued several notices to the brokerage industry that private placements may not be suitable for all investors. Investors who purchase private placements must also be accredited, meaning that they have a net worth, exclusive of their home, of over $1 million or income for the past two years greater than $200,000.
According to FINRA, Wall Street Strategies broker, Karen Geiger, allegedly recommended the sale of the seven-year GWG Debenture to clients who may not have been suited for this type of investment. It was alleged that Geiger distributed GWG Debentures brochures to multiple customers stating that the debentures were secured by all the corporate assets of GWG. However, the prospectus for the GWG Debentures stated that the policies were not collateral for the debentures.
According to their website, GWG Holdings Inc. offers investors the chance to partake in the growing and relatively new life insurance settlement market.
GWG buys life insurance policies that the holders no longer want or need for a cash payment to the holder. It then makes the payments on the policies until the death of the insured and collects the benefits upon his or her death. The downside is that the heirs of the original policyholder cannot collect the benefits. The upside is that the policyholder receives money that may be needed for other expenses and he or she no longer has to make the premium payments.
The firm, located in Minneapolis, offers $250 million in secured renewable debentures and up to 9.5% interest on seven-year investments.
Some investors may have been misled by brokers like Karen Geiger, who were selling the GWG Debentures. The brokers may have provided false information about the safety and security of the investment and the collateral backing the investment.
The life settlement market has grown every year and now many brokers are selling life insurance products bundled in groups in the form of notes or debentures. Once sold as a note or debenture these products become securities and are governed by the state and federal securities laws. These products may not be suitable for all investors.
Soreide Law Group, has litigated on behalf of investors who purchased life insurance policies as investments in Federal Court and before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. If your broker sold you GWG Debentures and represented it as backed by all the corporate assets of GWG, call Soreide Law Group for a free consultation at (888) 760-6552. Representing investors nationwide against stock brokers. No fee if no recovery. Visit www.SecuritiesLawyer.com for more information.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.