Financial Advisor Leisman Accused of Unsuitable Investments at Westport Advisory Group

As a financial analyst and legal expert with over a decade of experience, I have seen my fair share of cases involving unsuitable investment recommendations. The recent allegations against Kansas City, Missouri financial advisor Matthew Leisman (CRD# 2113061) are serious and should not be taken lightly by investors.

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) records, Mr. Leisman, who is registered as a broker and investment advisor with Moloney Securities, doing business as Westport Advisory Group, has received two investor complaints in the past year. The most recent complaint, filed in April 2024, alleged that he acted negligently and recommended unsuitable corporate bond investments, resulting in a settlement of $45,000. An earlier complaint from 2023 made similar allegations and settled for $50,000.

As an informed investor, it’s crucial to understand the gravity of these allegations and how they may affect your investments. Unsuitable investment recommendations can lead to significant financial losses and erode trust in your financial advisor. It’s important to thoroughly research your advisor’s background and any past complaints before entrusting them with your hard-earned money.

Financial Advisor’s Background and Past Complaints

According to Westport Advisory Group’s website, Mr. Leisman has 25 years of investment experience and a “diverse knowledge of Insurance, The Capital Markets, & Alternative Investments.” However, his BrokerCheck report reveals two settled investor complaints in the past year, both alleging negligence and unsuitable bond investment recommendations.

While Mr. Leisman has defended himself against these claims, stating that the broker-dealer settled the matters “for business purposes without admitting any wrongdoing or liability,” it’s essential for investors to be aware of these red flags and carefully consider their implications.

Understanding FINRA Rules and Unsuitable Investments

FINRA Rule 2111 requires financial advisors to have a reasonable basis to believe that a recommended investment or investment strategy is suitable for the customer, based on the customer’s investment profile. This profile includes factors such as:

  • Age
  • Financial situation
  • Risk tolerance
  • Investment objectives

When a financial advisor recommends unsuitable investments, they are not only violating FINRA rules but also breaching their fiduciary duty to act in their clients’ best interests. This can result in significant financial losses for investors and erode trust in the financial industry as a whole.

Consequences and Lessons Learned

The consequences of unsuitable investment recommendations can be severe, both for investors and financial advisors. Investors may face substantial financial losses, while advisors can face disciplinary actions, fines, and even the loss of their licenses.

As the famous investor Warren Buffett once said, “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” This quote underscores the importance of financial literacy and due diligence when selecting a financial advisor.

One alarming financial fact is that 1 in 5 financial advisors have had at least one client complaint or regulatory action taken against them (source: Forbes). This statistic highlights the need for investors to thoroughly vet their advisors and stay informed about their investments.

In conclusion, the allegations against Mr. Leisman serve as a reminder of the importance of working with a trustworthy and transparent financial advisor who always puts their clients’ best interests first. As an investor, it’s crucial to stay informed, ask questions, and regularly review your investment portfolio to ensure it aligns with your goals and risk tolerance.

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