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Gary Steven Costello: Broker and Investment Advisor at Aegis Capital Corp

As a financial analyst and writer, let me guide you through the story of a broker whose journey has caught the eye of the financial world. My name is Emily Carter, and I want to talk about Gary Steven Costello, an advisor with Aegis Capital Corp based in Boca Raton, Florida. On November 16, 2023, Gary became a hot topic due to some serious allegations against him.

Entering the Limelight

My history in the industry has shown me that a broker’s reputation is vital. Gary’s career, which began in 2016, took him to well-known firms like Truist Advisory Services, Inc., Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., Morgan Stanley, and Park Avenue Securities, LLC. But now, that reputation is at risk.

A Storm of Accusations

By September 2023, the complaints against Costello started to pile up. Clients accused him of making unauthorized transactions, being negligent, and not looking out for their best interests among other serious charges. These are not light concerns, considering they span from July 2019 to December 2022, and involve over $2 million in damages. Remember, these cases are not yet resolved.

  • August 25, 2023—A client says Gary made unauthorized trades in his account in 2023.
  • August 16, 2023—Another client also complains of unauthorized trading in 2023.
  • August 16, 2023—Yet another claims Gary made trades without permission from January 2023 to August 2023.
  • August 16, 2023—And there’s another claim of unauthorized transactions from December 2022 to August 2023.

Then, on August 14, 2023, Truist Investment Services, Inc. cut ties with Costello after investigating some trading and account margin activities.

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Riding the Wave of Uncertainty

Among these accusations, excessive trading sticks out. It’s often a red flag that an advisor might be valuing their commission checks over their client’s financial well-being. This is a breach of their duty to provide recommendations that suit the investor’s needs.

Trusted financial advisors should remember the famous words of Warren Buffett, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Brokers and advisors must operate with their client’s best interests at heart, always aware of their profile, turnover rate, cost-equity ratio, and the overall suitability of their trade recommendations.

As we watch Gary S. Costello’s story, it’s a harsh reminder for brokers and investors to always operate with clear financial ethics.

It’s worth noting that it’s not just the ethics at play, but also the economics. Did you know a staggering fact that bad financial advisors cost Americans more than $17 billion a year in retirement savings, according to a report by the Obama administration? True, and it demonstrates the real impact poor financial guidance can have.

If you’re ever in doubt about a broker or advisor, checking their FINRA BrokerCheck record for their CRD number should be your first step. It’s a resource I often recommend, ensuring that the professionals handling your investments are trustworthy and competent.

As we wait for the outcome of Costello’s allegations, and with the shadow of these claims hanging over him, the financial industry and its clients watch closely. The final decision could very well set a precedent and influence the behavior of brokers and financial advisors moving forward.

Each of us, as investors, must remain vigilant, constantly educating ourselves on our rights and the duties of those we entrust with our money. Let’s make sure our financial journeys are safe and our advisors are held to the highest standards of integrity and professionalism.

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