Investment Losses Linked to Broker Leslie Kern: Damages Sought in Multiple Disputes

In the intricate world of finance, I’ve observed numerous advisors and their dealings—some of which strike a discordant note. Leslie Howard Kern, known also as Les H. Kern, serves as a cautionary tale. He’s a financial advisor who started with D.H. Hill Securities, LLLP in Wilmington, NC, in 2016 and with D.H. Hill Advisors Inc. in Texas. Recent events, however, have cast a shadow on Kern’s career. It appears that his investment guidance has backfired, leading to substantial losses for his clients. He’s now facing claims of inappropriate sales conduct, which has triggered a series of investor disputes. The normally obscure record of his work is now in plain view, spotlighted through his public CRD number: 1140180.

A History of Investor Disputes

A particular case came to light on May 30, 2023, when a D.H. Hill Securities client brought forth a stark allegation against Kern. The client claimed that Kern had given them the wrong picture, neglected proper research, and led them to unsuitable investments. The result? Money may have been lost in asset-backed bonds, prompting the client to seek $50,000 in damages. The matter is pending resolution.

Accusations of Fiduciary Breach

Moreover, on February 28, 2023, another client pointed the finger at Kern, accusing him of violating his fiduciary responsibilities. This claim, lodged with the stark seriousness of a fiduciary breach accusation, suggests that Kern made poor investment suggestions and engaged in deceit. The implications? Another case of problematic asset-backed bonds, with the client demanding $100,000 in restitution. The proceedings are ongoing.

Breach of Contract?

Yet another investor conflict involved Kern allegedly breaking an agreement, giving unsound advice, and downplaying critical information. Here, the concern spread beyond asset-backed bonds to real estate securities. A resolution emerged on November 23, 2022, when the affiliated D.H. Hill Securities agreed to a settlement of $7,500 in damages.

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The trail of disputes with Kern isn’t new, extending back to his tenure at Sigma Financial Corporation. He was charged with misrepresenting a variable universal life policy and executing an unsuitable 1035 exchange, which resulted in a substantial settlement of $160,500 on February 18, 2003. This early case is reminiscent of opening Pandora’s box, revealing the myriad issues investors must navigate.

Although Kern and his associated firms continue to deny the allegations, the investor community is shaken. Should you have experienced financial harm due to Kern’s advice, considering your options for restitution is advisable. Whether or not these claims resolve in the clients’ favor, they underscore the necessity of working with a reliable advisor and affirm the call for rigorous oversight in the financial sector.

It’s crucial to remember, as the revered Warren Buffet once said, “It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked.” Bad advice from financial advisors is costly—not just monetarily but also in the trust investors place in the financial system. A disconcerting financial fact to note is that unsuspecting clients can lose significant assets when misguided by disreputable advisors. In fact, research has shown that over a period of seven years, the misconduct of financial advisors costs their clients an estimated $17 billion a year, according to a report by the Obama administration. Such staggering figures highlight the necessity of due diligence, including verifying an advisor’s FINRA CRM number, before committing your hard-earned money to their guidance.

With every sentence that I write, I aim to untangle the complexities of the financial and legal world for you, the reader. My goal is to inform, engage, and resonate, helping you navigate the often volatile waters of finance with clarity and confidence.

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