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Investor Beware: Kevin Kelly’s Checkered Past at Avantax, LPL Raises Red Flags

As an experienced financial analyst and legal expert, I understand the gravity of the allegations against Kevin L. Kelly, a Registered Broker and Investment Advisor at Avantax Investment Services, Inc. With three disclosed customer disputes, including claims of unsuitable investments and unauthorized trading, it’s crucial for investors to stay informed about their financial advisor’s background and any potential red flags.

According to FINRA records, Kevin Kelly entered the securities industry in 1992 and has worked with several firms, including IDS Life Insurance Company, American Express Financial Advisors Inc., Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., IFG Advisory, LLC, Legacy Capital Advisors, LLC, and LPL Financial LLC. While a long career in the industry can indicate experience, it’s essential to examine an advisor’s history of customer complaints and regulatory actions.

The three disclosed customer disputes against Kevin Kelly are concerning:

  • In March 2024, a customer alleged that an investment made in 2014 was unsuitable for their investment objectives and risk tolerance. This dispute is still pending.
  • In August 2023, customers alleged that purchased investments were unsuitable, with a damage amount of $585,000. The dispute settled for $284,000.
  • Also in August 2023, a customer alleged that certain purchased investments were unsuitable and/or unauthorized, with a damage amount of $474,739.14. This dispute is still pending.

As a financial advisor, Kevin Kelly has a legal and regulatory obligation to recommend only suitable investments that align with his clients’ needs and objectives. FINRA Rule 2111 requires advisors to have a reasonable basis to believe that a recommended transaction or investment strategy is suitable for the customer, based on factors such as the customer’s investment profile, age, financial situation, and risk tolerance.

When advisors breach their duties, customers may be entitled to recover their investment losses. It’s crucial for investors to be aware of their rights and to take action if they suspect misconduct.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

Did you know that according to a study by the University of Chicago, 7.7% of financial advisors have a history of misconduct? This highlights the importance of thoroughly researching your financial advisor and staying vigilant about your investments.

If you believe you have suffered investment losses due to unsuitable or unauthorized trading, don’t hesitate to seek help. Consult with a qualified securities attorney to discuss your legal options and potential recovery of losses.

For more information on Kevin Kelly’s disclosure history, you can access his FINRA BrokerCheck report here.

Remember, as an investor, knowledge is power. Stay informed, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to speak up if something doesn’t seem right. Your financial well-being depends on it.

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