Melissa Spickler Faces Investor Claims Over Alleged Unsuitable Securities Recommendations

My name is Emily Carter, and as a financial analyst and writer, I’m delving into the troubling reports surrounding Melissa Plotkin Spickler. Known by various names, including Melissa P. Plotkin and Melissa Plotkinspickler, Spickler has been in the financial advisory industry since 1980 and has recently come under fire for allegedly making unsuitable investment recommendations and failing to follow her clients’ instructions.

Investor’s Unsettling Claim Against Spickler

Spickler’s predicament began to unfold last year when a client at Merrill Lynch, where she is employed, filed a complaint. They claimed that Spickler recommended a closed-end fund in April 2021 which resulted in financial harm for them. Though Merrill Lynch resolved this complaint expeditiously, compensating the client with $32,402.18 on October 20, 2022, Spickler’s reputation took a hit. Despite the outcome, she has maintained her innocence.

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To get to the heart of the issue, let’s look at the FINRA rules that Spickler is accused of sidestepping. It’s straightforward – brokers are required to recommend only those investments suitable for their clients, which includes understanding the client’s needs and ensuring the investment is a good fit. Therefore, the allegations suggest Spickler didn’t prioritize her client’s best interest, which is a significant breach.

Spickler’s Continuing Troubles

Regrettably, more clients came forward with concerns about Spickler’s professional practices. A group of trustees accused her of not having their best interest at heart. Merrill Lynch acted responsibly by settling with the clients on October 19, 2022, and paying them $39,663.08.

Adding to Spickler’s list of troubles, there was a claim dated August 15, 2005, that alleged she recommended investments in mutual funds that weren’t suitable, causing significant losses. The client sought over $50,000 in restitution, yet this claim did not result in a payout.

The Last Straw: Disobedience Of Clients’ Instructions

Another damaging accusation involved Spickler’s professional integrity. On September 14, 2004, a Merrill Lynch investor claimed she ignored their specific instructions and made unsuitable trades within their retirement accounts. While no compensation was awarded, this allegation remains a stain on Spickler’s career.

In finance, the famous adage rings true: “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” These ongoing claims, if proven factual, reflect serious missteps that have financially hurt investors.

If you wish to dive deeper into her professional history, Spickler’s CRD number [CRD: 719397] is publicly available for review. Although both Spickler and Merrill Lynch deny the accusations, her record is freely accessible for anyone seeking clarity on her career trajectory and the claims made against her.

It’s crucial to note these are allegations, and their validity is yet to be determined. These situations serve as a stern reminder to meticulously research and continually scrutinize your broker or financial advisor.

Did you know? A concerning financial fact is that bad financial advisors can significantly harm your investments. According to FINRA, in 2016 alone, financial advisors who were expelled for misconduct were 48% more likely to have been previously disciplined by their firm than other advisors — highlighting the importance of checking an advisor’s FINRA CRD number for past infractions.

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