My Examination of Kovack Securities: Uncovering the Truth Behind Their Practices

Hello, I’m Emily Carter, a financial analyst and writer delving into the unfolding situation regarding Kovack Securities, a brokerage firm headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This firm is currently being investigated due to potential breaches of investment rules. To date, there are 10 disclosures linked to Kovack Securities on FINRA’s BrokerCheck, half of which stem from regulatory issues.

Peeling Back the Layers of Kovack Securities

Kovack Securities isn’t just another brokerage house. It steps further, offering investment advisory services through its sister company, Kovack Advisors, Inc. This versatility can be an asset for investors seeking a range of services, but it also means extra diligence is required when sorting through account options and understanding the fees involved.

While the firm offers numerous services, one crucial piece is missing: consistent account monitoring. This gap could leave you oblivious to potential dips in your portfolio’s performance. With brokers possibly in the dark about such downturns too, it becomes critical for you to keep a close eye on your statements.

The Lowdown on Kovack Securities’ Fees

Here’s a snapshot of what Kovack Securities might charge you:

  • Transaction-based fees could encourage brokers to push for more trades than necessary.
  • Trading in exchange-traded funds also comes with commission costs.
  • Buying and selling bonds may add extra “mark-ups” or “mark-downs” to your tab.
  • Investing in mutual funds and similar products means facing sales fees that can eat away up to 10% of your investment right off the bat.
  • Annual management fees are another reality for mutual funds and certain other investments.
  • Expect to also see charges for account maintenance, transfers, and other administrative actions.

Battling Against Regulatory Actions

Considering the regulatory actions noted on Kovack Securities’ BrokerCheck profile, there are three instances that warrant particular attention:

The $210,000 FINRA Fine for Mutual Funds Mismanagement

In August 2022, Kovack Securities was fined for what was labeled as “unnecessary switches of mutual funds”, which resulted in superfluous charges for clients. Their internal systems to scrutinize trades weren’t up to the task, missing crucial signs of problematic activity. Troubling was the fact that they had previously dismissed someone for similar infractions but didn’t keep a close enough watch on the activity afterward.

Puerto Rico’s Claim of Improper Investment Recommendations

Back in May 2017, Puerto Rican authorities accused Kovack Securities of neglect when it came to a representative’s recommendation of alternative investment products, which were heavily concentrated in clients’ portfolios.

The $125,000 FINRA Fine for Pricing Errors with UITs

May 2016 brought a hefty fine to Kovack Securities for failing to correctly apply discounts on Unit Investment Trusts (UITs), causing customers to overpay by $119,319.27. It revealed cracks in the firm’s operations, specifically their inability to identify and apply necessary discounts for these investments.

Protecting Yourself as an Investor

These unfortunate events highlight why you need a securities lawyer fighting by your side. Lawyers specializing in this field bring a wealth of knowledge, usually resolving disputes via FINRA arbitration—a format tailored to address such financial conflicts.

Taking Action Against Financial Misconduct

If you’ve suffered financial harm due to dealings with Kovack Securities, it’s critical to take action swiftly. A securities attorney can help you navigate the case’s complexities and seek justice.

Remember, as investors, we must be vigilant. There is a quote by Warren Buffett that resonates deeply with me: “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” In the complex financial universe, knowledge is power—always demand transparency and never stop educating yourself. If you ever need to verify the credentials of a financial advisor, you can look up their FINRA CRM number for peace of mind.

A stark reality to be aware of: A study has found that over one in 10 financial advisors have been formally disciplined for misconduct. When considering a financial advisor, it is imperative to research their history thoroughly to prevent becoming part of this statistic.

In conclusion, the situation with Kovack Securities serves as a reminder to all of us to stay informed and proactively manage our investments. When it comes down to it, securing our financial future is in our own hands—let’s make sure we’re holding the reins tightly.

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