My Experience with the Andrew Schell Investment Dispute

As a financial analyst and writer, I’ve come across various cases where investors have suffered due to the actions of their brokers. One notable example is the situation with Colorado Springs-based securities broker Andrew David Schell. His track record, accessible on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck, includes time spent at D.A. Davidson Co. and Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Incorporated.

Digging Into the Allegations

Through my analysis, I discovered that a client of D.A. Davidson Co. filed a significant complaint against Andrew Schell. The accusation was that Schell used investment strategies involving options and stocks which were unsuitable for the client’s non-discretionary advisory account. Moreover, it was alleged that Schell made discretionary decisions without the proper authorization, leading to considerable financial harm between February 2020 and February 2023—to the tune of over $270,000. Settling this issue cost D.A. Davidson Co. nearly $130,000.

A pattern seems to emerge here, as there was a second complaint alleging similar unsuitable investment strategies and unauthorized discretion by Schell. This time, the reported losses amounted to $265,000, with a settlement of $175,000 from D.A. Davidson Co. at the end of 2022—a resolution that does not reverse the stress and frustration for the investor involved.

The Pattern of Unauthorized Trading

I’ve seen a disturbing tendency of unauthorized trading in my career, and it appears Schell may have fallen into this practice. A third client claimed that their investment was mismanaged in similar fashion, with losses of over $36,000. The brokerage firm chose to settle by paying the full amount claimed.

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Patterns of Complaints

The complaints against Schell didn’t stop. Unauthorized trading accusations continued with another client citing unauthorized activity leading to a loss of over $32,000. Following the complaint, D.A. Davidson Co. agreed to a settlement matching the claimed damages.

In the final case I reviewed, an investor challenged the unauthorized use of discretion by Schell, which allegedly resulted in a loss of nearly $22,000. True to form, D.A. Davidson Co. settled with the client for the claimed amount.

A Road to Recovery for Investors

For those on the losing end of these investment disputes with Andrew Schell, there’s a glimmer of hope. The law offers pathways to recoup investment losses. Importantly, Schell and his brokerage firms have denied any wrongdoing. However, the string of settlements paints a different picture, emphasizing the need for investors to be mindful of who manages their investments. As Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest,” so ensuring that your financial advisor is competent and trustworthy is crucial.

Let’s face it, losing money can be as painful as losing a good friend. But by staying informed and pursuing the right legal channels, there’s a chance for redemption. It’s also worth mentioning a surprising financial fact: according to a survey by the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, around two-thirds of U.S. adults distrust financial advisors. Even so, good advisors do exist. Always make sure your financial advisor’s intentions and methods align with your goals. You can even check an advisor’s FINRA CRM number for added peace of mind. Knowledge is power, and in the financial world, it’s also your safeguard.

In conclusion, Andrew Schell’s case underscores the importance of vigilant investment management. While we rely on professionals to guide us, we must also do our due diligence to protect our assets. If you find yourself in a situation similar to the clients impacted by Schell’s alleged actions, know that you have options to fight back and potentially regain what you’ve lost.

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