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Navigating Rough Waters: A Look at Michael Archimede’s Troubled Tenure at PFS Investments

As a seasoned finance professional, I must admit the story of Michael Archimede is a jarring exception in an otherwise stable financial environment. Working out of Waukesha, Wisconsin, this financial advisor took a catastrophic detour from the path of integrity, leaving investors reeling from his actions at PFS Investments Inc. For those keen on safeguarding their investments, it’s crucial to check an advisor’s track record, like Archimede’s CRD number: 5701306

Archimede Faces the Music: FINRA’s Crackdown on Non-compliance

Everything came to a head on January 22, 2024, when FINRA, the financial industry’s watchdog, banned Archimede from the securities industry for not playing by the rules. He got tangled up in cryptocurrency endeavors that had no place within PFS Investments Inc.’s playbook. Although he didn’t admit to any wrongdoing, he also didn’t deny it, and chose to work with FINRA—except when he dodged document requests and skipped out on giving testimony. This led to suspicions of him misusing client funds for a crypto-related investment that was off the books at PFS Investments Inc.

Archimede’s Exit from PFS Painted with Brushes of Impropriety

The financial community was stunned. What initially seemed like a routine license non-renewal at PFS Investments Inc. was, upon closer inspection, a resignation stemming from an alleged admission that Archimede borrowed money from a client—a stark contrast to the first explanation. This revelation came to light after an internal review by PFS Investments Inc. on December 31, 2023.

Unpaid Debts and Claims Against Archimede Loom Large

Then, a client stepped forward with a hefty accusation: Archimede borrowed money from them—money that’s still missing from their pocket. The result? This client points to investment losses, seeking over $52,000 in damages, a claim still dangling without resolution. As your guide through the financial landscape, I’d caution you to always be vigilant over who manages your investments.

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In this industry, I abide by the words of Warren Buffett: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) plays a critical role in upholding this sentiment, yet stories like Archimede’s remind us of the gaps that still exist. Compliance with stringent rules and ethical conduct should be the unwavering pillar of our financial system, a lesson some investors are learning the hard way.

Despite the denial of the allegations, this situation brings into focus the broader implications for the financial advisory sector and questions around how FINRA will prevent future transgressions. Here’s an alarming financial fact: nearly 7% of financial advisors have been disciplined for misconduct. Ensuring your financial advisor’s integrity is paramount, which is why checking their history, such as their FINRA CRM number, is an essential step before entrusting them with your hard-earned money.

It’s always unsettling when trusted individuals sidestep ethical practices, but as an expert, I’m committed to helping you understand these complexities and protect yourself. Being proactive and informed is your best shield in an unpredictable financial world.

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