Stockbroker Mark Tevebaugh Faces $500k Damages Claim in Indian Harbour Over Unsuitable Investments

An Overview of Concerning Allegations Against Mark Tevebaugh

Those of you who follow financial news may be aware of the recent allegations brought against Florida-based stockbroker, Mark Tevebaugh. Currently employed with One Ascent Wealth Management, Tevebaugh has been in hot waters due to a pending customer dispute seeking damages to the tune of $500,000. As an experienced financial analyst, let me walk you through the gravity of these allegations and their potential implications for investors.

The claim, filed in September 2023, accuses Tevebaugh of recommending investments that were unsuitable for the client. The investments included a fixed annuity, a common vehicle for retirement savings. While on the surface these deals can seem attractive due to their fixed return rate, fixed annuities can be misused as they are often poorly understood, obscuring their not-so-appetizing aspects such as penalties for early withdrawal, hefty sales commissions, and surrender charges.

Tevebaugh isn’t a stranger to such allegations. Back in 2019, a customer from his previous tenure at **NEXT Financial** claimed that Tevebaugh invested $110,000 into unsuitable and high-risk real estate investment trusts (REITs) and Business Development Companies (BDCs). This case resulted in the company repurchasing the investments as a resolution.

Mark Tevebaugh’s Financial Advisory Background

Mark Tevebaugh operates out of Indian Harbour Beach, Florida. Having been registered as a broker since 1987, Tevebaugh has ample experience in the field. He is currently linked to One Ascent Wealth Management but has been associated with reputable firms like NEXT Financial Group, Cetera Advisor Network, and Blue Vase Securities in the past.

However, on Tevebaugh’s FINRA CRD (Central Registration Depository) report – identified by the CRD number 1567001 – I noticed a smudge on his otherwise polished resume. He has a total of five customer disputes. All of these disputes include allegations of unsuitable investment recommendations, a recurring motif that causes grave concern.

Understanding FINRA Rules in Simpler Terms

These allegations of unsuitable investment recommendations against Tevebaugh directly intersect with the FINRA Rule 2111 – better known as the ‘Suitability Rule’. In layman’s terms, brokerage firms and brokers like Tevebaugh are required to have a reasonable basis to believe a recommended transaction or investment strategy involving a security or securities is suitable for the customer. This takes into account the customer’s financial situation, needs, and other investment profile factors.

It’s a critical rule that underpins the professional behavior expected from financial advisors, ensuring investors aren’t lured into investment opportunities that aren’t right for their unique needs and circumstances.

Consequences and Lessons Learned

So, what does it mean for us when a trusted advisor like Mark Tevebaugh allegedly breaks these vital rules? As we delve deeper into this issue, it becomes apparent that the potential financial loss for investors is significant. In this case, the high demand for damages indicates that the investor in question experienced a considerable negative impact.

To evoke Warren Buffett’s timeless advice, “Never invest in a business you cannot understand.” When a broker advises on investments that are complex high-risk products, be wary. Gain a robust understanding of the investment rather than blindly trusting recommendations.

Financial fact: According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, investors have recovered billions of dollars in the past two decades as a result of notifications and actions by regulators regarding broker misconduct.

The entire predicament surrounding Mark Tevebaugh is a wakeup call for investors to be more meticulous when it comes to their investments. It’s fundamental for investors to understand what they are investing in, ascertain its appropriateness for their financial goals, and voice their concerns if they believe their advisor’s recommendations are not tailored to their needs. At the end of the day, it’s your hard-earned money on the line.

For comprehensive details regarding the allegations against Tevebaugh and his record, you can visit the FINRA’s BrokerCheck website clicking here.

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