Understanding the Accusations Against Financial Advisor Viqas Akhtar: Churning and Unauthorized Trading

My name is Emily Carter, and I’m a financial analyst and writer with a keen interest in the well-being of investors. Today, I bring to your attention a matter involving Viqas Akhtar (CRD# 5624412), a financial advisor currently facing serious accusations of unauthorized and excessive trading. For anyone invested or thinking about investing with Akhtar, this is a situation you’ll want to monitor closely.

Allegations of Trading Violations

In 2023, the air around Akhtar became thick with allegations when two investor groups accused him of making trades without their permission and recommending unsuitable investments. Not only are these investors alleging unauthorized trading, but also excessive trading, or as it’s commonly known, churning. With over $192,000 in damages sought, this isn’t a small accusation by any means.

However, this isn’t Akhtar’s first rodeo with such claims. Back in 2019 and 2020, three complaints regarding Akhtar surfaced for inappropriate recommendations and unauthorized trades, ultimately leading to $84,000 in settlements.

Market Manipulation: A Persistent Issue

While Akhtar has contested these allegations, claiming that his investment picks reflected his clients’ goals, he has made it clear he will firmly contest these claims. But as investors, it’s vital to be cautious and prudent. Famous billionaire Warren Buffett once said, “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” This is particularly true when dealing with advisors who may prioritize their earnings over your financial success.

Chris Kelly from FINRA notes that churning signifies a broker’s pattern of executing more trades than necessary, aiming to increase their own commissions at the cost of the client’s investment strategy. It’s for this very reason that you, as an investor, should regularly review your account for any signs of frequent trading or unexpected charges.

About Viqas Akhtar’s Career

With my experience in the financial sector, I can tell you that Akhtar’s career stretches back to 2009 when he joined Rockwell Global Capital in Lake Mary, Florida. He later relocated to VFinance Investments in Miami in 2012 before landing at National Securities Corporation, where he stayed until 2022. Presently, he’s with B. Riley Wealth Management in Miami. Akhtar’s 13 years in finance is capped with a state securities law exam and two general industry/product exams under his belt.

If you’ve invested with Akhtar and have worries about your portfolio, remember, you’re not powerless. As an investor, you’re entitled to protections. If you ever feel that your portfolio wasn’t appropriately diversified, or risks and costs weren’t fully disclosed, you might be able to file a claim through FINRA arbitration.

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In an industry where trust plays a central role, it’s unsettling to discover that nearly one in thirteen financial advisors has a history of misconduct, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. And that’s why it’s crucial to do your homework. You can verify Viqas Akhtar’s background through his FINRA BrokerCheck profile, which can provide peace of mind or perhaps a reason to look elsewhere for financial guidance. As a diligent financial analyst and advocate for investor education, I urge you to stay informed and stay ahead of your financial future.

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