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Episode 61 — David Meyer — The Investor Protector

"We're talking about a minority of brokers, of course. But when you've got over a million advisors in this country, even a small percent can cause some devastating harm." - David Meyer

  • How did David's first case turn into the biggest jury settlement in Ohio history?
  • What are some red flags that should make you think twice about your broker?
  • How can you protect yourself from investment fraud?
  • Why did David write a book that could put him out of business?
  • How can you expand your impact beyond your practice?

A Full Recovery

David Meyer is a nationally-esteemed attorney and founding principal of the firm Meyer Wilson. He specializes in representing victims of investment fraud, people who have lost their life savings by entrusting them to unethical and speculative financial advisors. Over two decades, David has recovered millions of dollars from fraudulent investors for his clients.

The very first investment fraud case he took as a 28-year- old ended in a $261 million dollar class action verdict against Prudential Securities for over 200 retirees. It was the largest jury verdict in Ohio history, and all the plaintiffs recovered 100% of their losses. Since then, David has represented over 1,000 individual investors across the country.

The Best Defense

Trust is essential for financial advisors. Their clients don't know nearly as much about investing — that's the reason they need a financial advisor in the first place. But sometimes, financial advisors abuse that trust. When that happens, ordinary people can lose a lifetime's worth of work overnight.

David says the easiest way to level the playing field is to look up your broker on brokercheck.org. This will tell you if they have any outstanding complaints against them from the SEC and can prevent you from ending up with an untrustworthy advisor. If you receive a notice of a problem from your broker's supervisor (so-called "happiness letters"), David recommends immediately contacting a third party, as the brokerage will act to protect its own interests, not yours.

Planned Obsolescence

Even though he's made a name for himself as an investment attorney, David ultimately hopes that fraud decreases to a point where clients won't need him anymore.

To this end, he's written a book called “The Investor Protector” detailing stories from his years observing financial misconduct. The book includes basic financial education and practical advice so that you can protect you and your loved ones. He calls it "body armor" for retirement savers.

And if he gets fewer clients because of it? That's fine by him. He just wants to make a difference.

Key takeaways:

  • Do your homework. Check out your financial advisor's history on brokercheck.com.
  • Don't be ashamed. Many people keep quiet out of embarrassment if they suspect their financial advisor has taken advantage of them. The only way to recover your savings is to reach out to someone!
  • Work beyond your office. Sometimes being the best lawyer isn't about being a lawyer at all. Find a way to drive change — whether it's as an attorney, an educator, or a policymaker.

Links and Resources