How To Know If Your Broker Is Cheating You

How To Know If Your Broker Is Cheating You

Nov 12

There’s always a suspicion when returns come back lower than expected when the market does well but your portfolio is stagnant, and especially when that portfolio collapses, that your broker has done something wrong. Often times, what is wrong is simply a matter of a misreading of the market. Such human mistakes happen all the time, and little can be done but to shrug and remain philosophical about the market enterprise.

At other times, though, and this is more common than people believe, a broker can be cheating you. But how can you know if your losses are normal or due to the illegal actions of your broker?

Unsuitable investments: A broker is required to look for investments that are suitable for his or her client. That does not mean they have to be the best possible investments, but they have to pass a certain test of being reasonably suitable. If your portfolio doesn’t look reasonable to you, see a lawyer.

Misleading information: If your broker sold you on an investment by giving you incomplete information or even misleading information, you certainly have a case. If you suspect this may have happened, again, see a lawyer about your options.

A lack of diversification: A broker’s job is to develop a diverse portfolio for you which protects you from all but the worst kinds of drops in the market. You should not be overly invested in a single company’s stock, in a single asset, or in a single set of bonds. If your broker has done this, and you are suffering the financial consequences, there has certainly been some wrongdoing done there.

Churning: This is when a broker sells excessively in order to earn more commissions. These sales are not done in your interest but simply to line the broker’s pocket. If you are seeing a high volume of transactions in your portfolio while also seeing your value decline, you should certainly see smoke and suspect fire.

Unauthorized trading: Ultimately, your investments are yours, and it is up to you to agree to the recommendations of your broker. If your broker has taken it upon himself or herself to make these choices for you, and especially if they prove to be bad choices, you have the right to demand compensation back.

These are just a few of the potential ways a broker can be abusing the relationship between the two of you. I encourage you to read further on the Erez Law website to find out more.

In the meantime, remember to keep a close eye on your portfolio. While it is tempting to simply trust a broker to know what’s best and to assume the best choices are being made, you don’t want to get caught with a losing hand when it comes to your finances.

Defense Attorneys are Super Heroes

Defense Attorneys are Super Heroes

Nov 11

I’d like to take a moment and say something too few people do: defense attorneys are the superheroes of the legal system, and we could use more of them.

I want to make clear that they get superhero status whether they are defending rich clients or poor ones and whether they are fighting false charges (the only time anyone depicts defense lawyers heroically) or simply trying to get the best outcome for their guilty clients.

That last point is the most controversial. People tend to associate a lawyer doing their job with the assumed guilt or innocence of the client. If people perceive the client as guilty, they perceive the lawyer in negative terms as well. And vice versa.

But no matter who they are defending, defense lawyers are on the right side. That’s because our system insists everyone deserves an advocate. Everyone deserves to put their best case forward and try to get the best result possible. That requires defense lawyers to be creative, loyal, and incredibly intellectually rigorous. It’s a tough job, and it is one we need to be performed for the system we live with to function.

In fact, what our system needs is more defense lawyers and more lawyers who solely focus on defense. As James Powderly points out on his law firm’s site, it does a disservice to both clients and the system in general for lawyers to spread themselves thin over too many areas of practice. Or, as he puts it, “When facing a serious criminal charge, it makes sense you hire a lawyer who devotes all of his time and energy into defending criminal cases as opposed to a lawyer who has a general practice and does a little criminal defense and also does family law, personal injury, wills, contracts etc.”

While it makes sense to feel upset when we feel some trial or other has given the wrong judgment, we need to keep in mind that those who are making the system work are all, overall, on the side of law and order, and above all, justice and fairness.

That means it’s not just defense attorneys but prosecutors and judges as well who deserve superhero status. In fact, we could do with more hero worship of those who are maintaining our justice system in general.

It’s easy these days to become cynical about everyone and everything. But we need these people to make the system work.

The truth is, we need lawyers. And we should be glad we have them.

The Dangers of Ignoring Sleep Apnea

The Dangers of Ignoring Sleep Apnea

Sep 21

I will freely admit, sleep is not something I consciously think about. Sure, I want to sleep when I am tired or have had too much pasta. Never have I thought about sleep illnesses or diseases. Sleep apnea is a daunting term that I have heard of, but it’s hard to say if I will ever have it without undergoing a sleep study. Sleep apnea is when breathing stops in your sleep; this paused breathing can last a couple seconds to several minutes. While you may not wake up, I discovered some haunting facts that we should pay attention to, according to WebMD.

According to the article, it is dangerous to ignore sleep apnea, even for a brief time. Having sleep apnea and not knowing can increase your stress and cause hypertension, causing heart problems in the long run. Essentially, sleep apnea may kill you since breathing ceases. One of the ways you can protect yourself is using a continuous positive airway pressure tool to help you breathe throughout the night. What is concerning to read is that about 20 to 30 percent of adults have sleep apnea, which causes your airway to shut off while you sleep. Because of unnoticed sleep apnea, you may feel drowsy throughout the day. There isn’t a clear, direct correlation to what causes sleep apnea. Researchers are trying to understand if it is linked with diabetes, obesity, or even heart disease. There may be unknown correlations with sleep apnea. Dr. Jun from John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, conducted a test to see how 31 obese patients slept. Most of the demographics were 51-year-old white men. Through a sleep study, they tested the mens’ blood levels, blood sugar, and stress hormones. They discovered that the levels were higher with those with the more severe sleep apnea cases.

Because there are so many sleep diseases and general “sleeping” conflicts, I feel as though there is an extra blur to truly understand what causes sleep apnea. It may also be the case that the one with sleep apnea needs to have a partner or spouse to inform them of any breathing cessation during their sleep. There are signs that inform you, such as drowsiness or mood swings, but those signs can overlap with perhaps another diagnosis. Other signs include awakening with a sore throat or having headaches in the morning.

It is important to take care of your health, especially if sleep apnea is related to elevated blood pressure and stress hormones. It is important to eat a correct diet and find some form of exercise to stay in shape. I know yoga and getting my blood flowing helps wring out my body and helps me get a better, deep sleep. While yoga isn’t for everyone, it is important to know the signs and encourage the practice of mental health and self-care.


The Dangers of Construction Work

The Dangers of Construction Work

Sep 01

For people in many professions, the workplace can be hazardous. Nearly any job that requires physical labor entails a multitude of different risks. Even jobs that are not inherently dangerous can result in injuries and accidents under unsafe circumstances. Although all workplaces are supposed to follow guidelines to keep their employees safe, some companies fail to take the appropriate precautions to prevent accidents. This is particularly dangerous on construction site where heavy materials and machinery are frequently in use. Failure to properly train employees, post adequate safety signage, and appropriately maintain the work site can lead to a dangerous and even deadly accident. The Twin Cities Pioneer Press recently reported on one such construction accident that resulted in the death of a worker.

Construction worker Enrique Rosas Murga was killed on the job in August of 2017. He was working on a project in Farmington for Valmont Industries when the accident occurred. Rosas Murga and another employee were operating a machine that turns metal pipes into flagpoles and light poles, at the time of the crash. The pole came loose of the machine and hit Rosas Murga on the head. Although he was wearing a hard hat, he sustained several serious blunt force injuries to the head. The medical examiner stated that these injuries could be from the impact of the pipe itself, or the pipe could have caused Rosas Murga to hit his head on another object. Valmont Industries is working with OSHA and manufacturing experts to understand what caused this accident and how to prevent accidents of this kind in the future. However, a retired employee of Valmont Industries commented that this death was likely caused by one of three problems: operator error, machine malfunction, or Rosas Murga’s assistant was not pay close enough attention.

Rosas Murga’s fellow workers are devastated by this loss to their team, and undoubtedly Rosas Murga’s family and loved ones are feeling a similar sense of grief. This accident shows just how dangerous a construction worksite can be when even small errors are made. It seems likely that Rosas Murga’s death could have been prevented has the company taken steps to ensure that their machinery and their employees were prepared for the job. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done retrospectively to help Rosas Murga, but hopefully, the company will change their actions moving forward.

For Rosas Murga’s family, not only does this loss come with significant grief and sorrow, but they must also manage the financial loss that this accident has caused. They must now take on the financial burden of a lost income and any additional expenses that this accident has created. However, they may be entitled to worker’s compensation, which can help cover these costs. Although this money will not help end the pain they must be experiencing, it will ensure that they can remain financially stable during this difficult time. Overall, more needs to be done to ensure a safe workplace for people in this line of work.

Unsafe Trucking Practices

Unsafe Trucking Practices

Jun 08

Everybody on the road should make the effort of avoiding traffic accidents, and each person can do this by following traffic rules and avoiding reckless behaviors. But it can be argued that trucking companies and truck drivers should exert greater effort than everybody else, because trucks are more dangerous when they are involved in an accident compared to other vehicles such as sedans.

Also, according to the website of these Houston truck accident lawyers, those who have been hurt because of the negligence of truckers may have legal options. So, these trucking companies and drivers are not just dealing with hospitals and insurances, because they may also be dealing with courts. Below are some of the most common trucking practices that can be considered negligence and may be grounds for legal action.

Negligent Hiring

Trucking companies should be strict in their hiring process. They should hire only those who have the proper driving licenses and prefer those who do not have multiple driving violations under their names, such as drunk driving.

Failing to do so may result into driving errors that reasonable professionals will not commit and reckless driving behaviors that may cause accidents such as DUI.

Abusive Working Hours and Quotas

Trucking companies also have the tendency to maximize productivity for maximum profit. But these are sometimes done in dangerous ways, such as giving truck drivers unreasonable quotas. These drivers will have no choice but to reach them, so they may rely on tactics that can potentially cause a truck accident, such as driving while fatigued.

Poor Truck Maintenance

Maintaining trucks is important, because it ensures that the vehicles do not have defects and have less tendencies to malfunction. Defects are underrated causes of accidents, even though they can be extremely dangerous, especially those that involve brake systems, tires, and trailers.


The website of Williams Kherkher lists several negligent acts wherein truckers can be held liable, and an overloaded trailer is on the list. The federal government has regulations regarding cargo limits, so breaking that limit can be considered an act of negligence. Overloading can make the truck harder to control, not to mention the excessive weight’s effect on the tires.