Q: I do not agree with some of the fees my broker has charged me. Do I have to pay them?
A: The answer to your question depends on the specific details of the contract and/or arrangement you have with your broker. I would recommend organizing all information relevant to this situation, including the contract you have with your broker, and consult with an attorney individually. A knowledgeable attorney will review the details of your specific situation, and advise as to your options moving forward, as there may be options where you do not have to pay the disputed fees.
A: The short answer: Maybe.
Fees are often set forth in writing. For instance, there are fees related to your account, such as account opening, closing, transfer, and maintenance fees. These fees are often set forth in account documents. In addition, there are the fees and expenses associated with each investment, such as commissions, as well as a variety of sales charges or “loads,” transfer fees, surrender charges (penalties for converting an investment to cash before a permitted time), “markups” and annual management fees. Again, these fees are typically set forth in writing. If you agreed with the investment, then you have to pay the fees and expenses associated with the investment. If however, for example, the investment was made without your consent; it is not suitable for you based upon your age, investment profile and the like; or it was not made in your best interests, then you can dispute the fees (in addition to possibly bringing an arbitration for any losses sustained by those investments).
It is best to consult with an attorney who can review the documents and account information and help advise you on your options.
The foregoing is not legal advice nor is it in any manner whatsoever meant to create or impute an attorney/client relationship.
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