Former Berthel, Fisher & Co Investment Advisor, Dennis Fearing, Has Three Customer Complaint Disclosures
Dennis Fearing (CRD#: 1288339) was previously a dual registered Broker and Investment Advisor at Berthel, Fisher & Company Financial Services, Inc. in Coleraine, MN. He entered the securities industry in 1984 and previously worked for Northland Securities, Inc.; Associated Financial Services, Inc.; Fintegra, LLC; Huntingdon Securities Corporation; American Investment Services, Inc.; Financial Advantage Brokerage Services, Inc.; IDS Financial Services, Inc.; IDS Life Insurance Company; and American Express Financial Advisors, Inc.
According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in June 2021, a customer complaint was filed against Dennis Fearing, with damages of $200,000 requested. The allegations state: “The client alleges the representative breached his fiduciary duties by misrepresenting the risks of the investments and failed to disclose the excessive fees earned on their investments between 2011-2015. In addition, the client alleges the firm was negligent, did not conduct adequate due diligence, and failed to supervise the representative.”
In addition, Dennis Fearing has been the subject of two additional customer complaints, including one that remains pending, including the following:
● December 2020–”The clients allege the investments they purchased between 2012-2017 were unsuitable and misrepresented to them by the representative. The clients also allege the firm failed to supervise the actions of the representative and failed to conduct adequate due diligence.” Damages of $1.1M are requested; the customer dispute is pending.
● February 2020–A tax judgment/lien was assessed in the amount of $57,980.60.
● April 2004–”THE CLIENT ALLEGED THAT HER FORMER ADVISOR MISREPRESENTED THE INSURANCE POLICY AT THE POINT OF SALE. SHE INDICATED THAT SHE WOULD HAVE TO PAY A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT TO HAVE A PAID UP INSURANCE POLICY.” Damages of $41,000 were requested, and the customer dispute was denied.
For a copy of Dennis Fearing’s FINRA BrokerCheck, click here.
Financial advisors have a legal and regulatory obligation to recommend only suitable investments that are appropriate for their clients’ needs and objectives. Their employing brokerage firm has a legal and regulatory obligation to supervise the Financial Advisors’ sales practices and dealings with clients. To the extent any of these duties are breached, the customer may be entitled to a recovery of his or her investment losses.
Reasonable basis suitability requires that a recommended investment or investment strategy be suitable or appropriate for at least some investors. Reasonable basis suitability requires an advisor to conduct adequate due diligence so that he or she can determine the risks and rewards of the investment or investment strategy.
Quantitative suitability requires a brokerage firm or financial advisor with actual or de facto control over a customer’s account to have a reasonable basis for believing that a series of recommended transactions – even if suitable when viewed in isolation – is not excessive and unsuitable for the customer when taken together in light of the customer’s investment profile. No single test defines excessive activity, but factors such as the turnover rate, the cost-equity ratio, and the use of in-and-out trading in a customer’s account may provide a basis for a finding that a member or associated person has violated the quantitative suitability obligation.
Customer-specific suitability requires that a member or associated person have a reasonable basis to believe that the recommendation is suitable for a particular customer based on that customer’s investment profile. Among the criteria that a financial advisor must evaluate to satisfy his or her customer-specific suitability obligations include the investor’s agee, tax status, time horizon, liquidity needs, and risk tolerance; a client’s other investments, financial situation and needs, investment objectives, and any other information disclosed by the customer should also be considered.
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