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Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Financial Advisor Ricardo Armijo Has Three Customer Complaints for Allegedly Failing to Disclose Fees

Ricardo Armijo (CRD#: 2694904) is a dually registered Investment Advisor and Broker at Raymond James & Associates, Inc., in Birmingham, MI. He entered the securities industry in 1996 and previously worked for UBS Financial Services, Inc., and Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in November 2020, FINRA investigated a customer dispute against Ricardo Armijo and settled it for $25,000. The allegations stated, “Time Frame: January 09, 2012 to December 27, 2018 The client’s Attorney alleges irregularities in regards to not disclosing the fees on C shares.”

In addition, Ricardo Armijo has been the subject of two substantively similar customer complaints, including the following:

● December 2019—”The client alleges unauthorized trades and that the Financial Advisor never disclosed C shares fees. Allegation dates: August 5, 2019 to September 5, 2019” The customer dispute was settled for $256,000.
● September 2019—”Time Frame: January 9, 2012 to December 27, 2018 The client alleges unauthorized trades and that the Financial Advisor never disclosed C shares fees. The alleged damages are estimated to be in excess of $5,000.00.” The customer dispute was settled for $40,000.

For a copy of Ricardo Armijo’s FINRA BrokerCheck, click here.

C-Share mutual funds charge a “level-load” each year for management, marketing and servicing of the mutual fund. Unlike other share classes, investors do not pay high up-front commissions on C-Shares but do have back-end fees for selling the mutual funds prematurely. Depending on an investor’s time horizon, C-Shares may be appropriate. If an investor plans on holding C-Shares for a long-time, he or she will pay a higher expense ratio.

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.

FINRA has defined the standards in which investment recommendations made by brokerage firms and registered financial advisors are evaluated. The FINRA suitability rule focuses on three fundamental concepts: (1) reasonable basis suitability, (2) quantitative suitability, and (3) customer-specific suitability.

● 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 age, other investments, financial situation and needs, tax status, and investment objectives. Other considerations include the customer’s time horizon, liquidity needs, risk tolerance, and any other information disclosed by the customer.

Failure by a financial advisor to adhere to these requirements, including failing to disclose fees, misrepresenting the nature of securities purchases, their characteristics or potential liabilities to the investor, may be evidence of negligence or, worse, investment fraud. If you as the investor can establish, at a minimum, negligent misconduct, you may be entitled to recover your investment losses.

The Wolper Law Firm represents investors nationwide in securities litigation and arbitration on a contingency fee basis. Matt Wolper, the Managing Principal of the Wolper Law Firm, is a trial lawyer who has handled hundreds of securities cases during his career involving a wide range of products, strategies and securities. Prior to representing investors, he was a partner with a national law firm, where he represented some of the largest banks and brokerage firms in the world in securities matters. We can be reached at 800.931.8452 or by email at mwolper@wolperlawfirm.com.

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