Would you complain about your broker to the Financial Investor Regulatory Authority (FINRA) if you thought your odds of success were good? They are, at least so far in 2019. In the first half of 2019, investors won 44 percent of the arbitration cases they filed against brokers and brokerage firms from January through June of this year, according to FINRA statistics. This is an improvements from the 38 percent investor win rate five years ago.
Another piece of good news for investors is mediation cases are being decided faster. Mediation is a common way to resolve investor cases filed with FINRA without having to go through an arbitration hearing. The turnaround time it takes to resolve cases through mediation has shrunk from 126 days to 93 days, a 26 percent improvement.
The number of private equity claims filed by investors cases are increasing as more of these types of investment products are appearing in the portfolios of retail investors with 63 claims filed in the first half of 2019 compared to 54 filed in all of 2018. Investors are also bringing more actions involving Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) while claims involving Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) declined by close to half from January to June 2019 (60) compared to January to June 2018 (104). Claims involving muni bonds, a mainstay of retirees aiming to safeguard their principal, have also dropped from 331 from 462.