Cary L. Olson (FINRA CRD No. 2435229) entered the financial industry in 1993 as an investment company and variable contracts products representative. In 1997, Olson became registered as a general securities representative, and then in 2005, became registered as a general securities principal. Through the course of a 20+-year career, Olson worked for several firms, including but not limited to: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., and Summit Brokerage Services, Inc. From June 2006 to July 2013, and covering the relevant time period, Olson worked for Great Circle Financial (“Great Circle”) as a general securities representative and principal. Olson currently works for Calton & Associates, Inc.
Olson is no stranger to regulatory infractions and customer disputes. Indeed, a cursory review of Olson’s FINRA BrokerCheck report reveals at least four customer disputes (2 were closed with no action) and one regulatory investigation in 2006. The 2006 FINRA investigation involved allegations Olson exercised discretion in customer accounts without obtaining written authorization from the customers and written acceptance from his member firm.
With respect to these latest infractions, FINRA’s Department of Enforcement investigated Olson and discovered several instances where he recommended unsuitable non-traditional ETFs. FINRA alleges Olsen recommended at least five Great Circle customers invest in various leveraged and inverse-leveraged ETFs between October 2010 and October 2012. According to FINRA, non-traditional ETFs, such as leveraged and inverse-leveraged ETFs, are designed to be held by customers for a short period of time – usually a single trading day. Moreover, FINRA alleges Olson permitted the execution of options transactions in the account of a customer who was not approved for options activity, which can also be considered an unsuitable investment recommendation.
Based upon the foregoing misconduct, FINRA alleges Olson violated several financial industry rules and regulations, including FINRA Rule 2111 (formerly NASD Rule 2310), as well as FINRA Rules 2010 and 2360. Specifically with respect to FINRA Rule 2111, financial advisors are required to recommend suitable investments and investment strategies to their clients (known as the suitability rule). Typically, a claim for unsuitable investments is brought as a form of a negligence claim with the theory: the financial advisor had a duty to recommend suitable investments; the financial advisor breached the duty with unsuitable investments; and the financial advisors unsuitable investments caused the investor damages.
Here, FINRA found Olson recommended his customers maintain positions in the leveraged and inverse-leveraged ETFs for longer than a single day, including periods of as long as 668 days, with an average holding period of 290 days. As a result, FINRA alleges Olson recommended unsuitable investment recommendations in non-traditional ETFs without having reasonable grounds to believe his recommendations were suitable in relation to the holding periods for the ETFs.
Lufrano Law, LLC is a national securities litigation firm and has experience representing investors who have investment disputes with brokers and broker-dealers. If you lost money investing in non-traditional ETFs, including leveraged and inverse-leveraged ETFs, with Olson through Great Circle Financial, you may be able to recover your losses through FINRA arbitration. Our firm only receives a fee if you recover money. Please contact one of our attorneys at (800) 627-2179 to schedule a free consultation.
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