Investment fraud lawyers are currently investigating claims on behalf of investors who suffered losses as a result of their investment in Whitestone REIT. Whitestone REIT was previously known as Hartman Commercial Properties REIT, and was a non-traded, publicly offered REIT. Shares of Hartman REIT were first offered to investors in 2004 through stock brokerage firms. A 2009 statement informed investors that Whitestone REIT’s value had declined by around 50 percent. Many investors were unaware of any problems with their investment until this 2009 announcement.
Whitestone REIT started trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 2010, but securities arbitration lawyers say the shares are still trading at significantly lower prices than what most investors paid. Non-traded REIT investments like the Whitestone REIT typically offer commissions between 7-10 percent, which is significantly higher than traditional investments like mutual funds and stocks. In some cases, the commission generated by these investments can be as high as 15 percent. This higher commission can explain why brokerage firms are motivated to recommend these investments despite their possible unsuitability.
Investment fraud lawyers are investigating the possibility that brokerage firms may be held liable for the recommendation of Whitestone REIT. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority rules have established that brokers and firms have an obligation to fully disclose all the risks of a given investment when making recommendations, and those recommendations must be suitable for the individual investor receiving the recommendation given their age, investment objectives and risk tolerance. Non-traded REITs like this one are illiquid and inherently risky and, therefore, not suitable for many investors.
If you purchased the Whitestone REIT, or another risky, non-traded REIT, you may be able to recover your losses through securities arbitration. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact a securities arbitration lawyer at The Law Office of Christopher J. Gray at (866) 966-9598 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.