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Phil Donahue: Panama City Beach Advisor Suspended by FINRA

PFS Investments financial advisor Phil Donahue (CRD# 1206346) allegedly made unsuitable mutual fund recommendations to his customers, according to a recent regulatory sanction against him. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority records show that the Panama City Beach, Florida broker and investment advisor was issued a suspension from associating with any FINRA member firm.

In August 2022 FINRA issued an enforcement action finding that Mr. Donahue “recommended that two customers invest an unsuitably high percentage of their account into a single energy-sector security.” According to FINRA’s findings, he specifically recommended that the customers place 90% of their investments “into a single, non-diversified mutual fund.” The mutual fund in question allegedly “invested substantially all of its assets in companies in the energy sector,” exposing the customers “to a substantial risk of loss,” making the investment unsuitable for their particular investment profiles. FINRA states further that within four years after he recommended the customers invest in the fund, “the mutual fund’s value decreased by more than 50 percent.” When the customers brought their accounts to another firm, FINRA states, they sold the mutual fund investments “and realized a substantial loss.” FINRA issued him a fine of $2,500 and suspended him from associating with any FINRA member firm in any capacity for 30 days. He was also ordered to “attend and satisfactorily complete 10 hours of continuing education concerning FINRA’s suitability rule.”

Mr. Donahue’s BrokerCheck report discloses one investor complaint against him. Filed in 2020, it alleged that as a representative of PFS Investments, he breached his fiduciary duty and engaged in “gross negligence” in connection with a mutual fund investment recommendation. In 2021 the complaint reached a settlement of $25,000.

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Phil Donahue holds 38 years of securities industry experience. Based in Panama City Beach, Florida, he has been a broker and an investment advisor with PFS Investments since 1983 and 2006, respectively. His credentials include the passage of five securities industry qualifying exams: the Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Principal Examination, or Series 26; the Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative Examination, or Series 6; the Securities Industry Essentials Examination, or SIE; the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, or Series 63; and the Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, or Series 65. He is licensed in Florida and Kentucky. (Information current as of August 27, 2022.)

Carlson Law represents investors throughout the United States in claims against financial advisors and investment firms. If you or a loved one have suffered investment losses, please call us at 888-976-6111 or complete our contact form for a free and confidential consultation.

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