A SOUTH-WEST financial adviser is being pursued in the courts by investors who lost their life savings by taking his advice.
About 20 people from Portland, Hamilton and Warrnambool are part of a group that collectively lost millions of dollars during the global financial crisis (GFC).
It is alleged the adviser in question did not fully disclose the level of risk involved in the investments. One Portland investor is understood to have lost $500,000.
Slater & Gordon commercial lawyer Jessica Latimer said those affected were “farmers, retirees, cleaners, factory workers and professionals”. “Some of them have lost their entire life savings,” Ms Latimer said.
“A common thread between them is that they all acted on the advice of the same financial adviser who recommended certain high-risk investment products, which were entirely inappropriate for investors in their circumstances.”
It is understood one man regained a portion of his six-figure loss from the adviser in a confidential settlement.
Ms Latimer said the investors had their savings tied up in the high-risk Premium Income Fund and the LM Mortgage Fund investment products, which collapsed during the GFC.
“We believe there are many more people in the same situation who are yet to come forward,” she said.
“From our experience, very few investors realise that some losses are recoverable when their investment choices are guided by inappropriate advice they have obtained from a professional.”
Due to the differing circumstances involved with each client it was not possible to pursue a class action, Ms Latimer said.
“It’s important that anyone who believes they were the victim of bad financial advice prior to the GFC seeks immediate legal advice as there are strict time limits for taking legal action to recoup any losses,” she said.