Philip Smelser

Buyer Beware

Philip L. Smelser: A Horrible Broker!

Philip Smelser (CRD# 2338831) is a Financial Advisor at Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. in Woodfin, NC. Philip Smelser has been in the securities industry since 1993 and previously worked at AIG Financial Advisors, Inc., Householder Group, Estate & Retirement Specialists, Sunamerica Securities, Inc, and Suntrust Securities, Inc.

Customer Complaints Against Philip Smelser (Cambridge Investment Research)

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Philip Smelser has been the subject of two (2) recent customer complaints, alleging sales practice misconduct:

• June 2020—”SOC alleges the sale of unsuitable investments, misrepresentation and other sales practice violations.” Alleged damages are $600,000. The matter remains pending.
• January 2019— “Claimant alleges unsuitable investment recommendations and misrepresentations and/or omissions of material information.” The matter settled for $34,000

For a copy of Philip Smelser’s CRD, click here

Financial advisors have a legal and regulatory obligation to recommend only suitable investments that are appropriate for their clients’ needs and objectives. Their employing brokerage firm has a legal and regulatory obligation to supervise the Financial Advisors’ sales practices and dealings with clients. To the extent any of these duties are breached, the customer may be entitled to a recovery of his or her investment losses.

Reasonable basis suitability requires that a recommended investment or investment strategy be suitable or appropriate for at least some investors. Reasonable basis suitability requires an advisor to conduct adequate due diligence so that he or she can determine the risks and rewards of the investment or investment strategy.

Quantitative suitability requires a brokerage firm or financial advisor with actual or de facto control over a customer’s account to have a reasonable basis for believing that a series of recommended transactions – even if suitable when viewed in isolation – is not excessive and unsuitable for the customer when taken together in light of the customer’s investment profile. No single test defines excessive activity, but factors such as the turnover rate, the cost-equity ratio, and the use of in-and-out trading in a customer’s account may provide a basis for a finding that a member or associated person has violated the quantitative suitability obligation.

Customer-specific suitability requires that a member or associated person have a reasonable basis to believe that the recommendation is suitable for a particular customer based on that customer’s investment profile. Among the criteria that a financial advisor must evaluate to satisfy his or her customer-specific suitability obligations include the investor’s:
• Age
• Other investments
• Financial situation and needs
• Tax status
• Investment objectives
• Time horizon
• Liquidity needs
• Risk tolerance
• Any other information disclosed by the customer

Philip Smelser Review Conclusion

Philip Smelser lost $634,000 because of his unprofessionalism and lack of skill. This level of ignorance & laziness is not tolerated in this industry. We do not recommend hiring Philip L. Smelser (Cambridge Investment Research Inc.).

Total Score

Philip Smelser lost $634,000 because of his unprofessionalism and lack of skill. We do not recommend hiring Philip L. Smelser (Cambridge Investment Research Inc.)






  • Scams His Clients
  • Lost An Alleged $634,000 Of His Clients’ Money
  • Unreliable

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