80% of Seniors Receive Free Lunch Investment Seminars Invitations Annually
According to the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, 8 out of 10 seniors
receive at least one
"free lunch investment seminar" invitation each year. The invitations typically advertise an "educational
workshop" where "nothing will be sold," during which attendees
will be treated to an upscale lunch at a hotel, restaurant, retirement
community or golf course while learning about investment "strategies"
In a 2007 joint report by the SEC, FINRA and members of the North American
Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), regulators found that contrary
to the invitations' claims 100% of the "free lunch seminars"
were actually sales pitches. On top of that, 59% of firms involved in
the presentations neglected their supervisory duties, 50% of presentations
featured exaggerated or misleading claims, almost a quarter involved unsuitable
recommendations, and 13% of the
"free lunch" seminars were downright fraudulent.
"I applaud the securities examiners whose collective work has clearly
shown that there's no such thing as a free lunch," said then
SEC Chairmen Christopher Cox in a September 10, 2007 NASAA press release.
For those investors who have already been a victim of fraudulent sales
claims, an experienced securities/investment fraud attorney may be able
to help you recover investment losses. For investors considering attending
a seminar, a how-to video on createthegood.org (sponsored by AARP) recommends
protecting yourself by asking several key questions before purchasing
any investment product, including: Are you licensed to sell this product?
Who are you registered with? and Is this investment registered with the
S.E.C.? If the presenter can't answer the questions or the answers
don't check out, it's okay to walk away.
Get more information about free lunch seminars from former stockbroker
and attorney at Meyer Wilson, Chad Kohler: