In 2007, thousands of men and women are entering their “Golden Years” as seniors. The North American Securities Administrators Association recently reported financial information that is causing seniors to cry wolf. There are actions you can take to screen out wolves in lambs clothing. Keep your financial “Golden Egg” secure for many years.
The current scam that is targeting seniors is the name game. Financial advisors are using the term “Senior Specialist” to attract senior investors to their services. NASAA President Patricia D. Struck reports that 26 cases have been opened against bogus “Senior Specialist” on the Eastern half of the United States.
These so called “Senior Specialist” target seniors through seminars for senior investors. The financial specialist will review the seniors’ assets and securities portfolio. The specialist then tries to talk the senior into liquidating his assets and securities. The “Senior Specialist” main goal is to talk the senior into purchasing indexed or variable annuity products from them.
Not all “Senior Specialist” are wolves in sheep clothing. Some Financial advisors due hold the education and qualifications to specialist in senior planning. There are questions that can be asked about a specialist. Before liquidating your assets, these are the questions that should be asked.
Ask the “Senior Specialist” about areas of specialization. Ask the financial advisor about professional designations. The “Senior Specialist” that people want to be seeking is a SRFP. SRFP are Senior Registered Financial Planners.
Investors should be asking their financial planners about Licenses. Investors should be asking financial planners about their education. A SRFP will have an Associate degree in personal taxation. A well-educated SRFP will have an Associated degree in Estate and Retirement planning.
The law requires Senior Registered Financial Planners to have 30 hours of education in Estate planning. The law requires Senior Registered Financial Planners to have 30 hours of education in Retirement planning. The Senior Registered Financial Planner should also have 30 hours of education in Investment planning.
Investors should ask financial planners about their work history. A financial planner that specializes in senior investments should have at least 5 years of experience.
Remember to ask as many questions that possibly come to mind. If a financial planner avoids questions that are important to you, then you do not want to trust your future to this person.
The second scam that is targeting senior investors is Affinity Fraud. The way this scam works is that the scam artist preys on members of a group. They often pretend to be part of that group. The scam artist tends to involve a community member to advertise the scheme to other members. This tactic seems to go over well because the scam artist has evoked the trust of other members.
The fraudulent financial planners are striking all types of groups. Just recently the SEC found reports of this scam where the scheme solicited members of a Jehovah’s Witness congregation.
The scam artist raised over $16 million from more than 190 Jehovah Witness investors nationwide. The funds were used to pay for lavish personal expenses. The SEC complaint reported that most of the seniors stated that they were being offered a return of 75%.
There are questions you can take to protect your finances. There are actions that you can take. The old saying stays true “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Senior investors and all investors should be skeptical about investments that promise fast and high profits, with little or no risk. These promises are classic signs of fraud.
Be sure that you check everything out before you invest your money. The person selling the investment could be sweet as apple pie but if they do not have to experience and education to back it up, you need to pass this investment up.
Make sure that you read the fine print. Many people who are trying to pull the wool over your eyes when it comes to investing will try to get you to not read the print and just invest your money. If you are not allowed to read the documents to make your decision then pass the investment opportunity up.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is serious about cracking down on scams. Protect yourself as a senior investor. People who receive emails offering a skeptical looking email can forward the “opportunity” to firstname.lastname@example.org you believe that you are being scammed in person. You can file a complaint with the SEC at http://www.sec.gov/divisions/enforce/claims.htm
Remember that investing at any age can be great. Just make sure that you protect your rights and financial future by asking question, following financial news and checking information at The Securities and Exchange Commission.