Thursday, September 06, 2007

Columnist Confronts "Free Lunch"

From Michelle Singletary's Washington Post column, You Know What They Say About a Free Lunch:

I'm not quite ready for membership in AARP, but increasingly I've been getting invitations in the mail for me and my husband to attend investment seminars that promise to help us ensure we have enough money to retire.

The notices use all the right buzzwords. But I have a special place for those invitations -- the trash.

* * *

You make yourself more vulnerable by your willingness to attend a "free" seminar on investing.

The fact is it's not enough to trust that you will spot a fraud just because you know the old adage: "If it's too good to be true, it probably is." That warning is useless because the con men and women are so good at making something that sounds too good seem so true.


Anonymous said...

I am 70 and have attended many of these seminars.One area not mentioned is trusts and wills/power of attorney type seminars/lunches.The problem is most of these pitches tell the audience that wills and not good enough-you need a trust to adequately protect and pass your assets.Of course,a trust cost at least $2000.
Most people dont need a trust-for a typical couple,holding all assets joint tenancy with right of surviorship,along with various powers of attorney,living wills,will provide the same protection at a fraction of the cost of a trust.
but then I like the free meal...
Jim Lincoln

JLM said...

Glad you're able to eat and run. Attendees at living trust seminars often become targets for additional sales pitches, either for annuities or long-term-care insurance.