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Get-Rich-Quick Schemes

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Jan 11, 2008 5:26 pm

Hi everyone! I’m the assistant managing editor at Rep., and I am working on a story regarding the impact of

financial self-help programs on current or prospective clients for financial advisors. Would anyone be willing to talk to me regarding his/her experience with this? Have you lost any clients because they believe they can do it better themselves? I’d appreciate any insight. Thanks!

Jan 11, 2008 5:52 pm

I didn’t lose the client, but I had a strange incident recenlty. 

  Client purchased an annuity middle of last year with some money he inherited.  I'm at Jones, so there was an upfront sales charge because I purchased and A share annuity.  I included an income rider so they would feel some safety when they got to retirement in a couple of years.  When I got the phone call they were still down about $4000 from the initial purchase.  They said they had a friend who has been investing for a long time that told them annuities were useless and that they should let her invest the money.  After she was done with it, she would give it back with the profits which promised to be substantial.  They didn't know what they were investing in, didn't know how long the friend was going to invest the money, and aren't savvy enough to ask the right questions.  They got really angry with me when they found out I couldn't cut a check for them at my office that day that they could pick up.  Evidently this investment they don't know anything about had a deadline.  He said he was losing money everyday that their friend didn't have the money.  Well, we got them their check as quickly as we could and they sent it to their friend.    After the dust settled I asked the guy if he had learned what he was investing in.  He said yes, but he wasn't going to tell me what it was until after it was done.  He said he figured he would take his $90K and bring me back about $150K in a couple of weeks.  I told with those kind of returns that quick I'd like to invest some money too.  I'd borrow it if I had to.  He said I couldn't.  He didn't want to share.  Evidently it's OK for me to make him money, but not OK for him to make me money.  Go figure.       
Jan 11, 2008 5:59 pm

Spiff, they brought the money to me…

Jan 11, 2008 6:22 pm

I attended the Wealth Expo at the Javitz Center and it was so packed! It seems like a lot of potential clients are being sent the message that they can handle their finances without any professional expertise.

Jan 11, 2008 6:59 pm

I had a lot of people transfer their money to online brokers in 1999, 2000 & 2001–some of them returned to me in 2003 & 2004 with 1/3 of their assets they left with–most were hog-tied by their spouses.

Jan 11, 2008 9:29 pm

For most people, the best way to make a small fortune in an online account is the same way to make a small fortune in the restaurant business:

  Start out with a large fortune.