The third annual Senior Summit held in Washington, D.C. produced a helpful report for financial advisors wishing to improve how they serve older investors. The report, produced jointly by the SEC, NASAA and FINRA, dealt with many issues, including how to detect signs of diminished capacity among older investors.

Key “red flags” in this regard include any of the following behaviors or attributes:

  • Unable to process simple concepts
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty speaking or communicating
  • Unable to appreciate the consequences of decisions
  • Making decisions that are inconsistent with his or her current long-term goals or commitments
  • Erratic behavior
  • Refusing to follow appropriate investment advice
  • Appearing to be concerned or confused about missing funds when reviews suggest there have been no unauthorized money movements (or no movements at all)
  • The investor is not aware of, or does not understand recently completed financial transactions
  • Being disoriented with surroundings or social setting
  • Uncharacteristically unkempt or forgetful.