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Florida AG speaks out against "free lunch" seminars

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The fight against predatory sales tactics continues. Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum and E. Douglas Beach, secretary for the state’s Department of Elder Affairs, issued a consumer advisory to inform Florida seniors and their families about “free lunch” seminars that pressure seniors into buying products they don’t need or are inappropriate, according to the Tampa Tribune.

“The last thing our seniors need during this economic climate when their retirement savings may be dwindling is an investment scam that further depletes that nest egg,” McCollum told the paper. “Too many of our seniors are finding that these free meals can cost them dearly.”

The Tribune lists questions recommended by AARP and FINRA seniors should ask an advisor before they make any investments:

  • What are the risks of this investment?
  • How much does it cost initially to purchase the investment?
  • What, if any, additional or ongoing costs will I have to pay?
  • How liquid is this investment? If I need to sell or cash in the investment, how readily can I do so?
  • Will my investment be tied up? If so, for how long?
  • What happens if I decide to sell or cash in my investment? Are there surrender charges or other fees?
  • For what type of investor is this investment a good idea? For what type of investor is this investment a bad idea?
  • Is the investment registered? If so, with which regulator?
  • Are those offering the investment opportunity willing to give information to me in writing?


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