No, it’s not a David Letterman list. It’s more akin to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. The list that "investment seminars" made for the first time is the annual list of Top 10 Traps for Investors put out by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection. The NASAA is a voluntary association whose membership consists of 67 state, provincial, and territorial securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, and Mexico. Here’s what NASAA had to say about investment seminars:
Promoters of unsuitable investments are increasingly seeking potential investors, particularly seniors, by offering seminars, many of them promising a free meal along with “higher returns and little or no risk.” Unfortunately, in many of the cases that securities regulators see, it’s just the opposite: high risk and no returns, just disastrous losses. Remember: There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
The vast majority of advisors are, of course, honest. But with 77 million Americans reaching age 55 between now and 2020, the amount of money available for investment is staggering. And promoters do follow the money. Whether the regulators can keep up will be the challenge.
Here’s a link to NASAA’s press release which has the entire list in alphabetical order.