When you accept a “free lunch” or “free dinner” invitation sponsored by an investment broker, just what are you getting yourself into? Listen to what the regulators have to say:
“We have seen during our examinations a strong correlation between using the free lunch seminars and successfully selling high-commission products. There is undeniable correlation between conducting [lunches] and higher incidents of problematic behavior.”
Kevin Goodman, National Associate Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s broker-dealer examination program, as quoted by Mark Schoeff Jr., “Regulators target free lunches for elderly clientele” Investment News, October 13, 2015
The so-called “Free Lunches” are on the regulators’ radar as they try to crack down on financial exploitation of investors, especially older investors.
That “free meal” explains why so many seniors walk in for a cheap bite and walk out with an overpriced annuity they can’t get out of for seven years or more.
Securities regulators remind investors that they can call the Securities Helpline For Seniors to get assistance from regulators or raise concerns about issues with brokerage accounts and investments.