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Hall Of Shame: Are Credit Repair Services A Hoax?

We get asked all the time whether credit repair services are the real deal. Can they truly fix your credit rating and lower your payments, or are they just one more ripoff scheme? Consumer advocate and author Sid Kirchheimer says in his opinion these services deserve a big thumbs down. “They may charge $5,000 or monthly fees […]

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Financial Hall Of Shame: Free Lunches Can Cost You A Bundle

You’ve heard the saying that there’s “no such thing as a free lunch”? That’s especially true when it concerns your hard-earned money. Financial regulators say free lunches can pressure seniors into making “unsuitable, even fraudulent investments.” Financial and insurance companies, brokers, and other salespeople use free lunches to lure older Americans into high-pressure investment pitches. Afterward, older investors may feel […]

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Quote Of The Week: No Such Thing As A Free Lunch (Or Dinner)

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 […]

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Financial Hall Of Shame: The Infamous “Biweekly Mortgage Accelerator”

Want to pay off your mortgage faster? Who wouldn’t? That’s the appeal of the “term reducer” pitch that arrives in your mailbox. Mine – signed in cursive by a nice girl named Kate from Ohio – said I could cut over 12 years and $230,000 off of my mortgage (which seemed pretty amazing since I just refinanced my mortgage to a […]

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Financial Hall of Shame: The $100,000 Email Scam

It was Ben Franklin who told people to believe only half of what they see.  But perhaps he should have added a warning to believe even less of what they read … if it arrives  via email. Last week, a South Florida woman ignored that advice and almost lost $100,000. Here’s what happened, and how you can protect yourself from […]

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Financial Hall of Shame: The Secret “770 Account”

We’ve been asked by more than a few clients about “770 accounts.”  These accounts are being pitched by a newsletter writer based in Florida as “Secret 770 Accounts,” favored by Presidents and other VIPs, that magically accumulate tax-free interest and dividends with no tax consequences, letting the owner retire 100% tax-free. Sounds good? The Pitch Here’s how […]

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Welcome To The Financial Hall of Shame

If you pay any attention to the financial news, you’ll probably agree that there’s no shortage of dubious investment products and practitioners out there. Every day, clients call to ask us about some new financial product they were pitched in an email newsletter, or we open our own mail at home to read about some […]

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