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Beware the Huckster in Adviser’s Clothing

By JLP | September 28, 2006

Here’s a warning from Tom Lauricella of the Wall Street Journal to Beware the Huckster in Adviser’s Clothing. Some advisors have figured out that professional designations give them instant creditability. In their opinion the actual designation doesn’t really matter as long as they have something behind their name. For many advisors, this is just another way to sell more products. Designations are important, but just as important is how the advisor gets paid.

The last part of the article got my attention:

In one of his books, Mr. [Larry] Klein notes that seniors “believe and trust what they read.” So, “If you want to position yourself as an expert in the senior market, become the author of books, newsletters, booklets, pamphlets — anything that appears to be professionally published.”

But don’t worry about actually writing any of this, he says; Mr. Klein’s company can provides all those services. His Web site sports testimonials from brokers about the sales boost and “instant credibility” they got by handing out copies of “Mistakes Retirees Make” and “Retirement Investing.”

The books will say on the cover that they are “Presented by” the individual broker; inside, there’s language indicating the book was written by someone else.

I wonder how many people actually think the advisor wrote the book?

Topics: Basics, Financial Planning | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Beware the Huckster in Adviser’s Clothing”

  1. James Says:
    September 28th, 2006 at 11:02 am

    Wow, is that like, fraud and plagerism?

  2. JLP Says:
    September 28th, 2006 at 11:12 am

    It’s not illegal because it says “Presented by.” But, most people aren’t going to think about that and therefore it is in VERY poor taste and is VERY misleading.

    I guess doing the right thing is too difficult for some people.