Tuesday, April 14, 2009

There's no free lunch ... or dinner; never do business with financial planners offering free dinner to sell you their spin; they'll cost you

A financial planning firm in Williamson County likes to send out invitations to dinner at places such as Mere Bulls and Stony River.

The dinner is free, but first you have to listen to its representatives claim how much they know about the financial markets and how they are going to be there to first serve you.

Don't believe them.

These planners make their money off volume of customers, which means they hold a lot of free dinners around the county and area to get new clients.

But because of the volume of clients, these planners don't have the time and staff to really serve your needs, particuarly if you are wanting to get out of a particular stock at a certain time or even day.

I know all this from experience of signing up with one of these free dinner planners, then firing them after two months.

You'll discover that the guy making the dinner pitch and running the place is never there in the office. He is either out pitching for new clients on the road or at a seminar in Los Angeles.

The only other person who can even look at your account to answer your questions is tied up on the phone doing his and her job all day. And she can't act on your account.

These planners are in so much of a hurry all the time that they forget to tell you the right facts about the investments they are getting you into. There's more.

Ultimately, your investments are held hostage until they find time for you, which can be several days later.

High-volume planners that send out free dinner invitations should be avoided at costs -- before it costs you.

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