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Want Returns of 50% or More? Don’t We All.
Posted By Carole Fleck On September 23, 2013 @ 4:33 pm In Bulletin Today,Money & Savings | Comments Disabled
Even in this rock-bottom interest-rate climate, three of four Americans over the age of 65 rely on investments to help maintain their fixed income. So the appeal by hucksters who promise higher-than-average returns (think Bernie Madoff) may even be more enticing.
Financial fraudsters know this. They also know that older adults have a lifetime of earnings to pluck from. That’s why they’re more likely to target adults 65 and older than younger people, using direct mail solicitations and the old-fashioned but reliable telephone, for their too-good-to-be-true sales pitches. That’s according to a report  by the investor foundation of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Washington-based self-funded regulator of the brokerage industry.
Hundreds of thousands of adults 65 and older have lost billions of dollars in investments that were unsuitable, misleading or because the disclosures were confusing about commissions, fees and the investments’ performance. But few people actually admit being the victim of a fraud, the report found.
Older investors aren’t the only group hit up by con artists. The report, based on a survey of nearly 2,400 adults age 40 and older, found that eight in 10 were solicited to take part in a potentially fraudulent investment offer. Most of the pitches for all age groups came by e-mail or in free-lunch seminars, which were by far the most successful in attracting people.
The report also revealed that, disturbingly, many respondents don’t understand what a reasonable return on an investment might be. Consequently, they were unable to spot the red flags  that often accompany these offers.
Among the potentially scandalous pitches  that many found appealing and perhaps worthy of investing in:
Let’s hope you bristled when you read those pitches because promises of investment returns of 50 percent to 110 percent are about as likely as winning the Powerball lotto. Ditto for any mention of guaranteed returns.
“”The best way older Americans — and all investors- — can protect themselves from fraud is to make sure they are working with a licensed investment professional and their investment is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission,” FINRA Foundation President Gerri Walsh tells AARP.
Photo: Aresauburn/Flickr 
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URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/09/23/want-returns-of-50-or-more-dont-we-all/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/2678453389_b997dd3496.jpg
 report: http://www.finra.org/Newsroom/NewsReleases/2013/P340608
 Related: Can You Spot Investment Fraud?: http://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-10-2011/investment-fraud-and-scams-trivia-quiz.html
 red flags: http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud
 potentially scandalous pitches: http://www.finra.org/Investors/ProtectYourself/AvoidInvestmentFraud/
 here: http://topics.investmentnews.com/companies-and-associations/financial-industry-regulatory-authority-finra.htm
 here: http://www.usa.gov/topics/consumer/scams-fraud/investment.shtml
 here: http://www.investor.gov/investing-basics/avoiding-fraud
 handling money: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/08/16/three-tips-for-being-smarter-about-money-after-50/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL
 finances: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/09/18/americans-financial-plan-is-not-to-plan/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL
 click here: http://www.sec.gov/complaint/info_tipscomplaint.shtml
 Aresauburn/Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aresauburnphotos/2678453389/sizes/l/in/photolist-55FLSR-5o2WfU-5p8w8o-5MRSty-5WsjQv-5XW3k4-657VsP-66VG3J-68zxeQ-68zxij-6hSkjK-6jZGMH-6k4Tqd-6XUQWB-6XYRvb-6YSkyf-713m5r-7iWW5W-dSXXyh-dTUAhR-dUSc9a-dmyfCP-aYWk56-aFAaK6-aFATbM-9Z
 Does My Financial Adviser Have My Best Interest at Heart?: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/09/12/does-my-financial-adviser-have-my-best-interest-at-heart/?intcmp=AE-ENDART1-BL-REL
 Stay Safe in the Health Insurance Marketplaces: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/09/20/stay-safe-in-the-health-insurance-marketplaces/?intcmp=AE-ENDART2-BL-BOS
 Questions about the Affordable Care Act? Get your answers here.: http://healthlawanswers.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-ADV
 Join AARP: https://appsec.aarp.org/MSS/join/application?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-MEM
 AARP home page: http://www.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-HP
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