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What I've Learned from Dinner Seminar Invitations, Ep 36

Today we're going to go completely off topic from equity compensation. The bonus is it will be super short. We’ve lived in our home for four years! We still get junk mail from the retirees we bought it from. A common piece of mail is the invitation to a dinner seminar. 

Now, I’ve never attended one because I’m not the one being invited but mainly because the fine print says something along the lines of if a financial advisor, attorney, or even a CPA attends the host will charge them an educational fee that's usually in the range of a couple thousand dollars. No thank you! But let’s chat about all the things I’ve learned just from reading these fancy meal mailers!

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • What you get in retired people’s mail [0:56]
  • Did you know there are new rules to investing? [1:49]
  • “Crash proofing” your assets and retirement [2:21]
  • This is not a sales pitch! [5:27]
  • This week’s FLASHBACK [8:30] 

New investing rules and crash proofing?

Did you know, there are new rules to investing, especially when it comes to retirement? Unfortunately, I don't know what these new rules are, as I have yet to attend the dinner seminar to be educated. 

Apparently, you can also “crash proof” your assets and retirement. Again, not sure how to do this, but I feel you may need to purchase some expensive insurance-based product that provides a healthy commission to the salesperson who’s buying you dinner.

If you attend please share these new rules with me. I feel like I may be missing out on something big. Like laughs...big laughs. Don’t be greedy.

It must be in your best interest because it says fiduciary all over it!

Look, the invitation says fiduciary all over it so they must be looking out for your best interest. Right? No reason to do a broker check. They have established their trustworthiness in BOLD FONT.

Another thing I've learned is you can protect yourself from market losses while still participating in the rise of the market. Sweet. Talk about having your cake and eating it too. The first type of product I think of when I hear this term is a structured note. Short version these products limit both your downside and your upside, but amazingly with the way they're structured the advisor selling these products makes a nice commission, no downside for them.

If you do attend these dinner seminars, just remember one key thing. If a product has to be sold instead of being bought, is it really a good product? 

This week’s FLASHBACK: Never underestimate people

Today's flashback is to grad school and a quick lesson in never underestimating people. My grad school program was known as a data-driven program. We were all numbers people. I had a classmate who never said anything in class. This was in the mid-’90s and she had some big hair. If you're of my gen X generation, you'll know what I mean. 

If you looked at her, you might think she didn't participate in class because she was having a hard time keeping up. We were nearing the completion of our second year when I found out this assumption was the complete opposite. She had not missed a single question in any of our finance and finance-related classes and— as an intern and full-time student— her thesis was being used by her bosses. As she sat quietly in class with true gen X hair, she was just bored with class. Being in a top 10 program wasn't challenging enough for her. I use the story with my kids when I tell them to never underestimate anyone. It was a lesson I learned directly.

Resources & People Mentioned

  • You can do your own broker check on FINRA’s website
  • Find a real fiduciary Certified Financial Planner™ here

I’m Dan Johnson, CFP®, founder of Forward Thinking Wealth Management. I run a flat-fee financial planning and investment management firm located in beautiful Akron, OH. Although I am in Akron, OH, I work with clients regardless of location. I cater to owners of equity compensation positions who are looking to organize their financial lives, keep more of what they make, and do the things they want in retirement and even now.