19th Nov 2014
The November 2014 issue of Money Magazine contains an informative “senior alert” article entitled “False Promises, Dashed Dreams.” In many respects the warning is the same one delivered by bloggers like me cautioning of bad advice and, of great concern, how bad advice finds seniors. Free lunches are really not free, too good to be true investment schemes are just that — not true. And worse, life savings disappear through exploitive tactics which so-called financial advisors can elevate to an art form. While so many articles appear on this same topic, what intrigued me about the Money article is that along with the scare it offers a “how to protect yourself” check list: question rosey assumptions, leave tax planning to a CPA, drill down on commissions, check for complaints and discipliary actions through brokercheck.finra.org, and so forth.
We often receive calls after the overreaching has taken place and the stories are well stocked with the very matters we warn against. In most instances all is not lost as senior exploitation laws and other statutory provisions normally enable us to hold both the selling agent and the represented company responsible. One case in point appeared in the Wall Street Journal on November 12, 2014. The article entitled “How Troubled Brokers Cluster, Often Among Elderly Investors” (http://on.wsj.com/1tFeOz1), showcases the troubling case of Rafael Golan and our client, Joyce Pogoda. We prevailed against Mr. Golan and received both compensatory and punitive damageawards on behalf of our client. Sadly, Joyce Pogoda passed away recently but Mr. Golan lives and in some respects still rules along with so many other brokers looking for the easy buck. Golan calls the search for new victims “prospecting.” What a sad state of affairs. But naturally we keep fighting the fight on behalf of exploited seniors and I believe that we are winning.