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Should You Attend that Seminar?

Seniors often receive seminar invites to learn about new products and investments that can help save or

enhance their retirement. While many of these seminars truly offer important, valuable

information—some are just scams hoping to find gullible seniors to swindle. It’s important that you

learn to tell the difference before you become a victim.

The Good Seminars

All seminars offer an opportunity for the presenter to sell, but good seminars have a heavy focus on

actually educating the attendees during the event—not just dangling an offer in front of them to get

them to buy. A good seminar will be hosted by an up-and-coming professional or leader in the field and

will feature representatives of companies with good, solid reputations.

The Bad Seminars

Questionable seminars often lead with claims that sound too good to be true and have no discussion of

possible downsides or risks. They may feature advisors or companies with complaints against them and

will focus mainly on getting the attendees to buy whatever product they’re pitching. During these

seminars, you’ll gain little actionable advice or usable knowledge, as the host will instead focus on

getting you interested in what they’re selling. Sometimes, they do this by telling you that supplies are

limited or that you can get a discount by acting now, essentially pressuring you to buy before you’ve had

a chance to think, evaluate and do some research.

Telling the Difference

The next time you get an invitation to a seminar, check out the company and host on the Better

Business Bureau website to see if there are any complaints that lead you to believe the seminar is more

scam than educational event. If the host is an insurance agent or financial advisor, you can check their

reputation on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website or the FINRA BrokerCheck

site.

Finally, you can do an online search for the title of the seminar and the host in order to find reviews

from past attendees. Make sure you look for both positive and negative experiences so you can make an

informed decision, because not every bad review indicates something is a scam.

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