FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Contact: Kevin Flannery, (573) 526-0949
Kander Cautions Missouri Investors About Senior "Specialist" Designations
Jefferson City, Mo. — Secretary of State Jason Kander today issued an Investor Alert cautioning Missourians about individuals using deceptive senior-specific designations to bolster their credentials when selling investments.
In Missouri, investment adviser representatives and broker-dealer agents are prohibited from using senior-specific designations or certifications in connection with the offer, sale or purchase of securities unless that designation was received from an accredited agency.
While many representatives and agents in the securities industry obtain meaningful credentials, some designations are obtained with limited or no training, which often reflect little more than sales and marketing techniques.
"Some individuals using senior-specific designations mislead Missouri seniors by using terms that imply more extensive training or education than they have," Kander said. "Before investing with anyone, Missourians should call my toll-free Investor Protection Hotline to determine whether the seller meets Missouri qualifications for specialist designations."
A recent report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found at least 50 such designations being used in the financial industry. Missourians should give their agent’s background a closer look if the agent uses a designation like: Senior Specialist, Elder Investment Planner, Accredited Retirement Advisor, Accredited Retirement Plan Consultant, Certified Specialist in Retirement Planning, Personal Retirement Planning Specialist, Retired Income Specialist and Senior Retirement Advisor.
Secretary Kander’s Securities Division has previously taken action against Financial Stability Group and its proprietor William Kelly, a St. Louis insurance agent. Claiming to hold a designation as an "IRA Specialist," Kelly advised clients to liquidate holdings in mutual funds and other products in favor of equity indexed annuities (EIAs), losing clients several thousand dollars each.
Before investing, Missourians should call the toll-free Investor Protection Hotline at 1-800-721-7996 or visit www.MissouriSafeSavings.com to review the registration of their investment advisor.
Visit www.sos.mo.gov to learn more about the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State.
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