Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

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Mr.BB
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Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by Mr.BB » Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:14 am

There is an excellent article from Morningstar Christine Benz about her experience with a door to door financial salesperson in today's Morningstar.
She doesn't say which firm but you just know which company it is.
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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by WoodSpinner » Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:31 am

OP,

Good article thanks for posting. I thought Christine handled it very well.

It’s a real danger — there are sharks in the water.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by Mr.BB » Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:46 am

oops! forgot the link..thank you LongRoad.
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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by lostdog » Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:30 am

Good article, thank you.
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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by CyclingDuo » Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:57 pm

Mr.BB wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:14 am
There is an excellent article from Morningstar Christine Benz about her experience with a door to door financial salesperson in today's Morningstar.
She doesn't say which firm but you just know which company it is.
Edward Jones?
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." ~ Steven Wright

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by livesoft » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:01 pm

I have invited such new employees of EJ into my house and discussed their futures with the company. I told them that EJ was stealing the retirements from their clients. One had his wife invest her retirement money in EJ. I told both that I felt it was my job to try to put EJ out of business and that they should stop working for EJ themselves.
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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by clip651 » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:03 pm

On the actionable side of this, one small thing that can be done is add a prominent NO SOLICITORS sign by your door, or by the door of vulnerable relatives. I find it doesn't stop all solicitors from ringing the bell. But when they do, I just shake my head (no), point at the sign, and close the door. Definitely not foolproof. But it helps a bit.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:04 pm

I use the same 6 words for anyone coming on my property:

Not interested. Get off my property.
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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by Mr.BB » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:17 pm

CyclingDuo wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:57 pm
Mr.BB wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:14 am
There is an excellent article from Morningstar Christine Benz about her experience with a door to door financial salesperson in today's Morningstar.
She doesn't say which firm but you just know which company it is.
Edward Jones?
If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, walks like a duck.....
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by lukestuckenhymer » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:23 pm

A great article. It really is time for financial salespeople to stop going Door-to-Door. I appreciate the awareness she is bringing to those with cognitive disabilities.

A "No Soliciting" sign should be loud and clear. Yet people keep ringing the doorbell.
Last edited by lukestuckenhymer on Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by Elric » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:23 pm

clip651 wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:03 pm
On the actionable side of this, one small thing that can be done is add a prominent NO SOLICITORS sign by your door, or by the door of vulnerable relatives. I find it doesn't stop all solicitors from ringing the bell. But when they do, I just shake my head (no), point at the sign, and close the door. Definitely not foolproof. But it helps a bit.
:thumbsup
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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:33 pm

Nice article, thanks for posting, Mr.BB!

I have to say, I have never heard of a financial institution going door to door. Never heard of it happening around my area. Perhaps DW and I lead a sheltered life, if so I hope it continues.

It would be more likely that I buy sushi at a gas station before I would let a random financial person into my home! :x

Now, I have bought deli sandwiches at a gas station, or a deli that sells gas; that combo would be WaWa. My northern friends were ecstatic when WaWa started building in our area. Their sandwiches are pretty tasty, and the stores around here are shiny and clean. Maybe if WaWa went door to door.....

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by shess » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:42 pm

lukestuckenhymer wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:23 pm
A "No Soliciting" sign should be loud and clear. Yet people keep ringing the doorbell.
Engage them, ask a few questions to draw them out. Then ask if they saw the "No Soliciting" sign. Their answer determines whether your next question is "Explain to me why I should invest with someone who cannot read?" vs "Explain to me why I should invest with someone who disregards my stated wishes?" Your call if you want to go with "You claim that you guys see all sorts of hidden tricks - yet you couldn't even see the clear sign under my doorbell. Doesn't seem too insightful to me."

If they're a good rep, they won't even get embarrassed, in which case you should _definitely_ kick them off your property while holding your wallet. But I've known a number of people who decided to quit selling insurance or load funds because they decided they weren't willing to deal with people threatening them. I figure low-key snark is probably better than threats as a nudge.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by HomeStretch » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:52 pm

Kudos to Ms. Benz for writing about this topic and sharing her first-hand experience. It’s appalling and infuriating to witness this. It’s important to share so others can be on guard in financial matters about this.

Some (like me) who assist elderly parents with their finances have posted in the forum about financial predation that can occur while going about daily activities. One that has happened to both my parents and spouse’s parents involves the friendly local bank teller who notes their account balance while assisting with a deposit/withdrawal and (I believe) receives a bonus when the teller steers the unsuspecting customer over to the in-house salesperson. Who then proceeds to sell them unneeded and inappropriate whole-life insurance, long-term low-rate CDs with steep early withdrawal penalties, bad annuities or high-fee AUM brokerage services. Peddled over coffee, cookies and feigned attentive interest to the customer’s best interest.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by Mr.BB » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:55 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:33 pm
Nice article, thanks for posting, Mr.BB!

I have to say, I have never heard of a financial institution going door to door. Never heard of it happening around my area. Perhaps DW and I lead a sheltered life, if so I hope it continues.

It would be more likely that I buy sushi at a gas station before I would let a random financial person into my home! :x

Now, I have bought deli sandwiches at a gas station, or a deli that sells gas; that combo would be WaWa. My northern friends were ecstatic when WaWa started building in our area. Their sandwiches are pretty tasty, and the stores around here are shiny and clean. Maybe if WaWa went door to door.....

Broken Man 1999
I've had them come to my house a couple times. One guy asked me if I invest?" I said "I'm primarily an indexer", he said why? I said the real question is "why aren't you?".... He smiled and just left.
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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by Mr.BB » Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:01 pm

Christine Benz was being very professional and kind with this person and company. Even though she didn't have the business card she easily could of looked at the nearby financial brokerage offices and find the picture of the woman who came by and find her. Especially with her forum, she could of just hammered her and the company and the fact that her sister is visibly and verbally handicapped she could have justifiably filed the lawsuit at the very least file a complaint with FINRA,
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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:04 pm

IF I thought that someone was even possibly trying to take advantage of someone not capable (and obviously so), I absolutely would do "all of the above" that Benz mentioned.

And to find out that she had already been in contact!??

WOW.

Who knows how many others she'd done this to?
I'm not sure how the sister's "retirement" was phrased somewhere, but it seems obvious that it wasn't likely to be with a gold watch after 40 years with the company (putting it mildly!).

Bad enough if someone bothers *us*. At least we can defend ourselves. And others may make poor choices (by our standards), but they are at least able to make their own decisions appropriately.

This makes my blood boil.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by alex_686 » Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:06 pm

Mr.BB wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:01 pm
Especially with her forum, she could of just hammered her and the company and the fact that her sister is visibly and verbally handicapped she could have justifiably filed the lawsuit at the very least file a complaint with FINRA,
On what? No products were sold.

Besides, most people are not as talented as you are. After years working with people who have issues with mental health, behavioral, speech, vision, developmental, etc. I still have a hard time nailing down the mental acuity of people of people in 2 minutes of light conversation.

EDIT: Trying to turn it down, but this stuff drives me insane. I know lots of intelligent people and people who are intelligent enough facing discrimination and condescending behavior because they don't present well. I touch of autism, a bit of a speech defect because of a partial loss of hearing, and people treat them as if they had 20 points less of IQ than what they really have.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by RetiredAL » Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:31 pm

The mail delivered to my elderly Dad's house often includes alarmist type newsletters on how to protect yourself for the next financial whatever. I agree that focusing on elders is a form of predation I'll call despicable.

However, this predation extends beyond financial with mail for this health item, that cure, ect. Although not as devastating as a major financial blunder/loss, these can be a strain on the finances of that elder person.

It's up to the supporters of our elders to make sure they don't get burned too bad by these schemes. The problem is that the support people might not be aware of what's happening in a timely fashion.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by Mr.BB » Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:05 pm

alex_686 wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:06 pm
Mr.BB wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:01 pm
Especially with her forum, she could of just hammered her and the company and the fact that her sister is visibly and verbally handicapped she could have justifiably filed the lawsuit at the very least file a complaint with FINRA,
On what? No products were sold.

Besides, most people are not as talented as you are. After years working with people who have issues with mental health, behavioral, speech, vision, developmental, etc. I still have a hard time nailing down the mental acuity of people of people in 2 minutes of light conversation.

EDIT: Trying to turn it down, but this stuff drives me insane. I know lots of intelligent people and people who are intelligent enough facing discrimination and condescending behavior because they don't present well. I touch of autism, a bit of a speech defect because of a partial loss of hearing, and people treat them as if they had 20 points less of IQ than what they really have.
That fact that she had spent time with this woman, enough time to talk with her about investment, her retirement, etc tells me she originally spent a lot more then just a couple of minutes to start with. The only reason no products were sold was because she was stopped. She didn't come to the house just to say hello.
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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by alex_686 » Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:29 pm

Mr.BB wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:05 pm
That fact that she had spent time with this woman, enough time to talk with her about investment, her retirement, etc tells me she originally spent a lot more then just a couple of minutes to start with. The only reason no products were sold was because she was stopped. She didn't come to the house just to say hello.
According to the article, the rep meet once with the sister and the front door to gauge her interest. Did not come in the house nor pitch products. How long does this take? 2 minutes? 5? Christine Benz was only there for the second visit, which in the normal order of things would be the longer introductory meeting.

Back to my point. How long would it take you to figure out that something was off about a person, what that issue is, and what the impact will be. Without being condescending. I have worked with a fair number of educated people who can't figure out the difference between mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and autism. Much less gauge the intellectual level these people work at.

The ethical course of action is to sit down and work with these people as you would with any other person. To repeat, many people present badly. Take your time. Do not prejudge people. It is obviously unethical to have somebody sign something that they are incapable of understanding. Less obvious but equally unethical is to assume that somebody with spina bifida are incapable of understanding what they are doing.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by Mr.BB » Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:31 pm

alex_686 wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:29 pm
Mr.BB wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:05 pm
That fact that she had spent time with this woman, enough time to talk with her about investment, her retirement, etc tells me she originally spent a lot more then just a couple of minutes to start with. The only reason no products were sold was because she was stopped. She didn't come to the house just to say hello.
According to the article, the rep meet once with the sister and the front door to gauge her interest. Did not come in the house nor pitch products. How long does this take? 2 minutes? 5? Christine Benz was only there for the second visit, which in the normal order of things would be the longer introductory meeting.

Back to my point. How long would it take you to figure out that something was off about a person, what that issue is, and what the impact will be. Without being condescending. I have worked with a fair number of educated people who can't figure out the difference between mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and autism. Much less gauge the intellectual level these people work at.

The ethical course of action is to sit down and work with these people as you would with any other person. To repeat, many people present badly. Take your time. Do not prejudge people. It is obviously unethical to have somebody sign something that they are incapable of understanding. Less obvious but equally unethical is to assume that somebody with spina bifida are incapable of understanding what they are doing.
Since the only information is that from the article we will have to take Christine Benz point of view of the severity of her sister's condition and the apparent obvious nature of her disability.
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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by Stinky » Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:32 pm

livesoft wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:01 pm
I have invited such new employees of EJ into my house and discussed their futures with the company. I told them that EJ was stealing the retirements from their clients. One had his wife invest her retirement money in EJ. I told both that I felt it was my job to try to put EJ out of business and that they should stop working for EJ themselves.
If there's such a thing as an internal "do not call" list at Edward Jones, I'm sure that livesoft is on it. :D
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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:41 pm

livesoft wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:01 pm
I have invited such new employees of EJ into my house and discussed their futures with the company. I told them that EJ was stealing the retirements from their clients. One had his wife invest her retirement money in EJ. I told both that I felt it was my job to try to put EJ out of business and that they should stop working for EJ themselves.
I assume that you tried to explain the "fees" to them?
Did *anyone* seem at least slightly rattled, at least temporarily?
Or did all of they seem to know that already, and just sort of shrug it off, or try to explain it away?

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by Shallowpockets » Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:42 pm

I think the author of the article was over appalled. She took a simple visit to an extreme using her sister’s disability, unstated, as the main point of reference. How exactly was the finance person to know how much of a disability was present that it would be unseemly to pursue the subject? Isn’t the new paradigm to not judge people with disabilities? To treat them the same as others, still respectfully.
After all someone with no disability could be simply very bad at math and be sucked into a finance arrangement. Or they could have poor decision skills.
Indeed, many do as evidenced here on this forum.
So while it is not my cup of tea to have anyone soliciting at my door, this article was about misplaced outrage due to the authors sisters condition.
I think most BHs are rightly suspicious of finance salesman and gurus, and thus see this article as more grist for the mill.
I would have just said no thanks, closed the door and let it be.Then I would be cautioning my sister on opening the door to strangers.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by livesoft » Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:22 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:41 pm
Did *anyone* seem at least slightly rattled, at least temporarily?
Or did all of they seem to know that already, and just sort of shrug it off, or try to explain it away?

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"Not OK"

Post by Taylor Larimore » Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:09 pm

Bogleheads:

One of our new directors at The Bogleheads' Center for Financial Literacy is Christine Benz. Christine is also an author and Director of Personal Finance for Morningstar.

Christine has an intellectually disabled sister who lives part-time in Christine's home. A few weeks ago a financial "advisor" knocked on their door to talk with the sister. Christine was outraged and wrote an article about it.

These are excerpts:
"I stood alongside my sister and asked the stranger why she was here. She replied that she was here to see my sister about her retirement, as they had previously discussed."

"She explained that her recent visit wasn’t the first time at our house; she had previously knocked on our door, talked to my sister, and volunteered to come back with some information on retirement planning and investing."

"I told her that I was debating whether to alert Finra, the police, her company headquarters, or all of the above." (She called on the wrong household.)

"I’m still outraged. Best-case scenario, the salesperson has terrible judgment; worst-case scenario, she was hoping to take advantage of the situation."

"I’m also appalled by the fact that the industry as a whole has done such a poor job of imposing standards on individuals purporting to offer financial advice, which in turn reflects poorly on the whole profession."

" Investment salespeople going door to door are banking that the people who open the door for them during the day are lonely and not particularly financial savvy--in other words, they’re financially vulnerable."

"simplifying and adding some guardrails around the retirement-decumulation system are worthy goals."
Thank you, Christine, for sharing this personal experience so that the rest of us will be on guard from financial predators.

Not OK

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Taylor
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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:33 pm

^^^ I merged Taylor Larimore's post into the on-going discussion. The software sorts by time, Mr.BB's thread was first.
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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by MikeG62 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:19 am

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:33 pm

...I have to say, I have never heard of a financial institution going door to door...around my area.
Same for me.

I am surprised that people would let them in or invest any money with/through a door-to-door salesperson.
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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by Brianmcg321 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:10 am

MikeG62 wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:19 am
Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:33 pm

...I have to say, I have never heard of a financial institution going door to door...around my area.
Same for me.

I am surprised that people would let them in or invest any money with/through a door-to-door salesperson.
If you have an Edward Jones in your area, then it's just a matter of time before they are knocking on your door.
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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by LilyFleur » Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:39 pm

Under what circumstances is it ever OK to let a stranger in your house or even open your front door to them?

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by PVW » Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:20 pm

EJ advisors are the embodiment of evil!!! Has the echo chamber on bogleheads died down yet?

In the eyes of Finra and the law, EJ is legit and they provide (for the most part) legal services to their customers. Stipulating this, who's job is it to protect people with diminished cognitive ability from EJ? Not the police or Finra, and certainly not EJ corporate.

Stop Going Door to Door.

Door to door is probably a pretty effective money maker for EJ. Giving this up would be a significant change in their business model. It would be more effective to focus on EJ making money from people with diminished cognitive ability. EJ should volunteer their services and refund expenses for this group of people. It is much easier to be a fiduciary if the advisor isn't making money. It could potentially be great for the EJ image, give the advisors more empathy for their other customers, and provide a great service for this group of people.

Increase Awareness of Issues Related to Diminished Cognitive Capacity.

Unethical or illegal financial services are not limited to victims of diminished cognitive capacity. Enforcement for financial abuse is already in place for all victims, but perhaps it would be effective to define unethical behavior with the additional context of customers with diminished cognitive capacity.

Add Guardrails for People in Retirement.

Social security is the de facto retirement guard rail for society. Maybe there should be a way to voluntarily allow the government to take over a persons retirement savings and dole it out in a responsible manner. It doesn't have to be the government, maybe something akin to an annuity would be good enough. Buy a DCC annuity. Take an annual cognitive test. If you fail, then Rick Ferri takes over your finances.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by abuss368 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:53 pm

That is incredible and unfortunately sad to read.

What is wrong with this profession?
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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by anon_investor » Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:22 pm

Sadly this does not surprise me. When I moved to my house a few years ago no less than 5 different local financial advisors, including one from Northwest Mutual, came knocking on my door (multiple times). Often it was during the day when I was at work and my spouse would tell them she doesn't do the finances. They kept coming back for for weeks even after she politely told them we definitely were not interested. They even mailed us cards and material for months afterwards...

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by CurlyDave » Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:25 am

The only time I have ever had a door-to-door financial salesperson come to my house was back in the 70s.

At the time I was under my car working on the exhaust system with a very large adjustable wrench.

I crawled out from under the car and talked to the guy for a few seconds, told him I wasn't interested and began gesticulating wildly with the wrench.

He beat a hasty retreat and never came back.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by whodidntante » Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:50 am

LilyFleur wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:39 pm
Under what circumstances is it ever OK to let a stranger in your house or even open your front door to them?
Especially a guy with a cheap suit and a bit of stress sweat.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by whodidntante » Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:52 am

CurlyDave wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:25 am
The only time I have ever had a door-to-door financial salesperson come to my house was back in the 70s.

At the time I was under my car working on the exhaust system with a very large adjustable wrench.

I crawled out from under the car and talked to the guy for a few seconds, told him I wasn't interested and began gesticulating wildly with the wrench.

He beat a hasty retreat and never came back.
I had a similar happening, although I wasn't brandishing a wrench. For some reason, he didn't want to shake my hand and I didn't want to give his investments a fair shake. I think we both got it right.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by student » Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:09 am

I wonder whether CB introduced herself and whether the salesperson knows who she is. This is definitely not ok. Is a contract signed by a mentally disabled person valid? (I know CB used the term "intellectual disability" and I do not know whether there is a difference.) I wonder whether it is better for CB or some other relative to have guardianship over her sister, if it has not been done.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:24 am

student wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:09 am
I wonder whether CB introduced herself and whether the salesperson knows who she is. This is definitely not ok. Is a contract signed by a mentally disabled person valid? (I know CB used the term "intellectual disability" and I do not know whether there is a difference.) I wonder whether it is better for CB or some other relative to have guardianship over her sister, if it has not been done.
Can't speak to guardianship, but Ms Benz indicates in her article that her sister's assets are in a trust.
"I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people; and if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you." (Aaron Sorkin)

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by student » Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:34 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:24 am
student wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:09 am
I wonder whether CB introduced herself and whether the salesperson knows who she is. This is definitely not ok. Is a contract signed by a mentally disabled person valid? (I know CB used the term "intellectual disability" and I do not know whether there is a difference.) I wonder whether it is better for CB or some other relative to have guardianship over her sister, if it has not been done.
Can't speak to guardianship, but Ms Benz indicates in her article that her sister's assets are in a trust.
Thanks. I missed that part. At least it is not easy for these salespeople to extract assets from the trust.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by JW-Retired » Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:02 am

livesoft wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:01 pm
I have invited such new employees of EJ into my house and discussed their futures with the company. I told them that EJ was stealing the retirements from their clients. One had his wife invest her retirement money in EJ. I told both that I felt it was my job to try to put EJ out of business and that they should stop working for EJ themselves.
livesoft, :beer

DW & I have been hoping to copy your EJ approach for years and years. But disappointed that, in spite of an EJ office just a couple of blocks from us, EJ newbies have never ever knocked on our door. No dog for a long time, gate is open, what can we be doing wrong?? ......:confused
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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by Mr. Rumples » Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:40 am

student wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:09 am
I wonder whether CB introduced herself and whether the salesperson knows who she is. This is definitely not ok. Is a contract signed by a mentally disabled person valid? (I know CB used the term "intellectual disability" and I do not know whether there is a difference.) I wonder whether it is better for CB or some other relative to have guardianship over her sister, if it has not been done.
I help care for a family member who has a mental illness; I do not have guardianship. Each state has different laws governing this. In some states, door to door solicitations can be canceled within three (3) business days. The three day cooling off period doesn't apply to in store sales.Also, state law defines what an incapacity is. However, in my state, if an impaired person signs a contract it is generally enforceable (subject to laws such as above) unless the person who signs is obviously incapable and incapacitated.

While Ms. Benz has the right to be outraged, by permitting the impaired person to answer the door she has set herself up for this. But you can't make a person who is disabled live in a prison, so there is no easy answer. Of course, there are other remedies such as bad press. And a really good salesperson can easily snooker even the savviest consumer.

My home has a no soliciting sign on the front door. In my locality, as explained to me by the police, that is enforceable and is not the same as a no trespassing sign which has to meet state requirements. Also, certain groups which are not selling a material product are exempt. (Of course the way to deal with them is to invite them in, and lock the door with the deadbolt and put the key in your pocket; they want to get out fast.) In a nearby locality, door to door sales folks must have a permit and their names are listed on the county website.

Now its time for a nap. If someone ignores the sign and wakes me up, its not going to be pretty.
Last edited by Mr. Rumples on Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by JBTX » Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:02 am

alex_686 wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:29 pm
Mr.BB wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:05 pm
That fact that she had spent time with this woman, enough time to talk with her about investment, her retirement, etc tells me she originally spent a lot more then just a couple of minutes to start with. The only reason no products were sold was because she was stopped. She didn't come to the house just to say hello.
According to the article, the rep meet once with the sister and the front door to gauge her interest. Did not come in the house nor pitch products. How long does this take? 2 minutes? 5? Christine Benz was only there for the second visit, which in the normal order of things would be the longer introductory meeting.

Back to my point. How long would it take you to figure out that something was off about a person, what that issue is, and what the impact will be. Without being condescending. I have worked with a fair number of educated people who can't figure out the difference between mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and autism. Much less gauge the intellectual level these people work at.

The ethical course of action is to sit down and work with these people as you would with any other person. To repeat, many people present badly. Take your time. Do not prejudge people. It is obviously unethical to have somebody sign something that they are incapable of understanding. Less obvious but equally unethical is to assume that somebody with spina bifida are incapable of understanding what they are doing.

As a father of an asd teen, if a financial advisor did this to him, as an adult, I would thoroughly dress down the "advisor", go to the office and read the management the riot act, and probably report them to FINRA. The argument that a door to door salesman should be wary of discriminating against differences and therefore should feel free to swindle them at will doesn't sit particularly well with me

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by dbr » Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:14 am

JBTX wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:02 am

As a father of an asd teen, if a financial advisor did this to him, as an adult, I would thoroughly dress down the "advisor", go to the office and read the management the riot act, and probably report them to FINRA. The argument that a door to door salesman should be wary of discriminating against differences and therefore should feel free to swindle them at will doesn't sit particularly well with me
Indeed. I get the idea of not assuming things about the ability of people who may have one or more limitations of any kind, but a swindle is a swindle and EJ is a swindle no matter whom we are talking about.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by dodecahedron » Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:03 am

Brianmcg321 wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:10 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:19 am
Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:33 pm

...I have to say, I have never heard of a financial institution going door to door...around my area.
Same for me.

I am surprised that people would let them in or invest any money with/through a door-to-door salesperson.
If you have an Edward Jones in your area, then it's just a matter of time before they are knocking on your door.
Have had an EJ office less than 2 miles away for over 20 years. Nobody from EJ has knocked here.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by Brianmcg321 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:09 pm

dodecahedron wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:03 am
Brianmcg321 wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:10 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:19 am
Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:33 pm

...I have to say, I have never heard of a financial institution going door to door...around my area.
Same for me.

I am surprised that people would let them in or invest any money with/through a door-to-door salesperson.
If you have an Edward Jones in your area, then it's just a matter of time before they are knocking on your door.
Have had an EJ office less than 2 miles away for over 20 years. Nobody from EJ has knocked here.
I'll send them your address.
Rules to investing: | 1. Don't lose money. | 2. Don't forget rule number 1.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by Clever_Username » Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:07 pm

She's such a great writer and this is an important issue. I'm glad she's helping shine a spotlight on the matter. I'm very sorry this happened to her.
"What was true then is true now. Have a plan. Stick to it." -- XXXX, _Layer Cake_ | | I survived my first downturn and all I got was this signature line.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by David Althaus » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:23 am

Here's another take:

1. Sales person probably views the situation as a perfect s--- storm; calling on such a person whose sister is a competent and knowledgeable professional. Sales person will probably not call here again.
2. What is the base rate? I don't know but seems like a drill down would reveal a pretty small number of folks facing such a situation. I've never had a door-to-door investment sales call.
3. Benz handled the situation correctly.
4. Caveat emptor. If you are a person in this kind of situation--be prepared.

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Re: Christine Benz article on door to door financial people

Post by huai » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:18 am

PVW wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:20 pm


In the eyes of Finra and the law, EJ is legit and they provide (for the most part) legal services to their customers. Stipulating this, who's job is it to protect people with diminished cognitive ability from EJ? Not the police or Finra, and certainly not corporate
It most certainly is the responsibility of EJ corporate per FINRA rule 2165. Penalties potentially include a fine to the brokerage and disciplinary action to the associated salesperson that will go on their permanent record.
Last edited by huai on Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:25 am, edited 3 times in total.

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