free dinner investing seminar

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
hoops777
Posts: 2211
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:23 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by hoops777 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:02 pm

hoops777 wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:58 pm
afan wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:44 pm
flossy21 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:35 am
If you want some idea of what to expect then check out this link...

http://www.wealthmanagement.com/forums/ ... l-seminars

This is a link to the forum for Registered Reps. Basically the Boglehead's nemesis. As you will see, if you attend and don't buy then you are labeled a "plate licker".

Good luck.
Flossy,

That was one of the most interesting, and frightening, things I have come across since participating in bogleheads. Thanks!

I had never given any thought to the logic or logistics of holding these marketing seminars. I had never given any thought to the lives lead or work done by the people who sponsored them. Although I know the whole system is supported by the few poor suckers who buy whatever is on sale, I still feel sorry for people who have to resort to this to make a living. Of course, I also feel sorry for the clients who waste their money with these people.
You have to understand that people who go to seminars often are going to a number of them. An event hosted at a desirable location where a meal is served will get a better response than one done on the cheap. The prospects will take notice and will judge a book by its cover. Therefore, if a competitor draws twice the crowd and clearly spends twice the money - perception will be that he's/she's in more demand, knows more and is better.
You see, I just don't get this kind of thinking, but I am sure it is true. If it were not then the whole advertising industry would work very differently. Clearly there are enough people who care about the fanciness of the restaurant or the celebrity endorser to make these worth paying for.

Note how absolutely nothing in this description has any relation to the the qualifications of the person giving the seminar or offering advice.

I am going to post this link in another thread where someone is recommending finding an estate planning lawyer through seminars. Not using the seminars for a few free dinners, mind you, but actually going to them as a strategy for finding a good attorney??!!
Deleted
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

bsteiner
Posts: 3195
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:39 pm
Location: NYC/NJ/FL

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by bsteiner » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:14 pm

afan wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:44 pm
...
In another thread ... someone is recommending finding an estate planning lawyer through seminars. Not using the seminars for a few free dinners, mind you, but actually going to them as a strategy for finding a good attorney??!!
A better method would probably be to select one at random out of all of the trusts and estates lawyers other than the ones who put on free dinner seminars.

User avatar
FIREchief
Posts: 1921
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:40 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by FIREchief » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:29 pm

bsteiner wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:14 pm
afan wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:44 pm
...
In another thread ... someone is recommending finding an estate planning lawyer through seminars. Not using the seminars for a few free dinners, mind you, but actually going to them as a strategy for finding a good attorney??!!
A better method would probably be to select one at random out of all of the trusts and estates lawyers other than the ones who put on free dinner seminars.
LOL. However, please keep in mind, this thread is primarily about enjoying delicious steak for free. Anybody seriously interested in ANY other (real) topic should likely look elsewhere on the forum.

(dang it, now I'm hungry for steak again.... :annoyed )
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

SQRT
Posts: 651
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:44 am

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by SQRT » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:51 am

pkcrafter wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:53 pm
Iliketoridemybike wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:23 pm
There’s no free dinner.
Right! I just could not tell him what to expect.

Paul
Exactly. If you don’t know what to expect, expect the worst. These things are a total waste of time at the best, and a total waste of money at the worst. Who would be that desperate for a dinner?

mouses
Posts: 3151
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by mouses » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:24 am

TIAX wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:23 pm
mouses wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:58 am
I was talking to CapitalOne about something or other to do with my credit card, and the phone person mentioned she worked in the Heavy Spender group. They seriously call it that. I asked why, and she said, do you know most people don't charge nearly as much as you do? I had no idea. I probably charge $3000 a month, as I put everything possible on my charge card, including all the insurance, for the 1.5%, but I pay it off every month.
1.5%? Switch to Citi double cash or Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card for 2%.
Thanks, but what I like about the CapitalOne card is it is very simple. No waiting for a credit until the bill is paid, etc. Any time I log in to check the card, I can credit any rewards $ that has accumulated, etc. This is also why I don't have one of those cards with categories.

afan
Posts: 3439
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:01 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by afan » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:30 am

SQRT wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:51 am
Who would be that desperate for a dinner?
People who cannot afford to buy whatever the dinner sponsor is selling.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama

SQRT
Posts: 651
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:44 am

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by SQRT » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:53 am

afan wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:30 am
SQRT wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:51 am
Who would be that desperate for a dinner?
People who cannot afford to buy whatever the dinner sponsor is selling.
That would be a lot of people I think. In their case a free meal might be worth a lot? I guess the trick is to get invited despite not having any money. If you got good at this it might be kind of a part time job? Maybe the sponsors get smart though, and put you on a “no eat” list?

TravelforFun
Posts: 1232
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by TravelforFun » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:49 am

SQRT wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:53 am
afan wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:30 am
SQRT wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:51 am
Who would be that desperate for a dinner?
People who cannot afford to buy whatever the dinner sponsor is selling.
That would be a lot of people I think. In their case a free meal might be worth a lot? I guess the trick is to get invited despite not having any money. If you got good at this it might be kind of a part time job? Maybe the sponsors get smart though, and put you on a “no eat” list?
I attend those dinners held by my brokerage, TD Ameritrade, in my city when I can and no, I'm not desperate for dinners. They can be good learning opportunities. Attended one in January and learned a lot about the new tax laws.

TravelforFun

Dottie57
Posts: 3302
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:58 am

I just went through a pile of unimportant mail. Found two invitations to dinners from Financial wealth management.
One of these days I am going to go one of these just to listen and observe. I have learned "No." is a complete sentence. No explanations necessary.

afan
Posts: 3439
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:01 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by afan » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:02 pm

Having no interest in hearing a sales pitch while I am eating dinner with my spouse, I never considered this.

Thinking it over, my obligations to behave honestly are not negated by dishonorable behavior by a counterparty. If I think someone is trying to cheat me the appropriate response is to avoid contact. Depending on the circumstances, perhaps call the authorities. But the universe of appropriate responses does not include becoming a cheater myself.

If I know that I am not going to buy whatever they are selling, even without knowing what it is, then it is dishonest of me to accept their meal under a pretense of being a business prospect.

Assuming they are all crooks, which may be an overreach, their dishonesty does not justify my dishonesty.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama

Hikerchick
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:29 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by Hikerchick » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:24 pm

<r>I've been to a couple of these seminars with a friend - they do ask for personal info but i have never been contacted unless I indicate that I am interested in a consultation or product they're selling. Which I am not - I am there for whatever information they might have ( actually did learn something at the one about social security) and the free meal <E>:P</E> <br/>
<br/>
I figure if they can land 2-3 new clients as a result of a dinner, that's probably worth it to the firm that's offering the dinner. I'm sure that's part of their calculations. Otherwise why would so many firms be doing this?

I've also done the time share thing with friends. We usually draw straws to see who has to take the hit for the team and listen to the presentation. I've had to do it once - wasn't terribly painful - turns out my friend was the one who finally had had enough listening to all the BS whereupon we were immediately ushered out of the "consultation" room. But at least we got our free rooms/breakfast! :wink:

User avatar
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 4369
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:26 pm

SQRT wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:51 am
If you don’t know what to expect, expect the worst. These things are a total waste of time at the best, and a total waste of money at the worst. Who would be that desperate for a dinner?
The best case would be that the presentation would be entertaining in a perverse way. And informative because then you would have better knowledge at what goes on at one.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

hoops777
Posts: 2211
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:23 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by hoops777 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:37 pm

afan wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:02 pm
Having no interest in hearing a sales pitch while I am eating dinner with my spouse, I never considered this.

Thinking it over, my obligations to behave honestly are not negated by dishonorable behavior by a counterparty. If I think someone is trying to cheat me the appropriate response is to avoid contact. Depending on the circumstances, perhaps call the authorities. But the universe of appropriate responses does not include becoming a cheater myself.

If I know that I am not going to buy whatever they are selling, even without knowing what it is, then it is dishonest of me to accept their meal under a pretense of being a business prospect.

Assuming they are all crooks, which may be an overreach, their dishonesty does not justify my dishonesty.
Saying they are all crooks is most definitely an overreach.I agree it is questionable to attend if you absolutely know you have no intention of buying,but then again they invited you and solicited you to attend their no obligation seminar.
My take is if you fully understand the subject matter beforehand and are certain you will not purchase,you should not go.Example,a pitch for a variable indexed annuity that you would never buy in a million years.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

blevine
Posts: 1823
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:57 pm
Location: Paradise

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by blevine » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:00 pm

A restaurant meal is not just food. You really go to a reataurant to have company of friends, a cook and someone to clean up.

You would be there to listen to a pitch, not chat with friends. You are not really getting the restaurant meal value.

Cook at home or take in from same restaurant and invite friends over. Will cost you less than full cost, and you get the most important apect of restaurant dining, without the sales pitch.

That said, I can say no, usually hang up without discussion for telemarketers. I could handle sales pressure, not sure how I would feel about the value of time spent.

hoops777
Posts: 2211
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:23 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by hoops777 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:39 pm

blevine wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:00 pm
A restaurant meal is not just food. You really go to a reataurant to have company of friends, a cook and someone to clean up.

You would be there to listen to a pitch, not chat with friends. You are not really getting the restaurant meal value.

Cook at home or take in from same restaurant and invite friends over. Will cost you less than full cost, and you get the most important apect of restaurant dining, without the sales pitch.

That said, I can say no, usually hang up without discussion for telemarketers. I could handle sales pressure, not sure how I would feel about the value of time spent.
Well,you do have a cook and someone to clean up after you.You also meet new people.My wife and I go to a restaurant to try different food and not have to cook and clean up,not to chat.These free dinners are for couples,not groups of friends,so I do not see your point.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

User avatar
FIREchief
Posts: 1921
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:40 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by FIREchief » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:10 pm

afan wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:02 pm
Having no interest in hearing a sales pitch while I am eating dinner with my spouse, I never considered this.
Since you've mentioned this twice now, I feel compelled to clarify. The very nice meal I attended recently had the following agenda:

a) Arrive fifteen minutes early and be seated. Waitress delivers the beverage of your choice along with some fresh baked bread and butter.
b) Presenter makes a 60 minute presentation (low pressure, just selling his product)
c) Presentation is over. Wife and I have our steaks served, can order beverage refills, and are free to enjoy the meal just like the other restaurant customers at nearby tables. We can chat, relax, reflect on presentation or just pretend we never heard it.
d) As we are finishing (or are finished with our meals), presenter stops by table and asks if we have any questions. If no, we just say so and he moves on. About as disruptive as the waiter asking if we will have anything else. Hardly "hearing a sales pitch" while I am eating dinner.

No being "trapped" in a back room with only one entrance guarded by presenter's minions. Presentation is in an area towards the back of the restaurant, and the restaurant starts seating other customers in adjacent rows of tables/booths at 5:00 when the presentation is over. That was several months ago and I've yet to receive a follow up phone call or email (despite providing this super secret information to them).
Last edited by FIREchief on Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

User avatar
FIREchief
Posts: 1921
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:40 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by FIREchief » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:18 pm

hoops777 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:37 pm
afan wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:02 pm
Having no interest in hearing a sales pitch while I am eating dinner with my spouse, I never considered this.

Thinking it over, my obligations to behave honestly are not negated by dishonorable behavior by a counterparty. If I think someone is trying to cheat me the appropriate response is to avoid contact. Depending on the circumstances, perhaps call the authorities. But the universe of appropriate responses does not include becoming a cheater myself.

If I know that I am not going to buy whatever they are selling, even without knowing what it is, then it is dishonest of me to accept their meal under a pretense of being a business prospect.

Assuming they are all crooks, which may be an overreach, their dishonesty does not justify my dishonesty.
Saying they are all crooks is most definitely an overreach.I agree it is questionable to attend if you absolutely know you have no intention of buying,but then again they invited you and solicited you to attend their no obligation seminar.
My take is if you fully understand the subject matter beforehand and are certain you will not purchase,you should not go.Example,a pitch for a variable indexed annuity that you would never buy in a million years.
The pitchers rarely divulge specifics prior to the meal. I don't go in with an "open mind." I go in assuming whatever they are selling is a bad deal and expect to find the flaws during the presentation. My education in financial matters, and strong personality, provide a robust "defense" against any slippery sales tactics. Could they suprise me and have somthing of value? Highly likely not, (let's say 99+%), but am I 100% certain that once I see their product I won't be interested? Maybe not. If I ever found myself in that <1% bizare realm, I would just report what I saw here on the forums and allow somebody else to fill in that missing gap of my education. It could happen......but I highly doubt it. That's all up to somebody inviting me to one of these to actually come up with a good product! I give them a chance, which is my only "obligation" in these matters. The only way I would feel I was cheating them is if I excused myself at the beginning of the pitch feigning illness, sat in the bar for an hour, and then came back just in time for my dinner reporting that "it got better."
Last edited by FIREchief on Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

User avatar
FIREchief
Posts: 1921
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:40 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by FIREchief » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:27 pm

hoops777 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:39 pm
blevine wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:00 pm
A restaurant meal is not just food. You really go to a reataurant to have company of friends, a cook and someone to clean up.

You would be there to listen to a pitch, not chat with friends. You are not really getting the restaurant meal value.

Cook at home or take in from same restaurant and invite friends over. Will cost you less than full cost, and you get the most important apect of restaurant dining, without the sales pitch.

That said, I can say no, usually hang up without discussion for telemarketers. I could handle sales pressure, not sure how I would feel about the value of time spent.
Well,you do have a cook and someone to clean up after you.You also meet new people.My wife and I go to a restaurant to try different food and not have to cook and clean up,not to chat.These free dinners are for couples,not groups of friends,so I do not see your point.
I liken the seating to first class train travel. One of the expectations while eating in the diner (like the old saying goes: "nothin' is finer than eatin' in the diner) is that you'll be sharing a table with another person or two who you don't know. Train travelers actually chearish this, and look forward to it as part of the experience. My wife and I have met numerous very pleasant people this way. I remember a mother and her young boy who loved trains. I remember a rail fan who was traveling a 360 degree loop around the entire United States. Back to the dinner seminar, my wife and I met a couple who had recently relocated to our area from Colorado and were very pleasant folks to enjoy dinner with. They were likely better company to my wife than I am, since she sees me ALL the time and enjoys social interaction.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

hoops777
Posts: 2211
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:23 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by hoops777 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:32 pm

FIREchief wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:10 pm
afan wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:02 pm
Having no interest in hearing a sales pitch while I am eating dinner with my spouse, I never considered this.
Since you've mentioned this twice now, I feel compelled to clarify. The very nice meal I attended recently had the following agenda:

a) Arrive fifteen minutes early and be seated. Waitress delivers the beverage of your choice along with some fresh baked bread and butter.
b) Presenter makes a 60 minute presentation (low pressure, just selling his product)
c) Presentation is over. Wife and I have our steaks served, can order beverage refills, and are free to enjoy the meal just like the other restaurant customers at nearby tables. We can chat, relax, reflect on presentation or just pretend we never heard it.
d) As we are finishing (or are finished with our meals), presenter stops by table and asks if we have any questions. If no, we just say so and he moves on. About as disruptive as the waiter asking if we will have anything else. Hardly "hearing a sales pitch" while I am eating dinner.

No being "trapped" in a back room with only one entrance guarded by presenter's minions. Presentation is in an area towards the back of the restaurant, and the restaurant starts seating other customers in adjacent rows of tables/booths at 5:00 when the presentation is over. That was several months ago and I've yet to receive a follow up phone call or email (despite providing this super secret information to them).
My experience exactly in just about every one I have attended.The length of the presentation varies of course.I have also never received a follow up call.
If I am being completely honest,I admit as a former business owner I feel a little guilty so I always rationalize that there is that tiny chance...... :D
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

User avatar
KlingKlang
Posts: 632
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:26 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by KlingKlang » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:10 am

FIREchief wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:52 pm
KlingKlang wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:44 pm
FIREchief wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:39 pm
KlingKlang wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:10 pm
Be prepared to get a cheap, overcooked chicken dinner followed by at least a hundred follow up phone calls.
I got a delicious Filet Mignon steak dinner at a high end steak house ten minutes from my house. I never received any follow up phone calls. Sounds like you just picked the wrong one to attend.
Obviously I never have any luck.

I received three more invitations today but they have all been shredded. Any tips on picking a good one?
Sure. It's all about the food. Just pick one that is being held at a really nice restaurant that doesn't require a long drive. It really doesn't matter what they are selling, although a variety of topics might be nice. It is fun to see how well (or not) they are able to pitch their snake oil. You already know that whatever it is, it is a bad deal financially. Approach it like a murder mystery dinner show, where you have to spot the clues to solve the (attempted) crime. 8-)
OK, you talked me into it. I signed up for a March 1 dinner at one of the best steak places in town. The invitation even has a picture of a steak on the front! I'll report in on how it went.

User avatar
FIREchief
Posts: 1921
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:40 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by FIREchief » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:45 pm

KlingKlang wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:10 am
FIREchief wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:52 pm
KlingKlang wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:44 pm
FIREchief wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:39 pm
KlingKlang wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:10 pm
Be prepared to get a cheap, overcooked chicken dinner followed by at least a hundred follow up phone calls.
I got a delicious Filet Mignon steak dinner at a high end steak house ten minutes from my house. I never received any follow up phone calls. Sounds like you just picked the wrong one to attend.
Obviously I never have any luck.

I received three more invitations today but they have all been shredded. Any tips on picking a good one?
Sure. It's all about the food. Just pick one that is being held at a really nice restaurant that doesn't require a long drive. It really doesn't matter what they are selling, although a variety of topics might be nice. It is fun to see how well (or not) they are able to pitch their snake oil. You already know that whatever it is, it is a bad deal financially. Approach it like a murder mystery dinner show, where you have to spot the clues to solve the (attempted) crime. 8-)
OK, you talked me into it. I signed up for a March 1 dinner at one of the best steak places in town. The invitation even has a picture of a steak on the front! I'll report in on how it went.
Welcome to the plate-lickers guild! Please remember to report back to this thread on how good the steak was. Also, if you have time, letting us know what they were selling would be interesting as well. Like yourself, I also ignored those for years, but finally one with a fantastic picture of a steak tipped me over. I'm going to another one at the same place this Thursday.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

User avatar
buccimane
Posts: 220
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:34 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by buccimane » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:27 pm

Firechief,

Do these invitations specify that you cannot bring a guest under 55? Asking for a friend.. :sharebeer
A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still

User avatar
mickeyd
Posts: 4541
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:19 pm
Location: Deep in the Heart of South Texas

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by mickeyd » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:35 pm

I have previously posted that I have attended about 2 dozen of these dog-and-pony shows and I have enjoyed most of them. For a couple of years I was retired before DW was so I had time on my hands at mid-day so I acted on the numerous mail invitations that I received in those days. I usually dropped by the bar prior to the sales pitch, err seminar, began. So, that helped a bit.

My advice is to enjoy the meal (often quite tasty), but avoid the Kool-Aid.
Part-Owner of Texas | | “The CMH-the Cost Matters Hypothesis -is all that is needed to explain why indexing must and will work… Yes, it is that simple.” John C. Bogle

Mr.BB
Posts: 434
Joined: Sun May 08, 2016 10:10 am

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by Mr.BB » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:09 pm

I get these invites all the time in the mail. Just by doing a simple search on the person presenting I can see if it is an insurance sales (annuity pitch) or a financial planner pitch. I want to take my wife to one to show her what to look out for. However I will put down the wrong phone number and email address just to avoid the follow up crap that is bound to follow.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

DrGoogle2017
Posts: 1322
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:23 pm

I don’t like to eat steak anyway, so steak dinner is not that exciting to me, now if it’s a big free lobster dinner then I might entertain it.

User avatar
FIREchief
Posts: 1921
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:40 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by FIREchief » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:33 pm

buccimane wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:27 pm
Firechief,

Do these invitations specify that you cannot bring a guest under 55? Asking for a friend.. :sharebeer
I haven't read the fine print all that closely, although I recall 40 being mentioned as a minimum age.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

User avatar
Nicolas
Posts: 913
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:41 am

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by Nicolas » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:35 pm

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:23 pm
I don’t like to eat steak anyway, so steak dinner is not that exciting to me, now if it’s a big free lobster dinner then I might entertain it.
I like neither steak nor lobster. Now if you offer me noodles or lentils, then I start getting excited.

NewPhoneWhoDis
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:59 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by NewPhoneWhoDis » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:37 pm

FIREchief wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:10 pm
afan wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:02 pm
Having no interest in hearing a sales pitch while I am eating dinner with my spouse, I never considered this.
Since you've mentioned this twice now, I feel compelled to clarify. The very nice meal I attended recently had the following agenda:

a) Arrive fifteen minutes early and be seated. Waitress delivers the beverage of your choice along with some fresh baked bread and butter.
b) Presenter makes a 60 minute presentation (low pressure, just selling his product)
c) Presentation is over. Wife and I have our steaks served, can order beverage refills, and are free to enjoy the meal just like the other restaurant customers at nearby tables. We can chat, relax, reflect on presentation or just pretend we never heard it.
d) As we are finishing (or are finished with our meals), presenter stops by table and asks if we have any questions. If no, we just say so and he moves on. About as disruptive as the waiter asking if we will have anything else. Hardly "hearing a sales pitch" while I am eating dinner.
Point b is where I get lost. There's no way I'd sit and listen to a 60 minute presentation for the promise of a steak afterward. The steak wouldn't be free to me because it would have cost me 60 minutes of my life. Not worth it for me personally, but to each their own!
:sharebeer

RudyS
Posts: 1103
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:11 am

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by RudyS » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:01 pm

mickeyd wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:35 pm
I have previously posted that I have attended about 2 dozen of these dog-and-pony shows and I have enjoyed most of them. For a couple of years I was retired before DW was so I had time on my hands at mid-day so I acted on the numerous mail invitations that I received in those days. I usually dropped by the bar prior to the sales pitch, err seminar, began. So, that helped a bit.

My advice is to enjoy the meal (often quite tasty), but avoid the Kool-Aid.
There's a risk in imbibing at the bar before the sales pitch.

neilpilot
Posts: 1489
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by neilpilot » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:58 pm

Mr.BB wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:09 pm
I get these invites all the time in the mail. Just by doing a simple search on the person presenting I can see if it is an insurance sales (annuity pitch) or a financial planner pitch. I want to take my wife to one to show her what to look out for. However I will put down the wrong phone number and email address just to avoid the follow up crap that is bound to follow.
I've attended a half dozen dinner presentations, and have honestly never received an unsolicited followup call or email. My experience can't be that atypical.

Fallible
Posts: 6332
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by Fallible » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:21 pm

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:23 pm
I don’t like to eat steak anyway, so steak dinner is not that exciting to me, now if it’s a big free lobster dinner then I might entertain it.
For free lobster, I probably still wouldn't go, but I'd sure think hard about it. :-)
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

User avatar
munemaker
Posts: 2908
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by munemaker » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:37 am

RudyS wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:01 pm
mickeyd wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:35 pm
I have previously posted that I have attended about 2 dozen of these dog-and-pony shows and I have enjoyed most of them. For a couple of years I was retired before DW was so I had time on my hands at mid-day so I acted on the numerous mail invitations that I received in those days. I usually dropped by the bar prior to the sales pitch, err seminar, began. So, that helped a bit.

My advice is to enjoy the meal (often quite tasty), but avoid the Kool-Aid.
There's a risk in imbibing at the bar before the sales pitch.
Not really. The dinner is just for prospecting. You are not asked to sign up for anything at the dinner, other than a private meeting.

pintail07
Posts: 298
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:07 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by pintail07 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:00 pm

I have attended several of these dinners over the years and free lodging and meals for a time share spill. I have always been courteous and listened to the presentations and asked questions then declined any follow up. Never a problem.

Finridge
Posts: 346
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 7:27 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by Finridge » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:04 pm

bsteiner wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:14 pm
afan wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:44 pm
...
In another thread ... someone is recommending finding an estate planning lawyer through seminars. Not using the seminars for a few free dinners, mind you, but actually going to them as a strategy for finding a good attorney??!!
A better method would probably be to select one at random out of all of the trusts and estates lawyers other than the ones who put on free dinner seminars.
Coming from an experienced, respected estate planning attorney, this is advice worth following.

User avatar
munemaker
Posts: 2908
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by munemaker » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:45 pm

afan wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:44 pm
...someone is recommending finding an estate planning lawyer through seminars. Not using the seminars for a few free dinners, mind you, but actually going to them as a strategy for finding a good attorney??!!
This is crazy thinking!

afan
Posts: 3439
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:01 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by afan » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:09 am

There are venues where legitimate experts give talks on a wide variety of topics. Some are free, others available for a small price. My alma mater, and many of the other colleges in town, has at least two types of regular speaker series.

One is professors at other universities who come to campus and give lectures on their areas of interest. These are aimed at an academic audience, but if you have some familiarity with the subject they can be fascinating. These talks come from world experts (otherwise they would not have been invited) and they deal with the best current research. They are not selling anything and they are not looking for customers.

The other sort of series is aimed at the lay public. Those local professors who are good at speaking to such audiences give broad talks intended to be interesting and stimulating to people with little knowledge of the field. Some of these are part of alumni events, free and intended to help bring alumni closer to the university. Others require a small payment to cover the cost of the room and refreshments and perhaps some money for the speaker.

What these talks have in common is that the speakers are not trying to sell me anything. In fact, other than perhaps a textbook, they don't have anything I could buy from them. No ulterior motives. No incentive to shade the truth, invent expertise or make other false claims. In both cases you get their expertise, uncorrupted by venal considerations. Those are worth attending.

Hearing what they have to say is worth paying for. Then I can go to dinner with my spouse and enjoy a discussion of what we heard.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama

pintail07
Posts: 298
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:07 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by pintail07 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:32 pm

I've had a few clients that attended one of these dinners and they peaked their interest in guaranteeing lifetime income, this is what most dinners are talking about that I have witnessed. I ask them for the information and then show them what immediate annuities offer, always better. That being said, a few years ago a company had an offer out that was to good to be true. It was, they withdrew the offering in 3 months.

itstoomuch
Posts: 5343
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:17 pm
Location: midValley OR

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by itstoomuch » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:51 pm

pintail07 wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:32 pm
I've had a few clients that attended one of these dinners and they peaked their interest in guaranteeing lifetime income, this is what most dinners are talking about that I have witnessed. I ask them for the information and then show them what immediate annuities offer, always better. That being said, a few years ago a company had an offer out that was to good to be true. It was, they withdrew the offering in 3 months.{italics added by responder}
I'm glad that they did. Our too-good-to-be-true contracts need to control who is buying, else our contracts would be in jeopardy.
It's like anything else, Market changes must also be reflected in Market offerings; Whether it be in Housing, Stocks, or Cabbages.
YMMV
Rev012718; 4 Incm stream buckets: SS+pension; dfr'd GLWB VA & FI anntys, by time & $$ laddered; Discretionary; Rentals. LTCi. Own, not asset. Tax TBT%. Early SS. FundRatio (FR) >1.1 67/70yo

User avatar
FIREchief
Posts: 1921
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:40 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by FIREchief » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:09 pm

afan wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:09 am
There are venues where legitimate experts give talks on a wide variety of topics. Some are free, others available for a small price. My alma mater, and many of the other colleges in town, has at least two types of regular speaker series.

One is professors at other universities who come to campus and give lectures on their areas of interest. These are aimed at an academic audience, but if you have some familiarity with the subject they can be fascinating. These talks come from world experts (otherwise they would not have been invited) and they deal with the best current research. They are not selling anything and they are not looking for customers.

The other sort of series is aimed at the lay public. Those local professors who are good at speaking to such audiences give broad talks intended to be interesting and stimulating to people with little knowledge of the field. Some of these are part of alumni events, free and intended to help bring alumni closer to the university. Others require a small payment to cover the cost of the room and refreshments and perhaps some money for the speaker.

What these talks have in common is that the speakers are not trying to sell me anything. In fact, other than perhaps a textbook, they don't have anything I could buy from them. No ulterior motives. No incentive to shade the truth, invent expertise or make other false claims. In both cases you get their expertise, uncorrupted by venal considerations. Those are worth attending.

Hearing what they have to say is worth paying for. Then I can go to dinner with my spouse and enjoy a discussion of what we heard.
That all sounds wonderful (sincerely). I suppose a person could spend several nights a month as you've described, which would still leave plenty of opportunities to enjoy a delicious free steak on another night. That is what this thread is about. 8-)
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 13361
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by Watty » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:47 pm

I just skimmed the thread but one thing to watch out for is that one of the early signs of dementia can be making poor financial choices.

This can happen before long before your family sees and can try to intervene.

You could very well go to these free dinners for ten or more years and easily say no, until someday you don't say no.

Even if the odds are one in a thousand that you will be suckered in when they catch you as you are starting to decline those are still bad odds when you are comparing a free steak to the value of your portfolio.

User avatar
FIREchief
Posts: 1921
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:40 pm

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by FIREchief » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:11 pm

Watty wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:47 pm
I just skimmed the thread but one thing to watch out for is that one of the early signs of dementia can be making poor financial choices.

This can happen before long before your family sees and can try to intervene.

You could very well go to these free dinners for ten or more years and easily say no, until someday you don't say no.

Even if the odds are one in a thousand that you will be suckered in when they catch you as you are starting to decline those are still bad odds when you are comparing a free steak to the value of your portfolio.
I think there are some valid concerns here. Perhaps a side benefit of attending these while the brain is still sharp, and a person is willing and able to learn from this forum, is that I can fully educate myself (and those around me) on the flaws in the products being offered. If I reach 75 and have spent 20 years consuming free steak and learning about all the "angles" out there, maybe I will be less likely to be the victim of senility coupled with a smooth pitch. Hard to say. There is a broader concern about protecting one's self and assets from shady characters as we get older. I would like to think that I will rely heavily on family involvement to watchover my decline. Of course, the opportunities in this regard can vary considerably depending on family situations.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

bsteiner
Posts: 3195
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:39 pm
Location: NYC/NJ/FL

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by bsteiner » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:05 pm

FIREchief wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:11 pm
Watty wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:47 pm
I just skimmed the thread but one thing to watch out for is that one of the early signs of dementia can be making poor financial choices.

This can happen before long before your family sees and can try to intervene.

You could very well go to these free dinners for ten or more years and easily say no, until someday you don't say no.

Even if the odds are one in a thousand that you will be suckered in when they catch you as you are starting to decline those are still bad odds when you are comparing a free steak to the value of your portfolio.
I think there are some valid concerns here. Perhaps a side benefit of attending these while the brain is still sharp, and a person is willing and able to learn from this forum, is that I can fully educate myself (and those around me) on the flaws in the products being offered. If I reach 75 and have spent 20 years consuming free steak and learning about all the "angles" out there, maybe I will be less likely to be the victim of senility coupled with a smooth pitch. Hard to say. There is a broader concern about protecting one's self and assets from shady characters as we get older. I would like to think that I will rely heavily on family involvement to watchover my decline. Of course, the opportunities in this regard can vary considerably depending on family situations.
Even in this group there are people who are trying to beat the system for small advantages, or who focus on less important procedural things rather than more important substantive things. They could be vulnerable to the free dinner seminars.

If you go to the free dinner and you're the one who buys the annuity, the living trust, the timeshare, or the bridge, not only did you pay for your free dinner, but you paid for the free dinners for everyone else in the room.

Remember that insurance salesmen/women are the second best salesmen/women in the world.

itstoomuch
Posts: 5343
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:17 pm
Location: midValley OR

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by itstoomuch » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:21 pm

^ We did buy the annuities (8), the LTCi (2), and the Estate Planning (1). Didn't attend no dinners either. I was never solicited. Bunch of wimpy salespeople.
These are complicated financial products (insurance) and you may or may not need these things.

BTW, who is the best salesperson?
Rev012718; 4 Incm stream buckets: SS+pension; dfr'd GLWB VA & FI anntys, by time & $$ laddered; Discretionary; Rentals. LTCi. Own, not asset. Tax TBT%. Early SS. FundRatio (FR) >1.1 67/70yo

cherijoh
Posts: 4683
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:49 pm
Location: Charlotte NC

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by cherijoh » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:21 pm

pkcrafter wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:21 pm
No, I've never been to one, but a friend called and asked about it. I couldn't tell him what they might pitch, but I'd guess annuities or insurance. He asked how much pressure they will put on him. I think he intends to go for the dinner and not sign up.

-added-
Agenda

America's national debt and deficit
Economic Recovery
Risk assessment
Market conditions
This is an educational workshop, no products will be sold. No agents, brokers, advisors permitted. No attendees under 55.

See, all on the up and up. :happy

I told him not to go, but he can't see any problem.

Paul
I have several friends who found their "Financial Advisors" at a similar dinner seminar. :oops: (One friend offered to get me invited to her guy's next dinner seminar, but I politely declined). I don't think the sponsor actually sells products at these dinner seminars. They are looking for "prospects" who meet certain criteria. Since the invitation indicated 55 and over, my guess is either an annuity salesperson or a "financial Advisor" trolling for people who may soon be rolling over their 401ks :moneybag :moneybag. I believe what they usually do is try and paint a dystopian picture of what can happen to naïve retirees trying to go it on their own. Then they will try and get you to make an appointment for a free one-on-one consultation which is where they try and make the sale. Since the dinner invitation is for Ruth's Chris, I suspect it will be a very slick and successful sales person looking for an upscale client.

If your friend decides to go, I suggest setting up a throwaway email account and making up a false phone number when he fills out the participant registration form. He will be contacted to set up an appointment if they don't get him to do so at the seminar.

rhornback
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:59 am

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by rhornback » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:26 pm

I used to attend timeshares. I would love to go to one of these, but I have no one go to with. My wife is to busy.

I have this thought: if you give me an offer, lets say a free steak dinner for sitting through an hour presentation, and I take you up on it then I have every right to say no. And I always do. I have no sympathy. I figure if you do not want to offer this to me, then don't.

Now, unfortunately sometimes I have been a timeshares where the advisor was some young kid getting paid on commission and one started crying.

I would be concerned that they would not give you dinner until after their presentation.

One hint, leave your coat outside and if it gets to be high pressure, go to the bathroom. They will probably ask where you are going but what are they going to do? Just tell them I need to go to the bathroom. From the bathroom find the back exit and leave. I used this technique once. :)

User avatar
Strayshot
Posts: 342
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:04 am
Location: New Mexico

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by Strayshot » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:37 pm

Dang it, I am missing the gravy train! :oops:

I only ever got one of these invites and the pitch was investing in storage units, I couldn’t make it work with my schedule so didn’t go. Never been invited since.

How can I get them to start up again? I can get a T-shirt made that says “two comma club” and wander around in the buildings that seem to house lots of “financial advisors” but that isn’t very time efficient and may not even produce results.

I am tired of sitting through presentations on morcellators to get a free dinner and would like to mix it up a bit. I am sad to have missed the storage unit one, that would have been a hoot.........

bsteiner
Posts: 3195
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:39 pm
Location: NYC/NJ/FL

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by bsteiner » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:43 pm

itstoomuch wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:21 pm
.., who is the best salesperson?
Parsley salespersons, since no one eats it.

itstoomuch
Posts: 5343
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:17 pm
Location: midValley OR

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by itstoomuch » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:24 pm

I do. :oops:
Loaded with vitamins. Its in V8.
A quality restaurant washes the Parsley. A cheap one doesn't and you may get grit. Which is why I avoid hotel food.
YMMV
Rev012718; 4 Incm stream buckets: SS+pension; dfr'd GLWB VA & FI anntys, by time & $$ laddered; Discretionary; Rentals. LTCi. Own, not asset. Tax TBT%. Early SS. FundRatio (FR) >1.1 67/70yo

Fallible
Posts: 6332
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by Fallible » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:30 pm

Here's a FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) alert posted a few years ago on free seminars:
Investor Alerts
"Free Lunch" Investment Seminars—Avoiding the Heartburn of a Hard Sell

Investors frequently get invited to free seminars that promise to educate them about investing strategies or managing money in retirement—often with an expensive meal provided at no cost. But just because someone buys you breakfast, lunch or dinner doesn't mean you have to buy what they are saying—or selling.

We are issuing this Alert because, in many cases, free-meal investment seminars are not solely about education. Their ultimate goals are to recruit new clients and sell products—and while some pitches can be easy to swallow, the consequences can be hard to bear.
http://www.finra.org/investors/alerts/f ... t-seminars
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

neilpilot
Posts: 1489
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: free dinner investing seminar

Post by neilpilot » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:34 pm

cherijoh wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:21 pm


If your friend decides to go, I suggest setting up a throwaway email account and making up a false phone number when he fills out the participant registration form. He will be contacted to set up an appointment if they don't get him to do so at the seminar.
When you say "He will be contacted to set up an appointment if they don't get him to do so at the seminar" do you speak with experience or are you simply speculating?

I ask because, as I posted earlier in this thread, I've attended a half dozen dinner presentations, I've always declined their offer of an appointment, and have never received an unsolicited followup call or email.

In case you are wondering, in all cases they had my correct email address and phone number.

Post Reply