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The High Cost of Free Lunch Seminars

AARP works to raise awareness of marketing tactic

What you can do

Here are some suggestions from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and AARP to help you better protect yourself and your savings:

• Decide now to decide later. Don’t make any commitments during the event.

• Get a second opinion.

• Don’t turn over any of your financial records until you fully understand what the sponsors are selling and have confirmed they are licensed to sell it by checking with FINRA and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investment Adviser Public Disclosure site.You can also check out the federal consumer action Web site or register a consumer complaint at the Better Business Bureau.

• If you do invest, make sure you can get your money in an emergency.

Cathie Gandel writes about economic and consumer issues.

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