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My husband recently retired and our mail box is stuffed full of invitations to all sorts of seminars and workshops and free meals. If we accepted some of them at least I wouldn't have to cook. But I just put them all the trash. I think going would be like having to sit through a pitch to buy a timeshare before I could get my "free" suitcase. I'm sure they are just sale pitches for investments or insurance that I don't want or need.
It's good that you're cautious and a free meal doesn't make you lose your senses. Many of these free lunch seminars are legitimate and may offer good information and advice. But we also know that the offer of a free lunch is a tactic used to get you to hear they're sales pitch as you said. Most often the agressive sales pitch comes after the free lunch at your home where they try to get you to purchase and unsuitable or sometimes fraudulent investment product. If you ever decide to attend, get information in writing, make sure the person is licensed by calling your securities regulator and always take your time before investing your hard earned money.