Annuity salesmen seem to be getting a lot of local scrutiny this week. The front page of today's Washington Post had a story by Carrie Johnson and John Solomon warning about how annuity salesmen prey on the elderly. There's a great quote from Christopher Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, about "free lunch" investment seminars that often attract the elderly. Cox said, "Every rock that we turned over seemed to have a bug or a worm crawling out underneath. In each of the sweeps we conducted, we found significant fraud."
By chance, my column on Monday discussed warning signs of bad financial advice, among which are an aggressive pushing of the sort of deferred annuities mentioned in the Post story. And I've previously reported about my own experiences at a free investing conference (though presumably not one of the free-lunch seminars that Cox had in mind).