Peter DInklage and Morgan Freeman

Persuasion behind those super expensive Super Bowl commercials

February 5, 2018

What is the thinking behind those super expensive Super Bowl commercials? I love the creativity that goes into these commercials, but let’s not forget that no company would use them if they were not effective persuasion. So how are the companies trying to persuade us? I like to read books on the science of persuasion and behavioral economics, but not everyone is a nerd like me. One of my favorite authors, Robert Cialdini, has this awesome video that explains the factors that persuade us to do the things that advertisers want us to do. This is a really interesting and easy way to learn about how commercials and other persuasive techniques get us to do something we otherwise would not do.

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Uncle Sam

Securities Law in the Trump Administration – Has Anything Changed?

January 26, 2018

Please join the Chicago Bar Association Securities Law Committee on February 27, 2018 from 3-6 p.m. for three great panel discussions of what in securities law has changed and what has not during the first year of the Trump Administration while getting continuing legal education credits.

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pipe leaking excessive fees

Excessive fees in small/medium employer retirement plans

January 22, 2018

Would you fix a pipe if you thought it might be leaking? Just like pipes in your home, your retirement accounts can be leaking excessive fees — which is money you could use in retirement. If you have a retirement account — like a 401(k) or 403(b) account — with a small or medium sized employer, your hard-earned money may be leaking. According to Barron’s, “the industry’s priciest funds are in accounts that are too small to get much attention. Sometimes they’re in the 401(k) plans of small businesses. Sometimes they’re in target-date funds. Sometimes they’re simply in portfolios with less than the $1 million needed to command the attention of advisors.”

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thief lifting wallet from man's back pocket

Discount brokers steer customers to higher fee investments

January 15, 2018

Think your discount broker is giving you unbiased investment advice? Think again. A recent WSJ article reports that Fidelity, Schwab and TD Ameritrade employees received monetary and other incentives to get customers to invest in products that made more money for the broker.

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Retired and considering annuities? Wait!

January 10, 2018

Beware the substantial risks of buying annuities, particularly when you are older. When you buy an annuity you pay a chunk of money to an insurance company to get payments in the future. Sounds good, but for excessive fees you pay and the fact that you lose access to your money. What if you or a family member has an emergency? Until you are out of the surrender period, you will have to pay substantial penalties to get access to your money.

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Bitcoin regulation across the globe

January 5, 2018

The Wall Street Journal has a nice little video discussing different government responses to bitcoin from China to Japan to USA. http://

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Uncle Sam

Woodbridge Companies under investigation for fraud

November 6, 2017

The SEC has been investigating the Woodbridge Group of Companies for the past year.  The Woodbridge Group, based in Sherman Oaks, California, has raised over $1 billion from investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a subpoena enforcement action against 235 limited liability companies (the “LLCs”) based in Delaware and Colorado that have failed to produce documents in response to SEC subpoenas.

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Wells Fargo stagecoach

Wells Fargo Directors and Execs one step closer to accountability

November 5, 2017

Too often corporate directors and officers evade efforts to hold them accountable. A San Francisco federal court has brought Wells Fargo directors and officers one step closer to being held accountable for the rampant wrongdoing at the bank.

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prisoner hands holding bars

Initial coin offering fraud charged in NYC

November 2, 2017

Brooklyn resident Maxim Zaslavskiy was arrested and charged with securities fraud in connection with two initial coin offerings called RECoin and Diamond Reserve Club.

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elderly couple walking

What to do if elderly relative has suspicious investments

November 1, 2017

What should you do if you discover that your mother, father, or an elderly relative has inappropriate or suspicious investments? Do not ignore it. As difficult as this situation is for families, it is important to take action to protect our elderly family members before they lose a lifetime of hard-earned savings.

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