Bob was sitting on his couch when he saw an advertisement that piqued his interest. It was a commercial from Rosland Gold.
William Devane is seen standing in front of a bank vault.
“Americans disagree on just about everything: Politics, religion, where to eat dinner,” he says. “But we can agree on one thing: an IRA backed by gold feels more secure than an IRA backed by paper. Do you really want to build your retirement on paper? Gold Bullion, Lady Liberty Gold and Silver proofs can help you preserve your wealth.”
Bob felt a sense of dis-ease. Is that true? I guess it is. Gold will always be worth something, he thought to himself.
“An IRA backed from Rosland Capital can give you that extra layer of protection, so your retirement can withstand the troubles of tomorrow. So ask yourself. Are you safe? Call now to get your free report.”
Bob thought to himself, the stock market is so volatile. Maybe I’m not safe! Maybe this is a good way for me to sleep better at night. And you can’t go wrong with gold. It will never go down in value. If the economy collapses I’ll be happy I’d bought some gold.
So Bob called Rosland Capital and put $100,000 worth of gold and silver coins into his IRA. He didn’t actually possess the physical gold in his house. It was being held by Rosland Gold who charged him a $100 “depository fee” each month. Of course, Bob could never actually go and see the depository. He wasn’t exactly sure where his gold was being held.
A month later he got his first statement.
This can’t be right, Bob thought as he looked at his $65,000 account balance.
After a bit of digging, Bob became furious. The coins he purchased had no intrinsic value in and of themselves. Nobody is walking around paying for things with Lady Liberty gold coins. If he sold the coins the value was closer to $65,000. Real gold buyers are going to melt the coins down anyways. Buying gold from a commercial on TV is always a bad idea.
I have lots of clients ask me about gold and I think Warren Buffett put it best when he said:
“Gold gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head.”
Moral of the story: If a financial product is being constantly advertised, buyer beware. Also, I have no idea how this gold scheme is even legal. They make so much money taking advantage of people and then they pour their profits into new commercials to scam more people.
Stan and Nancy, in their mid-70s, owned a life insurance policy that had a $500,000 death benefit (which would pay if Stan passed away).
Stan kept hearing about how you can sell your life insurance policy while still alive.
He saw the same advertisement dozens of times on TV. The ad went something like this:
“Do you have a life insurance policy you no longer need? Sell your policy for an immediate cash payment.”
(a couple in their late fifties appear on the screen)
“We thought we had planned for retirement, but we quickly realized we needed something to supplement our income. Our friend sold their policy to help pay for their medical bills and that got me thinking. Maybe selling our policy would help with our retirement. So I called Coventry Direct.”
Maybe I could sell my policy, Stan thought. We can always use extra cash.
So Stan called the company where a very nice salesperson took his information. They seemed especially interested in his health. Stan had experienced a heart attack a few years earlier.
After some calculations, the company offered to pay him $100,000. Going forward, they would pay the premiums and receive the proceeds on Stan’s demise.
It’s not as much as I thought I’d get, thought Stan. But I guess I don’t need that policy anymore.
Five years later Stan passed away. The company received $500,000 in life insurance proceeds.
That was a $400,000 mistake, his wife thought angrily.
Dave’s Commentary: This product is called a “life settlement.” Stay away. The company pays you pennies on the dollar for your life insurance. They only take on people who are in poor health. If you are in terrible health and want to sell your life insurance policy don’t do it!
Any medical debts you build up can be paid off with the life insurance proceeds once you’re gone. Remember, if you see a commercial touting a financial product over and over again, it’s generally a bad idea.