Sparks Corporation USA Management Services on How the elderly can be financially-protected
Barbara R. Ervin
Take the case of Max Tharpe, an accomplished photographer, who managed to inherit a large stash of stocks which afforded him a comfortable life in retirement. Having no heirs to pass on his estate, he chose to donate his wealth to charitable church groups when he turned 87. And so, one day he went to the office of Edward Jones & Co. in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. in 2007 for that very purpose.
In February 2008, Mr. Tharpe asked his stockbroker to sell only one position, his Wachovia Bank shares, whose branch had given him such poor service. He also told the broker to maintain all the rest of his portfolio. And this is when the whole thing blew.
Based on the arbitration award handed down by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or Finra, and the narrative account of Todd Zuckerbrod, Mr. Tharpes lawyer in the case filed against Edward Jones and its broker, William Holland, the story chronicles the extent to which scammers will go to fleece their clients, even the elderly.
It seems Holland took his sweet time, spending eight months to dispose of 30,464 Wachovia shares in a falling market, while making 81 unauthorized purchases using the sales proceeds. Holland also convinced Tharpe to liquidate a fully-matured insurance policy and to purchase an annuity in which Tharpe paid Holland a fat commission of $49,549.
How could a broker do that to an old man who probably lived a big part of his time visiting or staying in the hospital? An old man who had no way to comprehend, let alone suspect anything wrong with the insurance switch or even with his brokerage account. As he described the testimony at the Finra hearing, Atty. Zuckerbrod stated, Mr. Tharpe was hardly focused; you could be conversing with him for a few minutes and then, all of a sudden, he would be talking about B-52 bombers flying in the skies.
This kind of thing can happen to any elderly person to you or to your parents. You could be 85 or so and still be smart enough to appreciate Warren Buffetts counsel about index funds. However, two to three years down the road, you could become a sitting duck to clever cons out to cut 20% off your gains who share nothing to cover part of your losses.
Our top-rated clients consist mostly of individuals and their families who have accumulated large assets within their lifetime. With their significant wealth, the desire to have a suitable financial structure becomes crucial, one that covers broader diversification and not merely consisting of traditional types, such as equities, fixed income and cash. Hence, we cater to clients who invariably possess such assets as art works, jewelry as well as real estate. These non-traditional wealth sources provide us a dynamic approach to wealth preservation and enhancement.
On the other hand, we also have clients who are private investors who continue to produce wealth through business or employment, or who reached their retirement years with assets capable of sustaining a financially worry-free and comfortable lifestyle. Sparks Corporation spends precious time with such clients to help them realize that an efficient financial planning remains crucial to their continued success and the meticulous budgeting remains a vital tool for achieving their future security or income objectives.
Majority of people do not realize the crucial importance of seeking professional financial advice early in their working career. New college graduates and middle-aged professionals generally have not accumulated sufficient liquid assets but require help in financial planning to guarantee their investment choices align with their personal aspirations.
In delivering wealth management assistance and investment strategies, we hold ourselves responsible for preserving and enhancing the financial assets for a growing and discriminating set of investors. This fiduciary obligation requires us to constantly bear in mind the guiding principles that Sparks Corporation has set as our client-focused core values: Excellence, Integrity and Transparency.
And so, for Sparks Corporation to remain a dynamic source of trust and excellent financial service, we pursue our strategic goals by continually attracting and retaining the best talents in the industry.
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