Friday, November 7, 2008

Snake Oil Salesman

I was invited to a meeting sponsored by the company that handles our 401k at work, so I decided to go. Three speakers were scheduled to talk about 3 different items. The first one was presented by a law firm here in Juneau that specializes in setting up whatever is needed to plan for your beneficiaries (wills, living trust, etc..) She gave really good information on what you can do to set up for beneficiaries, the laws that work within the death benefits, as well as how to protect your children's inheritance from creditors etc... Really good information.

The second presentation was from one of the tax planners here in Juneau. He went over tax laws, what will only be considered for 2008, what will carry on to 2009, etc... He also speculated what could happen now that Obama has been elected, based on what is on his website.

The final presentation was to tell us our options on protecting our retirement accounts. Sounded great in the invitation. However, it pretty much stopped there. The guy presenting it was from AXA (who our financial company is under) and he decided to give us the high points of a special program that AXA does (that is not cheap, by the way) to give extra protection in today's economy. I felt like I was sitting though one of those dreaded time-share presentations. If I had gone by myself, I would have walked out, but I car-pooled, so I stayed for the whole thing.

That's the thing about those kinds of presentations, they have really good ideas for fixing the situation, for a nominal fee, of course. "I got this snake-oil here, great for this..."

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