Category: News

New Scam Tricks Advisors Into Giving Up Clients’ Money

Financial fraud has always been a problem, but the Internet has enabled entirely new ways of stealing money. We recently received an alert about a new scheme to defraud advisors and their clients.

The scam begins with an email to an advisor that includes a bogus invoice. The email appears to come from a client, and it includes a request to send money directly to the business listed on the invoice. The invoice might appear to be for purchases such as antiques or art, or for such things as attorney fees or legal settlements. The advisor sends the money, and the fraud is complete.

The payee is often in a foreign country or at an overseas bank. This makes it nearly impossible to catch the thieves or reclaim the money. The FBI estimates that more than 2,000 victims lost more than $214 million to this scam between October 2013 and December 2015.

My firm has a policy of not sending clients’ money to third parties based on email communication alone. But we go beyond simply confirming client requests by phone. It is our policy to get to know our clients personally. We know if they have a pattern of sending money to third parties. In all cases, we require a written letter of authorization as well as verbal confirmation from the client before any money is sent out.

The recent news that personal information about more than 20 million government employees, contractors and others was stolen highlights the importance of the security of your financial information. It also makes dealing with a financial firm where you are an individual, not a number, increasingly important.

NOTE: We recently submitted this article to NerdWallet who posted it on their Advisor Voices board.

New Website for Korving & Company

Hello!
I’m excited to announce our newly redesigned website with lots of new features designed with our clients in mind. The address has not changed, it’s still www.korvingco.com.
It has a new look and many new features. Go there and you’ll find:

  • A link to our book: BEFORE I GO. You can even download the first three chapters.
  • My interview on “The Hampton Roads Show.”
  • Our latest blog posts. These are updated regularly. Our blog was recently recognized as one of the top financial blogs.
  • Our latest research paper “8 Tips for a Better Retirement.”
  • Online appointment booking – schedule phone calls or reviews with us online, when it’s convenient for you.
  • A form to send us a message.
  • A link to your Schwab account.
  • A link to your Lock Box.
  • Links to our social media pages.

We’ve worked hard to make this a website our clients can use and visit regularly. It has even been “mobile optimized” to show up better on your cell phone or tablet computer. Feel free pass this e-mail or a link to our website to family and friends. We still have some room for the right kind of clients.
If you belong to a group that’s looking for speakers, let us know. We’ll try to provide an entertaining and educational experience.
As always, we welcome your comments or suggestions for improving our service.

Government shuts down: No sign of economic problems

The news has been co-opted by the partial government shut down with its attendant predictions of economic catastrophe if the government doesn’t re-open all its branches in a few hours.  Meanwhile in Realville, First Trust notes:

we’ve still seen the two ISM indices (on manufacturing and services), auto sales, chain-store sales, and two weeks of unemployment claims.  None of these reports suggests the economy has broken out either to the upside  or the downside from the pattern of Plow Horse growth of the past few years.  While real GDP itself probably slowed in Q3 to around 1.5{030251e622a83165372097b752b1e1477acc3e16319689a4bdeb1497eb0fac93} growth, the economy as a whole looks to be expanding at roughly a 2{030251e622a83165372097b752b1e1477acc3e16319689a4bdeb1497eb0fac93} annual rate over a two or three quarter average.
The bottom line on  the economy right now is that there is no sign the partial shutdown, or anything else for that matter, has knocked it off the same course it’s been on for the past few years.  Hopefully, when the government finally opens back up, it’ll do so with a better set of polices, which would help the plow horse pick up his pace.

It’s a different view than we get on the 24/7 cable shows, but it helps to look at reality when those around you are losing their heads.

Federal reserve surprise

The highly regarded Art Cashin commented on the announcement coming from the Federal Reserve that it would not begin “tapering” its bond buying this month.

The financial media has joined the trading community in speculating about possible damage to the Fed’s “credibility” from its no taper decision.  The question is based on the process.  In late spring, Mr. Bernanke floated the idea of gradually reducing the Fed’s QE purchases and, ultimately, ending the program – possibly as early as the middle of 2014.  In the following weeks and months, various FOMC members (voting and non-voting) opined on the matter.  The collective impression was that tapering would begin by yearend (and before Mr. Bernanke’s term ends in January).  The media odds-makers generally moved toward September as the likely start. Instead, the FOMC opted to stand pat in September.  Shocked markets around the world reacted violently.   If the Fed was moving toward a delay of tapering, why was there no intervening “guidance”?  Traders now speculate that the FOMC may have made up its mind at the meeting itself.  If so, was there some last minute economic data or development that moved the FOMC away from a decision that was broadly expected by markets around the globe (as demonstrated by the sharp and sudden reactions that followed)?   That could make the Minutes of the meeting very enlightening – unless they are heavily laundered.  We await with great anticipation.

And here’s a brain teaser:
An ancient Roman Puzzle – “Start with five hundred, end with five hundred just five in the middle will be.  Between them shall be a first of numbers and of letters to give ye the name of a great king.”  Who is it?

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