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Movers & Shakers April 30, 2010

| April 30, 2010 9:00 PM

'Understanding the Impact of Health Care Reform'

Edward Jones Financial Adviser Buddy J. Honshell of Post Falls will host a free video broadcast titled, "Understanding the Impact of Health Care Reform" at 1:30 p.m. May 6, 10 a.m. May 7 and 2 p.m. May 13 at 1810 E. Schneidmiller Ave., Suite 210, Post Falls.

During the video program, Alan Skrainka, Edward Jones' chief market strategist, will join experts from the health care and tax law communities for a roundtable discussion. The panel will provide an overview of current health care legislation and explore how it might impact investors.

The event is presented at select Edward Jones branch offices nationwide via the firm's private video network.

To reserve a seat or for more information about the program, call Sally Jo Olson at 773-3268.

Mystique moves to Midtown

Mystique, a hair salon owned by Michael Matthias and Iris Andrea Matthias, has moved to 1109 N. Third St. in Coeur d'Alene.

The business had leased space at Fourth and Front, but the owners purchased the site on Third.

Matthias and his wife are the only two employees at the salon.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

Information: 665-5838

Beware of free lunch pitches

Governor Butch Otter has declared April as "Financial Literacy Month." The Department of Finance will issue a "Tip of the Week" each week during the month.

From the "Greatest Generation" to the "Baby Boomers," seniors have worked hard to build both our nation's economic prosperity and a lifetime's worth of savings. Today's retirees have more than $8.5 trillion in investible assets and over the next 40 years, they stand to inherit at least $7 trillion. As a result, financial services firms are increasingly focusing their marketing and sales efforts toward senior investors as well as investors nearing retirement age. So, too, are criminals.

Gavin Gee, director of the Idaho Department of Finance, cautions investors to be wary of this targeted campaign.

Free meal investment seminars, for instance, are sometimes just a means of finding older investors with assets. In fact, a 2009 AARP study found that 78 percent of people who attended such seminars expected to hear an educational presentation about financial issues. However, once at the seminar, half said they were asked for personal information; 46 percent said the presenter tried to make a follow-up appointment at their home; and 39 percent said the presenter tried to sell them something during or after the seminar. Gee said the potential financial impact of cases under investigation by the department ballooned into the hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years and virtually every enforcement action pursued by the department included at least one and often multiple victims of retirement age.

You can avoid becoming an investment fraud victim by following these self-defense tips:

• Before you invest, check out investments and those selling them by calling the Department of Finance (208) 332-8004 or checking its Web site at: http://finance.idaho.gov.

• Stay in charge of your money. Invest only in things you understand.

• Don't invest solely because persons in your church, club, association, workplace, etc., have invested and are making "extraordinary returns." This could be a red flag for a "Ponzi" scheme and/or affinity fraud.

• Watch out for salespeople who prey on your fears or pressure you to invest on the spot.

• Don't make a tragedy worse with rash financial decisions. The death or hospitalization of a spouse has many sad consequences - financial fraud shouldn't be one of them. Don't make emotional decisions.

• Don't let embarrassment or fear keep you from reporting suspected investment fraud or abuse.

If you have a new, relocated or expanded business, or announcement of events, promotions or awards, The Press wants to let our readers know. The service is free and items run Tuesday through Saturday. To get the word on the street on your movers and shakers, call city editor Bill Buley at 664-8176 Ext. 2016 or e-mail bbuley@cdapress.com.

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