Investors today face a perfect storm that threatens to make them forget Bernie Madoff. Demographic shifts. Underfunded pension plans. Inevitably less generous social security. A sour economy. Hamstrung regulators.
They all add up to an environment in which investment fraud is flourishing. As much as we like to think otherwise, we arenâ€™t born with the skills necessary to survive an encounter with a reckless stockbroker or a cleverly-disguised fraud.
There are things at play in our brains behind the curtain of our conscious thought that make us pre-wired to fall for a financial fraud. There are cognitive biases and perceptual limitations that make us all vulnerable. Traditional due diligence methods have not yet factored those things into a pre-investment investigation.
Former SEC Enforcement Branch Chief Pat Huddleston has written a new book, The Vigilant Investor, which tells us how to recognize our limitations and account for them in a way that allows us to protect ourselves and those we love from the predators who crowd the investing landscape. Professor Burton Malkiel (Princeton University), author of the best selling A Random Walk Down Wall Street calls Pat â€œThe investorâ€™s perfect teacher.â€
Pat Huddleston joined the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 1990 as an Enforcement Attorney. Less than two years later, he accepted a promotion to Enforcement Branch Chief, leading a team of Enforcement Attorneys in nationwide investigations of cases involving suspected insider trading, brokerage firm misconduct, and scams of every stripe.
Since returning to private law practice he has represented investors in securities litigation and arbitration. He currently serves as court-appointed receiver in SEC fraud cases, cleaning up the mess left in the wake of the collapse of those scams and working to recover assets for defrauded investors. In 2006, Pat founded Investorâ€™s Watchdog, LLC, a due diligence company that conducts pre-investment investigations on brokers, RIAs, and unregistered investments.
Investorâ€™s Watchdog has conducted investigations for clients all over the world and helped save millions in retirement savings that otherwise would have been lost to cleverly disguised frauds. Pat has appeared as an expert guest on television, most recently on Fox Business News and on Chicagoâ€™s Monsters and Money. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Kiplingerâ€™s Personal Finance, and Wired magazine, among other publications. He blogs on investment scams and investor protection issues every weekday at investorswatchdog.com. You can follow him onTwitter where his handle is scamdemic.
David J. Moorman is Founder and President of DynaSis. David holds executive responsibility for the companyâ€™s strategic development as well as its overall operations.
Since creating DynaSis, David has successfully implemented complete financial systems for several of the companyâ€™s clients, including Outback Steakhouse International and Heavenly Ham. He is also credited with implementing network systems for the Scientific Games Corporation (the leading supplier of instant tickets, systems and services to lotteries), as well as designing and implementing technology for over 300 businesses in their last 20 years.
In January of this year, User Insight embarked upon a year long research project to study how people consume TV and related content.
The project, titled â€œThe Social TV Experiment,â€ is focused on understanding behaviors exhibited in consumersâ€™ homes and how the social TV revolution is impacting how people watch, interact and consume TV and advertising content.Â On October 20th, User Insightâ€™s Social TV Event will unveil these findings at a virtual conference that will feature industry experts from television, social media and advertising. www.socialtvevent.com
As CEO, Eric Holtzclaw identifies strategic service offerings and oversees operational excellence and innovation across User Insightâ€™s business. Ericâ€™s 20+ years of experience include work for a variety of successful startup companies including GeoMedica, Information America, OneCoast and CyberSource. Eric has been responsible for the successful implementation of more than 30 consumer oriented and internal use products and services throughout the UnitedStates, Canada, Europe and Saudi Arabia. Follow Eric on Twitter at @eholtzclaw – linked-in profile: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/eric-holtzclaw/1/146/36