Pay telephones, canine parks and baggage of silver: Customers ask advisors to invest in some wacky stuff

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Financial advisors are ceaselessly lauded for their investment acumen. Frequently, their biggest value is in saving customers from their worst impulses.

Surely, very best advisors on CNBC’s annual Financial Advertising marketing consultant 100 checklist have received abundant requests for abnormal, bad or outright dumb investments right through their careers — and, if left to their own gadgets, customers will have differently out of place plenty of loads or tens of tens of millions of bucks.

“Folks nevertheless hope for the home run — that this scheme or this idea will set the field on fireside,” mentioned David Rea, president of Salem Investment Counselors in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, which ranked No. 2 on this twelve months’s FA 100. “And they can be presented.”

Long live the pay mobile phone

About two decades prior to now, a longtime client approached Rea with a supposedly a hit thought: buying coin-operated pay phones.

Cellular verbal exchange, then ascendant, was once as soon as a fad, and pay phones would come once more in pattern once Americans out of place hobby, he believed.

The buyer, a retiree, was once as soon as ready to stake his whole explicit particular person retirement account, value $1 million, on the endeavor.

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In any case, Apple debuted the iPhone in 2007 and the remainder is history. About 97% of Americans private a cell phone of a couple of type; 85% of them have a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011, according to the Pew Research Center.

Within the interim, merely 5% of the 2 million pay phones inside the U.S. in 1999 are nevertheless spherical at the present time.

“It will have been a lifestyles changer,” Rea mentioned of the client. ”[His account] would have lengthy long past to 0.”

Fortunately, Rea was once as soon as in a position to dissuade the person from investing. He’d been pitched the pay-phone thought by means of an individual who’d promised lofty returns; the hype man moreover had a spotty disciplinary file and couldn’t furnish a prospectus with elementary investment information, Rea mentioned.

All 3 are telltale signs of conceivable trouble.

“I was in a position to talk the client off the ledge, thank goodness,” Rea mentioned. “Sure enough, I believe mobile phones have caught on.”

Baggage of silver

Every so often, advisors can only do any such lot to curb a client’s animal spirits.

Inside the Eighties, a client of Mark Mirsberger bought plenty of loads of bucks’ value of physically silver, over Mirsberger’s objections.

(Buyers ceaselessly view silver, gold and other physically assets as a protected haven right through sharp selloffs inside the stock market.)

“The sphere is completing, I need silver,” recalled Mirsberger, CEO of Dana Investment Advisors in Waukesha, Wisconsin, which ranked No. 1 on CNBC’s FA 100, of the client’s thought process.

“Thirty years later he known as us and mentioned, ‘I have the ones luggage of silver money. How can I get rid of them?’” Mirsberger mentioned.

Mirsberger located a coin dealer; after a 2% to 3% charge, the silver was once as soon as value lower than it was once as soon as 30 years earlier.

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