Investors Watchdog: Arming Investors With Information

Video Transcript

Kelly Kesner: Hello, welcome to a series of videos that we’re doing that we’re going to call Investor’s Watchdog University. My name is Kelly Kesner and to help me define exactly what that is I’m here with the founder of Investor’s Watchdog, Pat Huddleston.
Pat Huddleston: Hey, Kelly.
Kelly Kesner: Hi, Pat.
Pat Huddleston: Good to be with you.
Kelly Kesner: Good to have you here.
Pat Huddleston: Well thanks. We wanted to start out by giving everybody sort of a background of what Investor’s Watchdog is and to do that I have to sort of take you back to the time when I left the Securities and Exchange Commission. I was an enforcement branch chief there, came back out into private practice, started representing investors as an attorney. I’m a lawyer by training. During those years between 1996 and 2006 I talked to easily scores of senior citizens who had lost everything they had worked for to a scam artist and often times the scam artists were broke.

There’s no money to get back. And so I had to give them this bad news there wouldn’t be any recovery and it’s a painful conversation to have. And I remember one time after I met with this guy in 2006 having this feeling. It hit me like a physical impact when he left the office. It felt like conviction, like an accusation. And the thought that popped into my head in that moment is, “How long are you going to keep having these conversations with these poor people until you do something about it?” And so in that moment Investor’s Watchdog was born.

Kelly Kesner: So, it was born around 2006 and what have you been doing since? What has Investor Watchdog been doing since?
Pat Huddleston: The first assignment we got was really cool. We got a call from an elder of a church out in Arizona who said his pastor was about to write a $5,000.00 check to this guy who said he could expand the building fund so that they’d never have to have another capital campaign and he needed an investigation quickly. Well, we did an investigation. It turned out the guy offering the investment was operating under an assumed name. He had a history of bankruptcy and the people that promised to guarantee this investment did not have the financial wherewithal to do so, so I told the elder that. The church saved its money and it felt like we had done what we meant to do.
Kelly Kesner: I would bet that this is not a unique case, that there are many of these types of stories out there.
Pat Huddleston: There are. We’ve investigated investments on three separate continents. We blog about a new one every weekday at Investor’s Watch blog and most people are really surprised by that. If you ask people to name all the investment scams you can think of, they can think of Madoff, of course, maybe Stanford, maybe one in their local community, but they would never guess the truth, which is there are hundreds of these things operating all the time. Worldwide, North America alone, thousands of them operating at all times. So, people are at much bigger risks than they have any idea.
Kelly Kesner: I would bet there are so many of these that it’s something that you can and you did write a book about called The Vigilant Investor.
Pat Huddleston: We did. Thank you very much for mentioning that. Yeah. And that was just to further outreach. We had the blog. We were out there talking about investment scams trying to get the word out a little bit more and we had hundreds and thousands of people come and see the website, and it’s getting more and more every day, but we still felt like we weren’t getting the message out there as well as we could.

So, I wrote this book. It contains 40 differtnt stories of actual investment scams and it teaches people things that they’ve never heard before, believe it or not. Everybody’s read a list of do’s and don’ts; this is not what this book is. You’ll learn things that you haven’t learned before and we’re going to talk about those things here at Investor’s Watchdog University in hopes that we can make people smarter when it comes to investments, so we can help protect them and the people they love.

Kelly Kesner: And we’ll be covering more details about the book and all the different stories that are in it later in further classes, but for right now we just wanted to introduce you to Investor’s Watchdog University. And please join us each week for a new video that should be approximately four minutes just to give you all some background on what’s out there and how to protect yourself. Thanks and hopefully see you next week.

[Music Playing]

[End of Audio]