Don’t let others pick your financial adviser

Gaylen Rust must have seemed trustworthy to the people who gave him money.

Rust was a longtime businessman in Layton, Utah, where he ran a coin shop started by his father in 1966. Rust also founded a charity called Legacy Music Alliance that funded arts programs in schools. An admiring 2013 profile in The Salt Lake Tribune called Rust “the state’s biggest proponent of arts education.”

Federal and state regulators, however, say Rust was running a Ponzi scheme. Civil lawsuits filed late last year by the Securities and Exchange Commission , the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Utah Division of Securities say Rust, his wife and one of his five children persuaded hundreds of friends, customers and business associates across the country to invest more than $200 million in a bogus silver trading pool.

When scam artists target groups of people who know each other or have something else in common, such as religion, it’s known as “affinity fraud.” In my latest for the Associated Press, why you shouldn’t rely solely on recommendations from friends and family when choosing a financial adviser.

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  1. Hello Liz,
    My parents have entered their 70’s and currently have a very simple will written up saying that all their possessions will be equally divided by my 2 sisters and I (we’re all 40 and over). Those possessions include the single family home they live in, a 4-unit apartment complex, two cars and other minor possessions. I’m wondering whether a will is sufficient or maybe a living trust. How do I find a good estate planner? Thank you.

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