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Is My Top Dog Financial Planner in Jeopardy?

Since my last blog on the beautiful plaque my dog, Max, received as one of America's Top Financial Planners, I've been expecting to hear from the Consumer's Research Council of America or at least SLD Industries, the company that sold me the beautiful plaque.

I've been expecting to hear from them because I keep reading about their threats to me in places like Forbes.com. Although I've diligently checked my office mail, email and voice mail, I've heard nary a peep from them. Nor have they returned any of my calls or emails.

Then, last Friday, I read another of Bill Barrett's Forbes column's on Max, which notes that the Consumer's Council will file a formal complaint against me with Colorado's Division of Securities. Apparently they weren't happy that I failed to follow some disclosure they must have meant to put in that mailing offering a plaque.

Here's the funny thing, though. This plaque, and the fancy invitation offering it, were part of a topic discussed in an investments cass I taught a couple of months ago at Colorado College. The guest speaker that day was Fred Joseph, the Commissioner of the Colorado Division of Securities. Part of the discussion addressed misleading honors and designations.

Apparently, the Council believes I'm the one misleading the public by holding my dog Max out to be a top financial planner. They say this because, of course, the council has only the best interest of consumers at heart. Its own actions could never be construed as misleading, such as those discovered by Barrett:

  • The Council's Washington, D.C., address is a rented mailbox in a UPS store.
  • It's not listed among nonprofit organizations tracked by federal regulators and the IRS.
  • An SLD representative first registered the Council's Web site a decade ago.
And there is nothing misleading about sending out invitations noting "You are among a select few that have earned this prestigious recognition" when they're really going out to thousands of people, or having the invitations signed by SLD President "James R. Wentworth," an apparently fictitious person.

Let me assure the Council that my dog, cute as a button though he may be, was not taken seriously as a financial planner working for Milk Bones or any other form of compensation.

However, if the Council would like to file a formal complaint or take legal action, I would like to advise them of the following:

Max Tailwag'er is very proud of the beautiful, "natural three-dimensional Stonecrest surface" plaque he received in response to the solicitation. As he has developed quite a fascination with it, any attempt to take it away will be met with swift legal recourse. Between PETA, the Humane Society and the ASPCA, I've no doubt that we can put together a formidable Dream Team.
Surely the Council has something more productive to do with their time than try to take away Max's award? Why not drop this matter and finish your list of America's Top Attorneys?

In the mean time, I'd like to ask the Council to immediately remove my name from its list of America's Top Financial Planners. I don't want to be associated with any organization that would discriminate against canines!