Don’t let them trade off your name

When I was an associate at that forgotten law firm or when I started my own practice, I did a lot of networking. Met some great people, but more, I met people that were a waste of time for one reason, or another.

There was a time when I agreed to speak at an advisor’s event concerning annuities in 401(k) plans. Despite the newspaper advertisement, 2 people showed up, including an attorney who I thought was a friend of the advisor. The attorney had worked for my first boss, so I thought there was a kinship or connection. In addition, he claimed he knew another attorney mentor of mine. Over time, I discovered this attorney was just a huckster, selling services no one needed, and always trying to drag people into his quick rich, pyramid schemes. At one point, we worked on an article on Roth 401(k) opportunities. This attorney used that article for years and it netted me nothing. It actually cost me $300 when the attorney convinced me to join one of his health alliances to show a potential client that I was committed. Needless to say, I was conned out of $300. Years later, when the attorneys asked me if the article was good law and whether we should continue working on it, I passed.

Whatever your time, time is money and your reputation is important. Whether it’s someone who suggests there is business out there or not, be careful and not let other people trade on your name for personal gain.

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