The financial-planning media are abuzz about the departure of San Diegan Derek Bruton from LPL Financial, which has headquarters in San Diego and Boston, and has 17,000 financial advisers under its wing.
Publications such as InvestmentNews, financial-planning.com, and riabiz.com are discussing the way in which LPL publicly discussed the departure of Bruton, a top-level executive. (RIA stands for registered investment advisor.) In a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, LPL said Bruton was permitted to resign "in light of the company's concern about [his] interactions with other employees." Then LPL added that the separation was not related to the company's performance. Hmm… Employee-relations specialists interviewed by the publications said this was a very unusual way to announce a departure.
Then, Bruton joined San Diego's Lucia Capital. This company, which, like LPL, gives out financial advice, calls itself a "partial successor" to Raymond J. Lucia Companies. Raymond Lucia Sr., a financial advice–giver on the radio, sold the Raymond J. Lucia Companies to his son, Raymond Lucia Jr., in 2010. The senior Lucia intended to concentrate on his media career.
But then he got in trouble. In 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged that at investment seminars, the nationally syndicated radio personality was spreading false information to potential clients. Specifically, Lucia told audiences that his "Buckets of Money" investment strategy, about which he had written books, was not "backtested" as he claimed. Backtesting involves figuring how a strategy would have done in prior market periods. Last year, the senior Lucia was banned from the securities business and fined.
Raymond Lucia Jr. says his father is no longer connected with the organization. But a financial-planning.com reporter called the senior Lucia's radio show and asked a receptionist to recommend a financial planning firm. The receptionist recommended Lucia Capital. The junior Lucia insisted that the receptionist had made a mistake.
The publication financial-planning.com also pointed out that Lucia Capital touts its "Bucket Strategy," which smacks of the senior Lucia's "Buckets of Money" plan.