Investment Advisers Act of 1940 Section 206(4)(1) states (in part):
It shall constitute a fraudulent, deceptive, or manipulative act, practice, or course of business within the meaning of section 206(4) of the Act for any investment adviser registered or required to be registered under section 203 of the Act, directly or indirectly, to publish, circulate, or distribute any advertisement:
- Which refers, directly or indirectly, to any testimonial of any kind concerning the investment adviser or concerning any advice, analysis, report or other service rendered by such investment adviser;
Fact: Forge Consulting, LLC uses the purported testimonial of current Presidential candidate John Edwards on its website. The purported testimonial , used for the purpose of soliciting insurance, trust, money management and other services , states that Edwards gives Forge his "highest recommendation".
Commentary: The propriety of either the use of the testimonial aside, or the manner in which the purported testimonial is being used, it is still up in the air whether or not John Edwards ever used, and currently uses, structured settlement services of Forge Consulting, since he became a full time United States Senator years before Forge Consulting was established. Senator Edwards and John Edwards 2008 campaign have been avoiding the question since March 27, 2007 when I first posed it.
Fact: Forge Consulting, LLC also uses the purported testimonial of the Hill Boren law firm of Jackson Tennessee, on its website, in which that law firm purportedly stated "FORGE will meet with you and your client personally, to explore annuity, trust, and managed account options.
Fact: This appears on the Forge Consulting website: "FORGE Consulting brings a variety of essential consulting skills to the table. By designing a customized financial solution that includes the right combination of structures, trust products and managed accounts, FORGE assures your client of valuable tax advantages, lifelong security and liquidity. Our consultants seek out and demand competition for the best pricing among life insurance, trust and money management companies"
Fact: Forge Consulting, LLC President, John T. Bair has used the purported testimonial of current Presidential candidate John Edwards in written solicitation to lawyers representing injury victims in a manner which suggests that the purported testimionial is for "advice, analysis, or other services rendered" including solicitation of insurance and trust services and money management as set forth in the Forge Consulting, LLC web site.
Fact: Forge Consulting, LLC distributed this brochure Download FORGEBrochure.pdf advertising that Forge Consulting, LLC provides "investment planning" services at on the very least 2 meetings attended by trial lawyers from all over the United States (ATLA July 2006 in Seattle, WA and AAJ February 2007 in Miami, FL) . There is NO identification of any separate broker dealer or registered investment adviser.
Fact: Forge Consulting owns at least 50% of an advisory firm, Advocacy Wealth Management, LLC according to the Form-ADV posted on the SEC web site.
Fact: Following the link to the Advocacy Wealth Management website listed on the Form-ADV lists the leads you to no website, just the "under construction page" at Godaddy.com
Fact: Together with the above linked brochure, at least one Forge Consulting, "settlement consultant" connects the dots between Forge Consulting, LLC and a holding out of Forge Consulting, LLC as a financial advisor:
The above fact is found in a listing that comes up in a Google search for "forge consulting advisor" and "atlanta financial advisors"
Find financial advisors in Atlanta. ... Financial Advisors. Search by city or ZIP code: City example: New York, Atlanta ... Forge Consulting, LLC ...financial-advisors.in/Atlanta.
Thie individual in question, Christopher Fletcher Lacoste, a/k/a Toby Lacoste, lists the Forge Consulting web site as his website in the financial advisory listing. Toby Lacoste's name comes up under Ameritas Investment Corp., not Forge Consulting, LLC, under the NASD broker check, yet there is no mention of Ameritas Investment Corp. in the web listing OR or on any of the Forge Consulting, LLC solicitation materials identified above.
For Additional Reading:
"Investment Adviser Advertising" Journal of Accountancy, November 2003.