SEC charges radio's Ray Lucia with misleading investors

A nationally syndicated radio host and wealth manager has incurred the wrath of the SEC for sharing his retirement strategies with the public - and may be legally prevented from doing so in the future.

San Diego-based Ray Lucia, a radio personality and frequent contributor to CNBC and Fox News, has been accused by the SEC of providing untested and inappropriate investment advice, and are seeking an order to block him from making such claims in the future, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Lucia's own fee-based investment program, dubbed "Buckets of Money," has been a popular draw at seminars across the country, often with economist and actor Ben Stein as a co-host.

But federal regulators say that Lucia has done very little real-world testing of his investment scheme - which encourages pre-retirees to split their savings between cash, safe investments and risky investments.

Despite being fairly common investment notions, the SEC says Lucia's larger media presence provided an overly optimistic view to investors and that his company, Raymond J. Lucia Cos., did very little real-world testing of the investment advice it offered.

"Lucia and RJL left their seminar attendees with a false sense of comfort about the Buckets of Money strategy," SEC L.A. office director Michele Wein Layne told the Times. "The so-called back-tests weren't really back-tests and the strategy wasn't proven as they claimed."

The SEC's contention is that Lucia's investment advice is based on inaccurate data on inflation rates and that his calculations were simply some rough math done in the late 1990s.

The order against Lucia seeks financial penalties and "other remedial action."

Lucia's attorney said his client has done nothing wrong and notes that the SEC's allegations do not suggest investors actually lost money.


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