As Seen on TV: Financial Products You Should Avoid – Lear Capital

Good financial products are bought, not sold. We are beginning a series of articles analyzing some of the most aggressively sold financial products – those which are advertised on television. This is the first installment in our series.

As a debt clock ticks in the background, a Lear Capital spokesman warns viewers that Americans face an end that will be “rapid and very destructive.” “It’s not a question if we are going to have a crash,” says Chris Martenson, “but when.” If you believe this, then the way to protect yourself is with precious metals sold by Lear.

I’m not going to critique Martenson, who runs a web site called Peak Prosperity that is devoted to an investing strategy based on, among other things, a belief that natural resources are being depleted and our government is overextended as a result of quantitative easing.

But I caution anyone against buying precious metals from Lear Capital. It is not an SEC-registered investment advisor and its web site states that there is no fiduciary relationship between it and its customers.

Lear versus eBay

Lear’s primary business is selling gold and silver coins. But you can buy coins more cheaply elsewhere.

For example, Lear will sell you a $10 circulated Liberty gold coin (1/2 ounce) for $753.00 (plus $24 shipping). I did a quick search on eBay and found a circulated Liberty coin selling for as low as $666 (with free shipping).

Buying silver is no different. Lear will sell you a pre-1921 circulated Morgan silver dollar for $30 (plus $10 shipping). On eBay, I quickly found one of these for $22.00 (plus $2.62 shipping).