| NEW YORK, July 9
NEW YORK, July 9 The Securities and Exchange
Commission on Monday fined a radio personality and his financial
advice firm $300,000 for spreading misleading information about
his signature "Buckets of Money" investment strategy.
The SEC administrative law judge in the case also barred San
Diego-based syndicated radio host Raymond J. Lucia Sr. from
associating with other advisers, brokers and dealers, and
revoked his eponymous firm's investment adviser registration.
Lucia, who hosts investing seminars and the nationally
syndicated "Ray Lucia Show" on weekdays, has long promoted his
retirement-focused financial strategy, which calls for retirees
to spend money from "buckets" of safer assets like Treasury
bonds before tapping riskier investments, to give those assets
more time to grow.
The SEC judge, Cameron Elliot, said slideshows employed by
Lucia failed to use actual historical data, like adviser fees
and dividend rates for real estate investment trusts (REITs) he
recommended, to show how fictional portfolios following his
advice performed in past bear markets.
"He knew his fiduciary obligations as an investment adviser
and he knew that he was violating them by misleading prospective
clients for the purpose of selling REITs," the ruling said. "He
... became very financially successful as a result."
Lucia has denied the allegations, and his attorney said an
appeal was likely.
"It's a very severe penalty, particularly in light of the
fact that no investor was alleged to have lost any money at
all," said Wrenn Chais, a Los Angeles-based lawyer with Locke
Lord LLP. "It's had a devastating effect on his career."
If the decision stands it would effectively put Lucia out of
the financial advisory business, the SEC judge wrote. Lucia's
firm - Raymond J. Lucia Cos Inc - managed about $300 million of
assets in 2010, according to the SEC.
Benette Zivley, a lawyer in Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr PC in
Austin, Texas, said it would be hard for an investor to
determine whether Lucia's back tests were accurate without
"What they're trying to do is get the guy out of the
industry before we do have articulated harm to investors," said
Zivley, a former Texas securities commissioner.
(Reporting By Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Linda Stern and