Raymond Lucia Sr., a San Diego-based syndicated radio personality and financial advice author, was ordered to pay $50,000 for giving investors misleading information about his “Buckets of Money” wealth-management strategy.
Lucia falsely claimed his strategy to provide inflation-adjusted income to retirees had been empirically backtested during bear markets, according to an initial decision issued Monday by an administrative judge who also barred Lucia from associating with any investment adviser or broker.
The administrative judge also ordered Lucia’s firm, Raymond J. Lucia Companies Inc., to pay $250,000 and revoked its investment adviser registration, according to the order.
Lucia is reviewing the opinion in the case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission and may appeal, said Wrenn Chais, his attorney at Locke Lorde LLP in Los Angeles.
“While we respect the commission and its regulatory processes, we respectfully disagree with the majority of the findings of the opinion and the penalties assessed,” Wrenn said.
The SEC accused Lucia in September of having promoted his strategy at a series of investment seminars that he and his company hosted for potential clients. According to the SEC, the only backtesting Lucia performed were some calculations made in the late 1990s and two two-page spreadsheets.
“Judge Elliot’s initial decision vindicates the Division of Enforcement’s original position that Lucia and RJLC misled the investors who attended their seminars by claiming that the Buckets of Money strategy had been successfully backtested when in fact it had not been,” Michele Wein Layne, head of the SEC’s Los Angeles office, said in a statement.