Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly displayed a photo of Raymond Lucia Jr. rather than Raymond Lucia Sr., the subject of the SEC proceeding. Neither Raymond Lucia Jr., nor the company from whose site the photo is taken, RJL Wealth Management, are the subject of the claims by the SEC. Patch regrets the error. In addition, the earlier version of this article, relying on a report from City News Service, also stated that the SEC had charged the subject of the proceeding with having “defrauded” prospective investors. However, according to the SEC’s release, the SEC has charged Raymond Lucia Sr. with making “materially misleading” statements to prospective investors.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday that it has initiated administrative proceedings against longtime San Diego financial radio and television personality Ray Lucia Sr. for allegedly spreading misleading information to support his "Buckets of Money" investment strategy.
The SEC alleges Lucia, who was raised in Poway and has an office in Sabre Springs, misled prospective investors at seminars by telling them that his method was back-tested — meaning that it was checked against historical financial data from past bear markets — when little such research had actually been performed.
Lucia left seminar attendees with "a false sense of comfort" about the Buckets of Money strategy, said Michele Wein Layne, regional director of the SEC's Los Angeles regional office.
"The so-called back-tests weren't really back-tests, and the strategy wasn't proven as they claimed," she said.
According to the SEC — which named Lucia and his former company, Raymond J. Lucia Cos., in its filing — Lucia told retirees that their nest eggs would grow and provide a hedge against inflation. However, the limited amount of research that was performed used historically low inflation rates and did not calculate advisory fees that clients would be charged, according to the agency.
The SEC contends that Lucia performed some calculations on his strategy in the late 1990s, with copies no longer available, and produced a pair of two-page spreadsheets.
According to a report, Lucia taught at high school and raised his children in Rancho Bernardo before beginning his own business.
-City News Service