Targeting Pensions and Retirement Savings

Huffington Post, February 9, 2016

This is a story to make you weep.

Several years ago a Portland, Oregon public schools retiree hired financial adviser Shayne Kniss to help him with retirement planning. The retiree would seem to have had no need for Mr. Kniss’s services. He already had a guaranteed life pension coming from his years of public service. But Kniss talked him into cashing out the guaranteed pension and turning the resulting $729,000 into an investment account in his Iris Capital firm.  Kniss confidently estimated 8-12% returns, which would have been higher than the guaranteed pension payments.

You can guess where this story is going.

Last September, as reported in The Oregonian, the retiree’s $3,500 payments stopped. Iris Capital was tanking. Most of its $5 million capital, collected from 50 people like the public schools retiree, had been invested in a shaky real estate flipping operation that was collapsing.

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