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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Did Bob Brinker Lie by Omission?

June 23, 2009...Item: Bob Brinker did not tell anyone to "get out of the market and into Ginnie Maes" before or during the 2007-2009 mega-bear market. Bob Brinker has never told anyone to do that -- ever.

Moneytalk, Sunday, June 21, 2009, Jim in Cedar City said: "I would like to thank you for some of your advice because you got me out of the market before it went collapse, and into Ginnie Maes."

Bob Brinker replied: "Well Jim, I, Jim, I, I appreciate the call very, very much. Let me ask you this, are you filing a single or married return......."

Just the opposite of what caller-Jim said, Bob Brinker advised Marketimer subscribers and Moneytalk listeners to remain fully invested ("don't sell") and recommended dumping all new money into the market at various levels (mid-1400's, low-1300's, low-1200's and mid-800's) and to keep dollar-cost-averaging all the way to the bottom on March 9, 2009.

As for Ginnie Maes, he never issued any kind of buy on them. He simply has them as a portion of his balanced portfolio and his fixed-income portfolio -- where they have been for many years.

Bob Brinker sells a newsletter titled "Marketimer." He talks about it on his national radio program that probably reaches millions. He allows callers to talk about it on Moneytalk. He bills himself as " America's Most Trusted Financial Advisor."

Would a "trusted financial advisor" speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about his market-timing advice? Would he correct callers if/when they say something about his market-timing advice that is not true?

What if he doesn't? What if he allows false information that promotes his market-timing calls, but would mislead listeners, to be disseminated on his program? What if a caller gave Brinker credit for making good calls that Brinker NEVER made, and Brinker did not correct the caller? Would listeners perhaps form opinions about the newsletter that Brinker is selling based on misleading information because he did not set the record straight?

I'm sure it perfectly LEGAL for him to allow false information about his market-timing calls to be spoken (and not corrected), but is it blatant lying by omission? Is it honest? Should you trust him?

Here is the link to listen to this exchange. It will be available until next Saturday at 1pm -- then it will be gone! If you open this with Windows Media Player, it's at about 20:00 into the first hour (1-2pm).
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