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Society for Financial Awareness
Old 01-11-2020, 12:19 PM   #1
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Society for Financial Awareness

I am wondering if anyone has any experience with SOFA. They appear to be a non-profit for teaching about retirement planning. I am considering going to one of their free courses, but I don't want to get stuck in a Primerica-like seminar.

Has anyone heard of them? What I have found on the Internet all appears to sourced from their own web pages - reviews like that I don't trust.
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:33 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
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According to the 2017 tax return (from guidestar.org), it's a small ($450K sales), profitable ($54K) family business (James and Pamela Chilton), founded in 1996. They paid out $265K in salaries & benefits but the 990 says James and Pamela were not paid. It's not clear who is getting paid. Some of the statements refer to educating "groups of the church." Not clear what church.

James Chilton is associated with safemoney.com (https://safemoney.com/california/35-jim-c). Possibly he is the owner.

There is a company called "Rubicon Financial Insurance Services" that is listed at the same address. It appears to be an insurance agency. ("we offer commercial, life, health and personal lines insurance products provided by top rated insurance companies. RFIS has established relationships with larger preferred insurance carriers as well as general insurance agents in an effort to offer insurance products from a vast array of providers, both preferred and non-standard, at beneficial rates to clients.") Rubicon may have been a previous tenant, though, and not associated with SOFA. I did not try to check that out. Laziness has overcome curiosity at this point ...
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:37 PM   #3
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From Yelp reviewer:

https://www.yelp.com/biz/society-for...ness-san-diego
Quote:
The Society for Financial Awareness is a massive junk mailer who purchases people's private address and personal information, then spams their mailboxes with junk mail about the scam they are peddling. They do not respect people's privacy in the least. I'm sure CEO Jim Chilton would not like it if someone bought his personal info then started junk mailing him at his private residence. I feel completely violated. Please do not support this sort of activity by not supporting this enterprise. Scam!
I read another review by a SOFA "member" (presenter). He indicated that how it works is that SOFA itself is a non-profit, and the presenters "donate" their time giving the presentations - which is how they are free. However, you have to realize that these presenters pay SOFA for their membership and then sign up to do the SOFA presentations as a mechanism to generate leads for their real business, turning attendees into paying clients. The presenters primary occupation might be as a financial planner, a wealth manager, an insurance salesperson, etc.
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:02 PM   #4
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in one way shape or form anyone who talks to you who is not family, coworker or friend is most likely trying to remove dollars from your pocket.
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:45 PM   #5
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If you follow this site for a while, you will learn just about anything you want to about finances (and more). You can just follow, search for a particular subject or ask a direct question. You may get many different answers, a problem that you won't have if you ask just one financial planner. But ask several and...…..

On the other hand, if you are very good at saying nothing at all, or "No", What can the free seminar hurt? I did go to a few free seminars from a different firm. Not much that I didn't learn here over a short time. I later hired him to work up a financial plan for us to confirm our numbers which was worth the money spent. I then replicated his reports in Excel to do my own what-ifs.
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigdawg View Post
in one way shape or form anyone who talks to you who is not family, coworker or friend is most likely trying to remove dollars from your pocket.
So you saying that the semi-random strangers here in this forum are trying to remove dollars from my pocket. I had no idea.
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Old 01-11-2020, 08:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldShooter View Post
According to the 2017 tax return (from guidestar.org), it's a small ($450K sales), profitable ($54K) family business (James and Pamela Chilton), founded in 1996. They paid out $265K in salaries & benefits but the 990 says James and Pamela were not paid. It's not clear who is getting paid. Some of the statements refer to educating "groups of the church." Not clear what church.

James Chilton is associated with safemoney.com (https://safemoney.com/california/35-jim-c). Possibly he is the owner.
Wow! You've got some great researching skills. Mine are pretty weak.

I think I will save my time and skip the seminar.
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