Radio’s Ray Lucia wins at Supreme Court

High court rebukes SEC decision

Ray Lucia
  • Ray Lucia

Ray Lucia, who gives investment advice in a nationally syndicated radio program, today (June 21) won his case at the Supreme Court. The high court split 7 to 2 in Lucia’s favor. It was not a surprise, because of the court’s current conservative bent.

An administrative law judge had banned Lucia from the securities industry in 2013 on the grounds that his Buckets of Money investment strategy used false information. In September of 2015, the full commission upheld the administrative law judge’s ban.

Lucia took his case to the District of Columbia appeals court and didn’t win. So he went to the Supreme Court, using a different approach. He claimed that administrative law judges used by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are “officers” of the government under the Constitution’s appointments clause, rather than employees as the agency claimed.

The high court’s decision may cost the government buckets of money, because many agencies use administrative law judges, and now may have to go in another direction.

Lucia had sold his investment business to his son in 2010.

Share / Tools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • AddThis
  • Email

More from SDReader


This win is on a technicality, a very big technicality for sure, but a technical issue nonetheless. It doesn't say the discipline handed out by the SEC was not based on facts. But I've said before that he probably did more good than bad for most clients because he got them deferring consumption and investing the savings. Far too few baby boomers have set enough aside to provide an adequate retirement and they'll suffer for that. Ray, and others like him, were reminding them that they needed to take retirement seriously, and those who did heed his advice are better off than those who did not.

Visduh: His Supreme Court victory had essentially nothing to do with the SEC's findings that he falsified material that he used in investor presentations. I was on his show a couple of times when he started, but since then I have never heard his show, so I can't comment on whether he did more good than bad. I had questions when his former firm peddled non-traded real estate investment trusts which had front-end fees of 10 to 15 percent. Best, Don Bauder

Agreed on the merits of the case.

If Ray was peddling those things, I may have to take my words back. I just have a generic predisposition to those who encourage thrift, investment, and wealth accumulation. Dave Ramsay, whose radio show sells the idea of getting and staying our of debt as a first step to financial independence, isn't everyone's ideal. But he does more good than bad by far. I was putting Ray in the same category, perhaps erroneously.

Visduh: The non-traded REITs with the sky-high front-end fees has been the only dubious investment that his firm peddled, to my knowledge. Initially, as I recall, I did not like the fact that Lucia pushed Bill Holland off the air by bringing advertisers with him. In this case, as I recall, the ads were for his own investment firm. Now, almost any of these on-air investment "gurus" basically pay for their time on air. Best, Don Bauder

On further research and review, Ray Lucia Sr. won a small victory regarding the Administrative law Judge assigned to his case....The SEC and US Attorneys Office can just reassign his case to another qualified Federal Judge. Lucia may or may not be off the hook here.

Not sure whether the Defense of "Double Jeapardy" would apply here...maybe no...maybe yes..It depends..

And, Lucia's license disciplinary action records from the Feds indicate that Ray may have frequently pushed the envelope with clients and potential clients resulting in a long list of individual complaints some that are still pending...


concerned77: Lucia sold the firm to his son in 2010; he is only doing radio now, but he doesn't have the large audience he once had. He also suffered a heart attack during the SEC battle, as the Reader reported. I have not looked at the FINRA report, but I will. Best, Don Bauder

The best financial advise comes from professionals that have nothing to sell. Most, if not all, financial advise programs all have some product to sell. Most people listening to these programs want to get rich quick without doing the due diligence. Making good financial decisions takes time and research which most people are not willing to do.

AlexClarke: Almost all financial advice programs these days pay money to get on the air. I wouldn't bother with them. As I said, I haven't heard Lucia's show ford for a couple of decades, so I really can't comment on its quality. Best, Don Bauder

Be very wary of people calling themselves "financial planners" and "financial advisors" sellling you investment and insurance products. Many of them are only licensed to sell insurance. Some are not even marginally competent in that area.

The Obama Administration changed the US labor laws to make them "fiduciaries" to allow you to see them for fraud and negligence etc...

Trump issued an Executive Order changing the rules back so that scammers hawking\ worthless securities and VUL and annuties, in many cases, ARE NOT FIDICUARIES and OWE THE CUSTOMER NO FIDUCIARY DUTY...AND HAVE LESS LEGAL LIABILITY AFTER THEY RIP YOU OFF?!?!+)*&^%%$#@!

Buyer Beware!

Fee Based Financial Planners do not hawk specific insurance and investment products...However, you do pay a few for their expertise..

concerned citizen77: Trump campaigned as someone who wanted to help the little guy. His actions have been exactly the reverse. He has made it easier for crooks to flourish and screw the little guy. Best, Don Bauder

Log in to comment

Skip Ad

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader