An Internet start-up in which I have a small foolhardy investment wants to offer you a free “financial plan.” They assure me it’s not a trick to grab your innermost financial secrets but rather a way to get some early feedback on their service, and to get users in all 51 jurisdictions (D.C.? Guam?).

If you’re curious, you can do it by phone — and grill the reps with whatever questions or reservations you might have (888-736-9720) — or else proceed straight to the very-much-a-work-in-progress Web site: There — after you click “Sign In” at the upper left, scroll down to First-Time Member and “register” — you’ll be able to choose one of the following reports, based on the info you provide:

  • College
  • Retirement
  • Insurance
  • Estate
  • Comprehensive

Note: To find these, click the TOOLS option and then PERSONAL FINANCIAL REPORTS.

The company assures me: “As you might expect, PFN’s privacy and security policies are very strict and require that all information be kept confidential and secure. PFN’s requirement of a personal account name and number provides one level of security. Another level of security is provided through constant monitoring by PFN and IBM to prevent and detect any unauthorized access.”

Of course, it’s way too late for me to unload this investment if it’s a turkey, but let me know what YOU think, if you try this. All feedback will be forwarded and appreciated.



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