Check out this article by Al Benelli about so-called financial advisors and "free meal" seminars:
"For years I have been warning consumers about the dangers of attending "free-meal" financial seminars. Local, state and federal regulators across the insurance and securities industries have conducted hundreds of investigations into these "selling events." ABC's Nightline even did a feature story on how free-meal workshops are often used as a springboard for financial abuse.
Some states, like Massachusetts, have actively prosecuted promoters who use false or misleading information to sell inappropriate products and services.
Other states, including Pennsylvania, have done relatively little due to a lack of clear statutes defining such things as minimum education and licensing standards.
In fact, in Pennsylvania, anyone can call themselves a financial advisor without the requirement of any license at all. The legislature in Harrisburg debates whether or not to license interior designers, while leaving the financial services industry alone. Sadly, such is the power of the insurance lobby in Pennsylvania."