The Author Inside You Podcast Show Notes:
136 David Meyer
When business slowed down during the pandemic, David Meyer stepped it up by writing a book. In order to share the stories of his clients he utilized his knowledge, and that of his team, to teach readers how to protect their retirement savings. In this episode of The Author Inside You podcast we hear how teamwork was used to write and publish David's book - The Investor Protector.
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Joining us today is David Meyer, author of The Investor Protector, where he shares the stories of good people and during unthinkable financial loss. David is the managing principal of Meyer Wilson, a national law firm he founded to represent investment fraud victims in their fight against deceptive brokers. Welcome, David. Thanks for joining us today. I'm glad to be here. Thank you. Well, David, I understand when you were 28, you had a case that led you to start your firm. Yes, I like to say I, I peaked early. I had a big case that was referred to me. I was not at the time, I was not an investor. But, boy, I was actually a tax lawyer. I don't have a traditional path to practicing law. I don't think that I was a tax lawyer at the time. I got my master's in tax law after my law degree, and I was hired to be a tax lawyer. I didn't really love it. So I was looking for other things to do. And a gentleman walked into my law office. He wasn't referred to me because I was 28 and no one was referring anybody to me at that point in my career. And it was this gentleman had a problem with the stockbroker. And my my bosses at the time weren't interested in the case because they were tax lawyers, too, and business lawyers. And I actually and this this changed the course of my life. And I was walking to the restroom and I ran into this gentleman, literally ran into him in the hallway. And I just talked to him and I asked him, you know, who he was or what he was here for. And he told me as I got a problem with my stockbroker and I can't find a lawyer to help me. And I said, well, I'd like to I'd like to hear what happened. And that I talked to him and I started doing some research. And this was in the beginning pages of the Internet. And I started doing some research and found out that he might have a decent claim against his brokerage firm. And so I called him back and he said, you know, David, this didn't happen just only me. This happened to a lot of other people. And I'd like you to meet with my other friends who this happened to. So I got in my very old Honda Accord at the time and drove about an hour up the road. And I walked in a room with 75, 80 people. Wow. Oh, my gosh. I'm like, whoa, this is this is this is something so fast forward end up being a class action. I represented about two hundred and fifty retirees from a small town outside of Columbus, Ohio, called Marion. And the case took about nine years. But we got a jury verdict of two hundred sixty million dollars, which was and still is the largest jury verdict in the state of Ohio. And that's how I started. My career has an investment for a lawyer. And I've been doing this work for 25 years since then. Wow. A home run at your first bet. Right. Yeah. Now, just for anyone doing the math, the Court of appeals did reduce that verdict substantially. So it's you know, no one collected 245 million, but all my clients recovered all their money plus attorneys fees. So it was a great result. And it really was a highlight of my professional career. And and and I've been doing this kind of work ever since. Well, congratulations on that when that's pretty exciting. And on the other side, you always speak about opportunities. And there was an opportunity that you didn't know what was going to happen. But you spoke to that gentleman just by you speaking to him. Look where it got you. Well, that's true. And I've got kids now who are 19 and 17. In fact, my son is 18, was six months old when I left to try that case for six weeks. And I tell him the same same story about the door is open for a lot of people on the difference between some and others are some people have the courage to walk through the doors and some don't. And not every door ends up being, you know, a great opportunity. But, you know, I think oftentimes the difference between success and failure is just taking advantage of opportunities. I believe that. A hundred percent. Right. Excellent. So let's talk about another opportunity. You writing a book, The Investment Protector. How did that come about? Well, I say that the book took me 18 months to write, but it was 25 years in the making. So that's a pretty good summary of my book writing experience. I never thought that Dave Meyer would would be an author of a book. My wife was a high school English teacher for a long time, and I can imagine she'd be the one that would be authoring a book. And instead, I wrote the book and she edited it. So it worked out. It worked out pretty well. But it's now that I've done it, I'm really happy I did it. It's a. Of all the things I've done know outside my family, it's really the thing I'm most proud of. And it's been a great journey and it's been a lovely opportunity to talk about it. But I'm I'm a big fan of this. And this is coming from somebody who never thought they'd ever read a book. So is the book designed to help people invest? So there's several purposes in the book. I mean, one reason. So the book primarily contains stories of of cases I've handled over the past 25 years. I mean, so I represent individual investors, mostly retirees who have claims against their financial adviser who lie, cheated or stole from them. Those folks have worked their entire lives and saved up their life savings and then entrust it with a broker who, you know, does something wrong and loses all or part of it. And then they come to meet to pursue the recovery of those of those losses. That's what I do, and I've been doing that ever since that Prudential case, you know, 25 years ago, and we always talk sort of jokingly in the office because, you know, we hear a lot of devastating stories, but there's a lot of a lot of things that we get calls. There's a lot of similarities. A lot of people had the same experiences. And we always talk about how, you know, it's really rewarding to get hired by someone who's suffered that that type of situation that comes to us and entrust us with their case. It's very rewarding to pursue a case and recover money for those folks. But, hey, wouldn't it be even better to try to do something to help prevent that from happening in the first place? Right. So by the time people refer to me, the damage has already been done. And, you know, we do our best to undo that damage. But we thought by writing a book and telling us and sharing our experiences of the stories of of clients we've helped that we could actually get in front of people and have an interesting story to tell, because the cases in the stories are really riveting, I think . I mean, it's it's really unbelievable what happens to people, you know, by these bad financial advisers. And so we try to the idea is we we share these stories and then people read the stories because they're interesting and they learn a lesson sort of biaxin, you know, it's like, hey, that was a really interesting book and now I know what to look out for. So the idea I mean, there's a lot of reasons I wrote the book, but one primarily is this try to hope that if the people that read this book will never need a lawyer like me. So it's actually a book designed to get me less business, but to educate people, to educate people. Right. Most folks don't know what to do when they're looking for a financial advisor. The financial industry is very opaque. I think that's by the nature of Wall Street. So I try to break it down and help people understand what to look out for, what to do before you hire an investment adviser and share stories of what I believe is unbelievable triumph over devastate recovery over devastating losses that our clients have had. And hopefully folks can learn the lesson and then, God forbid, they're in a situation where they may need an investment from a lawyer. You know, I walk through the steps of what to look for as you're going through the process of hiring a lawyer. Oh, great. Well, was it difficult recalling the stories that were 24 or 25 years old? So that's a great question. And I've done a lot of interviews. No one's asked me that question. So that was a big part of it. I started writing now. I had been preparing for about six months, but I actually started writing right when Covid had just as a coincidence. So it turned out I had a fair amount of time on my hands because all the travel stuff. So I have a nationwide practice. So we're on you know, we're traveling all the time. And obviously all that stopped in March of 2020. But, you know, leading up to that, what we had done is, you know, all the cases of our of our firm or, you know, during our system. So we all just worked together. We got seven lawyers in our office and we all just like we we went through our old files and took our cases that we thought would be most interesting and of most value to people. They help them understand how this how you know, how they can what they could, steps they can take to prevent them from being in this situation. So it was a group effort. We all you know, we you know, we cried a little, we laughed a little. We smiled. We reminisced about cases we've all had. A lot of my people have been there for a long time. My my intake person has been with me for almost 20 years. So we've been through this together. So we've been able. So we really we pulled out cases, you know, really sort of from the file cabinets as they so to speak. Right. To pick to take what we thought would be most appropriate for the book. And you had a team that's really great, a team helping you pick the stories. Yeah, I sort of had a research. I sort of had a research team at my law firm to help me, because the bulk of the book really is of the stories and the front of the book. I talk a little bit about my background and some history just to get to know me and how I got from there to here. And then we talk about the the securities industry and the difference between an investment advisor and a financial and a stockbroker. But the bulk of it's the stories. And that's what I had a lot of help from the team to put together. Well, you seem very personable. So obviously, you are a good storyteller. And that would help writing a book. Well, I think it's, you know, trial lawyers and the way we tell our clients stories for a living. OK, so we communicate, we persuade, we advocate. That's what we do. So that was the most fun part of the book. Now, the more difficult part about the editing and the grammar, you know, there's a lot that goes into a book as you as you put it now. Right. And again, my wife helped me tremendously. And I don't think she really signed up for that. Yeah, I know. But it turned out as she had spent the week, a spring break last year, revealing my book for the for the hundredth time. So she was she was a trooper. But certainly, you know, being a trial lawyer and advocate, it's fun, you know, doing that in book form rather than standing in front of a jury, an arbitration panel advocating for your client. It's very similar, a lot of ways and really gratifying. Oh, great. So what was your writing process like? Did you get up early and write or write on the weekends? So I had again, I had a lot of time because it was just the beginning of the pandemic. And I actually took my family and we went away sort of to like a sort of a country house for about three months, right when Covid started. And I sat out in a screened in porch and looking at a nice creek in the mountains. And I spent oh, I mean, I was I was waiting, writing quite a bit during the day for the first two months of Covid sort of got in the way of things. And I had we had team meetings and calls with my office about cases. And then I was working very closely with my publisher. So, you know, I am process driven and I like a schedule. So we had it mapped out pretty much day to day, week to week as to what we were going to do. And I know a lot of people say this, but the you know, the end of the book at the end was quite a bit different than how I envisioned in the beginning. And that was just part of the process. Right. But by that, my publisher warned me that that was not only OK, but that was actually desirable. That would that's that's a good result as opposed to, well, did I screw up? So, you know, I had a lot of I had a lot of great coaching and that helped as well. You had the publisher going into it before you began writing? Yep. So I did a lot of interviewing and a lot of I talked to a lot of other folks who were similar with other professionals who had written books and had a successful experience. I mean, my goal was not to sell a 100 million books. I mean, I have a day job and I'm perfectly happy with my life, with my career and my job. It really wasn't to make money. I really. There were some other primary objective. So I spoke to other folks who had similar objectives with writing their book. And I interviewed a lot of different publishing companies. I ended up going with Scribe. And then I had a I had a great experience with them from beginning to end. And they obviously knew what they were doing. And what I loved about him is they had a they had just a very detailed process. And, you know, once I committed to doing it, I just followed the process that I stuck with it. And it worked out really well, in my opinion. Great. So you pick Scribe Media. How was the process working with them? What was that like? So they assigned you what some of the I would I would call a coach, I think is actually a scribe is what they call it. And they have a lot of interviews time and trying to determine, you know, why do you want your who you're writing a book or for, who's the target, what's the purpose and sort of a North Star analysis. And that's really what what just kind of changed over the course of three or four months. And and this was all in the past. It took about three or four months of doing this before I actually started writing. But they help you with your who's your target? Who's your primary target, your secondary target. And then areas are. Oh, wow. Oh, yeah. It was unbelievably detailed. And they hold you accountable. You know, a lot of people there's there's talkers and there's doers. And I guess there's a lot of people talk about writing a book, but very few of us are very, very few of us actually do it. And it helps to have somebody holding you accountable. And that's what I have, all the benefits of Scribe. And they did it. I mean, they they helped me with the design cover the picture and and and there's know from soup to nuts, they really helped me along the way. And even the public hated the promotion of the book. It was actually one of their one of the stronger benefits, really, from them. And I didn't even realize that was kind of part of the part of the arrangement, but they were really good at that, too. And it just helping with dealing with Amazon and how to get the book out there. I mean, you know, I'm a lawyer. I don't know how to do any of that. Right. But they have a great process and a structure and they hold you accountable. And, you know, there's a commitment, obviously financially and of time and resources. And so I once I committed to it and stick with it, and I felt I followed the process, all the recipe, and they kept me accountable. And that's what that's what got me through it. Excellent. So we've heard lots of good things about scribe media, like they have free resources on their Web page, like an eBook called The Best Way to Write and publish your nonfiction book. And so, you know, for more information about Scribe Media, you can go to the author inside UKM Slash Publish, and we'll have a link there in case anybody is interested in doing that. So tell us about how they helped you with the promotion of your book. The best part about it is they started talking about promotion before I was even telling it, and I kept thinking, wait a minute, what if I book says, you know what, if nobody wants to read this thing, I don't want to read it. But they were so proactive and it's a whole different division. So while I'm working with my scribe and my publisher and the design team and the and and all that, and what's going to go on the front cover, what's going to go on the back cover and the pre publishing reviews. I mean, while you're doing all that and still I mean, I was still muscling through the content of the book and revisions. Then I got connected with someone in the promotion department. And they have I mean, it's like it's an unbelievably detailed process. I mean, it's something like the nine week process and they have a fancy name for it. But I mean, my book published June, I think June 10th of two thousand and twenty one. And we started the public the promotion process like 10 weeks before that. And and you have close calls with them every week. There's a Google shared page, and they help you with all the social media promotion. I mean, they had images and they had cut outs of my book with quotes. And, you know, they would send me emails to send to my contacts to help promote it. I mean, it was it's really unbelievable. And I didn't even have I didn't have any idea this was even part of the deal, because I just wanted to I never thought I'd actually get through finishing and actually publishing it. But then and then the best part is they send you an as part of the deal, you get like 50 copies or whatever. So I didn't know it was actually already done. And a big box came to our office and I opened it up and it was 50 hard copy books. And it's just I mean, I've had a pretty charmed career and a pretty charmed life. And I think my high point, you know, professionally certainly was opened up a box and see 50 books, hardcover books with your name on it. Right. It was it was. It's pretty cool. Yeah, I bet that was a great day. And for everyone in your office, too. Yeah. I mean, this was a team effort. And I acknowledged everyone in the book. You know, there was a big part of it. It was, oh, yeah, this was this was a team effort and a family effort. But I will say one of the most rewarding things about this book, and I didn't even anticipate this, the advance copy came out. And I have two examples that I thought really just solidified. I'm so glad I did this. One is so I have a 19 year old son and a 17 year old daughter, and I bring a copy home and I just put it on the counter and everyone laughed and we smiled and we laughed and we might have cried a little whatever. But then like two days later, I was a and I walked downstairs and my 17 year old daughter was what? She had her phone in one hand, but then she had her my book and the other hand. And and she was reading and I said, wow, you know, you're reading my book. And she said, Dad. And she was like. So the first chapter two is really sort of about my background and how I got started. And of course, she wasn't alive, you know, or just a baby. You know, as I started my firm, you know, 15, 20 years ago. And she said, David, David, dad, I had no idea that this this was how you got started or that you did this. I didn't know anything about that. I'm like, you know what? This whole process was worth it just for that, just to have something in writing. My kids can read as and as they get older. Hopefully they'll maybe they'll read all of that, you know, and they can show their grandchildren. Yeah. Just having that. And then, of course, my dad and my mom and my step mom or are fortunately still alive. And so they were, you know, obviously very proud. And I was happy to be able to publish the book while they were still able to enjoy it. So that that was a high point. I didn't even really think about all that when I was thinking about writing a book that wasn't really part of, you know, the reason why I did it. But it was it's been a benefit that I just didn't even expect. Right. So we touched a little bit about how you did 10 weeks of pre promotion of the book, you know, emails and social media. What happened after the book was published? Are you continuing to do that? Oh, yeah. So I'm still doing it. I still do. I do podcast interviews. I've done a lot of guest blogging. The book, I was fortunate enough, it reached number one that reached number one bestseller status on Amazon. Wow. Thank you. Which was just really excited to hear that. And it's just and I've had people call me and and thank me for writing the book and say that they've made they've made decisions with their broker. They've changed brokers because of things that that I've that they've read of my book and they've made decisions in their financial lives as a result of reading that book. And so that's extremely rewarding. What can you give us a little tip snippet of how someone who might be working with a financial advisor, how they could tell if maybe they might be a victim of fraud? Well, so I'll give you the best piece of advice. And this doesn't cost anything. And it's the easiest thing that everybody who's ever anyone who's working with a financial adviser or who has a family member that's working with a financial advisor or considering working with a financial advisor, everyone should look up their broker. And you could do it for free on the Internet. On your couch wearing your pajamas, and it doesn't cost anything and it takes five minutes. And that's why I go into Broecker check org and that's a website that's run by the federal securities regulators. It's free of charge to the public, and it has a database of every stockbroker, financial advisor in the country. And it's the only industry only profession I'm aware of where you can look up someone that you might choose to work with and learn about them before you hire them. You can't do that for lawyers. You can't do that for doctors. You can't do that for architects, but you can do it for brokers. So you go to a broker, checked out org, and you can type in the name of the broker in the name of a brokerage firm, and it'll pull up their record and they'll tell you, you know, when they got licensed where they work. So it has their employment history. It'll indicate that they've had any prior complaints by customers that indicate that they've had any regulatory disclosures. It's an invaluable resource. And I will tell you, if you do this, if everyone did this before they hired their broker, then the amount of cases that a firm like mine would see would go down by 75 percent. Wow. That's how valuable. Now, it's not perfect. And I have to the disclaimer is, unfortunately, it's not 100 percent accurate. There are ways that Wall Street and brokers can, you know, kind of play the system and get things expunged or erased. So it's not a perfect system. It's not a hundred percent accurate, but it's the best resource available for individual investors, retirement savers, I call them, who are considering hiring somebody. It has prior complaints. It has employment history, identifies where the where the broker works or where they did work and what information. That's a lot. And it's totally free. And you could search it over and over again and again. I've had several people call me and say, hey, they did this research. And as a result of what they found, they found their broker had two or three complaints. They they mentioned that their broker, they didn't get a satisfactory result. So they switched brokers, which is exactly what they should do. Right. And so, everybody, you should do this as soon as we're done in this interview, you should go online and look up your financial advisor and your parents should in your cause. Everybody that you care about, you should. It's a great resource. Again, it's not a hundred percent accurate, but it's the best thing everyone can do before hiring a broker to make sure that you only only entrust your money with someone who's licensed to sell securities and is associated with a decent sized firm. Excellent. And what's that Web page again? It's broker check dot org. Excellent. Well, put it in the show notes so you can scroll down and see that if you happen to be driving or walking right now. Well, David, tell us a little bit about the cover, your book cover. Were you able to have a say in it? So describe also help me with the title and the book cover design. So we went through many different variations of of titles. So there was an article about me about 20 years ago in a local newspaper, and the title of it, I was on the cover of this magazine , and the title said The Screwed Investor's Lawyer. So, you know, everyone everyone sort of known me as the shrewd investor lawyer. But depending on the pending or depending on where you put the apostrophe, that could, you know, not read as well. So it could be the screwed, you know, investors lawyer. So we just we decided not to go with that and we went with the investor protector. But that was a process again. It's not as easy. Well, if it sounds hard, it is hard to pick. The name of the book is that you know, that's obviously the name that should be there forever. So that took a long time. But they help you with that. And again, as you mentioned, they had videos just on, you know, going through the process of deciding on the title of your book. So there's a lot of help that scribe provides. And then there's a whole nother department on images and book covers. So book cover design was a whole nother part of the process. How was Scribe's? So we had all kinds of different pictures. And yeah, I mean, the design, the layout, it's all very organized and process driven. It's great. Excellent. From what I hear, it looks like your life. I'm sure you've had ups and downs, but it seems like a lot of things fell into place. What has been your biggest challenge that you had to overcome and that could be with writing the book or anything? Probably the biggest challenge, you know, professionally was that I started my law firm. I didn't have any family connections. I didn't have any business connections. I was brand new to the city and the state where I lived. And and it's you know, I was fortunate to have a lot of things fall in my favor. But the challenge of starting any business, I mean, whether it's a law firm or anything, you know, just from the from Ground Zero, I didn't have any money. My wife was a high school teacher. We were fortunate enough to live off of her salary as I was starting my law firm. So I had a lot of great friends and mentors. But that was that's the most challenging thing I've done certainly over my career. Wonderful. And it is something to say about people who take risks in people who don't. You had to take a risk. I just living on your wife's salary and you didn't know what was going to happen and then move off you go. That's true. It'll be that way with writing a book, too. It could be a risk. And then poof, there goes, right? Yeah. So, you know, I will say it's writing. This book has been one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. So for your listeners out there, you know, if they've thought about writing the book, I think a lot of people think about it. Most people don't do it right. I think that's right. I think a lot of people think about changing jobs or, you know, getting out of a bad relationship or, you know, a lot of things . But many of us just, you know, we can't we don't want to change with inertia. It's scary. It's risky. You know, a lot of us I'm nervous about the unknown. I mean, those are all legitimate concerns. But if you're serious about wanting to write a book, hiring a professional, a publisher or some company, a coach that that has experience doing this, I mean, there's there's a lot of help out there and a lot of it's just getting some direction and some coaching and some accountability and really helping you shape what the topics would be and who your target is. There's there's a lot of good help. And I've been talking just, you know, anecdotally around my law firm for 10 or 15 years about writing a book like this. But once I committed to it and found the best partner, it really came together. Right. That's some great advice. Normally we ask for advice at this point in the show, but I think that was some great advice that you gave anybody who was listening. Very good. All right. It's fun to hear your passion, your voice. Tell us now where can we purchase your book? So my book is available on Amazon. So if you go to Amazon and you type in the investor protector, you'll see it there and you can get hardcover or soft, soft bound or e-book. I don't have the audio, the audible version yet, because I'm not sure anyone wants to hear me read the book, read my book to them. So other than the audio book, it's all available on Amazon. Excellent. That's fantastic. Well, David Meyer, thank you very much for being a guest on the author inside your podcast today. It's my pleasure. I enjoyed the time with both of you. Thank you. I found David's story very interesting. And if you did to reach out to us, we'd love to hear from you. Find our contact information at the author inside you, DICOM. And until next time, write on. Thank you for listening to the author Inside You podcast with your host, Leah and Matt Rafferty.
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Displaying 136 David Meyer.txt.