OLYMPIA, Wash. (10/29/08)--The Securities Division of the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has adopted a rule governing the use of professional designations that imply knowledge about issues relating to seniors. The rule is to protect seniors from misleading marketing by people offering investment transactions. The rule adopted is the North American Securities Administrators Association's Model Rule on Senior Designations. DFI says Washington is the first state to adopt the rule. "The purpose of the rule is to protect seniors by prohibiting the misleading use of senior and retiree designations," said DFI in a press release. "There has been a proliferation of professional designations that purport to show special knowledge of issues relating to seniors." Some of the designations represent a significant course of study, while others are mere marketing devices. Under the new rule, which became effective in July, the Securities Division can take license action against securities salespeople who use a senior designation to mislead seniors about their expertise. DFI warned consumers to check out anyone offering investment services or investment opportunities prior to signing any agreements, and to avoid those opportunities accompanied by high-pressure sales tactics that imply the offer won't last.