Scams How to spot them in Your Industry!

Protecting the consumers from the robbers!

7 Tips For Spotting An Investment Scam

Author: P. Christopher Music

Do you know the tale-tell characteristics that indicate “investment scam?”

Over the course of the last two decades in the financial industry, I have had good fortune, and yes, bad fortune in learning about the realities of investments.   When I speak with investors, it’s not uncommon for some people to insist on certain delusions they have accumulated regarding the subject.  This article is an effort to give you some the characteristics of any investment proposal that deserves your careful scrutiny and distrust.

Most investment scams have certain characteristics in common:

  1. 1. Secrecy – Any investment program that is worth anything can stand up to the scrutiny of financial advisors, accountants, attorneys and anybody else with some investment acumen.  Many scams create this confidentiality to give the investor the feeling that they are “on the inside,” privy to investments only available to wealthy families or a select group of fortunate people.  The confidentiality requirement is designed to prevent you from communicating with others about your involvement so you will keep believing what the scammers are telling you.
  1. 2. High Returns—What rates of return should a person receive for investing money?  Well, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  While 20% returns may be possible for very speculative investments under certain circumstances, anything beyond that is simply not real over time.  If any return on investment is greater than what would normally be earned on that type of asset, it is a good indicator that something isn’t right.  Consult a knowledgeable financial advisor of your  investment plans if you have any doubt.
  1. 3. No Track Record — Any investment program should have returns that can be verified by a reputable third party, such as an accounting or law firm.  Further, the principals of the program should have fully verified backgrounds with a proven record of successful past investment programs.  Moreover, any start-up would have a logical product and a complete business plan replete with reasonable financials and marketing plan.  If there is no track record, forget it.
  1. 4. Lack of Full Documentation—Any legitimate investment has full documentation, including a prospectus (a document that explains the details of an investment) or offering memorandum (which is for private placement programs, investment programs that are made available to qualified investors and not to the general investor public).  Complete contracts would also be provided carefully covering all of the details of the proposed investment.  Insist on full disclosure.
  1. 5. Guarantees—To my knowledge, the only investments that provide guarantees are insurance policies.  If someone is offering you guaranteed returns or a personal guarantee, it’s not worth anything.  If you lose your money in the investment, the personal guarantee is only as good as the assets of the person issuing the guarantee (if they had the money for the guarantee, why would they need yours?)
  1. 6. No Registration with Regulating Authorities—In order to offer an investment to the public, in most cases, the principal creating such an investment will have to register it with the State.  Further, the person selling the investment will have to be registered with the State as a securities salesperson or investment advisor.  Lack of such registration is a red flag.
  1. 7. Offshore Tax Benefits — For American citizens, there are no offshore tax havens.  In other words, US citizens are taxed on worldwide income, regardless of the source.  Anyone stating that you can save or avoid income taxes by moving offshore is just dead wrong.  There is no surer way of creating a problem than attempting to evade taxes.  While there are asset protection reasons to use offshore entities, there are no legitimate income tax saving strategies offered offshore that cannot be done domestically.

I know I said 7 tips, but I thought of one more…

  1. 8. International Lure—Investing internationally has a certain allure to it.  It’s exotic and different.  The only problem is that you transfer your assets overseas and the chance of getting them back may be zilch.  The complexities of international financial regulations and laws make it a great justification for someone to not be able to deliver on intended investment results.  Just keep your money closer to home.

Greed and Desperation

People invest in these programs due to desperation for money or the desire of getting something for nothing.  The way to wealth is through investing wisely in your own ability and production and being intelligent enough to not spend everything you make.  Falling victim to any investment scam can be a significant setback to your quality of life.  Just don’t play that game.  Learn the natural laws of money and apply them and you will be where you want to be in due course.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/banking-articles/7-tips-for-spotting-an-investment-scam-1943536.html

About the Author

After 15-plus years of being a financial planner, Christopher Music decided there had to be a better way. Witnessing financial debacles of big industry and government-driven economies caused Christopher to take action, developing an instrument that measures the success of any financial plan. The Financial Security AnalysisTM (FSA) is the back bone of Music’s firm, Wealth Advisory Associates (WAA). WAA is a financial planning firm focused on helping private-practice physical therapists understand and implement the most effective strategies to achieving financial success and security. Visit http://www.wealthadvisoryassociates.com

About Roy McDonald

For the past 43 years, Roy McDonald has been searching out, creating, and pioneering some of the best strategies for creating wealth and success in people’s lives. He is the founder of OneLife International.

As an educator, author, business coach, and strategic planner, Roy McDonald is a hands-on wealth creator. The programs that he teaches at One Life International have enabled hundreds of satisfied clients to increase their belief in themselves and therefore their belief in their ability to create wealth.

Roy McDonald is a self-made millionaire and director of 49 different structures and interests in more than 24 companies that turn over in excess of $30 million a year (more than $700,000.00 a week!). This includes an Accounting Firm, a Financial Planning Company, a Real Estate Business, a Development and Construction Company, a Training Organization and other business including Investment companies, Trading Companies, a Travel Company, Farming and Cattle Breeding.

Roy McDonald has been educating people in wealth creation strategies for over 23 years and now with OneLife, Roy gives the participants of his programs a holistic and balanced approach to creating the life of their dreams.

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March 16, 2010 Posted by | Consume, Consumer Scams, Courses, fraud, Research sites, Seminars, Share Trading, Share Trading Seminars, Share trading Wealth Creation, Superannuation | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spotting the difference: Financial Advice Seminar or Scam!

Is it Financial Advice or a scam? Roy McDonald has a great resource and a recommended site called;

http://www.understandingmoney.gov.au/

This site has great resources with financial advice the Do’s and Don’ts of financial advice or financial education.

Here are some of the things that can be included in seminars:

  • How to manage your debt
  • The option available in investing or savings
  • Differences between investing areas like share trading VS real estate
  • How to save money
  • A product range the content and characteristics

Now Roy made this point very clear that if you don’t have a (AFS) Licence then you should not be giving the following advice at a seminar. (Australian Financial Services (AFS) Licence)

  • Giving advice that this product is the one to use
  • Giving advice of which option is best
  • Or advice on which product is best
  • Advising where to put their money

When people are giving this advice it is to particular and narrow in a seminar environment Roy McDonald said it is general advice because everyone is different and that kind of very narrow, this product or that is best, will not suit everyone. We all have different commitments with bills; real estate, personal homes, cars, small loans, phones. What you will really need to know to stop being scammed is your position in detail, have an important documents file with all your details up to date so you can see in an instant and even know to a degree if you are ask how much and where your money is coming from and going too.

The important note here is; if you are at a seminar and worried that an investment in a product from them will be a scam then check in with yourself and your financial position. Am I a person that suits share trading and also will it work with my portfolio? How high is my financial education in this arena, out of 10? Can I afford for everything to go bad if in the worst case it dose.

Stick to your goals as Roy has said before and start simple, here is an example of starting small with a bank account. Roy calls it the Wealth Account, you can find the e-book here;

http://www.slideshare.net/RoyMcDonald/wealth-account-by-roy-mc-donald

February 16, 2010 Posted by | Business Seminars, Consume, Consumer Scams, Courses, government resources, Real Estate Seminars, Research sites, Seminars, Share Trading, Share Trading Seminars, Share trading Wealth Creation, Training | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment