Online Investments: How To Be Informed
1. Get all promises in writing. Ask for documentation in writing for every objective claim (i.e. last year’s profits).
2. Take your time, and don’t fall for high-pressure sales tactics. A good deal today will still be a good deal tomorrow.
3. Thoroughly research all claims made about obscure investments. Don’t assume sales people have checked out an investment just because they say they have; do your own homework.
4. Print out and save all information about on-line investments.
5. Be wary of claims of “inside information” or the illusion that you’ve stumbled onto someone else’s insider conversation. These conversations are often staged for the sole purpose of getting you hooked.
6. Never invest in anything you heard about through unsolicited e-mail until you have thoroughly researched the offer, even if it appears to come from a well-known company. Call the company to make sure they really sent you the solicitation.
7. Never do business with any outfit that can’t or won’t give out a street address, 1-800 number, or other form of verifiable information. Before making an investment, find out where the firm is based, whether it is regulated, and which country’s laws will apply in case a dispute arises.
8. Print out a copy of the company’s prospectus for securities offerings and private placements, and have it reviewed by a lawyer, accountant or your business advisor.
9. Contact the Texas State Securities Board to see if the the person offering the investment and the investments are registered.
10. Check whether complaints have been filed against the investment or the the person offering the investment. You can check with the Better Business Bureau, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the State Securities Board, and the OAG Consumer Protection Division.
11. Remember that most people promoting a stock or making an investment tip have a vested interest in what happens to the stock, even when it is legitimate. They may be using other investors to manipulate the stock for their own gain, not yours.
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