Investment Seminars – what you need to know
Many of the investors who put their money into what police are calling “the biggest alleged ponzi scheme in Canada” first learned about it through an investment seminar.
These invitations were obviously appealing to many. But if you get such an invite, be sure to do your own research before attending any investment seminar. Family members and friends may try to involve you without having done any research on what is being offered, who is offering it or what risks are involved.
ASC has just created a new resource to help you learn more about investment seminars called Investment Scams: How to Protect Your Money. You can watch the “Investment seminars” episode on our ASC YouTube Channel. If you like what you see, check out the entire resource on our ASC website.
So what else can you do to protect yourself? Here are some suggestions:
- Be wary of sales pitches to attend free seminars or promises of a free meal or gift. Once you are there, you may have to pay fees and commissions that you were not aware of.
- Don’t be fooled by “limited time offers”. If someone is pressuring you and you’re uncomfortable, decline the offer or seek advice from an independent financial adviser.
- Watch for claims of a secret or exclusive technique for building wealth. The salespeople at seminars can make misleading claims that may entice you to sign up.
- Think critically about promises to “be a millionaire in three years”. Use common sense and do your own research. Always check first before investing.
- Listen for excessive use of financial jargon. This is intended to make you feel intimidated so that you are less inclined to ask questions. If you don’t understand something about the investment, ask.
- Be aware of talk of tax avoidance or moving money offshore. You can defer paying taxes, but you can’t avoid paying them.
- Check if the company or individual offering the investment is in good standing with securities regulators. Check for any disciplinary action such as enforcement decisions or upcoming hearings.
So remember… always check first before investing. You’ll never know the difference it could make.
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About this Blog
We’ve created this blog to present you with answers to some of the more popular questions we receive from investors. We'll have different subject matter experts blogging about what they know best and we'll update it as new blogs arise. We hope you'll find it interesting and helpful.
Hi there. I’m Lorinda Brinton, Senior Advisor for Investor Education at the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC). I’ve been at the ASC for close to four years now and have been a part of many national and international investor education projects aimed at informing and protecting investors. Let us know if the information you find in this blog and on the ASC site is interesting and helpful when you are making important investment decisions.
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