Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Avoid being conned into fraudulent investing

The SEC announced that additional charges will be held against three investment firms based in Los Angeles and South Florida. The team had defrauded investors, mostly the elderly, into investing in a cutting edge laser technology that was allegedly being adopted by the NFL.

Pilfering nearly $2 million dollars from these unsuspecting investors, the three investment groups managed to con adults into committing  to an alleged initial stock offering that was supposed to fund a green line marker on football fields that would be viewed by cameras and spectators alike. Only the money was used to fund the executive's pockets. If you're the cautious investor as I am, you may suspect that this sounds too good to be true. But if you're an avid sports fan and understands the benefits such a technology will bring to the industry, than you may just jump on the idea of investing in this product.

How does a potential investor know the difference between hype and a good deal? I visited the website of the investment group that was offering this investment, Thought Development, Inc. Looking around and scrutinizing the website, it looked legitimate. Only the name of the investment group raised some doubt. I had never heard of this group before, but then again I'm a moderate risk taker and I have a financial advisor helping me invest. So what's a curious investor to do?

The SEC was established as a watchdog for the investment industry . It monitors Wall Street to keep its professionals accountable. When in doubt, there is a link available on its website that allows visitors to share suspicions or to just ask questions. There is a host of information available where investors can search by investments or investors. These links are not only available for the inexperienced. As past financial scandals have shown, it's easy to con just about anyone. As in Thought Development, Inc.'s example, a fancy website and a little professionalism goes a long way. The next time you're in doubt, or just to practice the habits of smart investors, visit the SEC's website and do some investigating. Arm yourselves with the knowledge to, at the very least, know what separates a sound investment from an unethical one.


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