Talk to your registered representative, tax advisor, tax attorney or financial advisor.
Make certain that they have your financial information and understand your goals, risk tolerance, and time line to invest.
...if a company is selling stock, assets, or partnership units and has not registered its securities. A company that has registered their securities will have a prospectus and will file this and annual reports with securities regulators. If the promoter of the security tells you they are exempt from registration do further research prior to buying.
Written proof should be provided...
...that explains how much of your money is going to the actual investment, and how much is going to commissions and expenses. Don't fall for high pressure tactics. Scam artists are practiced at creating the impression that you will miss out on a limited opportunity if you don't act now. Once they get your money, you may never see it again.
Don't be afraid to ask questions...
...to see the track record of the company you are considering investing in, their ratings, and the background of the persons involved.
Be certain you understand the level and type of risk...
...associated with your intended investment and that you are comfortable with the risks involved and they are the same as yours.
The financial goals as stated in the prospectus should be the same as yours.
The investment you choose should always fit your needs and investment goals.
Request documentation on what the investment has done in the past.
Remember past performance is not an indication of what an investment may do in the future. However this information may give you a measure of the performance of an investment under different economic conditions.
Don't let appearances mislead you.
With the advent of computers and desktop publishing software, scam artists can produce convincing promotional materials. Individuals promoting a fictional investment can have a toll-free line to their home. Check with the Better Business Bureau, Securities Division and Consumer Protection Division of your state's Attorney General's office.
Ask how you will receive acknowledgement...
...of your investment and if it will show where your money is being invested and what it is earning. Personalized reports should be provided at least quarterly or more frequently.
A Cautionary Note to Our Visitors Regarding Investing on the Internet
It is probable that the Internet is growing faster than anything else in the nation as more and more companies jump online. And...it is not just companies. "Anyone" can create a web page and fill it with any form of information. Monitoring this giant is next to impossible.
There have been sharp increases in the volume of electronic messages relating to certain low-priced securities and dramatic increases in the price, volatility, and volume of these securities. These messages are sent without regard and without distinction to a large body of Internet and on-line subscribers. Oftentimes the information concerning the merits of particular securities offered is unverified or unverifiable.
When it comes to investing, the individual should exercise caution. Prior to committing, buying, or sharing financial and personal information, a prospectus needs to be obtained for the security you are considering. Then if you have doubts on the legitimacy of the security offered, further investigation should be conducted.
Be aware that the security being registered with the FINRA or listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ, etc. does not indicate that it is a good risk or the right investment choice for you. It is wise to speak with a financial advisor, financial counselor, tax advisor or a registered representative in regards to what products may be best for your particular situation.