A lot has changed over the last week, both where I live (Buffalo) and where I'm from (New Jersey). Thankfully, times like this bring out the best in a lot of people - we have already started to see that in our communities. Unfortunately, it also brings out the worst in some people. The North American Securities Administrators Association sent out a release a few weeks ago reminding investors to be wary of investment offers that are attempting to capitalize on fear and uncertainty and gave a few simple questions to ask yourself before investing at all times, but especially now.
First, is the investment being offered with a guaranteed high return with little or no risk? All investments carry risk that you may potentially lose some or all of your money. Anyone who says their investment offer has no risk is lying. No one can guarantee an investment return. Second, is there a sense of urgency or limited availability surrounding the investment? If the offer is legitimate, it will be there later. If someone offers you a “can’t miss” investment opportunity and puts you on the spot, don’t be afraid to walk away. Third, is the person offering the investment, and the investment itself, properly licensed or registered? For the same reasons you wouldn’t go to an unlicensed doctor or dentist, you should avoid unregistered investment salespeople and their products.