10 Investor Protection Tips for 2010 Consumers urged to practice safe investing
1. Check the registration and background of the individual selling the investment by calling the Securities Compliance Branch at 586-2722.
2. Develop a financial plan that meets your needs. Be sure that recommendations you receive are consistent with your financial needs and investment objectives.
3. Beware of promises that promote high or unrealistic returns in a short period of time.
4. Diversify everything — Your assets, money managers, accounts and financial institutions. Spreading your money around will limit your exposure to financial problems. Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
5. Beware of investments promoting no downside or risk. All investments have some risk.
6. Do your homework - Ask questions and do your research about the investments and those selling the investments, and get clear and direct answers before you invest. Don't rely on reputation or word of mouth alone.
7. Beware of vague or overcomplicated explanations of how the business runs and how money is made. If you don't understand how it works, do not buy it.
8. Understand the cost -ask about the risks, obligations and costs of any investments before investing. Ask about commissions, sales charges, maintenance or service charges, transaction or redemption fees and penalties associated with the investment.
9. Understand how to access your funds in a timely manner, and find about any restrictions or limitations on access.
10. Report investment fraud and/or securities violations to the Securities Enforcement Branch at 586-2740. The office can investigate and your call may help prevent others from being victimized.
To learn more about America Saves Week, visit www.americasavesweek.org.
Source: Hawai'i Securities Compliance Branch