Investment seminars have grown in popularity as a result of the rocky market and concern investors are feeling. While investment seminars can be a place to receive sound investment advice, some of them have only one purpose: to make you the victim of securities fraud. For this reason, a growing number of investors end up seeking the help of an investment attorney after losing money as a result of trading seminar investment fraud.
The concern over these seminars is so great that an Investor Alert was recently issued by the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy on the subject. If you made investments as a result of an investment seminar you attended and incurred losses as a result, the following warning signs may indicate that you were the victim of trading seminar investment fraud:
1. Did they claim that the trading strategies being presented were “simple” or “easy?” If so, there is a problem. The environment for securities transactions is a complex one and therefore transactions are not easy or simple.
2. Did they guarantee you returns on your investment? Again, financial markets are complex and while some investments are high-risk and some are low-risk, there is no guaranteed return. Furthermore, the amount of risk generally correlates with the amount of return. Low-risk investments generally yield low returns. If you were offered very high returns with little or no risk, you have probably been swindled.
3. Did they use high-pressure sales tactics? Any reasonable and reputable broker or adviser will give investors adequate time to research and come to a decision about their investments. If they pressured you into a decision, they were most likely trying to get you to make a decision without thinking it through. Some high-pressure sales tactics include telling investors there are limited spots left or that a quicker decision will yield higher returns.
4. Did it sound too good to be true? If so, it probably was. However, keep in mind that while an investment that sounds too good to be true probably is, there also are many investment scams out there that sound perfectly reasonable. It is important that investors thoroughly research possible investments alongside the firm and broker or adviser handling the transaction.
If you believe you have been the victim of trading seminar investment fraud, contact an investment attorney at The Law Office of Christopher J. Gray at (866) 966-9598 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.