If you have some money set aside for the future needs of your business, your eventual retirement or some other reason, it’s important to investigate thoroughly before you invest your hard-earned money. Fortunately, the Illinois Secretary of State’s Securities Department has a website to help you do so. The aptly-named AvoidtheScam.net offers investor alerts and investment education, including a guide which lists your rights as a investor, describes common securities scams, and provides tips on choosing a broker. It also enables you to research the backgrounds of brokerage and investment advisory firms (and their representatives) and to file a complaint about an investment or an individual who is offering investment opportunities or advice.
Other helpful websites are those hosted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Both provide investor alerts, investor education and help in avoiding investment fraud.
It’s challenging for most of us to set aside money for investments, so protect yourself by doing a bit of research before you actually invest.