We Oregonians are blessed to have a relatively healthy investment watchdog on our team, the Oregon Division of Finance and Corporate Securities (DFCS). Among other valuable resources, their website includes License Holder Searches for a whole range of financial services providers, from banks & prepaid funerals to pawnbrokers & payday lenders.
Every year about this time they highlight the worst of the financial scams for the year & project warnings for the next year. Here’s the link: http://altarum.org/health-policy-blog/a-closer-look-at-the-slowdown-in-health-care-price-inflation
Because the Internet blurs state lines, the DFCS includes all states in their list. The most notable risk is new, the result of the JOBS act which loosens the rules companies have to follow to raise capital. A double edged sword, this ability to sidestep Wall Street is great but it also means less scrutiny of each offering. Personally, how the SEC could exercise less scrutiny seems impossible without the liberal use of narcotics.
Before you invest in something that sounds too good to be true, do your research. Or hire me to do it for you. As DFCS administrator David Tatman says, don’t invest more than you “can afford to lose” in these types of companies. I would go further: Don’t invest more than you would be happy to lose.