Steve Abel – President – Abilene BBB

By Steve Abel – President-BBB | February 1, 2013

Investments take risk; sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.But smart investors know that the best way to minimize risk is to educateyourself about your basic rights, the protections you are entitled to under thelaw, and the common scams and frauds to avoid. Better Business Bureau hasteamed up with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation to bring you up-to-dateresearch and tools on investment fraud at BBB Smart Investing. Studies have shown that investment scams have risen in thelast decade. Baby Boomers are managingtheir own retirement funds and are particularly vulnerable. In 2011, accordingto the North American Securities Administrators Association , state andprovincial regulators in the U.S., Canada and Mexico launched more than 2,600administrative, civil and criminal enforcement actions involving investors, 1in 5 of whom were seniors. {{more}} The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority suggeststhree key steps to take before investing: Check out the seller.A legitimate investment professional must be licensed. Before giving out yourpersonal information, ask whether the seller is registered with FINRA, theSecurities and Exchange Commission or Texas state Securities Board. Find registration and other information on individualbrokers, securities firms and investment advisor firms at: Ask questions.Are you licensed to sell this investment to me? Is this investment registeredwith the SEC? Checkout the investment. Check whether the investment itself is registered.Confirm whether a security is registered with the SEC and get access to acompany’s financial information by using the SEC’s EDGAR Database. Learn how For more information on protecting yourself from investmentfraud, visit and