Every car owner knows the importance of their car running in top condition. Owners often invest in many services like oil changes, break inspections, tune ups and other preliminary measures to keep their vehicle running smoothly.In the event of a failure, many vehicle owners even have a specific mechanic they turn to who they have worked with before and know they can trust. This is done as a person’s vehicle is often vital to their daily routine and it represents a significant financial investment. With all the time and cash which is placed in protecting a car it is surprising that the same treatment isn’t made towards the huge investment of a home.A home has vital systems like a car which require regular maintenance and inspection, yet most homes never see a plumber till something is wrong. Many homeowners see the physical aspects of a home but don’t draw attention to the electrical, plumbing and gas systems present all through each home. Ignoring the basic maintenance on a vehicle can produce the need for pricey repairs and this is no different from a house, in fact the home repairs usually wind up being much more costly. The issue is that most home owners view a plumber as a last resort instead of as a preventative measure to protect their home from damage.What is even worse is that when an emergency does occur, the home owner doesn’t turn to their trusted plumber because they usually do not have one. Rather, they try and find a random plumber who doesn’t offer the best service and prices but who could get to the property the quickest. The truth is that when a homeowner actually considers how they treat their car versus how they treat their house, most are baffled that they overlooked the importance of regular home maintenance and inspection. Its never too late to make the change and make use of the services of a quality professional plumber.One chance a homeowner ought to look into is found with the precautionary plumbing service that is a plumbing inspection report. With this service a plumber will properly evaluate the condition of your home’s plumbing and make you aware of any trouble areas which might exist. If you have a clean inspection you would have peace but if trouble is found it presents a unique opportunity for you to fix the problem before and issue occurs, saving money in the procedure. Your home represents one of the largest investments you will make in life so why not look to protect your investment.
Investors should always be on alert for investment scams. FINRA published an alert to warn investors about classic types of investment fraud and help them spot and avoid the persuasion tactics fraudster’s use. The following information is taken from that article:Types of Investment ScamsInvestment scams can take many forms, but the most common securities frauds tend to fall into the following general schemes:
Pyramid Schemes: Where fraudsters claim that they can turn a small investment into large profits within a short period of time, but in reality, participants make money solely by recruiting new participants into the program. Pyramid schemes eventually fall apart when it becomes impossible to recruit new participants.
Ponzi Schemes: Where a central fraudster collects money from new investors and uses it to pay purported returns to earlier-stage investors rather than investing the money as promised. Ponzi schemes tend to collapse when the fraudster can no longer attract new investors or when too many investors attempt to get their money out.
Pump-and-Dump: Where a fraudster deliberately buys shares of a very low-priced stock of a small, thinly traded company and then spreads false information to drum up interest in the stock and increase its share price. The fraudster then dumps his shares at the high price and vanishes, leaving many people with worthless shares of stock.
Advance Fee Fraud: These scams generally begin with an offer to pay you an enticingly high price for worthless stock in your portfolio. To take the deal, you must send a fee in advance to pay for the service, but then you never see your money again.
Offshore Scams: These scams originate in another country and target U.S. investors. Offshore scams can take a variety of forms, including those listed above. Unfortunately, whatever form an offshore scam takes, it can be difficult for U.S. law enforcement agencies to investigate fraud or rectify harm to investors when the fraudster acted from outside the country.
Red Flags of FraudTo avoid being drawn into a scam, look for these warning signs:
Guarantees: Be suspect of anyone who guarantees that an investment will perform a certain way.
Unregistered products: Many investment scams involve unlicensed individuals selling unregistered securities.
Overly consistent returns: Any investment that consistently goes up month after month, or that provides remarkably steady returns regardless of market conditions, should raise suspicions. Even the most stable investments have hiccups once in a while.
Complex strategies: Legitimate professionals should be able to clearly explain what they are doing. It’s critical that you understand any investment you’re considering.
Missing documentation: If someone tries to sell you a security with no documentation, he or she may be selling unregistered securities.
Account discrepancies: Keep an eye on your account statements to make sure account activity is consistent with your instructions and be sure you know who holds your assets. Fraud can more easily occur if the advisor is the custodian of the assets and keeper of the accounts.
A pushy salesperson: No reputable investment professional should push you to make an immediate decision about an investment, or tell you that you’ve got to “act now.”
If you’re able to identify red flags of investment frauds and you know some of the most common types, you’ll be better equipped to avoid these types of scams and protect your financial future.