Experience shows that if you want to make more money you need to invest and, when it comes to making an investment decision, you need to get educated, do the research and plan your investment approach.
There is no shortcut to this, as hundreds and maybe even thousands of people have learnt the hard way – they might have thought they had found a quicker way to invest, but later realised they have been ripped off as a result of empty promises. I would like to share what I know so that you do not fall prey to spruikers selling the dream of easy money.
We often receive calls from people who have handed over thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars for what we call a ‘black box’ software program. Black box software is the term given to computer programs that are touted as being able to pick winning stocks in the share market. The usual spin by these companies who promote such programs is that you press a few buttons on your keyboard and then watch the money come in. Obviously these claims are false; however, people get sucked into the scam.
We have done our own research into these spruikers and I have to say that what we found is disturbing. The people who have spoken to us believed the story they were sold – that if they followed the buy and sell recommendations made by the software the money would simply start to roll in. Sadly, what makes them prey for the spruikers is simply a person’s desire to be financially comfortable.
If you want to become independently wealthy you need to invest in yourself first. The best computer you will ever use to make your investment decisions is your educated brain, not a software program, and it will take a few years to get this knowledge.
The challenge is that we all want quicker ways of doing things – such as learning, booking holidays, communicating with others – and therefore the idea of a program telling you what to invest in is going to be tempting for some. The truth is there are no shortcuts, and a software program should be no more than a tool used to apply your knowledge before making your own investment decisions.
The difficulty for the uneducated is that these companies selling the black box use a sales script and high-pressure selling techniques designed to pull at the emotions. As soon as a person finds out they’ve been taken for a ride it’s almost impossible to contact the company for an explanation – often it will close before reopening under a different name. This makes it very hard for those not happy with their purchase to get their money back.
If you receive a call from one of these companies here is what you can do:
1. Make it clear you are not interested – they might continue to call so just hang up.
2. Do your research on the internet by searching for the name of the company that has approached as well as the word ‘scam’.
3. Check on websites such as ASIC’s MoneySmart and consumer affairs in your state for listed scams.
4. You can also make a complaint to be investigated by a government department if you have handed over and lost your hard-earned cash via such a program.
The problem is that most people still do not really understand how the share market works and this is why some fall prey to scammers offering to deliver riches. If you are serious about wanting to make more money through investing, find out how to get educated. Once you have the knowledge you will have it for life.