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How to Protect Yourself from Losing an Investment - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

How to Protect Yourself from Losing an Investment

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It's an unfortunate reality of the world we live in, people getting caught up in ponzi schemes. The victims are often sold on a promise that will pay out. But all too often they don't produce. Just yesterday a former Fargo investment broker plead guilty to 16 felony charges for taking 935-thousand dollars from investors right here in the Valley.

 

So how do you know where your money is really being invested? If it's being invested at all? Valley News team's Eric Crest talks with an expert about how to best protect your nest egg.

Most would agree planning for the future isn't easy, especially for those who haven't done a whole lot of investing. Parker Vander Wal of Waddell and Reed Financial Advisors says few come into his office knowing exactly how they want to invest, "more people take more time planning their vacations than they do planning their investments. They want to give it to somebody and not worry about it," says Vander Wal.

But when 19 people were swindled out of almost a million dollars right here in the Valley, you have to ask yourself, where did they go wrong? Vander Wal says you will have to do your homework too."One of the first things you can do is look up what your invested in. What is the ticker symbol, what is the name of the product you purchased. Annuity, stock, or bond. See if you can find any information about it," says Vander Wal.

Your investment might look great on paper, but you should be making sure it's doing just as good as your advisor claims. Once you get your first quarterly statement and see what your investment was able to do. Check on it to make sure your funds actually made it there in the first place. For this information you may want to go over your financial advisor and talk directly to his superior.

"The only way to find out, you want to go around the main channel directly to his superior for this information. You call the company direct. They have to say what is there or not," says Vander Wal.

Because whether your financial advisor is your neighbor or best friend, the idea of making a quick buck in a ponzi scheme isn't unheard of in the f-m.

"It does happen. I don't think we're immune to it unfortunately," says Vander Wal.

The Better Business Bureau or Google are also a great resources to find out if your financial advisor has been playing by all the rules. Don't take word of mouth as the best resource, do some investigating on your own before investing.

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