Investing has always been a tricky affair for most people and it hasn’t been helped by the creative marketing and ‘sales’ tactics of many  financial institution’s and their advisers.

If you start coming across these words, it’s time to be worried. You’ll need to do more research and this includes checking the fine print.

1.    It’s different this time

When these words are uttered, you know what’s coming up. A series of charts and numbers designed to butter you up so you hand over your cash.

The investment world is always changing and nobody knows what’s coming up next. Focus on finding quality investments and not the ‘timing’.

2.   Make money when the markets are going up or down

Now, wouldn’t that be great! You’ll see this advertised by many of the currency foreign exchange trading websites who make it sound all so simple. Just login in, read our helpful tutorials and start making money.

A quote from an email just received:

‘Watch these videos and see how some traders make money from anywhere, anytime, around the world’

If it was only that easy. Trading of this nature means betting against another trader. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but you always pay fees. Also, the losses can be much higher than you first thought – read the fine print several times.

3.    Now’s a good time to invest in property

Okay, this is not new but it is more prominent that ever after several years of the property market being in the doldrums. Property boomed as banks gave away money to anyone and everyone and this of course led to the global financial crisis. Banks are now more conservative with their lending and so should you be when looking to buy a home.

When buying a property, focus on what you can afford, make allowances and safeguards for when things go wrong (and they will). And if the property goes up in value, see that as a bonus.

4.    It’s free of charge

Authorities have been cracking down on investment advertisements using the words  ‘free of charge’. As we all know, there is no such thing as a free lunch, everyone needs to make some money.

A common ‘free of charge’ service is a free financial plan. A financial plan should take a long time to create and they need to be completed by qualified (well paid) professionals. If the financial plan is free there is a strong chance that the recommended investments will carry large fees – year in and year out and eating away at your investments.

Good personal financial advice should cost so seek advice from a reputable financial planner.

5.    It’s Guaranteed

With investment markets so unpredictable, investment product manufacturers have been busy trying to build products that can be shown as a safe and secure investment. To issue a guarantee against investments that traditionally fluctuate, for example, shares, the cost of that guarantee will be high and you will pay for it.

The other issue with guarantees linked to fluctuating investments is that they are complicated. Read the fine print very carefully and you’ll probably find that you need to jump through a few hoops, be locked in for a long period of time and be restricted with your investments to get that illusive guarantee.


As we often say here at humble savers, ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’. Be careful out there – seek good advice, do your own research and if you don’t understand it, don’t invest in it.


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