Let’s be honest, most of us would prefer to win a million dollars than earn it. That’s why the racetracks, lotteries and casinos are so popular. Sadly, few people make a million dollars that way, and if they do, they can rarely hold onto it for long.
Variations to gambling are the “get rich quick” wealth creation seminars. They promise financial freedom without hard work by learning the “closely held secrets of the rich”.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is charged with investigating these event promoters. ASIC has the responsibility to protect consumers and it does so by licensing financial advisers and regulating their competency standards and conduct. Advisers who fail to meet the standards or who do not behave in the best interests of consumers can be banned from giving advice.
However, state governments regulate the property market and many of the wealth creation seminars involve property investment. Promoters go to great lengths to avoid falling under the legislative umbrella of ASIC. The organisers of some of these events target inexperienced investors and use high pressure sales tactics to push them into snap decisions. Some schemes involve high fees and undisclosed payments to related parties.
If you are tempted to participate in one of these schemes, visit ASIC’s website www.asic.gov.au first where you can conduct a reference check to be certain you are dealing with a licensed provider.
The upside of the increased regulation over recent years is that we are much safer with the government doing its best to protect consumers and the “good guys” - advisers who continue to meet their stringent standards like us.
Reference checking directory for the financial services industry www.asic.gov.au