Director’s Financial Responsibilities

The new Association director is often thrust into the job with little idea of what his or her duties and responsibilities are, other than the conceptual knowledge that s/he is obligated to serve in the best interest of the Association. Unless s/he has been an active member of CAI (which is not likely if s/he is a first-time director), s/he is not even aware of the educational resources that are available for guidance in learning what a director’s responsibilities are. Further, many directors serve only a one-year term and therefore have little incentive to go through the effort of getting the education necessary for performing their job, since their term will be completed before they can even begin to learn everything they should know.

The purpose of this article is to attempt to provide guidance to the director on his or her financial responsibilities. The most important rule with respect to financial transactions is that they should be well-documented. While the Association may produce monthly financial statements and an annual budget, it is also important to document (preferably in the minutes of the Board of Directors) the following types of financial decisions:

Authorization for new bank accounts
Authorization of changes in signers of bank accounts
Approval of transfers of cash between accounts
Authorization for purchases of major equipment, or major expenditures
Approval of the annual budget
Acceptance of monthly treasurer’s report
Acceptance of monthly interim financial statements from the management company
Approval of the annual audit or review report and tax return
Authorization for an officer of the Association to sign the annual income tax returns
Documentation of board actions and responses with respect to the accountant’s management letter that accompanies the annual audit report
Collection actions (authorization to lien member property, authorization to foreclose on member property)
Documentation of board decisions regarding insurance coverage
Adoption of a conflict of interest policy
Authorization of contract for preparation of a reserve study
Authorization of reserve expenditures
Adoption of reserve policies
Adoption of Revenue Ruling 70-604 Election (This election should be made annually and should preferably be made at the annual membership meeting, then ratified at a Board of Directors meeting.)

Accounting is a complex, technical subject in which very few people have an active interest. However, the impact of financial transactions is something that permeates every aspect of our lives, and certainly that of a community association. While no individual can be given a complete accounting education in a short enough period of time to enable them to gain a complete understanding during their term of office, there are certain things that the director can and should do on a procedural basis that would allow him or her to adequately exercise the oversight of financial responsibilities of the members of the Board of Directors of an Association.

The director needs complete financial information in order to perform an adequate review of transactions. Accordingly, the monthly financial reporting package for a community Association should generally include the following documents:

Monthly financial statements

a. Balance Sheet on an accrual basis

b. Income Statement on an accrual basis with budget-to-actual comparisons ( The income statement should include both current month and year-to-date amounts.

General Ledger
Cash Disbursements Journal
Aged Assessments Receivable Listing
Copies of all bank reconciliations
Copies of all bank statements
Copies of paid invoices

While the above list may seem like overkill to some, these documents should be distributed to the board members prior to the Board meeting so that they have an adequate opportunity to review them and be ready at the time of the meeting to either approve the reports or ask the necessary questions. It is not reasonable to expect even a CPA to be given a set of financial statements during a Board meeting and on the spot, have to review, understand, and approve the financial statements and, by inference, the underlying transactions.

For the director to competently review this financial package, he must have a basic understanding of each of the documents.

The balance sheet is a statement that reflects the financial status of the Association at a specific point in time (generally month-end or year-end). Common components of a balance sheet are:

Assets

Cash – Petty cash on hand or in checking accounts, savings accounts, or other types of accounts with a financial institution

Assessments Receivable – Amounts owed by members to the Association as of the date of the financial report

Fixed Assets – Property acquired by the Association with a useful life greater than one year and of significant cost

Prepaid Expenses – Payments of expenses in the current period that will benefit more than one period, such as insurance, which is often paid in a single payment for an annual premium

Liabilities

Accounts Payable – Expenses incurred, but not yet paid

Prepaid Assessments – Dues/assessments paid in advance

Income Taxes Payable – Income taxes due for the current year and any prior years

Fund Balances

Operating Fund – Accumulated earnings or losses of the Association from the current and prior years.

Replacement Fund – Amount set aside for future repairs and replacements (this balance should have an equal amount of cash set aside to accumulate for major expenses).

The income statement reflects, for a period of time, the income and expense activities of the Association. A preferred format would reflect both the current month’s and year-to-date budgeted and actual activities. Revenues generally consist of member assessments, fines, vending machine, parking, or other income and interest income. Expenses would include operating maintenance costs, utilities, management company fees, and other administrative and operating fees. Amounts transferred to reserves are generally reflected as an expense of the operating budget, unless financial statements are prepared on a fund basis.

The general ledger is a document which underlies the financial statements and summarizes all activity by account. For instance, if three different checks during the month were written for repairs, they would be grouped into the repairs expense account (even though the checks were not in sequential order). The total of those three checks would represent the current month’s total repair expense, which should agree with the income statement. This document can be used by the director to research questions such as “what is in utility or repair expense this month?”, and “why is it so high compared to prior months or prior years?” The general ledger should provide sufficient detail for you to find the answer to that question.

The cash disbursements journal is simply a listing of checks in numerical order for the current month, listing the date, payee, and amount.

The other reports are self-explanatory.

The procedures that the director might employ in analyzing these documents should consist of:

Examine the balance sheet and compare it against prior periods to see that cash balances and assessments receivable balances appear reasonable. Note if there are any significant fluctuations between restricted reserves in the current period versus prior periods.

Examine the bank reconciliations and see that they agree to the amounts reflected as cash on the balance sheet. Investigate any differences. Also, make sure they agree with the bank statements. The bank reconciliation should begin with cash per bank and reconcile down to cash per financial statements and general ledger. The reconciling items will generally consist of deposits in transit and outstanding checks. Investigate and question any large or old outstanding checks.

Review the bank statements to ascertain that all interest income has been recorded in the financial statements.

Make sure that all bank accounts are recorded in the general ledger of the Association.

Examine the aged assessments receivable listing and compare it to the balance sheet. The total of assessments receivable should agree with the balance sheet.

Review the aged assessments receivable listing and question any assessments receivable that are more than 30 days old. The Association should adopt a strict collection policy that would consist of assessment of late charges, warning letters, filing of a lien, and ultimately foreclosing on member property for non-payment of assessments. There should be no exceptions to these rules, especially for directors of the Association.

Review the income statement comparison of budgeted to actual activity both for the current month and the year-to-date, and question any significant variations.

For any questioned income or expense items, trace the account to the general ledger and review the detail for that account.

Review the cash disbursements journal for the month and challenge the propriety of all expenses. For instance, if any checks are written to any director of the Association, find out why. If the management company is being paid more than their contractual fee, find out why.

It will take some time for the director to perform all of the above procedures, but it will provide you with insight as to the financial transactions of the Association, and a greater understanding of how your Association operates. While this may seem like too much work to be done on a monthly basis, you as a director have an obligation to the members of the Association to safeguard the assets of the Association. Only through diligence and a step-by-step procedural review of transactions can this be done.

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Quick Payday Loan

Questions like What is a quick payday loan? and How quick a quick payday loan is? are just among the common questions bothering some of the loan customers in many parts of the world. Well, in the first place, a quick payday loan is considered as a small and short term loan that is only applicable for those short term cash management as well as those that are not intended for larger financial problems that most of the consumer credit counseling would typically resolve.

For many years, quick payday loans remain illegal in almost all states; however, as the states recognized the greater demands of people for faster means of borrowing money, quick payday loans are now accepted and acknowledged as legal in 36 states in the US. With this acknowledgement, plenty companies began to emerge allowing the people to obtain access to small and short term loans with an amount of about $500 with less hassle.

This phenomenon is even highly felt both on the physical world and even on the virtual world. Several companies are now operating online and offline and they are happy to lend you cash by means of a quick payday loan. A quick payday loan then allows you to borrow money from a certain loan company on the strength of your next pay check, at which point the funds are typically debited from your account, plus an additional fee. Aside from that, several requirements are set. For you to apply for a particular quick payday loan, you certainly need a personal identification, bank account, and proof of your full time employment, in which the last or recent pay stud will do. And there are some instances that further collateral like car’s registration or utility bill are needed.

Most people who apply for a quick payday loan are noted as those who are responding to an emergency financial deficit. So when your car has broken down or an unexpected bill has trapped you short, a quick payday loan is commonly the solution. The bottom line is therefore whatever the case may be, you need cash fast and can’t raise it in any other means. However, it is necessary to remember that a quick payday loan is a least prudent way of borrowing. There is a great possibility that with a quick payday loan, you will likely get much worse rates than with a standard bank loan or even a credit card.

Finally, quick payday loan does not necessarily imply a quick funding. The case certainly depends on where you apply, whether online or offline. Note that when you apply online, you can obtain the amount for within 24 hours; whereas if you apply for a quick payday loan in a certain company in person, then you should have the cash in your hand within just half a day.

Is A Dakota Driveway Alarm A Worthwhile Investment

Burglars, trespassers, and vagrants represent a major threat to your personal your family’s well-being. With constant news stories telling of people who have been mugged or murdered at the entrance to their homes it has become essential to be ready for anything when you answer the door. To accommodate this many have increased the security at their homes, adding motion detectors and driveway alarms to alert them when an unknown person enters their property.

Many of these systems provide a false sense of security, or no security at all, because they are constantly being set off by small animals or random people passing on the sidewalk. Others fail to hold up to inclement weather, making them almost useless to anyone who lives outside of Sunnyville, USA. With all the problems that most systems have you may be wondering if a Dakota Driveway Alarm is worth the money. The truth is that it depends on your situation.

Like the most effective systems, this alarm is buried to prevent tampering and false readings from exposure to inclement weather. It is buried parallel to the driveway and then a cable is run from it to a transmitter, which can be mounted on a tree, post or mailbox, that sends a signal to a receiver within the house.

Unlike other models in use, a buried driveway sensor, can differentiate between animals and cars because it is not detecting motion. It uses a pressure sensor to monitor the weight on your driveway, which will make it so a car will set it off but other, lighter things will not. This method saves you from having being falsely alerted whenever a deer, skunk, or raccoon crosses your driveway, which makes it a great investment for people who live near the woods or in busy neighborhoods where children are constantly running around.

To understand whether or not you should invest in a Dakota Driveway Alarm you need to be aware of its limitations. These are not meant to be used in high traffic areas, where they will be constantly set off, but rather in areas where you can be relatively sure that anyone on your driveway is coming to the house. They are also not able to differentiate between weights, which means that you cannot program it to recognize certain cars or people. Instead, it is a general monitoring system that will alert you whenever anything sets it off. The limitations of the transmitter 600 feet means that you should not invest in one of these if you have a long driveway, unless you plan on putting it closer towards your house.

With this information at your disposal you should now look at your situation and see if a driveway alarm makes sense for you. If it does then you need to check the difference between models and see if Dakota provides you with the best options or if there is a better solution for your specific needs. Remember that investing in your security is important but you should never get more than you need, because it will only make your life more complex and difficult. The best security is to be aware of your environment.

Massage Courses Teach Natural Healing Skills

If you are looking for an education in natural healing, a massage course could be a good place to start. With more than a thousand massage schools across the U.S. and Canada, it will be easy for you to find a course in massage, but which is the right one for you? There are hundreds of massage variations, and each course is different; so it is vital that you consider your goals for the future before you begin your massage studies.

In general, massage training focuses on expanding the students’ knowledge of the natural healing benefits of nurturing human touch. All massage courses can instruct you in therapeutic touch methods and techniques that allow the body to heal naturally. But, each form of massage has its own particular benefits and its own particular type of client. Western styles of massage are designed to reduce pain and physical dysfunction, while other forms are meant to induce relaxation. There are also some ancient, Eastern forms of massage that take a holistic approach to overall health and healing. And, if you are thinking of going into private practice upon graduation, it will be helpful if your massage school includes some instruction on the practical aspects of operating a massage business. You may even decide to extend your studies into the fields of acupuncture, or even a chiropractic training program.

As a natural healing art form, the practice of massage is meant to increase the lubrication of muscle tissue, improve circulation, and provide the client with improved flexibility. Regardless of the massage curriculum, all the various forms of massage offer amazing benefits to the human body, including stress reduction, relief of pain and depression, and even strengthening of the immune system.

Once you have completed a massage course, you will find many exciting employment opportunities. With a certificate in massage, or degree in natural healing, you can be qualified for jobs in a clinical setting or private massage practice; or you may seek employment on cruise ships, in a spa, or a sports venue. The employment possibilities are endless, making massage training a popular course for today’s natural healers.

To learn more about courses in massage, we invite you to visit our website where you can review hundreds of accredited massage schools. It’s time to take that first step to a rewarding new career in natural healing!

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERAL OVERVIEW and may or may not reflect specific practices, courses and/or services associated with ANY ONE particular school(s) that is or is not advertised on our website.

Copyright 2007 – All rights reserved by Media Positive Communications, Inc.

Notice: Publishers are free to use this article on an ezine or website, provided the article is reprinted in its entirety, including copyright and disclaimer, and ALL links remain intact and active.

Samsung Series 7 Shows Great Innovation

For many years, Samsung has served the world with different
businesses worldwide. The Flagship Company, Samsung electronics, is one
of the leading brands in the high-tech electronics and digital media
market. They are very innovative in their products. Apart from the
brand, the product that sets itself apart from the competitors. With a
responsible approach towards global market, they are binding the
customers and partners with advanced and reliable products.

Samsung has successful partnerships and
collaborations in the field of technology and marketing. With their
perspective to expand further, user friendly products are being launched
at a fast rate. They aim at complete customer satisfaction and are not
afraid of experimenting. They are very well equipped with talented and
dedicated professionals. They reach out to a very wide customer base.
Each of Samsung’s business is very determined to discover new
technologies, products and services which would widen people’s horizon.

One
such example of innovation is the Samsung series 7. This thin and light
portable machine is similar to a personal computer. Though it may look
like a MacBook Pro, it is way too different. This electronic device runs
on a Redmond’s OS. With discrete graphics and a stylish aluminum
finishing, this laptop is receiving good response. The device is very
appealing to the eye. The pewter color adds a different charm to the
laptop with absolutely no weight gain. While the top side of the series 7
is polished metal the underside is made up of low-rent plastic. This
solid innovation has numerous features, one of it being the impressive
audio quality.

With
the USB and DVD slots positioned on the right and left side, there are
other headphones and power connector ports fitted conveniently. Cooling
vents and a removable panel provide very easy accessibility to the
machine’s memory. One of the interesting attribute is the wide screen
that is very useful for multitasking. Samsung has used a matte-finish
LCD, therefore screen glaring is not a hindrance. The laptop has very
quick booting. internet explorer support

The Samsung series 7 is
a treat not only to the eyes but also to the fingers. The smooth keypad
enhances the joy of working. This good laptop has a long battery life.
It doesn’t heat up too quickly. Even if it does, the fan cools it down.
It is not as noisy compared to other laptops. With a lot of effort being
put by the company to deliver world class products to its customers,
Samsung series 7 is a good investment.

Aligning Investment Banking Fees with Client Interests

As a boutique investment bank, we expend a lot of effort providing high quality advice and service to our middle-market investment bank clients. We understand the need to align our investment banking services and fees with our clients’ interests, because ultimately, we act as our clients’ advocate. Completing transactions is difficult; we need to be working together. The following is a brief primer related to investment banking fees.

Retainer A credible middle market investment bank will charge a non-refundable retainer. There are two primary reasons for the retainer: (1) it covers the time and expense incurred in preparing the client to go to market and (2) it serves as a screening mechanism to ensure that the client is committed to the transaction. This retainer may be paid as a lump sum, over time or based on achievement of certain activities associated with the transaction process. This retainer should represent a minor portion of the overall fee. Sometimes retainers or portions of retainers are credited toward the success fee.

Success Fee The success fee, representing the majority of compensation, is tied to successful completion of a transaction and is structured as a percentage of the deal size. For capital raises, a fee percentage is applied to the amount of capital raised. The fee percentage increases as one moves from raising senior debt (perceived as less risky and ranges from 1%-2%) to junior debt (more risky) to equity (perceived as most risky and ranges from 5%-10%). Some fee arrangements include an “equity kicker” in the form of warrants. The size of the deal may also influence the fee percentage; the larger the deal the smaller the percentage. For merger and acquisition services, the fee percentage is applied to the overall size of the transaction. Although many business brokers refer to the Lehman formula, few mid-market investment banks use this structure. Instead, they may quote a straight fee percentage or a performance based progressive fee, which increases based on achieving a certain valuation target. The higher the companys valuation (the more dollars the seller puts in his pocket), the higher the investment bankers fee percentage. Progressive fee arrangements provide a strong incentive for the investment banker while aligning the parties’ interests in maximizing the value of the transaction to the client’s owners.

Final Comments. As with most things in life, keep the fee arrangement simple. Haggling over unique, low probability circumstances or creating complex fee structures generally backfires. Complex arrangements tend to cause uncertainty and can result in lack of motivation and focus from the investment banker, not what the client desires. You get what you pay for. Expect to pay a reasonable, market fee. Receiving an engagement letter containing a low fee (potentially with no retainer), indicates a low level of sophistication. Conversely, an engagement letter quoting an out-of-market high fee indicates someone wanting to take advantage of a client. These are not investment bankers you want handling your important deal.

About Wilcox | Swartzwelder & Co. Wilcox Swartzwelder and Co. based in Dallas, Texas, is a boutique investment bank providing merger and acquisition services and corporate finance advisory services to middle market companies in the energy, industrial and infrastructure sector. The Firm delivers a high level of personal service, in-depth industry knowledge, rigorous transaction execution and superior results. Principals have successfully completed almost 100 transactions with aggregate value in excess of $3.6 billion.

Mr. Jason Wilcox 433 E. Las Colinas Blvd. Waterway Tower, Suite 1200 Irving, TX 75039 972-831-1300 www.ws-ibank.com

Securities offered through Petro Growth Energy Advisors, LLC., member FINRA/SIPC.

Benefits Of Working With An Employment Firm For Peoplesoft Staffing

The demand for PeopleSoft professionals is steadily rising every day, but PeopleSoft staffing is not easy. This is why it is often quite difficult for companies to find the right PeopleSoft professionals to fill their vacant positions. Partnering with a staffing firm can help you get the right professional faster.

Help finding the right candidate

To get the right PeopleSoft professional for your business, it is better to work with an IT staffing company, rather than a boutique employment firm. IT staffing agencies solely dedicate their efforts in finding IT professionals and so they have better knowledge, more experience and have a faster turnaround time in providing a PeopleSoft professional. A company might not always have HR resources dedicated to a specialized technology. A boutique staffing firm that recruits for many industries may also lack that insight. So, it is better to hire an expert for this purpose.

Help finding the right candidate faster

PeopleSoft staffing takes time. Proficient PeopleSoft professionals are not available easily. It is often difficult for businesses to get PeopleSoft professionals on mission critical projects. Partnering with an employment company assures a business access to proficient IT professionals faster. Moreover, it reduces chances of wrong hires.

Helps in forming a healthy work culture

A wrong hire can be dangerous for a business. It can cost a business in terms of money and time. Working with a staffing firm considerably reduces the chances of mis-hiring. This is because an IT staffing agency not only assesses the technical skills of a candidate but it also tries to find out whether or not a resource will match the work culture of a company. This ensures a congenial and homogenous workforce that works toward achieving a common goal.

Works as an extension of HR department

In reality, an IT staffing company works as an extension of a companys HR department. It posts advertisements, screens resumes, interviews candidates and finally sends the short-listed candidates to the prospective employer for the final hiring decision. Specialized staffing companies work with a business to help them find the right candidate with skills in a particular technology faster.

Benefits of working with a staffing firm

In other words, a staffing firm allows businesses to concentrate on their core areas of business operations by taking away all of the distractions that are not essentially related to those core areas. The benefits of partnering with an IT staffing firm for PeopleSoft staffing is actually twofold – first, it gives access to qualified PeopleSoft talent faster and second it assures that the candidate will be a right fit for the company, not only technically but also within the work culture.

In addition, if you decide you need to let someone go, a staffing agency can help you by providing replacement staff. This can be done discreetly without other people within your company knowing that you are looking to replace someone. Partnering with an employment firm ensures that a business always has access to quality talent and the firm will use discretion in finding the best fit for your needs.

Small Business Email Archiving

With the expectation that the market for enterprise email archiving
will expand in 2013 by over double the market just four years ago, with
continued expansion in following years, the urgency for small business
email archiving, just to remain competitive, will also grow.

However, small business represents challenges that
may not be answered adequately by providers such as IBM Domino (now
incorporated into IBM Notes) and Microsoft Exchange that are geared for
large enterprise installations.

Email archiving is a separate
application that is integrated with email servers such as those
mentioned above, but there are other providers of servers and client
email archive applications geared to the needs and budgets of small
business. The providers of small business email archiving still offer
real time access to archived files and security measures that will
protect the archive from unqualified access or manipulation.


There are several reasons why an email archive application makes sense
for even the smallest of businesses with just a few employees who use
business email.

As noted above, there is protection of the data
that goes above and beyond the simple storage of historic data on the
company’s main operational server(s). If that data is corrupted by
innocent or malicious invasion, the data may be useless with potentially
dire consequences.

The sheer volume of data in the archive will
only increase over time, even with the use of data deduplication, which
eliminates redundant data. Without a separate client-server to archive
email data, the drain on the main server(s) with ever-increasing email
data will slow the efficiency of every other real-time operation
creating load on the server(s).


For purposes of regulatory and legal considerations, a non-corruptible
data archive is essential to protect the integrity of the archive.
Ordinary storage on the main server(s) may still allow the modification
of email data, thereby destroying the chain of evidence necessary for
acceptance by regulation or litigation demands.

There are
basically three available small business solutions for data archiving.
The simplest is either an onsite or offsite solution still managed
internally by the small business. If this option is chosen, for purposes
of contingency planning for a possible natural or man-made disaster,
offsite archiving may be the best choice for all data backup and
storage, not just email data.

Another option is to employ a
third party to manage the responsibility of email archiving. This
functions much like an internal but offsite solution and has all the
benefits of an offsite solution without the hassle of managing the
archive by internal resources.

A third solution is a cloud-based
option, that is, an internet service provider (ISP) who will manage the
storage and retrieval to and from the email archive, allowing access to
specified company employees by login. Compared to the other two
solutions, this may be the most economical to engage.

Overnight No Fax Payday Loan With The Twinkling Of Eyes

If you are unable to meet your expenses on the basis of your salaries alone and your situation demands lots of cash without warning, then dont be apprehensive as you can get a great financial support by applying for overnight no fax payday loan. To avail the loan you can apply online and get fast results as the loan processing doesnt require faxing the financial documents to the lender. With overnight no fax payday loan, you can assertively disburse your expenses in the most possible manner. With the help of these loans you can overcome any financial emergency quickly. So stop worrying, as the fiscal assistance is available for you.

There is no credit check with overnight no fax payday loans direct lenders offer the loan amounts within a day. All you are required, is to complete a simple online application by filling your personal information in the loan form. The attention grabbing feature of these types of loans is that you can get the loan assistance even if you have bad credit records. An essential characteristic of these types of loans is its collateral free nature so; you dont have to pledge any collateral for obtaining loan in order to meet day to day expenses like medical bills, electricity and telephone bills, house repair, credit card due, motor vehicle repairs and the like.

There are some conditions laid down by the lender, which are needed to be met to be an eligible candidate. These requirements are as under:

1] An applicant should be a citizen of UK.
2] He should be of 18 years of age or above.
3] He should be having a valid bank account in his or her name.
4] He must have an active checking bank account at least six months old.

You can avail loan online as the online processing very easy and fast. By apply for overnight no teletrack payday loans direct lenders you can get an amount ranging between 100 and 1500 for the period of 14 to 31 days. The loan amount is approved on the basis of your current income and repayment ability.

Avoiding Financial Investment Scams in 6 Steps

Filtering legitimate financial investment advisors from the confidence tricksters can be quite a daunting task. Take control of your finances and watch out for the following the main steps of avoiding investment scams:

1. The ‘Set for Life’ Promise.
Financial Investment professionals are well aware of the unpredictability of financial markets and how to manage consistent returns. An investor that approaches you with promises of huge payouts that will fix all your financial woes is suspicious at the very least. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Trust needs to be earned so resist the urge to invest large amounts from the get-go. Start with conservative investments and build a relationship over time.

2. Beware of Time-based Pressure.
Be wary when you are being pressured to make a decision on the spot. The fear of missing out on an opportunity is often manufactured by the swindler himself/herself. Good financial payouts do not happen overnight so neither should good financial planning.

3. Make Yourself Familiar with all the Details of the Proposal.
Be especially careful if you are unfamiliar with investment and money management. Intelligence is not a factor here. Many smart people have fallen victim to financial fraud due to skimming over the details instead of actively picking apart the investment process that will be used. If the process cannot be explained in everyday language that you can understand it would be best not to go forward.

4. Check the References.
Checking references does not necessarily mean checking client references. All investment brokers need to be licensed. Scam artists often provide overly-technical descriptions whilst skimming over details regarding their legal affiliations. Even if a potential investor supplies a financial regulator registration number you need to go one step further and check their credentials with your region/countries financial regulator.

5. Remember that Con Artists are ‘People People’.
Con Artists are experts at winning confidence with a combination of great financial jargon and good manners. They are also great at playing on natural human reactions by taking advantage your own politeness. Never feel like you owe someone your time. If you are uncomfortable you are allowed to cut off the communication channels at any given time.

6. Stay In the Loop and Keep an Eye out for Suspicious Behaviour.

You may be tempted to leave your investment management to the ‘professional’ but your money will always be your responsibility. Request frequent reports (at least monthly) and query all the details of your investment. Once again polite behaviour does not pay off. You are entitled to know what is happening with your money. If you feel uncertain of how an investment is going test the waters by trying to withdraw a small amount of the investment. If your payout is being delayed or you start getting vague excuses you may want to reconsider your investment or check this suspicious behaviour to financial regulators/associations.

Financial Investment can be greatly rewarding if you choose an experienced and reliable service provider. There is no quick fix for financial freedom but the old adages remain. Save and invest consistently and cultivate financial discipline. Be vigilant and educate yourself to guard your investments. And lastly, do not let fear or greed become your motivators.