A Golden Ruse

Oh, Gold. It’s been all over the headlines again, fueled partially by its dizzying ascent and partially by the call in the recently ratified GOP platform for a commission to investigate the ramification of a “metallic basis for U.S. currency” (read: gold standard). But before you go piling into all that glitters, Yahoo! Finance makes an excellent point

According to the FTC, complaints in the area of investment frauds, including precious metals, have increased sharply over the past three years. In 2011, the FTC fielded 7,657 complaints related to investment fraud, compared to 6,490 complaints in 2009.

“Consumers are vulnerable, because other investments are not panning out for them. They’re looking for something different and precious metals are presented to them as a winning situation,” FTC attorney Dama Brown said.

After the financial crisis in 2008, as gold prices continued to rise, con artists began capitalizing on the economic climate and taking advantage of people’s fears, Brown said.

Sad facts, folks. Now, we’ve heard people encourage those looking for a gold investment to be careful – look for people who are licensed and reputable. However, as the article explains, not even that is really worth much faith.

Potential investors should know that people who sell “physical” precious metals, like gold or silver bullion, are not required to obtain licensing or training from the National Futures Association (NFA). Yet, some companies advertised their brokers as being licensed, Brown said.

“They are referring to a telemarketing license. If they were licensed in commodities, we’d call them brokers. But instead we consider them telemarketers,” Brown said.

The FTC has found that many fraudulent companies were operated by brokers who had lost their license to sell stocks or futures because of deceptive sales practices.

Pretty licenses, pretty words – all pretty much hollow. This doesn’t mean we have a whole lot of faith in the NFA, either, but it’s especially frustrating when the people peddling the fraud are hiding behind a piece of paper without any kind of real teeth in an effort to dodge their past indiscretions.

Just a friendly reminder – all that glitters…

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The performance data displayed herein is compiled from various sources, including BarclayHedge, and reports directly from the advisors. These performance figures should not be relied on independent of the individual advisor's disclosure document, which has important information regarding the method of calculation used, whether or not the performance includes proprietary results, and other important footnotes on the advisor's track record.

Benchmark index performance is for the constituents of that index only, and does not represent the entire universe of possible investments within that asset class. And further, that there can be limitations and biases to indices such as survivorship, self reporting, and instant history.

Managed futures accounts can subject to substantial charges for management and advisory fees. The numbers within this website include all such fees, but it may be necessary for those accounts that are subject to these charges to make substantial trading profits in the future to avoid depletion or exhaustion of their assets.

Investors interested in investing with a managed futures program (excepting those programs which are offered exclusively to qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7) will be required to receive and sign off on a disclosure document in compliance with certain CFT rules The disclosure documents contains a complete description of the principal risk factors and each fee to be charged to your account by the CTA, as well as the composite performance of accounts under the CTA's management over at least the most recent five years. Investor interested in investing in any of the programs on this website are urged to carefully read these disclosure documents, including, but not limited to the performance information, before investing in any such programs.

Those investors who are qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7 and interested in investing in a program exempt from having to provide a disclosure document and considered by the regulations to be sophisticated enough to understand the risks and be able to interpret the accuracy and completeness of any performance information on their own.

RCM receives a portion of the commodity brokerage commissions you pay in connection with your futures trading and/or a portion of the interest income (if any) earned on an account's assets. The listed manager may also pay RCM a portion of the fees they receive from accounts introduced to them by RCM.

See the full terms of use and risk disclaimer here.

Disclaimer
The performance data displayed herein is compiled from various sources, including BarclayHedge, and reports directly from the advisors. These performance figures should not be relied on independent of the individual advisor's disclosure document, which has important information regarding the method of calculation used, whether or not the performance includes proprietary results, and other important footnotes on the advisor's track record.

Benchmark index performance is for the constituents of that index only, and does not represent the entire universe of possible investments within that asset class. And further, that there can be limitations and biases to indices such as survivorship, self reporting, and instant history.

Managed futures accounts can subject to substantial charges for management and advisory fees. The numbers within this website include all such fees, but it may be necessary for those accounts that are subject to these charges to make substantial trading profits in the future to avoid depletion or exhaustion of their assets.

Investors interested in investing with a managed futures program (excepting those programs which are offered exclusively to qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7) will be required to receive and sign off on a disclosure document in compliance with certain CFT rules The disclosure documents contains a complete description of the principal risk factors and each fee to be charged to your account by the CTA, as well as the composite performance of accounts under the CTA's management over at least the most recent five years. Investor interested in investing in any of the programs on this website are urged to carefully read these disclosure documents, including, but not limited to the performance information, before investing in any such programs.

Those investors who are qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7 and interested in investing in a program exempt from having to provide a disclosure document and considered by the regulations to be sophisticated enough to understand the risks and be able to interpret the accuracy and completeness of any performance information on their own.

RCM receives a portion of the commodity brokerage commissions you pay in connection with your futures trading and/or a portion of the interest income (if any) earned on an account's assets. The listed manager may also pay RCM a portion of the fees they receive from accounts introduced to them by RCM.

See the full terms of use and risk disclaimer here.