NSSC Blog: Before You Invest

Question of the week: What are alternative investments

Alternative investments are some of most complicated and difficult to navigate investments available. They usually take on higher-than-average risk in return for the potential of higher-than-average returns. Due to their complex nature, alternative investments are meant for very knowledgeable investors or for investors with a lot of money who can afford to take higher risks or get specialized advice.

Here are some examples of alternative investments:


Question of the week: – What are mutual funds?

A mutual fund is a specific type of investment fund; a collection of investments such as stocks and bonds. This collection of investments is owned by a group of investors and managed by a professional money manager. When you purchase a mutual fund, you are joining this group of investors. Mutual funds, unlike most other types of funds are open-ended. This means as more people invest in the fund, the fund can issue new units.

Question of the week: What are fixed-income securities?

The list of fixed-income securities available to Canadians got a little shorter last month when the new Federal budget did away with Canada Savings Bonds. If you’re old enough to have been given Canada Savings Bonds by your grandmother like us, you may already have an idea what a fixed-income security is.

By definition a fixed-income security is…

Boiler Rooms and Oil & Gas scams

We close out Fraud Prevention Month with two investment scams that are both a pack of lies.

Boiler Rooms are another scam that movies and television shows like to highlight quite often. Obviously the move Boiler Room is about it, as is the more recent Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese film The Wolf of Wall Street.

Offshore Investment & Pension/Retirement Scams

No one likes paying taxes. Scam artists know this and often try to use it to pull off a scam. However, just because someone says they can save you taxes on your investments doesn’t mean they can, nor does it mean they can do so legally. Enter offshore investment and pension/retirement scams. 

Offshore investments scams promise a high rate of return for an investment in an offshore market. They’ll also throw in the caveat that an offshore investment is a great – and legal - way to avoid taxes.

Question of the week: Are investment seminars scams?

The honest answer to this question is maybe. It all depends on the seminar you are attending. Is this an educational seminar, or a seminar where a product is being pitched and sold? Investment seminars, or free lunches, are a common and relatively easy way for salespeople to promote and sell investments. However, the investments are not always right for those who attend the seminars.