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Tips on Reading a Prospectus

Before making any investment, ask for and review the prospectus.  Many investors, however, avoid reading a prospectus before investing since it appears to be too difficult and time-consuming.  As a result, some investors solely rely upon a salesperson to render a verbal summary of its contents, and are sometimes unpleasantly surprised to find out the investment they just made is not exactly what they expected.  

Anyone offering you an investment opportunity should give you an offering memorandum--a complete description of the investment and the people and the risks involved with the investment.  Read it.  If the memorandum makes your eyes glaze over, have an accountant, a securities lawyer, or another knowledgeable and objective third party read the document.

Read more tips about what to look for when
evaluating a prospectus, including the  important questions to ask and where to verify the answers concerning the investment salesperson, product and company.  To order free brochures and videos, visit the Investor Resource Library, General A to Z.