As you search through the finance, business and investing industries for ideas on what to invest in and who can help, you’ll come across many offers too good to be true – you may be tempted to take a look anyway! Clever advertising campaigns and copy writing abound and target the emotion charged – you and your money.

It could be a product, service, seminar or event promising you …

financial freedom, become a millionaire, change your lifestyle, quit your job, while at the same time getting happy, fulfilled and being able to provide for your family, while you have as many holidays as you like, retire or just let their ‘system’ work for you as you relax in an exotic location managing your empire from your laptop

… your dreams come true!

A scam or not?

At a ‘world’ investing event I went to a few years ago, in a cavernous but full auditorium, one of the presenters was selling a software system for SEO (search engine optimisation). He plucked a woman from the audience, her dream – to set up an online business selling shoes!  She had no business, no plan – no shoes. But within 10 minutes she had a website, he’d plugged in his miracle device and the site was getting hits and clicks and making money like you wouldn’t believe! How easy is that!? Willing buyers ran to the back to snaffle the once in a lifetime offer, for the 99% reduced price, plus bonuses!

Often it isn’t until after the event – eg Storm Financial and others and even if there is seemingly tight regulation – that investors realise they’ve been conned. And even though what you bought wasn’t what you thought you were buying – it’s usually too late to recover your money.

In Guru Cops check out our huge list of the people, industry bodies, government and non government, who you can go to for information and advice on how to avoid the many questionable money and investing  promotions. Two sites where you’ll find a lot of useful information, questions to ask, checklists, warnings and be able to report scams are:

  • ACCC’s (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) Scamwatch – It covers: Investment scams (get rich quick) especially offering tax breaks; cold calling; share promotions and hot tips; investment seminar and real estate scams; superannuation scams; business opportunity; guaranteed employment/income; up front payment scams and more.
  • ASIC’s (Australian Consumer and Investment Commission) MoneySmart – Has lots of tools and tips and covers areas similar to Scamwatch.

Investing and Emotions

It’s pretty clear that a lot of investment decisions are based on human psychology, especially your attitudes and emotions.

Fear and greed

Warren Buffett – the ‘Oracle of Omaha’, suggests when investing that you:

Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.

Investment advisers often argue that many portfolios perform better if managed independently, rather than do it yourself because decisions, especially when to buy and sell shares, are less emotive.


Your attitude to ‘risk’ also impacts on your investments choices – see Day 2-planning.

Motivation, mentoring and coaching

Your financial planner should be able to explain ‘risk’ to you and how financial markets work. If you choose a financial planner or adviser you can trust they might make most of the investment decisions.

Or, you might be more hands on, or not use a planner, and get free or paid information from analysts and commentators, the media, books and the other resources you saw on Day 11.

You may use Gurus or others not as well recognised or respected in their field.

But be careful, as they market their investing products and services, some use even more fear, greed, pride, envy and acceptance in their marketing than other industries!


So whatever you’re thinking of investing in, keep in mind some of these underlying behavioural drivers. And now you know what to watch out for and to avoid, hopefully your decisions and the gurus you choose will be good ones.

Our posts Secrets, Success and Seminars – what would Branson and Bouris know? and 5 Tips to avoid investment scams might also help.

Any scams you’ve come across? Any gurus you recommend to use or  avoid?

Love to get your feedback (email) or leave a comment (below).

I’d also be delighted if you find BiG and my work helpful, and share it (Join the challenge – click the green subscribe button on R-Homepage to automatically get our updates) with friends, family and others who want to build on their investments.

All the very best with yours!


the Bucket List Investing Chick

 Where to next:

Day 17 – Who are the best investment gurus?  Part 2 | Find a Guru

Day 18 – Who are the best investment gurus?  Part 3 | Rate a Guru

Day 19 – Who are the best investment gurus?  Part 4 | Choose a Guru

Week 4 – Time to invest – just do it!

Where we’ve been – 30 Day Challenge Blog overview:

Day 2 – Where the Bloody Hell Are You?! Assessing your current financial situation.

Day 3 – The Lazy Investor’s Way to Set Goals

Day 4 – Spoilt for Choice! The Many Types of Investments and Strategies Available to You – the Investor!”

Day 5 – Who Can You Turn to for Investing Help? People and ‘Players’ in the Investment Industry (Day 7/8 W/E)

Day 9 – How to choose a financial adviser and advice you can trust. It’s all about the faith! Part 1 Financial    planners

Day 10 – Part 2 Rate the Raters! Investing Rating sites, Top 10 …, Best …

Day 11 – Part 3 The Investing Information Tsunami!

                Media, Books, Magazines, Websites, Blogs, Podcasts, Webinars …

Day 12 – Part 4 Less Regulated Advisers – Analysts, Commentators and Gurus (Day 13/14 W/E)

Day 15 – Part 4 Less Regulated Advisers … Gurus