In­vest wisely, avoid pres­sure sales

Pilbara News - - Lifestyle - Gwyn­neth Hay­wood Gwyn­neth Hay­wood is the se­nior re­gional of­fi­cer for Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion.

If you in­vest wisely in prop­erty it should give you a sense of sat­is­fac­tion and peace of mind.

How­ever, too many con­sumers have fallen for a slick sales pitch and lived to re­gret their in­vest­ment de­ci­sion. The great per­sonal fi­nan­cial cost can also dam­age re­la­tion­ships and af­fect emo­tional well­be­ing.

Do­ing your re­search is cru­cial be­fore you de­cide to in­vest in prop­erty, but you need to look for in­for­ma­tion in the right places.

“Free” in­vest­ment sem­i­nars or work­shops hosted by prop­erty spruik­ers are of­ten pro­moted through pam­phlets put in let­ter­boxes or handed out on the street, via Face­book and email or at ex­pos like home and gar­den shows.

Re­ally they’re just op­por­tu­ni­ties for sales­peo­ple to sell prod­uct but of­ten the sell­ers cre­ate the im­pres­sion they’re fi­nan­cial ex­perts and naive in­vestors risk pay­ing a high price for their ser­vices.

You need to re­mem­ber the old say­ing that, “if it sounds too good to be true then it prob­a­bly is”. Prop­erty spruik­ers are in it for them­selves.

The sem­i­nars of­ten in­volve hyped up pre­sen­ta­tions by peo­ple who over­state the value of their in­vest­ment schemes. Some sem­i­nars in­volve catchy chants, ex­pen­sive wine be­ing given to a “lucky” at­tendee and all sorts of other gim­micks to give peo­ple a false sense of em­pow­er­ment be­fore they’re urged to sign up for a prop­erty or in­vest­ment course on the day.

Be on high alert if a sem­i­nar pro­moter:

En­cour­ages you to buy an in­vest­ment prop­erty that you can’t see or hasn’t even been built yet.

Re­ally plays down the risks and costs, and side-steps ques­tions from the au­di­ence.

Wants you to hand over money for more cour­ses, books and DVDs to learn how to be a savvy in­vestor.

Of­fers you a loan so you can sign up for more in­vest­ment cour­ses.

Has a sense of ur­gency that an op­por­tu­nity will be lost.

Makes you feel pres­sured into sign­ing up on the day.

You also need to con­sider whether you could man­age any loans dur­ing un­favourable cir­cum­stances, whether it’s a com­mon rental va­cancy, in­ter­est rate rise or an­other un­fore­seen set­back.

Don’t get caught up in the hype. If you are feel­ing un­der pres­sure to make an in­vest­ment de­ci­sion it is best to walk away and take some time to con­sider the deal.

Be­fore com­mit­ting to an in­vest­ment deal, al­ways get in­de­pen­dent, prop­erty, fi­nan­cial and le­gal ad­vice.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.com­merce.wa.gov.au/ cp/spruik­ers or con­tact Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion by email­ing con­sumer@com­merce.wa.gov.au or phon­ing 1300 30 40 54.

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