Secretary of State advises against energy investments

Posted June 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Secretary of State Jason Kander released an investor advisory on energy investments, encouraging Missourians to use caution when making investments in energy-related products that sound suspicious.

“As demands for energy continue to rise, investments in alternative and traditional energy sources appeal to investors,” Kander said. “However, Missourians should be aware that there are some fraudulent investment schemes purporting to offer ‘green’ or ‘alternative’ energy-investment opportunities.”

Some investors are eager to achieve higher returns after years of low interest rates and may become susceptible to energy-investment schemes purporting to offer high rates of return or safety. Although there are many energy project offerings that are legitimate, Missouri investors should carefully review all disclosures and agreements, and evaluate the risks and costs associated with the offering. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it likely is.

To help Missouri Investors protect themselves from becoming the victims of fraudulent energy-investment schemes, the Missouri Securities Division within Secretary Kander’s office offered the following tips:

1) Never invest in something you don’t understand. Before investing, ask questions about the risks and fees involved and research the company and offering. Do not be fooled by professional-looking websites, repeated phone calls or high-pressure sales pitches hyping the profitability or security of the investment.

2) Never agree to a joint venture in something you have no experience in. Do not agree to partner in an energy-related venture if you have no specific experience, knowledge or education in the energy segment and would have to rely on others’ expertise.

3) Do not take risks you cannot afford. Many energy investments are complex and often require long-term commitments to result in profitability. They may be especially risky for those who cannot afford to lose their investments, particularly for those close to retirement.

4) Call the Missouri Investor Protection Hotline. Before investing, call the Missouri Investor Protection Hotline at 1-800-721-7996 and check on the registration status of the investment and the salesperson.

Before you invest, carefully review all information provided by the salesperson and call the Missouri Investor Protection Hotline at 1-800-721-7996. For more information, visit