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Common Manipulations Of Consumer Investors

Aug 17, 2007
Online brokerages have revolutionised the investing industry. This has enticed many people to give investing a try even if they have no idea what theyre doing. The process requires a lot of research and a little luck. A quick search online can bring an individual investor all the information they need in order to make a few simple decisions. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there regarding investing in the stock market and in reference to specific stocks. The process of manipulating potential investors to scam them out of their money has followed the stock market into the 21st century and online. Dont be scammed out of your money read this article and avoid the pitfalls.

1. Pump And Dump

In this scam, you are misled about the projected earnings and growth of a company. Uninformed investors purchase the stock. The price tends to rise, and as it does, the original scammers sell the stock off to new uninformed investors and take the profits. Once all the hype drives up the price high enough and the accumulation pressure disappears, the stock crashes and the investors lose money.

2. Avoid Penny Stocks

Penny stocks are stocks less than $5. 00 in value. The reason they are so low is because the company is probably going bankrupt. To avoid the majority of these scams, avoid investing in penny stocks. The hype associated with pump and dump scams is similar between scams. The fake press releases and research reports always tout the given company as being on the verge of a world changing technology, cure for a disease or fantastic new product. The focus is always on the glorious future of the company, but very little information is given about the current status of the company in question.

3. Rumors

The second type of stock market scam is characterized by rumors and traders tricks. Manipulations of stock price can be achieved in subtle ways. Money managers have the ability to start rumors about stocks that they would like to move without paying a large price. The rumor works to lower the price of the stock and create liquidity in that company (TM)s stock. The rumors run unchecked and spread through the market like wildfire.

For example, if a money manager wants to purchase some stock in Company A, they can start a rumor that the company is on the verge of bankruptcy. This lowers the price of the stock and allows the manager to purchase it at the desired rate. This works in the opposite way as well. If the manager wants to sell stock for Company B, a rumor can be started about an emerging invention from that company in order to inflate the stock price. These subtle attempts at manipulation can be the hardest for investors to spot, and therefore the most difficult to avoid. Since rumors are part of the business of the stock market it is hard to track down where the rumors started.

Additionally, there is no paper trail to track down the money managers who practice this sort of manipulation. Fortunately, these inflations or devaluing of stocks are very short lived. Within a short period of time the rumors are proved untrue and the stocks bounce back to their true value. These schemes fortunately never have any long term impact on the market. Maintaining a long term investment focus of owning good companies for long periods of time will offset any of these manipulative rumors.

4. Manipulation

If you want to play with the big boys, you have to be able to take a little bit of risk when you invest. Cheaters and manipulators exist in every industry, and are especially concentrated in an industry that is full of money like the stock market. Having a diverse portfolio of stocks can surely save you from losses that would otherwise hurt you financially.
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