Please, please tell me you didn’t fall for this one

We all get caught unawares or just plain make bad decisions from time to time. But after years of getting email pleas from Nigerian grandfathers, begging for our bank account numbers so they can bequeath their vast fortunes to us, one would think we’re all smarter than that.

(I’ve come to the realization all those Nigerian emails were, in fact, merely NSA agents wanting more information about us.)

Today, however, we’re told by the Oregon Consumer & Business Services Department investors have already lost millions of dollars this year  in classic, high-risk investments ranging from a gold mine to oil and gas schemes to a struggling Russian ethanol plant.

The common link, says the state, is unlicensed promoters selling unregistered investments. Bottom line whenever someone is selling an opportunity to score big financially is to call a time-out and contact the state Division of Finance and Corporate Securities.

The state has compiled a list of top 2013 investment risks.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is writing rules to make it easier for small companies to raise capital online versus going through the stock market. While transactions can be advertised broadly, the resulting peril  is they are not subject to traditional review and regulation as an investment.

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This may come as no surprise to folk’s whose wallets are a little thinner these days.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index followed a sharp October drop with another decline in November.

The Index now stands at 70.4, based on a 1985 benchmark of 100, down from 72.4 in October. The monthly survey is conducted by Nielsen.

The survey indicated consumer assessment of overall current conditions decreased slightly. Those claiming business conditions are “good” edged up to 19.9 percent  from 19.5 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased to 25.2 percent from 23.0 percent. Consumers’  appraisal of the job market was little changed.

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The latest Jackson County real estate figures won’t be released for another week. But CoreLogic, the real estate analytics firm, reports Medford-area — essentially Jackson County —  foreclosure rates showed a year-over-year fall during September.

Foreclosures involving outstanding mortgage loans fell to 3.32 percent from 4.23 percent in September 2012. However, foreclosure remains well above the 2.29 percent national figure.

 

 

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    Greg Stiles

    Covering the Southern Oregon business and economy since 2001. Read Full
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