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Let's assume you are able to earn a living, you have some cash flow. What could be the most difficult problem you face?
I find people making difficult choices on where to place their investment dollars. Specifically, is it desireable to buy "non traded investments"?
That means a fund is not traded on any exchange and may be secured only by the honesty of the fund managers.
An investment advisor or fund sales person may put your savings in non traded accounts. If the investor is not aware of the difference between a traded or non traded investment it may not be apparent until months or even years later.
When this difference can matter is if the economy drops or is disrupted. Your dollars may be jeopardized, held captive or completely lost. That is precisely the scenario that played out in 2008.
Does this mean your money is simply gone? No, your investment may actually return good earnings, the funds may be safe. But you will not know if your money is secure. Additionally in a non traded investment you may have no recourse to recover your money.
How to avoid this dilemma? Ask the sales person if you can recover your funds any time no matter what. It literally means anytime. In many situations it may not be advisable to ask for the money back, especially in a weak economy but you would like to have the option of recovering funds.
Be careful of any non-traded investments. This category appeared at the top of the Wall Street Journal's list of investments to be wary of or avoid.