The Point

The other day, I went to change the channel on the TV monitor in the boardroom. I couldn’t find the remote, so I felt around the back of the unit, found a button and pushed it. What happened next wasn’t my fault.

The monitor went black. It took several IT folks and two cable guys to restore the picture. Did I mention this wasn’t my fault?

I have to admit pushing buttons is fun. I’m a gadget kind of guy. The more buttons and lights, the better. When I find a new thingamajig, I figure if I explore a little bit, I can master the tool. This isn’t always the case, as I’ve learned. When it comes to money, there are lots of fancy tools on the market. Some are helpful. Some contraptions are downright harmful.

Case in point: a member asked me for advice on a new investment opportunity. I agreed to take a look at the website. It was dazzling. I liked the animation, the brilliant colors and the ease of navigating the site. The pictures were pretty and the people depicted on the webpage looked like models. There were even a few buttons for me to push.

But the more I read, the more skeptical I became. There was investment advice, but its advisors didn’t have credentials. In addition, it seemed a potential client would have to invest money before being given the evidence the services are worthwhile.

Digging, I found the legal agreement. I discovered terms that posed more risk to investors than to the company. I don’t know about you, but any deal that carries more risks than rewards isn’t for me. This was proof not all fancy widgets are good for you. After the TV incident, I’ve been told to stay away from pushing buttons at work.

Have I said it wasn’t my fault?