There are a lot of phone calls that you are probably receiving daily looking for you to invest your hard earned dollars. Lots of these companies whether publicly traded or private have associated risks and it is very important that you understand what to look for when examining the profiles of these companies.
If the salesman who is pushing the stock of a company ask if it is traded on the over the counter market or If it’s a company that trades on a listed exchange. Listed exchange companies are almost always a safer bet except in the rare case of an Enron or Tyco. When you are going through the due diligence process it is important to look at the Google Auotcomplete results. If it shows something like the problematic suggestion below then you can be up in arms and ready to run away from that investment opportunity.
Other important keywords to be careful of are the words "Complaints" "Arrest", "lawsuit", and "Scam". If any of these results show up then you should certainly go forward and see if there are any legitimate results on the first 10 pages that speak about why these search words are associated with the company that you are looking at investing in.
What to Look For?
Certain reputation companies that run national radio ads leave a HUGE FOOTPRINT for their clients and make it obvious to those who know what to look for that something is very off when researching a company. The footprint to look for is results that have what are called exact match domains for the company or persons name that contacted you. If you see single page websites with informational content on page 1 followed by biographical information sites on web 2.0 platforms such as Blogspot.com, WordPress.com, Tumblr.com, Vizify, Resume,com, CV Share, and other self promotional websites that all interlink with each other then you can highly assume that they used a reputatin company to help cover something up.
What did they cover up though? Well thats where the fun begins. There are certain semantic web searches that can be conducted to start the discovery process. There are times when the company just wanted to build a presence on the internet but didn’t know where to go and how to do it. There are other times when a company has a completely natural and clean profile and digging deep into the interweb may not bear any fruit which is always a great sign according to reputation advocate and expert David Roberts of NuProfile.com who says "You need to be a big advocate of what is online about you but that doesn’t mean you have to create a lot of social profiles and create a suspicious looking footprint when you are Googled. Instead do charitable work, hold seminars, events, and make headlines for the good and that will create a natural business profile online that the typical investor will want to invest in no questions asked."
So whether it’s a REIT your investing in, a public company, or a small business it is always important to do your diligence and that diligence should come start on the internet.