My $10K Investing Mistake

If an investment seems too good to be true — it is.

There’s an old saying my mother used to say all the time when I was growing up: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” “With age comes wisdom,” another old saying goes. My mother was skeptical of any investment that paid above-average returns without the fundamentals to justify it — and rightfully so. She had seen investments go bust over the years.

For the most part, I listened to her investment advice. But, there was one time 12 years ago that I didn’t, and it ended up costing me — to the tune of $10K.

Read More: 17 Warning Signs of a Bad Investment

The Rise of Autosurf Programs

It was 2005. Though it had been around some time, the internet still wasn’t as ubiquitous as it is today. Smartphones were in their infancy. And it had been four years since the dot-com bubble. Many investors were anxious to find the next way to make a quick buck online.

Cue autosurf programs.

If you’ve never heard of autosurf programs, don’t beat yourself up too much. I didn’t hear of them until I came across them in some online investing discussion boards. People were talking about how great they were and how they’d made a killing online.

A program named 12DailyPro stood out in particular. You simply had to invest your money, view web advertisements for a set period of time daily and earn 12 percent return a day for 12 days. In case you’re doing the math, that’s a 144 percent return in only 12 days. That’s when a red flag should have gone up in my mind — but it didn’t.

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I mean, sure, at first I was skeptical, but since so many people had good things to say and were seeing success from these autosurf programs, I wanted to get in on it. I started out by investing a small amount, but once I got the hang of it, I invested even more. At my peak, I had $10K invested in 12DailyPro.

The Fall of Autosurf Programs

Everything was going great for the first three months. I would invest my money, earn a 144 percent return and reinvest the proceeds. I ended up turning $5K into $10K in less than a month. But then, disaster struck.

I remember trying to login to 12DailyPro one day, only to find out that it had been shut down by the SEC. I had money invested, so I wondered what would happen to my money in limbo. A receiver ended up taking over the program and distributing what money was left. Unfortunately, I never ended up receiving any of the $10K I was owed.

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Main Takeaway

I should have known better, but I let greed cloud my judgment and it cost me dearly. Ten thousand dollars was a lot to lose, but fortunately, it wasn’t my life savings. In the end, the whole ordeal taught me a valuable lesson.

Before investing in something, look at the fundamentals, and always listen to that little voice inside your head. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is, as my mother always said.

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