An old cry rises: 'money for nothing'
Like sex, shortcuts sell or so many marketers appear to believe.
Want to get fit without exerting yourself? TV infomercials push a pill that burns fat "while you sleep."
Want to "make money without doing anything!!!"? An e-mail sender called "Unknown" promises to send along its formula.
That offer trumps one sent by "Alberto" in Denmark that promises energetic people an opportunity to earn a substantial income working from home for an entity claiming to be a "Fortune 500" firm.
Buy into that and I can point you toward some Nigerians who'll cut you in on tens of thousands of dollars just for giving them access to your "bank particulars."
As ill-advised as such deals may sound, they can offer real allure through a nothing-to-lose sort of reasoning when times get tough, as they have of late.
Legitimate at-home work options still abound, and they can cushion a financial blow. A neighbor of mine just began giving real attention to her long-simmering interior-design company. It will help out the household; her husband recently lost his job at a semiconductor firm.
But experts warn home-worker wannabes to beware enterprises that require an initial outlay of money, as many do. Diligence has never been more important, as today's lead story explains.
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Can't get your mind off the stock market? You're forgiven.
The Dow has hit a four-year low, the Nasdaq a six-year low. No one knows quite where war worries and the continuing corporate soap opera will take the economy next.
But investors wondering about a "bottom" should consider ways to protect what they have. Next week's Mutual Funds Quarterly may help.