This past week I was designing a library of marketing brochures to promote a group of investment vehicles. One of them is called The Russian Fund. As the name implies, the fund is populated with Russian growth stocks and investments. While I was laying it out I was thinking to myself, isn’t the Russian business and political machine notoriously corrupt? Why would anyone send their money to Russia? It seems like a bad bet to me, but what do I know? I’m just a dopey graphic designer. I passed on Google when it was $32/share. [Sadly, not kidding about that].
Then I got to the all-important disclosure. You know what that is? That’s the tiny, tiny print in the back that NOBODY ever reads. Get a load of these two sentences that were buried within. And the bold emphasis is theirs, not mine!
There may be a Lack of Reliable Financial Information and there is less transparency with Russian investments. Potential for Expropriation, Dilution, Devaluation, Default or Excessive Taxation by the Russian government.
I didn’t know what “expropriation” meant so I had to looked it up. It means that the Russian government might take your money and/or property for no good reason and there’s nothing you can do about it. Isn’t that crazy! Why am I actively involved with promoting this investment? I feel dirty. Buyer beware, indeed.
Speaking of warnings…I recently saw a movie in Times Square. Some of the Times Square movie houses are still like the wild west. If you’re bothered by people talking out loud to each other, cell phone calls during the quiet parts of the film, 4-year old children frantic from drinking jumbo-sized Coca-Colas and that sort of thing, you’d better not bother.
When I walked into the theater I turned the corner and saw two kids who must have been about 19 years old changing the diaper of their baby who was laid down on the seat between them. Kids with kids. There’s nothing sadder. At the box office, they post this warning sign. It says, basically, don’t bring a kid in who is under six years old to an R rated movie after 6:00 p.m. They call it “Distraction Free Entertainment.”
You don’t see THAT in the suburbs! This means there were SO MANY 5-year old children being brought into loud, VIOLENT, scary R-rated movies, that they actually had to CREATE A SIGN asking people (mainly, kids with kids) to refrain from doing it. Tragic Town, U.S.A.