University of Missouri Extension

Lights! Camera! Rip-Off!

Investment opportunities in the entertainment industry may sound glamorous, cutting edge and can’t-miss, but films, infomercials and the Internet are among the most risky ventures. Promoters often invite consumers into the world of entertainment with promises of promises of projects that have already generated profits for industry insiders. Unfortunately, many films never make it to a theater, let alone television or video distribution. And even if a film succeeds at the box office, financial backers are usually the last to get their money back from the project.

So what’s the scoop on investing in supposed high-profit, low-risk entertainment-related offerings? According to the Federal Trade Commission, if you want to invest in a movie, buy a ticket. If you want to invest in cable television, subscribe to a service. And if you want to invest in the Internet, sign up with an Internet service provider.

Resource: Consumer Alert, "Lights! Camera! Action!" August 1998

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Last updated: March 09, 2005
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