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<strong>8. Short-Term Commercial Promissory Notes&nbsp;</strong>

Many seniors have lost their life savings by investing in short-term commercial promissory notes that are nine months or less in duration. These notes may be touted as being “insured” or “guaranteed,” but the insurance companies generally are located outside of the United States, are not licensed to do business in the United States, and lack the resources necessary to deliver on the promised guarantees.

Unlike publicly advertised promissory notes, promoters of these short-term notes usually attempt to use commercial paper exemptions as a basis for selling the products without registration. The commercial paper exemptions apply only to high-grade commercial paper traded by major corporations – not to these risky notes pushed to the public by a sales force paid with extremely high commissions.

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Source: North American Securties Administrator Association (NASAA)Photo: Istock