DEAR BRUCE: I was taken by a person who ran a seminar selling a publication that claimed to have movie rights to the Ninja Turtles. Believing that this movie would be a hit, I invested $50,000 in that stock. Up until and even after the movie came out, I was promised that the monies made would be coming. I have all the e-mails promising the return.
Now it turns out it was a scam. Showing him his e-mails, he promised to personally repay the money I invested, but after a year, I still have not heard from him.
My question is, do you know what government agency I should contact about him as I am sure there are others being taken by him. All a lawyer will do is write him a letter and not pursue it further. -- D.N.
DEAR D.N.: I am sorry you had this bad experience. I don't think there is even a small chance of regaining all or part of your money. Clearly, they were playing on your interest in the Ninja Turtles, but I doubt seriously if they had anything to with the movie.
By all means, notify the attorney general's office of your concerns, giving all the details and copies (note I said "copies") of the correspondence that was exchanged. It sounds to me like this is strictly a scam. Contacting the attorney general's office and asking for guidance might help, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Good luck.
DEAR BRUCE: I am a 34-year-old federal employee. About 12 years ago I worked for a corporation for a few years, and I received a check for some of my 401(k), but I keep getting updates from Vanguard showing I have about $2,000.
I currently invest 15 percent in my Thrift Savings Plan 401(k) and would like to do something with that $2,000. How do I get those funds, and what's the best way to invest them -- TSP, if possible, or elsewhere? -- A.E.
DEAR A.E.: Write to your former employer and ask who in the organization handles these accounts and consult that person as to how to cash the account in. If I were you, I would withdraw the money from the account and totally invest it in whatever you think is appropriate.
As to the best way, that's a whole different matter. That will depend to some measure on how much you have now. At 34 years old, you've a long way to go, so I would be looking at longer-term investments. You can't just buy and forget about it. You've got to keep your eye on your investments and find out how they're working for you. I do wish you well.
(Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.)
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