Beware off-market offers for your shares

Be wary of unsolicited offers to buy your shares. A number of operators flood small investors with mailed offers to buy their shares in public companies – usually at a price well below the market.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission urges shareholders to fully investigate these offers.

While the practice is legal investors should check out the real value of their shares and whether it's wise to sell or hold. Try to find out why the offer is being made. Know your shares' value now and get an idea of their future prospects. Something may be about to happen to the shares that the investor doesn't know about.