A very popular Investment Scam strategy!
Recently I got very VERY upset! A close friend of mine lost tens of thousands of dollars on an investment scam. Not only did the friend lose a lot of his savings he caused many of his friends to lose a lot of their hard earned money too.
It really upsets and makes me really angry when I see how so many Singaporeans still can get fooled today by very well crafted ponzi schemes. Well I do blame it on the part of us not being financially saavy to an extent. Most of all though, it comes down to greed. Plain greed.
Yes money is important and its important to build and grow our wealth especially so here in Singapore. However it is super important to distinguish proper investment opportunities from shenanigans.
So in this article I’d like to highlight some serious red flags you should identify when you attend a seminar where they offer a lucrative investment opportunity.
First up! In my years of experience going around and listening to talks I’ve never seen a single company which has marketed an investment vehicle (commodities, precious metals, property, investing in an oil company) using a network marketing model survive through time. I’ve seen schemes where the company markets gold bars. They sell the future and how gold will always be the reserve currency of the world. They promise returns of a few percent a month.
But here comes the hook! They then tell you that even if you don’t do anything your money will grow with the investment sum BUT if you choose to get your friends to invest as well you will receive a tidy commission which can soon become a full time income.
Here is the BIG red flag!! If the company offers investors say a return of 25% per annum. They MUST make a return of MORE than 25% themselves to stay afloat. Do question the company and find out HOW they can generate such a return. If the answer basically boils down to having new investors coming on board let me ASSURE you that the scheme will NOT last!
Sure, the people who enter early will cash out rich. But the guys who come on board later will pay dearly. The scams all over the news include Geneva gold, VGMC and the infamous sunshine empire for example.
Okay here is a very popular tactic used by these companies which I MUST highlight in this article. It has caused so many people to lose so much money I really need to write about it.
These “investment” companies basically offer a very “lucrative” package which sells the future of bitcoin, a business etc. They then pitch that it doesn’t take a lot of money to get started. The minimum buy in is only $500! Naturally people who look at that would say “Why not? Don’t really understand but let’s just try lah! Lose $500 is okay.”
Here’s what usually happens.
6 months later.
Friend A : Wah my $500 is almost $2000 in my account now. I didn’t even do anything.
Friend B (John) : Broo. Why didn’t you tag me along? What is this you invested in?
Friend A : Oh it’s a company selling XXX. Come check it out with me. Damn it! My $500 is now $2000 already. If I invested my $10k now it would be $40k already. Never mind today ill go and top up my account! Come join me. This one sure can make money! If you want you can start with $500. Small money. Don’t worry about it.
Well THAT is exactly it. The agents pitch the whole idea that its very little to get started. You have very little to lose and A lot to gain! John decides to invest $500 and 6 months later his account shows that his money has doubled. Naturally friend A decides to call up john and say. “Hey look! Your account has doubled.”
This is when human greed takes over. John’s eyes turn into money and he starts getting very excited. That’s when John decides that he will put in a bucket loads of cash.
Bam! He falls right into the pit. EXACTLY where the company wants him to be. Funny enough, this is exactly when the problems start coming in.
Months later his bigger accounts don’t seem to grow as much and when he finally decides to withdraw his money he runs into a whole load of problems with the company with 10 layers of forms and processes to go through.
Here are the lessons to be learned. Firstly. There is no such thing as an investment which is a “sure can make money”. Every investment carries risk. Its about taking calculated risks as an investor. Invest. Don’t SPECULATE!
Second lesson. Invest in what you understand. Instead of getting dazzled by the investment returns thrown at you do you first understand the underlying investment? That is the most important thing! If you don’t understand how the business actually functions then don’t invest!
If you do want to take part in speculative or shady investments by all means go ahead. But always put money which you really can afford to lose. If you do make money on that investment exit as quickly as possible and DO NOT let greed take over. Well. Having studied human psychology I’ve learned that for 80% of the population walking away from a winning position is actually too hard to do. So just don’t do it! 😉
Here is lesson number three! There is nobody better to manage your money but yourself. Invest in yourself and learn how to manage your own money instead of parking it with shoddy investment schemes or in Investment linked policies (ILPs) offered by insurance companies.
It has become my personal mission to spread and educate people on proper financial literacy and ways in which they can grow their wealth steadily and consistently. If you’d like to come to one of my future talks where I will teach you guys everything to do with investing just enter your details in the link right HERE. I’ll send you guys information with regards to my next talk. You can check out my testimonials here.
I really hope this information has been useful. Do share it with your loved ones so they don’t lose money in shenanigans. If you do have friends involved in such schemes send this to them too. 😉