When I look at my portfolio..I keep wondering..does it really take ‘forever’ for creating wealth? I do not know. Every day I get many offers to ‘double my money in 2 years’ or even better 1200% return..or something of that size. Or even better Forex trade calls where I could earn US $ 565 every week with zero investments?
Is it really easy to get rich, QUICKLY? Or am I hallucinating?
In August /September of 2016 the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that a trading newsletter company, Wealthpire, and its owner had agreed to pay nearly $1.5 million to settle allegations that they had defrauded subscribers through false statements and misleading advertisements.
Wealthpire and its owner, Manuel E. Jesus, settled without admitting or denying the allegations. It is really sad that the SEC has such a ‘window’ and allows criminals to get away paying a pittance of a fine while getting away with financial murder or its equivalent. The website constantly says “probable 1483% return” – which all right thinking people know is not just improbable but impossible. The website talks of a series of transactions WHICH NEVER REALLY HAPPENED…but could have happened and you could have got those returns. My take is very simple. Most of us who are ‘normal’ do not need esoteric products. However, such numbers mesmerize people into believing that such returns are possible. I know of one person who used to be a good salesman (currently looking for a job) who was attracted to an ad which claimed “would teach him commodity and forex trading”. What deterred him was the one time fee of Rs. 3.5 Lakhs. I am happy that the fee was high – if it was 76000 (which was available in his savings account) he would have burnt it. Financial hypnotism works well.
The SEC’s complaint alleges a series of other misrepresentations to Wealthpire subscribers as well, including false claims about one particular stock alert service that purportedly made historic trading recommendations that yielded huge past returns higher than 1,400 percent.
To me this alone is enough to make sure that the guys like Manuel are put behind bars. Worse, the people buying such newsletters should also be put in jail!! I must at least admit that SEC has continually warned that ‘investment letters’ can be used as a fraud..and investors should be careful. I am yet to see SEBI say that loudly and clearly. As of now you can come out with newsletters, wassup groups, Facebook groups,…and I do see it very easy to run a ponzi scheme in stocks – with or without the connivance of the management. In fact I am sure that there are such schemes running – and we do not have the wherewithal to shut them all down.
There was enough evidence (noticeable) that Mr. Backus – was just an assumed name and many people were using this name! one of his newsletters was advised by someone with a criminal record and Mr. Backus himself DID NOT CARE about being disciplined by securities regulators after he promised “At Least +8% Gains In Your Stock Portfolio Each & Every Month, Like Clock Work” .
Why did people not see the OBVIOUS red flags? because investors suffer from the following
- Good communication skills of fraudsters
- Clever marketing ploys ‘sustainable 1384% returns’ can numb the sensible portions
- 94,553 people have signed up – makes you feel – ‘OMG have I missed it’
- so many people cannot be idiots, let me try it once
- ‘full refund if not satisfied’ is a brilliant way to ask a guy to pay $ 297 for a ONE MONTH subscription
- the brilliant way of signing up – where you give them your credit card and the authority to debit every month is NUMBING
- most investors will never ever stop that monthly debit – if they can afford it !!!
As an INVESTOR keeping JUNK out of your reading / viewing material is very important. It is easy to fall prey to financial porn. Porn is addicting, and can completely alter your perceptions in life.
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