It was reported in PropertyGuru.com.sg recently about a company called Ecohouse with over 1,000 investors in Singapore. The company has gone ‘missing’ and all calls and emails to the company has gone unanswered. Some investors in Singapore have started legal actions against the company and the company was said to be still marketing their investment plans in other countries. It also quoted the President of the company as saying that the delay in paying the returns to its investors was due to its banks in Brazil. I sincerely hope that this delay is only due to administrative issue and that all the investors may get back their investments and the returns promised to them.
This brings me to the topic of the day. Most of the time, cheating you becomes very easy, when you are greedy. For example, how about the promise of 5% return every quarter. That’s 20% per year. The more friends you introduce, the higher your return would be. Have you ever come across such sales pitch before? It’s happening daily and I receive some of these super attractive offers once in a while. It’s true, my Fixed Deposit earns very little but I have never withdrawn it to earn such lucrative profits. The reason is because after over 16 years of working life, these are nothing more than just traps for the greedy.
If you have ever invested in unit trust, you would know that a return of close to 10% per year for a few years is considered very healthy. If you have invested in property you would know that a typical return of 10% or higher per annum over a few years is considered extremely good. If you have invested in stocks, you may have either win big, lost big or lost time buying a stagnant counter. If you have invested in GOLD many years ago, you may have luckily won huge amounts of money but if you did not sell it from it’s highest point till today, you would have lost 30% of the value of your investment. Once you know these, why do you think someone or some company can still offer you huge returns on a quarterly basis? What do they invest in? Smuggling drugs? That’s not a joke because other than illegal activities, I am not sure how a company can guarantee you returns of 20% per year. If there is such an investment, you would not even have a chance to invest.
It’s hard work to earn the money for you to invest. It’s a hard time getting it back if you invested in the wrong place. It’s even harder to work to get it back. My personal advice, if it’s too good to be true, it would not happen to you. Investment requires a little bit of luck, yes, but it requires lots of understanding and objectivity. Do not be greedy, they will cheat you easily. Happy investing.
written on 15 Oct 2014
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