Avoid get rich quick schemes

Palesa Matjebele
2018-07-05 11:24
 The rand iStock

WHEN it comes to money, even the smartest people can get ripped off. People need to be careful when trying to enrich themselves, there’s no such a thing as instant money. You can’t trust anyone, especially with all these pyramid schemes that promise huge returns.

FALSE PROMISES

Whenever the topic arises, the first question that people ask is what a pyramid scheme is. A pyramid scheme is a fraudulent investment that doesn’t benefit the investor but the perpetrator. Kalyani Pillay, the CEO of Sabric, explains that investors get hooked in by the false promises of getting huge returns. She says the perpetrator makes a very appealing and enticing presentation to an average person. Because on the surface, it looks legit, people join the schemes. “The first few investors are lucky enough to get a slice of the cake, this is nothing but a trick to get more investors and get the existing members to put in more money with the hopes of doubling the amount,” Kalyani says. “Scammers will go to great lengths to get victims to invest in these schemes through the use of social engineering tactics.” Millions of people have lost their lifetime savings to pyramid schemes while they were looking out to magically make even more money in what sounded like a ‘too good to be true’ pitch, and indeed it was. Kalyani urges people to be realistic. She says people need to be mindful before making any hasty decisions when it comes to their finances. “They will even come up with convincing, fabricated statistics to make their offer look attractive, so always treat these kinds of schemes with suspicion,” she says.

LEGIT INVESTMENT OPTIONS

Everyone is out to make a steady figure, and it would be the most unfortunate experience to be the one person schemers make that figure from. It’s best to always do thorough research before putting your money into something, and don’t just take anyone’s word for it.   

Below are some of the investment options for those who are ready to take a chance and a little risk with their finances the lawful way:

¦ Stokvel: This is an effective way to save your money, there are short and long-term savings plans but it can be quite tricky to get a stokvel that really meets your needs.

¦ Retirement fund: A retirement plan is the best way to go if you are set on the future, you can start saving monthly and get your money growing and ready for when you retire.

¦ Property: It’s unlikely to go wrong with property. It never depreciates. The more an area develops, the more value the property has.

¦ Stock Market: There’s money to be made with stock as you are dealing with dollars and pounds, but this option is tricky. You can make money, and you can also lose a lot of money, and you’ll probably need to hire a broker.

¦ Shares: There’s also no guarantee for this option as well, anything can happen in a minute. You can either make triple in a minute, or lose everything in a second.

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE INVESTING

Pyramid schemes can rob one of their hardearned cash, but they are not the only ones that can clean out your savings. First things first. Before making an investment, you need to prepare yourself for anything, even if you are investing in an already functioning and money making business. Pieter Jansen van Vuuren, a psychologist and facilitator at Solstice, says there are always risks surrounding investments. He says that the economy can take a toll on what was the most successful company in the past. “Not every investment will be a success. Things can change, just because it’s a big establishment does not mean that your money is safe,” he says. There are institutions where you can invest your money with a guaranteed interest. Everyone can get their money growing, but Pieter says one needs to know exactly what they are in for. He says for those who are not ready to take a gamble, the right way would be going to the bank even though the interest may be small. “If you are not ready to take a loss, a bank is the way to go. You are sure to get all your money back after the period, with interest on top,” he advises. It’s best to know your nature. If you know that you are likely to be depressed after taking a loss, it would be best to avoid taking financial risks.