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Beware get-rich-quick schemes, they'll get you poor fast

Get rich quick mugJORDAN DEAN

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guineans have been exposed to numerous ‘get rich quick’ schemes over the years – so-called plans which claim to deliver high rates of return for a small investment.

These schemes range from U-Vistract to the miraculous and magical products Forever Living, Pro-Ma Systems, 4Life, Ardyss, BHIP International, JM Ocean Avenue, Hop Rocket and now the latest craze, AIM Global.

There are so many scam artists with misleading information.

Unsuspecting people are told they will obtain great riches quick by signing up to money making schemes with all sorts of niche products that promise lots of money for little work.

The information is overwhelming and exaggerated. It sounds too good to be true. And it is. Because many people don’t tend to weigh the pros and cons so blinded are they by the false opportunity to make money as fast as possible.

AIM Global uses a pyramid scheme, otherwise known as multi-level-marketing (MLM).

A pyramid scheme recruits members with a promise of great rewards if they enrol others into the scheme. As recruitment multiplies down the pyramid, further recruiting becomes more difficult and finally impossible and most members are unable to profit.

In other words, pyramid schemes are unsustainable. In the short term people receive benefits but very quickly the scheme is unable to sustain itself and most participants end up out of pocket.

The scheme benefits those at the top of pyramid who can pass on the cost of their membership to the people under them and receive money and commissions from them. Those who are gifted at sales and marketing will benefit the most by convincing unsuspecting people to depart with their savings or even borrow funds to sign up.

Pyramid schemes are often illegal and the Bank of PNG has warned people not to be fooled into paying fees and to avoid engaging with fast money schemes.

It is amazing how gullible Papua New Guineans are to get-rich-quick schemes. Every year thousands of families lose money they can’t afford in seeking to become rich overnight.

There never has been a get-rich-quick scheme that didn’t sound terrific on the surface. The promoters are much better at disguising these bad deals than most people are at detecting them.

Each time it’s a different product with astounding benefits and promises. But keep in mind what you are getting yourself into. Think it through deeply and work out if you are likely to get the desired returns from your investment.

To me get-rich-quick schemes are a no-go zone. Whatever you would love to believe, there really is no quick legal way to get rich.

For most of us, wealth is generated by hard work and good investments over a long period of time. There is no such thing as a free lunch or quick riches.

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