Have you ever heard or said, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is?” So many people get scammed into Ponzi Schemes and jump into dubious investments just because they don’t do their due diligence. Do your own calculations, check their track record, and ask questions. Stop falling for these passive investing scams.
Tune in today to learn how to know if something is too good to be true. Is there a number? Or is there something else? Chris Miles shares some examples of scams and analyzes a recent “investment” with NovaTechFx, which claims to pay an average of 3% per week!
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How To Know If An Investment Is Too Good To Be True
Welcome to our show that’s for you, those that work so hard for your money and you want your money still working harder for you right now. You want that freedom and cashflow today and not 30 or 40 years from now, but you want it right now because you want to live that life you love with those you love. Most importantly, it’s not just about getting rich. It’s about living a rich life because as you are blessed financially, you have a greater capacity to bless the lives of others. Thank you for joining us, binging, sharing, and doing all that you guys do. As a reminder, if you haven’t liked and subscribed our YouTube channel, go to the Money Ripples YouTube channel. Like and subscribe.
Too Good To Be True?
Also, if you haven’t checked out the Money Ripples shorts, if you like to get short little snippets, we got stuff over there, too, on the Money Ripple Shorts channel. Check those out today. I want to talk about a particular topic that will come up from time to time. I want to make sure you guys come from the right place and mindset. Many people will want to know, “How do I know something’s too good to be true?” In fact, many people will even accuse our stuff, saying, “Hold on. Chris, you’re talking about 10%, 12%, 15%, or more returns per year. That sounds too good to be true.” That’s usually the case when someone hasn’t been exposed to a lot of different options, especially if you’ve been exposed to just the traditional financial models.
There is some truth to too good to be true. If something sounds too good to be true, it could be, but it depends on your perspective and where you’re coming from. Too good to be true is relative based on the person. I want to get into this to determine what is too good to be true. I’ll tell you my number one investment now is paying me nearly 50% per year. It’s doing great. That’s based on the money that I’ve invested. Typically it’s not too uncommon to get right around that rate of return, but it takes some time. It still takes some work to get there. There are still taxes you got to figure out. There are still things that can cut into it that reduce some of those returns, but it can still happen that way.
Even with my real estate properties, I’ve had some do better than that, but there’s also been good appreciation. Often in our world, when we talk about alternative investments, we’d like to try to stay very conservative, which is right about the low double-digit mark, like 10%. That’s something we can find over and over again very easily and even have it, in some cases, being contractual. It doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed, but it does mean that there are contractual-type things. For example, you could lend your money to somebody, and they might say, “I’m willing to pay you 10% a year to borrow your money for that year.” They might even pay you 10% for 6 months, which is 20% a year if you able to do that twice. There are people that are willing to do that depending on what they’re trying to do and if their numbers make sense.
That’s the number one key. Numbers have to make sense of something, whether it is too good to be true or not. The first point I’m going to make is this. Just because something sounds better than anything you’ve been exposed to before doesn’t necessarily mean it is too good to be true. Remember that. You don’t have to have a scarcity mentality. The question you should be asking instead is, “What makes this profitable? What allows them to pay this kind of return?” You got to use some good common rational sense here.
Examples Of Dubious Investments
Don’t just write something off and think it’s too good to be true just because you haven’t seen it. Let me give you some examples of where the numbers should make sense. I remember back before the last recession, around 2006, there were a few deals that came out that did seem too good to be true. First and foremost, there is a real estate investor here locally in Utah. He was starting to build a pretty big empire. He would pay his investors, primarily his partners, 5% a month on their hard money. That’s huge. That’s 60% a year. He was paying them that. Why did it work? It worked because he was flipping properties so quickly, binding them undervalue, flipping them, turning around, selling it again, and selling it at the market appraised value.
He was able to keep turning money over and over again. Here’s the problem. Even though he did that, he would sell it to an investor and try to lease it back from the investor. Meaning there was an expense. There was a payment there. He wasn’t just flipping the property. He was holding it, selling it to the investor, and paying them money so he could move along with the cash. They called it equity stripping.
They would strip the equity out of the property, move it into the next properties, and keep doing that system. It worked great until 2007 and 2008. Even when 2007 started happening, things started to slow down. Lending got tighter, especially throughout the summer of 2007, and their model started to weaken a little bit. They started to get shaky. Once 2008 happened, especially, the next thing you know, he couldn’t afford to pay those returns.
The problem was this. Those same people said, “We can get more leverage off our money. What if we raise capital, people give us money, and we pay them 4% a month?” Those people then said, “I know what those guys are doing. They’re making 5% a month and paying us 4%. They’re making this 1% spread, which is an infinite rate of return on money that’s not even theirs. They’re making a fee off of it.” They said, “What if we did the same thing?” They pay people 3% and started to create almost this multi-level type of investment. The next thing you know, when everything hit the fan, especially with the guy that was in the middle trying to make all these purchases and everything, when the real estate market wasn’t appreciating, and they couldn’t flip properties as quickly, it was almost like sticking the stick inside of a bicycle spoke.
When you stick the stick inside the bicycle spokes, you flip over the handlebars. The whole thing fell apart. That guy is now in prison because of everything that happened. There was over $100 million of investors’ money lost because these properties weren’t cashflowing. He was buying the properties, moving to the next one, holding onto these properties, and making no rent. He wasn’t even renting them. It looked like a Ponzi scheme, even though it wasn’t. Just so you know, the difference between a Ponzi scheme and actual investments is that Ponzi schemes are paying you with other people’s money. They have no assets backing them up. They’re taking people’s money, turning around, and paying your returns based on people putting new money in. If there’s enough real excitement, people will keep putting money in.
He wasn’t doing this. He had assets. The problem was that it was not a sustainable business model. At best, he had a crappy model. It was awesome in good times, but not good if you stress test it. I bring that story up because there are a lot of real estate investors that have done the same thing over the last several years. They can get sloppy with the numbers. They can borrow people’s money, even if they’re doing hard money lending and lending money to these investors. If their model doesn’t work in all markets, you have to ask yourself, “Am I going to get my money back? Will this actually work? Is he going to lose money?” This is why whenever we look at investors, we look at investors in our network that we refer to our clients. We want to make sure that they’ve gone through a full market cycle.A crappy business model can be awesome in good times but terrible if you stress test it. Click To Tweet
They didn’t just show up in 2017 and 2018. You don’t want to do that. That’s an example where it could have worked, but it was too good to be true in all markets. You’ve got to make sure that it works in all markets. Here’s an example of one that was too good to be true legitimately, and it was a complete Ponzi scheme. This was a company called 12DailyPro. They call it 12DailyPro because every twelve days, they would pay you a 24% rate of return. About every two weeks, you’re making about 24%. Do the math. If you start to compound that money, within about a month and a half or even a little bit less, you’re doubling your money.
Here’s what’s interesting, psychologically speaking. There have been studies. I remember hearing this even during the last recession. The higher the potential returns, the less people do due diligence. Let me repeat that. The higher the promised returns, the less due diligence people do on a deal. They get too excited. Their brain stops functioning. The emotions, excitement, and greed take over. People might say, “I’m in this abundance mindset.” You’re in a greedy mindset because your brain turns off. You don’t really look at the details. They’ve proven this psychologically. People that are promised certain returns, and the higher the return, the less due diligence and the less they research into the thing.
This is also true on the opposite. We’ve seen people research heavily on things like infinite banking. I can’t tell you how many people are like, “It’s got to be a scam or something.” Infinite banking doesn’t have that high return. When you’re talking about getting guaranteed 3% tax-free, that’s not a huge return. Even the ones that are paying 5% to 6% tax-free now, and they’ve been paying that since 1870 or 1847, they’ve been paying that for over a century, almost going on two centuries in some of these companies, yet people are like, “I don’t know. That sounds too good to be true. There’s got to be a catch.”Infinite banking is not a scam. It doesn't have that high of a return. You're guaranteed 3% tax-free, and that's not a huge return. Click To Tweet
I have a partnership in real estate where I’m getting paid almost 50% a year. People are like, “What’s that? Show me that. I’m signing up.” They don’t even do the due diligence. They might ask a few questions. They’ll think they’re doing due diligence, but at the end of the day, they’re like, “It sounds great. Let’s do it.” That’s the tricky thing. Many people are like, “I don’t know.” I came across one recently. I had three friends introduced this particular company to me. This company is called NovaTech. I don’t know if you’ve been introduced to it or not. This is a good example. This is like the 12DailyPro of this particular time period.
Just so you know, what happened is after a few months, the SEC stepped in, realized it was a complete Ponzi scheme, shut it down, and people lost their money. They would limit how much people would put in too. The crazy thing is there are people that quit their jobs in 2006 thinking, “I could retire off of this because of how much this is paying me. I’m done.” They quit their jobs and cashed out their 401(k)s to put their money into this Ponzi scheme. They didn’t even think about it. I even had one friend. He said, “Chris, with some of our friends that do real estate, they would say this is a complete violation principle. This is complete gambling. There’s a disclaimer that says you could lose your money at any time.”
How To Find A Scam
When I ask him the question, “Where do they really make their money?” he’s like, “Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t know how they make their money exactly. It sounds like they do something with this, but it sounds like they’re doing lending, but I’m not positive.” The thing shut down. The woman was living in Atlanta, Georgia, or something like that, making bank off this thing until it finally shut down. This NovaTech FX, if you want to look it up, is a hybrid-type company. They’ll even say it’s a trading platform. It looks legit. They could do forex and crypto trading. That’s what this premise is.
These three friends of mine both came from different directions. Two of them posted within the week, saying they’re making 3% a week on average. That’s not guaranteed. They say, “This is an investment. You could lose your money.” There are plenty of disclaimers. They’re saying this has been averaging 3% a week for the last three years. I thought it was funny because one of them even said like, “It’s got a three-year track record.” That is not a track record. That means squat. Even if they say they’ve been paying every week for the last three years, that’s no time at all.
There is so much that can go on with that, especially if new people keep signing up. There’s a $ 25-a-month membership that’s part of this. It has this direct sales component to it. If you look up the CEO and the COO husband and wife team, look up their background on LinkedIn and things like that, you find out that these guys don’t have that much background. I’m going to share with you something that was shared with me about the company. They got a disclaimer. They got the usual type of things to warn you that you got to know. Who they are, they talk about how they do cryptocurrency and Forex trading. I’ve known plenty of people that have done this kind of stuff. They’ve done tons of these things.
It’s a trading platform, but you can have this passive investment where they invest it for you. You’re putting your money in, and they do the investing, which makes me wonder, “I can do my own trading, but why if you guys do a much better job?” That’s what this person pitches. They say, “This person does a great job. They do way better than me, so trust the professionals.” Mistake number one, it’s okay to leverage and trust people, but how much experience do they have? Here’s the COO, her husband, and then the CTO, who used to work for the government. That means nothing. That’s like saying a CPA used to work for the IRS.
I’ll tell you. Some of the worst accountants I’ve ever met used to work for the IRS. They didn’t get any real accounting experience to know what to do. They understood the IRS a little bit, but most accountants, if they’ve been around long enough, understand the IRS pretty well. Being an IRS employee doesn’t count. Even this guy had a securities job or whatever, so what? That means nothing. They say they have over 40 years of combined experience. Even though they talk about cryptocurrencies, blockchain technologies, professional networking, leadership, and team building, I looked them up. I went to LinkedIn. Most of it is network marketing or direct sales. That’s where most of their experience is, not in investing.
Here’s another thing that drives me nuts. Notice that she puts reverend in front of her name. I have no problem with someone being reverend. We’ve had people on this show, a real estate preacher who gives sermons. We had people who’ve been reverends. I have another friend who’s an investor. His wife is the reverend. That’s great. I love that. I love people that are faith-based, but how many times do you see somebody put on your professional trading platform reverend in front of their name? That, to me, is a huge, big warning.
That’s a huge red flag because anybody who tries to put that there is now trying to appeal to that audience. They’re trying to appeal like, “I’m a Christian too. You can trust me.” I don’t know these people personally. They could be great people. I’m just saying that right there is a huge manipulative ploy. That is not cool. I’m religious as well, but you don’t see me putting any of my religious titles in front of it. Even if I got my certificate to go and marry you, I’m not going to be putting that on my Money Ripples website. If they want to put that on, that’s fine, but that does nothing for this, but it does create this little unfair influence. It’s a tricky tactic that I don’t like. For the most part, they got 40 years of experience, but is this 40 years of experience with forex and cryptocurrencies? One hundred percent no.
The person that was doing the video said, “This is great. I like the fact that they’re on calls every week.” Great. They’re talking to you. Good. They got to keep you going. They’re basically your leaders. This is set up like direct sales, just so you know. You can earn commissions from this. I have no problem with them paying referral fees to some level. Here’s where it gets tricky. There are lots of companies that will say, “We’ll pay you referral fees.” In this other YouTube video, they use the example of banks that will pay you a referral fee. If you refer somebody to set up a savings account, you get paid $25. They do that. They have their own thing here where they pay you a direct referral bonus.
They’ll also pay you an indirect referral bonus. What does that mean? It means when your referral refers somebody else, you get paid. This is critical. They don’t pay you beyond that. They have other bonuses here. There’s a fast-track bonus if you get started and get more people enrolled. You get check matching to help get a bonus on your team’s production. You get a residual bonus. They’re saying this is from services fees paid by your direct downlines. I’m guessing that’s from the $25 month, but there might be other fees coming out. I didn’t see any other fees.
There are rank achievements. This is just direct sales. There’s profit sharing. If you get to a certain rank, that’s common in network marketing which there’s a profit-sharing pool, and people will share on that pool based on the pro-rate of basis that they earn out of that entire company. This is the key thing. When they say you get paid on the referral on your referral, but they don’t say you get paid on the referral of your referral of the referral, here’s the reason they don’t do that if you get paid three levels. Not just your referral, that’s one level, then that referral refers somebody else. That’s two levels. If you stop there, you’re now not network marketing in the multi-level marketing space. It’s not multi-level marketing. It’s now direct sales. There’s a big difference because, in direct sales, there’s a lot less red tape to go through. It’s a lot easier to pay referrals.
Typically, Money Ripples could do something like that as well, even though we don’t. We have incentives for our clients to earn referral type of fees like on some consulting or products and things like that. Never on the life insurance stuff, but anything that they can be paid on, like on consulting, I can do that. You could try to figure out a system to pay on the referral of the referral, but that gets into that direct sales type of thing. It starts bordering multi-level marketing. When you go three levels or more, it’s multi-level marketing, and there’s a whole new set of rules that you got to abide by.
Here’s another red flag I have here. This is not just a typical network marketing company. This is based on actual money type of stuff. Here’s the thing. If this gets big enough or makes enough noise, or somebody complains, whether it’s the State Securities department or the SEC comes in, they’re going to say, “Look at this. This looks like an investment.” People cannot get paid on the investment. This was the first thing I looked at. I looked to say, “Are these people paid on the money that people are earning?” One person told me and said, “Yes. You even make money when people make money,” and I was assuming that was on the trading, that 3% a week they’re talking about. That’s not the case.
If they were to get paid on that, right there is securities violation, and this company’s gone shut down. You cannot pay people on investments. If you pay people on investments, you need to have a securities license. That’s not happening here. If they do anything like that or if people get paid for the investment performance, that could be a big issue. That would get them to shut down right away. I’ve seen it happen. For them trading your money, that in and of itself is not a bad thing.
I knew a guy that was a trader. He would promise 10% a month. That’s less than what these guys are paying out. I remember telling him. I said, “Guys, I was a trader. I traded stocks and options. I know some of the best traders that were out there. They do not do 10% a month consistently.” I told people who were trying to invest in this, especially during the recession. They’re like, “I need to make this work.” Here’s the problem. Ten percent a month is not sustainable. That’s an unrealistic rate of return. Everybody trusted this guy. He had a nice British accent. People love British accents. It’s the most trustworthy accent in the world. They love that accent, and so they trust it. By the way, these people here with NovaTech have that little accent there because they have some Caribbean ties or something like that. They have that cool accent.
This guy was British, and everybody loved him, yet the securities department in his state shut him down, and everybody lost their money. It was gone. Everybody lost. You have to understand this. One, 10% a month is not sustainable. Why? I’ll show you. These people will also use their calculator thing. This is the crazy thing. I’m going to go to the YouTube video where it shows this particular thing that talks about the returns. They have a track record here. They even showed the recent track record. In 2021, January was 15%, and February was 13.6%. 2021 profit was 177.9%, almost 200%. You could see an average per week, 3.06%, 13.28 per month, or 159.37% 12-month total return.
Here’s the thing that seals the deal that people love. They’re showing you that each month has a week-by-week breakdown. The lowest one you see, you don’t see any negatives at all. That, to me, is a big red flag. Anybody who’s trading is pretty like you’re going to have at least some negative weeks. Their worst week was 0.65%. The more money you have in your possession, the harder it is to contain and keep those persistent returns. It’s virtually impossible. I don’t believe too good to be true very often. It’s very hard to do. Here’s the one that is the kicker. They say, “If you invest $500, you make 3% a week. For one year, you’re at $1,800 bucks.” You more than triple your money in one year.If you don't see any negatives at all, that's a big red flag. Anybody who's trading will always have some negative weeks. Click To Tweet
That should be BS since we already know that 159% is not triple. Triple would be 200%. Already seeing this makes me wonder. Five years of compounding it and reinvesting it is $1,087,000. $500 turns into $1 million in five years. This is what anybody who’s talked to me about this is. Three people in the last week all said this, and they’re all women. I don’t know if it’s certain women talking to each other. I haven’t met the men yet. I know there must be. I guarantee there are. This is something that men probably fall more prey to than women do.
I’m starting to see women that aren’t necessarily financially trained showing up and saying, “Look at this. It’s legit. I’m getting paid for the last several months, a few months, or whatever it might be. I’m going to hold onto this $500. I’m going to have $1 million dollars in five years if it keeps working the way I think it does.” They use this calculator. They didn’t use one that’s from their site. Here’s a $500 balance, 3% interest rate weekly for five years. We calculate it, and there it is, $1,087,000, just like they said. What if I change this to instead be closest to the 159% total return? That seemed more likely. I’m going to put exactly 159.37% for five years. I’ll be changing it to yearly. Now it doesn’t look so good.
Anyways, we’re going back to this weekly here. They’re showing people 3% weekly. I’m putting that in for five years, compounding weekly. It came back to $1,087,000. Here’s the thing that they don’t tell you to do. Let’s go out for fifteen years for $500. Do you think it’s that much? No, not at all. Watch what happens. Calculate this for fifteen years. Now we’ve got $5 billion. You realize this puts you on the Forbes 500 list of billionaires. In five years, your $500 will put you on the Forbes 500 list of the richest people in the world. Doesn’t that make you question something? These people are so good. They’ve probably been doing this a while, four years combined experience.
What if we gave them $100,000 to do this with? Let’s make it 3% a week for fifteen years. Guess what that number is. Count the numbers. In fifteen years, they’ll have $1 quadrillion. Understand that even the wealthiest people in the world right now are barely around $100 billion, and you’re telling me they’re going to have 1,000 times more wealth from just their $100,000 than everybody else. Even George Soros, who is a forex trader that has done it for decades, has averaged not 3% a week. He averages about 20% to 24% a year. That’s more likely.
Let’s say they happen to earn that. I’m going to use my own calculator here because I like to use calculators that make more sense. Let’s say you had $100,000 to put anything into it. Let’s say you did earn 24% like George Soros in fifteen years. How much money do you have? $2.5 million. Does that sound more believable? Yes. By the way, he’s done it for longer than that. He’s done this more closer to 50 years. Now you’re about almost $4.7 billion. That matches up more with what he’s done over that period of time. I didn’t add anything to it. That was $100,000. That’s a little bit more believable, isn’t it? Not this whole $1 quadrillion in fifteen years. It doesn’t happen. That is too good to be true. That is bogus. That alone should scare the heck out of you.
NovaTech Will Be Caught
Talking about NovaTech, I think this thing is going to go down in a matter of months. Once this gets out, I guarantee that the SEC, if they haven’t already started to investigate it, will be all over it, whether the SEC or the State Securities department. Here’s what’s interesting. We tried to contact these people. It’s a little bit tough. They get a phone number, and it goes right to voicemail. It doesn’t actually answer. People don’t pick up. Look at the suite number. It’s out in the Caribbean. If I do a Google search on this really quick, watch what happens.
Look at this. If you even look up the address of NovaTech, it takes this Griffith Corporate Center. You’ll see that it’s got a 2.2 review. Why? Because everybody’s like, “This is what OmegaPro Trading uses.” You even go down more, “This what EMFTA does,” which is a mining forex trading arena and all these things. The response from the owner has been the same over time, “We do not rent office space to a company called EMFTA.” However, there’s a registered agent in the suite next door at 305 Wilford Services, which is basically like a VA service.
This is a virtual mailing type of situation. This is not their corporate headquarters. This is just a forwarding address they go to, and they can forward the mail from there. You have no way of knowing where they are and where their place domicile really is. That’s it. The tricky part right there is you don’t even know if they’re in the Caribbean. You don’t know if they’re in the United States. You don’t know if they’re in Europe. You have no clue.
Here’s the thing, guys. Is the NovaTech FX thing a real legitimate business? I think it’s going to get shut down in the next few years and, most likely, the next few months. Once this keeps getting the point of more and more attention, it’s going to get shut down so quickly because it’s in the financial space. SEC’s going to be all over this. It’s going to blow up, and people are going to lose their money. They’re going to say, “Why did I get duped? It seems so legit. They seem like good people.” They always do. You got to make sure that you turn on your brain along with this kind of stuff.
This is not about going to a scarcity place where everything that doesn’t sound like the money you’ve made before is too good to be true. That’s not what you should be using. The question is, based on this kind of investment, can you make that kind of return? If someone is to say, “In my own business, I can create a 200%, 400%, or 500% return on my advertising.” Good. There’s a Law of Diminishing Interest. You can only scale so much. You’re not going to be like, “If it works for a couple of thousand dollars, I’m going to put in a couple of million dollars. I’ll make that proportion.” No, you don’t. It doesn’t work that way. There’s always that Law of Diminishing Interest and other factors at play. If someone says, “I can double my money in my business,” you can because you can control that business. You can make things happen and put in your own time and effort to get better returns.
If someone says, “Purely passive investment. Somebody’s doing the trading for me, and they’re going to make several hundred percent a year,” how often have they done that? For how long? In what markets? 2019, three-year track record, is not a track record at all. You could pretty much almost live on debt and still make that work, especially if you have enough new people coming in and enough excitement going in. You could smooth out some of that transition and still make it work. You can create that Ponzi scheme and keep it going for quite a while. I’ve marked other words before for other types of investments and things that have happened. Mark more words, this thing will blow up.
Is something too good to be true? It’s as long as you have an open mind and an open perspective, but then you can find out how logically it can work, and it’s been tested and tried. When we look at the investments that we have in our network, we want people that have been tried and true. They’ve done it for years and years and years, not just several months. It’s got to be something that’s worked in different market cycles and swings in a full market cycle of ups and downs, ebb and flows, that their system still works. I’m sorry, guys. I cannot promise you 3% a week. In fact, that’s crazy ridiculous. It won’t happen. Like I said, you’re not going to be a quadrillionaire in fifteen years.
Sorry to say that, guys. It won’t happen. Can you become a millionaire within a few years? Potentially yes, depending on your situation. Could you double your money in 5 or 6 years? Yes, you could. Could you double your money within a matter of a few months? Not likely. The thing is that this extreme stuff if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. There are things in the middle. There are things that could be safer. It doesn’t take high risk. It doesn’t mean it’s risk-free, but there are ways you can manage risk, still get good decent double-digit returns, and even beat the stock market potentially. Those are the things you can do in the alternative investment space.
Don’t go chasing after these high ROI things that haven’t been proven. You’ve got to turn your brains on and look at this with real eyes wide open. It’s like you’re dating. You look at it with eyes wide open. Unlike being married, where they say put your eyes half shut, don’t do that here. You keep your eyes wide open the whole time. Make sure it’s tested and true. If you have questions for us, you can reach out to us at MoneyRipples.com. Go and make it a wonderful, safe, and great prosperous week. We’ll see you later.