Investment Scams are Proliferating. Be Careful!

I know I have written already about pyramid scams and cited one case of Emgoldex, which is now under investigation, but since then, so many other clones of pyramid schemes have cropped up.

The latest one being investigated is OneDream Marketing headed by a certain Arnel Gacer who, as of this writing, could not be located by the authorities. Similar to previous pyramid schemes that SEC had warned about, One Dream people allegedly offered investment slots of PhP 888 with an exit or pay-out promise of PhP 1,300 after 4 days. A PhP 1,776 investment slot would result in a pay-out of PhP 2,517.60 and so on. Investors were also promised PhP 44 per investment slot for each recruit or direct referral they bring in.

One Dream's domain is now available again. This is  what I found in cache.

One Dream’s domain is now available again. This is what I found in cache.

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Why I don’t believe in the ‘paluwagan’ system as a mode of saving

Yes, I am beginning this article with that statement. I don’t believe that the paluwagan system is a good mode of saving. Have you ever been invited to join one? Been tempted to try? I did – a long, long time ago. And that is the reason for writing this. Read on and I’ll tell you why.

How does ‘paluwagan’ work?

* A group of friends or work colleagues agree to contribute a specific amount on a specific day. A collector is designated from among the group members to collect from everyone and the money goes into a pool of funds. To illustrate, let’s say there are 4 friends, each one putting P100 into the pool each month.

How paluwagan works

How paluwagan works

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Saving tip: Small things add up to big things

Once, when one of my kids was still quite small, we were crossing the street when I chanced upon a 10-cent coin on the road. I stopped, picked it up, brushed away the dirt, and kept it. “Mom, why did you pick it up? That’s just 10 cents!“, my kid asked me. I told my kid, “Everything has value. Even if that was just 5 cents, I’d still pick it up.

At home, I keep large medicine bottles after the contents have been consumed. I have transformed some of them into coin containers, labeling them by denomination. They come from leftover change from parking places, change from purchases, even coins I find lying around the house. And when there is enough for at least P100, I send the coins to the sari-sari store nearby for exchanging into paper bills. It goes into our family savings.

My containers for coins

My containers for coins

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Look for all those old Philippine paper bills before they lose value! (Updated)

(UPDATE as of Dec. 28, 2016: The BSP extended the date for exchanging old bills with banks till March 31, 2017)

For the past few days, I have been cleaning out drawers and closets little by little. If you still haven’t heard, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will be demonetizing old paper bills by January 1, 2017.

BSP notes

Left column shows the OLD bills that will be demonetized by Jan. 1, 2017

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ICON 2015 – Learning how to invest from the best

The word “investing” can sound really complicated and intimidating. Maybe that is one reason why so few Filipinos are actively investing in different investment instruments. I personally know many who think keeping money in savings accounts is the way to go, not realizing that inflation alone is eating up whatever interest is generated from savings deposits.

There are financial advocates who are now bringing the message of investing to the public with clarity and simplicity, but with a strong message. I call them financial evangelists and they have been giving workshops and going on speaking engagements for many years now. Their dream is to get more Filipinos into the investing mode. One of them is a good, good friend of mine – Randell Tiongson — who I consider a pioneer in this field, a columnist in his own right, and author of a best-selling book “Money Manifesto“. Randell is an original force behind ICON, an annual gathering of the best and inspiring speakers and advocates in the field of investing. I missed ICON 2014 last year because of time conflicts but I’m really happy to be able to go to ICON 2015 which will be happening this May 30, 2015 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

ICON 2015 speakers

ICON 2015 speakers

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Don’t lose your life savings to pyramiding schemes

A company called Emgoldex Philippines has been in the news lately because of a Securities and Exchange Commission warning to Filipinos that this is a pyramiding scheme.

That gave me the idea to blog about pyramiding schemes as opposed to multilevel marketing because many times, people view these two as one and the same. Not quite.

Where they look similar

Both pyramiding schemes and multilevel marketing (MLMs) have a similar triangular structure where the base gets wider as each new recruit tries to recruit other members so that they earn from their recruits.

But there are more areas where they differ…

Taken from https://godshotspot.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/gospel-pyramid-scheme/

Taken from https://godshotspot.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/gospel-pyramid-scheme/

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