Every now and then, when gold prices hit record highs and made the local headline news, there would be investors rushing to buy gold. To exploit clueless investors, a group of smart Singaporeans devised complex gold buy-back schemes, which operates like Ponzi scams. In such cases, gold is offered at a small ‘discount’ from their exorbitant prices. There is an option of buying back the gold at the full exorbitant price but the money used to buy back the gold must be derived from new recruits. Meanwhile, these new recruits buy the ‘discounted’ gold in the expectation of returns from selling it back to the company at a later date.
In the news, a lawyer was interviewed and he pointed out that the contract agreement between buyer and seller clearly indicated that such schemes are high risk investments and that the returns are not guaranteed. So to be fair, people who chose to invest in such dubious schemes should play by the rules and realize that they are buying a risky financial product.
Collateral Debt Oligations (CDO)
When it surfaced in 2007, nobody knew what the hell CDO was all about, much less the fact that local banks were selling them to local investors like hot cakes. In 2008, a lot of Singaporeans lost their money investing in Minibonds. About 8,000 people in Singapore had sunk in S$376 million in Series 1 to 3 and 5 to 10 of the Minibond notes. They thought that they were investing in bonds and since they were sold by local financial institutes, they couldn’t go wrong. They were dead wrong.
Overseas Property Investment Scams
Many Singaporeans like to buy properties in the hope of becoming rich. But with the slew of measures implemented by the government, many of them started to turn their heads to investing in overseas properties. Investing in this arena can be very tricky because investors usually are not familiar with the foreign rules and regulations. Furthermore, if you don’t stay in the foreign country, there is a very high chance that you will be conned by unscrupulous agents. There are already reported cases of Singaporeans sinking their hard-earned savings into overseas properties which were touted by real estate agents to be prime developments but turned out to be a piece of junk undeveloped lands.
Many Singaporeans are actually not investing, they are just greedy and foolish people who are easily conned into get-rich quick schemes. Many Singaporeans don’t do their homework before they invest because many of them want to make money and become rich quick. They let greed rule their head and thought they had discovered the secret to making big money when it was actually a scam awaiting for them to walk in. They think they can outsmart the rest of the world. How can that be? They have to realize that if something is too good to be true, it probably is.
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