BY BURN GUTTIEREZ
Quite a number of OFWs are starting their homecoming (vacation) at this time. Most of them are staying up until Christmas or New Year’s Day. This is also the period and season when OFWs are the main “target market” of scammers.
So how will an OFW be able to spot a financial scam such as pyramiding and avoid being the next victim while enjoying his or her vacation with loved ones?
Here are a few quick points to remember to protect you, your family, and your money during the Holidays:
1) Don’t be too excited to invest your money. Take your time to research first the background of any investment program being offered to you.
2) Never borrow more money to invest on something you do not understand just because you were promised to receive big returns.
3) Avoid free seminars that claim you can quickly become a millionaire with their strategies. People behind these will tell you and advertise that you should not invest your money in slow traditional investments such as stocks, mutual funds, VUL’s, etc.
4) Avoid complicated and unbelievable presentations on how to build massive wealth in less than 2 years. Building wealth takes time, planning, hard work, and determination. Remember that there’s only one bestfriend that you can rely on in long-term investing: “Compounded Interest”. By reinvesting the returns of your stocks or funds, your wealth will grow exponentially over the long term. You can not consider 2 years as long term.
5) Don’t give in to salesmen who pressure you. Scammers usually pressure their prospective victims into investing all their money in their “wealth-building” program but will not explain to you the risks. They even urge you to borrow money so you can invest more.
6) Do not believe promises to receive “secret” techniques to becoming rich if you join them. Remember, there are no “secrets” or “insider information” to getting wealthy. The ONLY “secrets” to becoming rich that you should know are these:
- Learn more about investing
- Give back to God
- Live a frugal and simple life
- Avoid unnecessary expenses
- Be content with just 60% to 70% of your monthly income/salary
- Be an entrepreneur
- Invest the rest in legitimate financial instruments
8) Do not invest if they do not have a physical office in the Philippines. If someone offers you a wealth-building system but could not present a legitimate office address in the Philippines, it’s scam. Many scams claim that their offices are located overseas, in weird places for business like Belize, Panama, Ukraine, etc. and would even present credentials of the business in those countries. Why invest in companies based overseas? There’s more FUND in the Philippines!
You Can Become Rich Over Time, Not Too SoonLastly, please remember that you can be financially free and independent even if you are just an employee or as an entrepreneur selling real and legitimate products or providing professional services. Its just a matter of gaining knowledge, discipline, and exerting more effort.
Making more money will never guarantee that you will become “rich”. It’s what you save and invest, and how you manage it as a steward that will make or break you.
Grow yourself first, and you will grow your wealth over time.
Seek ye first the kingdom of God And His righteousness; And all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33
Have a happy and bountiful Christmas season with your loved ones!
This article was first published in BurnGutierrez.com.