Day breaks a whirlwind in orange. Mackerel clouds spiraled on blue, and salmon seashells in the dawn.
On perfect mornings I rise between 4:30 and 5:00, get my meditation, yoga and exercise done, take a cold shower and amble to the office, stopping to feed the chickens and ducks on the way. This puts me in the office at 6:30 or so, so I can get a day's work done before the phone starts ringing. This is such an excellent time on the farm-fresh, everything waking up and alive.
Recently there has been an extra special treat. Dawn. During midsummer when the days are long, it's already light and in the winter I am in the office working before the day breaks. This time of year, the sky is just wakening as I stroll down the grass covered path headed for work (if this is what you can call doing what I love to do).
Recently there has been an even more special treat, raspberries.
When I grew up, I worked summers to have special clothes and stuff. We started picking strawberries in June at school's end, then moved to raspberries and ended up the season picking blackberries and beans.
That summer work was loaded with happy memories, throwing dirt clods, eating berries till we thought we would burst and getting into the dew wet fields with friends and talking and singing as we picked. We never felt deprived doing work. So picking berries is a special treat enhanced by the memories as well as the delicious fruit!
In my mind raspberries are an early summer fruit finished this time of year.
In these mountains this appears to be not so. At least this year. About two weeks ago, the raspberry vines Merri and I planted last year suddenly exploded with new fruit. They are loaded!
Each morning as I head for the office I sneak out to the bushes and am treated with a fresh batch of organic raspberries glistening with dew and sparkling in the rising sun. They had ripened during the last 24 hours.
I stand there in these early mornings eating dew soaked berries fresh off the vine and enjoying happy memories in the daybreak. Talk about heaven on earth! What a breakfast!
Recently due to a hurricane off the North Carolina coast the dawn was even more special. A mini whorl of spectacular colors was in the dawn with a blue center, calm and surrounded with orange and pink clouds swirling in a salmon storm.
Standing there that morning my mind reeled with the beauty and all these incredible sensations and I was suddenly reminded of the importance of enjoying this entire process that we call living and work.
I was overwhelmed with the luck I had as a kid to have been able to work and gain a sense of proportion about what a dollar was all about. This sense of value has saved me from many misfortunes and made me think about some letters I have been receiving from readers trying to
get me to invest in a con that is circulating right now.I left the berry field and rushed back to send this urgent warning to you!
I have received letters from several readers about an investment club offering 1% to 2% a day of interest! Here is the typical letter that is coming in.
“Gary, being you have invested money in a lot of different ventures I'd like to get your opinion on this. Would you go to this website. I invested a small amount in this investment club on this website and it paying 1% per day interest on the $100 I put into it on July 8, 2002. I've earned $76 interest on my $100 since I joined this club. So it appears to be legitimate as far as the claim of making 1% per day interest thus far.
“If you invest a $1000 or more the interest goes to 2% per day for as long as you keep it there. You open an account and become a member with an investment club and spend investments from your account. Then the following day starts your interest payment that the club spends into your account each day. You can compound the simple interest you receive from TIG simply by spending the earned interest back to the club's account (which is a loan to them) that they then deposit into a trust. Then they replace the funds they withdraw from their account with their own money. They do this maneuver because for them to invest the Club's pooled money is illegal under SEC regulations and is a felony to do so. So they get around this SEC regulation by replacing the club membership's money with their own which their allowed to invest any way they like to make more than 2% per day return on their money in order to be able to pay us and make a profit on the money they borrow from the membership in effect. Now that you have a rudimentary understanding of how this works and where I'm coming from please go now and take a look at the website and let my have your opinion of whether you think I should put another $1000 to bring up my interest rate to 2%. Because at 2% interest or 60% per month compounded I can make $65,000 in 8 months if I roll my interest over each month into my increasing principal each time I do that. $65,000 is the max amount the club allows you to have in their account.
“I'm told that when Bush finally attacks Iraq the economy will fold then or shortly thereafter. And this attack I'm told will be the beginning of November 2002.
“So I do not know if I should invest the $1000 or not. If you like to speak to the man who says the collapse of the economy is imminent after November you can talk to him directly. I strongly advise you contact him because he has a lot of inside information on this subject matter because he has done years of intelligence research into both the agenda of the federal government and the state of the economy in this country now and what's going to happen to it when the Iraq war starts. And based on his research he says the economy is coming down shortly in the next 6 to 8 weeks. So now that makes 2 people saying the economy will collapse around the same time.
“You owe at least that much to yourself to find out what this man knows, Gary!”
I did not have to check the website nor call the man to warn this reader about this Ponzi scheme. All the obvious clues are there.
The lessons I learned as a kid about what it takes to make a buck have not changed. More than thirty years of working with investments and investors all over the world have proven this to me.
So please believe me about this one fact. If someone really has the ability to make 2% per day or even 1% or even one half per cent a day on their investments they are not going to offer it to the public in this way.
Second, notice how this scam has used fear (the world as we know it is going to end in November) and greed (1% to 2% a day!) to lure investors in.
Third, observe how the scam encourages investors to roll their investments over to get compound interest.
Fourth, there is a danger here beyond losing the money invested. If this reader takes his $100 and $76 interest back now he may already be in trouble because most of the dollars taken back from scams like this will be considered stolen when the deal collapses (which it will). When the authorities take over to clean up the mess all the profits that investors have taken may be considered stolen proceeds. The law says that a person, innocent or not, cannot get good title to stolen assets. This reader (if he can even get his hands on any cash) may be deemed to have received stolen assets. This is the theory the receiver or trustee of the con deal will use when this scam is shut down. This can be a disaster to people who get into these scams early on and make and spend a batch of money. Because they'll have to pay it back with interest at the least!
In addition if this person turns his friends onto the deal he may end up being hounded by authorities, lawsuits and also lose his reputation and friends in the process.
For example, this reader has invited me to take a look. If I were inexperienced and invested in this, think about the liability that person would have had for leading me to the losses I would make.
More about this is at https://www.garyascott.com/inspired/584/
But of course I won't get caught. I'll go pick berries instead. May I suggest that the next time you may be tempted by such a deal you get out in the balance of nature as well!
Scams have been going since money began. A recent book I enjoyed (“Sarum” by Edward Rutherfurd) tells about the Great South Seas Stock Bubble of the 1700s in England when nearly half the nation's wealth was wiped out in a stock market scandal. We just experienced such a bubble on Wall Street in 1999 and I was fortunate (or unfortunate depending on your point of view) to get wiped out in the stock bubble of 1968, so I knew better this time around.
Scams will always exist and this is why inspired investing is so important. The messages we share are about ways to improve our health and wealth, but Inspired Investing is about more. It is about looking beyond the balance sheet. Inspired Investing is about looking beyond health and wealth. Inspired Investing is about being fulfilled.
You can see the rules of inspired investing (which we have discussed before).
These rules are aimed at helping people develop balanced lifestyles that are personally satisfying. When this happens, health usually improves, but more importantly real wealth grows.
When we are unhappy, when we are seeking, when we are trying to gain happiness by having more money or better health, we are vulnerable to financial con artists and snake oil salesman. Each works on the same principle of offering something for nothing.
The root of inspired investing is based on the fact that there is no free lunch, until, you find a way to serve others in a way that you love and get paid for it!
Then the process of taking care of your finances and your health costs nothing at all. And your life and investing become truly inspired. More on this in tomorrow's message where you will see how one Danish businessman used Inspired Investing to earn an extra $50 million bucks. And this was not a scam!
Until next message may your investing always be inspired!