International Investments that Avoid Scams

by | Mar 8, 2007 | Archives

International investments in spam are not good. Most of us suffer the pesky spammed messages that promote penny shares. I get dozens a day. They are a fuss clogging up the mail box. Plus as the servers tighten their spam filters to stop them they often filter out legitimate messages as well. I urge all readers to be sure that my address is in your address book. Otherwise at times, several servers treat my messages as spam and stop them before they ever reach you.

However an alert reader gave me pause for thought when he sent me this message. Is this a way to make money off this spam?

“Hi Gary, I know a while back you talked about Penny Stocks and the spam that one often receives about them. Well I get a lot of these spam e-mails, all promoting that I should buy them. For about a year or more I have been filing these (for amusement purposes) and didn’t pay much attention to them until today. Well today I checked every single one and more than 95% of them have collapsed to being almost worthless. One stayed more-or-less steady since the recommendation, and just one stock actually increased (it doubled). Certainly good evidence to never BUY these stocks.

“But the collapse of 95% or more of these stocks has me wondering if I should ‘short’ these stocks every time I receive a ‘buy’ recommendation. If an $.80 stock collapses to, say, $.02 or less, the profit is obviously awesome. The only thing I don’t know about ‘shorting’ is if the underlying stock collapses and stops trading (or falls to just a fraction of a penny), do I need to buy it back to square away my position? I’d be interested in your thoughts on this, although I expect you are going to tell me to stay away from all of it! But the odds look amazingly good, and I’m intrigued by it all. I’ll certainly continue to watch these things. With the U.S. market looking top-heavy, I’m inclined to think that shorting these collapsing stocks might get even better. Thanks,”

My immediate gut reaction was to say do not do this. I doubt if these stocks are shortable but even if they are, something about this feels wrong.

The problem is, I am not sure why. What is different in shorting a share versus borrowing a low interest currency and investing in another that pays a higher yield?

I think I know why I do not like this idea. My first thought is, “if you lay down with dogs, you get fleas.” This spam is a dirty business preying on those who can least afford to lose. Second, what does it accomplish for society? Third, what does it accomplish for you?

Several years ago a disgruntled investor who was duped by an internet day trading scam walked down to the brokers, shot them all to death and then committed suicide. Actions like this show how seriously flawed the Western model of dedicating life just for the money can be.

People are so miserable at work that they happily abandon their jobs, hoping to become rich. Quitting work is usually to their ultimate chagrin because they lose all their money and are then both broke and unemployed.

Do What You Love!

Instead we should do what we love and figure out how to pay our way from this process.

Traditionally people get jobs to create income. They work to live and support their lifestyle while attempting to spend less than they earn. Maybe the savings will bring, some time in the future, a lifestyle of doing something enjoyable without work.

My opinion is that there is a better way that I call PIEC investing. PIEC investors reverse the priorities…instead of working for money to save and invest. They focus their prime effort on doing something they enjoy right now. Then they learn how to enjoy the effort in some profitable way. They learn to create “Avenues of Abundance” that combine lifestyle with the necessary task of accumulating wealth.

For example, if a PIEC investor loves golf; instead of working six days a week, 50 weeks a year just to golf on Sundays and during short vacations, instead he’ll create a business in some aspect of the golfing trade.

In another example, a client of mine, who loved animals became a vet. But he learned that the vet’s lifestyle was not one he enjoyed. He wanted to travel and move around, which is difficult for a professional who needs to stay at his office and build a practice. So he built a business that prepares special animal foods for race horses. Now he travels globally visiting horse breeders and makes much more money as well.

PIEC investors combine money with time, energy and desires. They generate income doing something desired. Desire and fulfillment become at least as, if not more, important as the money.

The reason PIEC investing works well is that when we love to do something, we do it better, for longer and with greater enthusiasm.

These are wealth building attributes that cannot fail. Yet PIEC investing does not mean we should suddenly abandon our jobs and try becoming golf pros, when we have never been able to break 100. Smart PIECS often require a gradual approach.

For example, as a writer and lecturer, I was never fully satisfied sitting behind a desk or standing on a podium all day long, even though I was making over a million bucks a year. I’m the physical, outdoors type and yearned for exercise and the wilds of the deep woods. “What good’s the money if this isn’t fun?” I often asked myself.

Rather than quit writing and teaching, I looked for ways to combine these professions with the outdoor life. Through research I learned that many city folk like myself yearn to be in the primitive outdoors. So we bought an isolated farm high in the Blue Ridge Mountains and an Andean plantation high in Ecuador where we developed seminar centers with charming but simple dwellings, set in rustic surroundings, with clean water and pure air. Now I can teach in a primitive setting and after I finish the writing or talking, I run up into the woods with an axe and clear another cabin site or something physical like that. I’ve combined my writing with physical work and have blended the life I want, with my readers’ needs in a way that makes great financial sense. The cabins are projected to bring more profits than most stocks or bonds could ever return.

The process took six years to shift and we are far from finished. But while I’m doing what I love, who cares? This is one of the great benefits of PIEC investing. We can slow down and enjoy the work instead of always rushing ahead, looking for something more.

Those who work nine to five can start PIEC businesses part time if they are too uneasy to quit their jobs. Others, who like myself, already have a business can slowly shift their product or service in a sensible way and let it evolve toward their PIEC.

So this lack of any real fulfillment other than the cash would be the main reason I would say to this reader, do not get involved in these scams in any way.

However, I can see some good in this shorting of the recommendations as well. This leaves me pondering and I would like the wisdom of the masses to help me out here. The book, “The Wisdom of Crowds, Why the Many are Smarter than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies and Societies and Nations” by James Surowiecki tells how potent the wisdom of a group can be.

The book begins by telling how at the annual West of England Fat Stock and Poultry Exhibition in the fall of 1906, a British scientist became interested in a weight judging competition. 800 people, smart, dumb, old, young in all types of professions guessed the weight of two dressed oxen. The correct answer was 1,197 pounds. The scientist’s research found that the collective estimate was incredibly close, 1,198 pounds.

The book suggests that there is an uncanny and generally unconscious collective intelligence at work. The book shows how clouds of birds seem to move in one mind but actually are each acting on their own following four simple rules: #1) Stay as close to the center as possible, #2) Stay two body lengths away from your neighbor, #3) Do not bump into another bird and #4): If a predator dives at you get out of the way.

The book suggests that rather than crowds being mindless mobs that the many are weirdly smart and effective even when many of the group are average or below in intelligence or experience.

A key point that the article makes is that there is incredible effectiveness in a diversity of individual intelligences and this is why we are sharing ideas about trends at this site. There are thousands of us reading these messages so perhaps our problem solving ability grows to the 4000th power.

What is your opinion about shorting internet scam recommendations? Please give me your thoughts to share.

Being a PIEC investor is not easy. There are enormous numbers of special interest groups in Western society. They have hidden agendas and could care less about our health, wealth or fulfillment. They misguide us form the moment we can communicate. They create social beliefs that benefit them at our cost. These ultimate con artists use the ultimate scams to keep us working for them. You can read more about this at

Our Mar. 16 -18 International Business and Investing Made EZ Course in Ecuador will include a review of how to build I PIEC Investing plan. See

This course will be updated May 25 – 27, 2007 in North Carolina. Thomas Fischer joins me to update global economics there.

You can continue this message at

Until next message may all your international investments be good.