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Insights on Get-Rich-Quick Schemes

There are no get-rich-quick schemes that work consistently. Following are four general tips to help you identify and avoid get-rich-quick schemes:

  • First, be aware of the amount of time, energy, and money the suggested strategy requires. Are you willing and able to expend the required amount of time, energy, and money? I recommend you spend time with your family and work, and keep your money invested and for yourself.
  • Second, beware of the agency problem. Ask yourself what a person wants to be given in exchange for his or her rules and secrets. If the answer is money, keep the money for yourself and invest it wisely.
  • Third, beware of the “you can do it too” pitch. Ask yourself if they really did it. Most sellers of get rich quick scheme are very selective as to the information they will supply. They only reveal selective bits of information about their success (and in some cases the information is wrong). They comment on “selective performance,” when the method actually made money; “selective funds,” the funds that actually made money; and “selective time periods,” the time periods when the method worked. Most sellers have not even tried the strategies they suggest.
  • Finally, beware of the hidden costs of trading. When sellers tell you about potential returns, they usually have not accounted for transaction costs, taxes, and other trading costs; these costs will substantially reduce your annual returns.


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