About two years ago, I attended a dinner "investment seminar" by Shenton Wealth Holdings and Dolphin Capital. They were selling some alternative real estate investments located in Michigan (US) and in Germany. I was interested in what they had to say because of an ad I saw that guaranteed 12% returns. At the time, I had 2 investment properties in the US already (owned in my own name) which were giving me a 6% and 8% return. Of course, neither of them were "guaranteed" returns and both were subject to tax and currency exchange fluctuations. Thus, this type of "guaranteed" investment, which the ad promised, which was not subject to tax or exchange risk was very new to me, as I had never seen this sort of investment when I was in the US.
The seminar was at a 5 star hotel and came with a free buffet dinner, which also helped to reel me in. The higher returns initially did sound off some alarm bells, but I just thought that maybe this company was very good at negotiating the purchasing of distressed properties. However, half way through the seminar, the alarm bells went off again. The seminar was like a big "show", and they were using a very common formula that I’ve seen used in all sorts of scams, MLM (multi-level marketing) schemes, get-rich-quick seminars, and the like. Here is the general formula of this well-orchestrated "show":
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