It’s easy to see why this latest ad from Karim Rahemtulla has driven a lot of questions our way: The headlines are all about safety and protection and “zero downside” … just what a lot of folks want to hear when the market is volatile.
But what are they actually talking about? And is it really “only open during a 30-day window from June 16 to July 14?” I’ll walk you through it and explain what the ad is talking about.
The spiel is in service of Karim Rahetulla’s Beyond the Dollar service, and the order form sums up the idea pretty well:
“Congratulations! You’re about to gain access to a ‘Secret Investment’ offering a zero downside and massive potential upside investment opportunity.”
Well, “secret” is a word we don’t like much around here — and this is not a secret investment, it’s just one that perhaps you haven’t heard of. Thankfully, your friendly neighborhood Gumshoe is on your side… let’s get into the details.
The basic premise is similar to a lot of other ads: DOLLAR FALLING! YOU NEED TO BE AFRAID! Here’s a bit, again from the order form:
“Soon, very soon, a falling U.S. dollar could trigger an unstoppable chain reaction that could wipe billions of dollars in wealth from America’s retirement funds.
“Here’s your chance to escape the carnage…
“And ‘exchange’ a few of your dollar bills for assets that move in the exact OPPOSITE direction.”
Are you worried yet? Well, it’s one of those “entry level” newsletters, only $49 a year, so you can subscribe if you feel like it — this newsletter is essentially based on betting the US dollar has peaked and will decline against everything else because of our debt burden, unfunded obligations, and falling status in the world, and a lot of people love reading that stuff (I don’t know how the letter has performed since it launched — Rahemtulla has been around for many years, working for several different Agora-affiliated newsletters… most of his teaser picks have been in energy and other commodity stocks, so they’ve done terribly on our “buy and hold” tracking spreadsheets but we don’t know when he might have sold them). But don’t subscribe just to find out this “secret”… that we can share with you for free. (If you’re in the biz, you probably call these “front end” newsletters — those are the newsletters that publishers try to break even on, bringing in folks for $29 or $49 or $79 or whatever the lowish price is, because that group of entry level subscribers is their prospecting pool for the really profitable “back end” newsletters that cost $200, $1,200, $5,000. The person most likely to subscribe to a crazily expensive newsletter is the person who recently subscribed to a cheaper one.)
This is the chart of the trade-weighted dollar index since the early 1970s, by the way — just to remind you that, yes, the dollar can move up and down considerably against other major world currencies… and it is near the highs of the last ten years or so.
Let’s get the hints from the ad so we can be feed them to the Mighty, Mighty Thinkolator and get our answer…
“For Investors Who Hate Stock Market Risk…
‘The First ZERO DOWNSIDE Investment!’ ….
“We’ve arranged for a select few to uncover the secrets of a “Perfect Investment”…
“Essentially, it’s a ZERO DOWNSIDE, MASSIVE POTENTIAL UPSIDE opportunity.
“Here’s an extremely rare investment where 1) your principal is 100% protected. And 2) you get a chance to pocket high double-digit gains in what I believe will be the No. 1 most lucrative investment sector over the next five years.”
And Rahemtulla echoes a lot of the fears that you’re probably feeling about the market:
“My analysis indicates the stock market is at a historically rich valuation.
“A long-overdue correction is imminent.
“Last time things were this bad, the crash of 2008 sliced more than 50% off the Dow’s total value.
“As if things weren’t bad enough, now the November election is coming at us with breakneck speed … throwing even more anxiety, frustration and desperation into the mix.Are you getting our free Daily Update
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“As that day approaches, your money had better be miles away, tucked away safe and secure.”
What else do we get by way of clues?
It’s not a government investment, so we’re not talking about Treasury Notes. And he says that your principal is protected all the way up to $250,000 by the FDIC, “just like a savings account.”
So that means this is a bank product, and most likely a Certificate of Deposit. The FDIC doesn’t insure other things.
And he makes more of those “too good to be true?” assertions:
“… unlike a savings account or government bond, you have the opportunity to collect massive returns… perhaps as much as 10 times that of “normal” stock market returns.
“Mind you, there is NO maximum cap on your upside earnings with this opportunity. You could say the sky’s the limit… and I’ll share some actual earnings on similar products in just a moment.
“Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not.”