What the heck are “Alpha Contracts?” Can you really “Lock in $52,000 with just 4 clicks of the mouse?”

What's being teased by Contract Income Alert?

Alpha Contracts! That’s what’s being teased by the Agora Financial folks these days, all as part of a pitch for Zachary Scheidt’s Contract Income Alert.

We haven’t covered this particular letter before, but have covered a few income-oriented pitches by Zach Scheidt for his other letters over the years, mostly talking up dividend-paying stocks and options income strategies. They say that this new “Contract Income” service was launched quietly a year and a half ago, and that if you signed up back then…

“Over the course of the last 18 months this experiment locked-in the opportunity for over $360,000 in real income!

“Not hypothetical…real locked-in gains!

“That’s more than most doctors or lawyers earn in an entire year!”

But this time, of course, there’s a deadline coming up! (Remember, they always include a deadline — if there wasn’t a deadline, they’d be taking the risk that you’d think it over… always bad for impulse purchases).

More from the ad:

“YOU MUST ACT BY FRIDAY, JUNE 1ST AT MIDNIGHT

“World’s #1 Financial Publisher Makes Stunning Announcement…

“Forget Stocks… They’re Way too Risky. (Try this Instead)

“Shocking Video Reveals How to Lock in $52,000 With Just 4 Clicks of the Mouse—Without EVER touching stocks or options!”

OK, so yes, we know that if we’re not “touching” stocks or options, then the opportunities for income that you can pitch to a large group of possible investors are pretty limited. What, then, is this “secret” way of generating income?

Don’t worry, we’ll get to your answers… but just to get you revved up all the way, here’s some more of the pitch (which is signed by publisher Matt Insley, though it’s about Zach Scheidt’s newsletter and strategy):

“… what he’s uncovered with ‘Alpha Contracts’ is the closest thing I’ve ever found to a ‘holy grail’…

“They allow you to ‘lock in’ income checks without exposing yourself to the whims of the market, corrupt CEOs and fraudulent accounting practices.”

And he gives several examples of the income you can “lock in” from some companies that you’ve heard of…

“In just minutes, and four mouse clicks, you’ll watch this former HR worker lock in checks of:

  • $12,700 from Coach
  • $12,995 from Ford Motor Co.
  • $14,000 from Sabine Pass
  • $12,305 from Bank of America

“Total that up… that’s exactly $52,000 in less than 5 minutes of work.

“And here’s the crazy part…

“He won’t buy a single share in any of these companies…

“He won’t sell an option contract…

“And he certainly won’t collect a dividend…

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“Instead he’ll tap into an overlooked asset class I call an ‘Alpha Contract’

Sounds miraculous, right? Who wouldn’t want to be able to get that kind of income without risking your money in the stock market? Brilliant!

Oh, wait, they didn’t mention how much you have to invest to get that income.

That’s pretty typical of income-focused newsletters — they love to trot out big numbers and talk about the regular folks who pulled in $50,000 or $200,000, counting on the fact that you’re probably going to assume that those folks invest similar amounts to you… and if you happen to have $100,000 in your retirement portfolio, for example (the average for folks near retirement, the people who generally sign up for investment newsletters, is about $160,000), then $50,000 in income sounds FANTASTIC.

Sorry, that’s not what they’re talking about here. To make 50% returns over anything less than a decade, you’d probably need to take risks with the stock market… not rely on the lower-risk-of-loss “Alpha Contracts.”

More on these “Alpha Contracts”….

“Fill in the ‘Alpha Contract’ number…

“You can instantly lock in promised gains ranging from $5,092 to as much as $29,285 each and every month!”

And a few examples of past recommendations they’ve made…

“February’s recommendation, Alpha Contract 63530QAH2, locked in $22,031

“January’s Alpha Contract 16412XAG0 locked in $59,440…

“All told, over the last 18 months you could’ve locked in over $360,720 in legally guaranteed income checks!”

And it’s not until after you’ve got those numbers like “$5,092 to as much as $29,285 each and ever month” in your head, that they pull out probably the most important sentence:

“Of course, the more you put in, the more you stand to collect…”

And the corollary, added by yours truly: “The less you put in, the less you stand to collect.”

Makes it sound a little less exciting, right? We all know that “there’s no free lunch,” and that “it takes money to make money” in the investing world, but sometimes we also hope, just a wee bit, that there’s a secret that we can use to get past those laws of the investing jungle.

There’s not, really. Sorry. Get lucky, save more, achieve some brilliant insight into market dynamics and don’t tell anyone your trading strategies, or watch the fees and let your investments in quality companies compound for decades, those are pretty much the main four ways to get rich by investing, which is a lot harder than getting rich by doing actual work or building an actual business.

This all assumes you’re not in the “born rich” camp, of course — if you’ve got that $50 million trust fund, you can afford to do what you want, to be either extremely conservative or extremely aggressive as your hea