Siphoning: “Legally ‘Trick’ a Mutual Fund into Paying for Your Retirement”

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, June 14, 2010

There’s something just lovely about the humble quotation mark — throw a couple of ’em around a word, and you can put that word wherever you want and apparently face no consequences.

This ad is for the Safe Haven Investor newsletter from Taipan, which is now edited by Kent Lucas, and, as usual, it’s pretty far over the top … here’s the start of the ad:

“How to Legally ‘Trick’ a Mutual Fund Into Paying for Your Retirement

“This little-known “siphoning” method can pay 10 times more than the best mutual funds — without charging you any inflated fees. That’s probably why you’ve never heard of it before.

“Follow the instructions in this letter and you can ‘siphon’ your first payment as soon as July 31.

“‘Worried about a depreciating dollar, rising taxes and stingy investment yields? Try [“siphoning”].’ — Wall Street Journal”

So how do we “trick” a mutual fund into doing this? Well, as you might have guessed … this strategy has almost nothing at all to do with mutual funds, but that “almost” and the quotation marks apparently go a long way. It’s about a high-yielding asset class, let’s look at some more of their pitch.

“The wealthy love using it to generate steady, risk-free monthly income. But this perfectly legal method can be used by investors of any income level to collect large checks, every month of the year, hassle-free.

“I call it ‘siphoning’ because it takes a portion of income from some of the biggest mutual funds in the country… and ‘siphons’ it directly to you.

“Instead of paying some hotshot fund manager outrageous fees, you’re actually getting mutual funds and other institutional investors to pay you.”

Ah, so because you’re not paying a management fee it’s like you’re “siphoning” some of your own money back into your pocket? Hmmmm.

So what is this investment? Well, they say in the ad that you could have gotten 123% returns from this investment in the past two years, so that sounds lovely. And you get monthly checks, which I know many folks just adore.

Here’s some more of the convolution:

“Here’s how the process works: After you sign up, you’ll have to designate whether you want the profits mailed to you, deposited directly to your bank account, or reinvested into the process to make your payments larger and larger every month.

“Then, on the designated ‘pay day’ every month, you’ll receive your ‘siphoned’ profits. No penalties, no fees. Just cash “siphoned” from the profits of some of the largest mutual funds in the country.

“If you sign up now, you can get your first check on July 31…

“So how is ‘siphoning’ able to pay out huge income checks to you with the same low-risk attitude of a mutual fund?

“Because when you ‘siphon’ you’re actually lining up to receive indirect payments straight from the mutual funds themselves.”

It’s still hard to get through the logic here without lots of big question marks popping up above your head, cartoon-style … but they go on to describe this as if you’re buying something that they’re “secretly” buying instead of paying them for management, and therefore somehow these payments you’re getting are some kind of “indirect payment” from the mutual funds. Ooooohh, my head hurts.

Here, try their words:

“When these mutual funds continue to pile into their secret investment, you can use it to ‘siphon’ off profits, every month.

“Don’t worry, this isn’t some fly-by-night investment fad.

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