Gumshoe readers wanna know: What’s a “Liberty Voucher?”
And you can see why — inspired by the success of the ads that tease us about “Freedom Checks” or “Trump Bonus Checks”, this one from Nilus Mattive is all about getting your attention with the idea that those who don’t have enough cash flow to retire comfortably can “claim” lots of income.
Here’s the intro to the latest ad for Nilus Mattive’s Rich Life Letter, which is the latest intro-level retirement/income-focused newsletter from Agora Financial — Mattive has been around for a while, he was previously the headliner for the now-defunct Income Superstars letter over at Weiss.
“Act by May 30 to maximize your share of approximately $626 billion paid out to Americans who own this strange type of certificate.
“Make sure you claim your…
“American ‘Liberty Vouchers’
“So you have the chance to collect a check for as much as $3,465, $12,909 or even $42,489… starting today!”
With all the ads along these lines, the income is real — but it’s pitched as a “save your retirement” idea, and I always get a lot of questions from folks who really just need more money to get through each month, and you don’t get income without investment. They tend to see the big bold $12,909 income part and don’t think about the math or the small print that indicates you would have to invest a quarter of a million dollars in these kinds of stocks to get income like $12,000 per year, let alone per month.
So yes, although the investments are real, that’s what they are… investments. Such ads almost always use the word “claim” to keep you reading hoping that you’ll be able to get something for free (you deserve it, after all — you’re a good person and a patriot and you brush your teeth regularly)… but the word is really “buy.”
And he takes advantage of the sentiment that the rest of the world is out to get us, by painting this as a way to “liberate” your money from other countries…
“‘Liberty Vouchers’ are a special type of certificate that allow Americans to claim a share of “liberated” income brought back home to the United States in the form of regular income checks.
“I call them ‘Liberty Vouchers’ because they allow Americans to liberate their hard-earned money from countries that take advantage of our goodwill….
“… if you’re tired of seeing your tax dollars go overseas to help countries that hate the USA…
“Who burn our flag…
“And lay siege to our embassies…
“When they should pay us for protecting their behinds…
“Then ‘Liberty Vouchers’ are the perfect opportunity to get even.
“Because each ‘Liberty Voucher’ liberates money from these ungrateful countries…
“And dumps it straight into your bank account.”
The sad news, of course, is that you don’t “claim” a “Liberty Voucher” … you buy a “Liberty Voucher.”
And, of course, the patriotic and official-sounding name and the rousing “they should pay us” language is aimed squarely at those who are a little bit older and perhaps already a little grumpy about the fact that schoolchildren no longer recite the Pledge of Allegiance, or about the treatment of military veterans, or scared about Social Security, or generally feeling like the rug’s getting pulled out from under them. It’s not a coincidence that people in their 60s are also the target market for investment newsletters — for many Americans, that’s when the ugly truth of limited retirement savings hits home… and when those who do have a decent savings set aside begin to worry about how to manage it.
That’s not meant as judgement of those potential customers, but, as hit home for those who read the “Russian Ads” that are the target of so much attention on Facebook, people, including you and I, are a lot easier to manipulate and herd with language and images than we like to think.
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Copywriting at its best is emotional and manipulative, and it works.
I don’t know Nilus Mattive and haven’t spoken to him, but perhaps he even feels a bit bad about manipulating patriotic feelings and giving this impression of a “Liberty Voucher” you can somehow “claim”, but resigns himself to the fact that this is the way they’ve found that gets the most attention. As so many editors and publishers have told me “off the record,” they don’t love these kinds of ads, either, but feel like they have to sell people something shiny that’s bad for them in order to get them to read the good and responsible and thoughtful advice and commentary that their editors (hopefully) publish on a regular basis.
So that’s my opening screed — as with almost all such ads, please always keep in mind the core tenets of generating income in the financial markets. These are little-known secrets, but I’ll share them with you for free today!:
- There’s no such thing as a free lunch
- It takes money to make money.
You can moderate those a bit — diversification and intelligent oversight can make the lunch a little cheaper than list price, perhaps… and you can start out with less money if you also have time to let your money compound and grow… but there’s never a free check just waiting for you