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Many people were scammed recently. And the culprit got away stashing around P12 Billion as reported in the news. So who is to blame? Not the authorities. This seemingly legit company must have faked its company registration and was able to lure many people to bite into their “get-rich quick schemes”.

Ponzi schemes, pyramiding schemes, time and again, people are offered with “mind-boggling” interest in a matter of weeks, or even days, something no reliable financial institutions, banks, mutual fund and investment companies alike can afford to offer. Just because known personalities like politicians, celebrities get into it does not in any way assure any would-be investor that the company offering this kind of return is credible, much more, reliable. Just because it is registered with SEC does not assure investors that investing in these companies are risk-free.

So who’s to blame for this madness? That many people were duped by shelling out their life’s savings; some even went to the extent of selling their properties and other assets like cars, jewelry, in the hope of a bigger return in the shortest time possible. Who are the main culprits? I can name two: GREED and IGNORANCE.

Greed and Ignorance because the naive investor ventures into something without even studying the facts like the background of the company (how long has it been in existence, who are the people running the company, where do they really invest your money). Do not just put your money into something you do not understand. A lot of times, greed comes in when you are overwhelmed with emotions: the lure of the profits that were promised to you in x no. of days. As they say, haste makes waste. So there, a hastily made decision without due diligence will cause you to make mistakes.

As a basic rule in investing, any investment that promises a return that is “too good to be true”, meaning a whopping return that no one has ever heard of, you should react like “uh-oh”, how is it possible that they can earn that much quickly? Where is the money being used? This in essence is called the practice of  “common sense” which apparently is not common these days. So let me repeat the obvious, there is no such thing as “get rich quick scheme”. But alas, for as long as Greed and Ignorance exist, chances are these criminals (yes, this offense is a criminal act), will strike again and try to lure as many innocent people as they can.

So how do you counter Greed? By learning to be content with what you have. That’s a biblical principle, if practiced, will spare you from financial woes. The Bible says:

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. – Philippians 4:12

What does the Bible say about investing blindly (Ignorance)?

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. – Proverbs 27:12

As to getting rich financially, there are no short cuts. The Bible has something to say also on the proven way of getting rich financially:

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! – Proverbs 6:6

A few lessons can be learned from the ant. 1. This only goes to show that any form of investment should be treated with a long-term approach. Look at the ants, they store food during summer so that when the rainy season comes in, they have lots of food in store.; 2. There is no substitute for hard work. With this principle, you will reap what you have sown over time.

All of us will do well by reading the story of Joseph the dreamer found in the Book of Genesis. In times of prosperity, save as much as you can because you never know when calamities or a sudden emergency situation will come that will cost you a lot.

In other words, save, save save! Save for the now, Invest for the future. If you want to know how to save, invest or even budget properly if your cash flow is tight, invest in FINANCIAL EDUCATION. Look at the experience above. It has been proven that Ignorance is more expensive than Education. If you are equipped with financial education, it will guide you in making the right decisions when it comes to financial stewardship.

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