Hyderabad-based Variety Consultancy promises 15% return on investment per month for buying its forex and commodities training packages
Even as multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes such as Speak Asia and Tycoon Empire International Ltd are under the regulatory scanner, numerous such schemes continue to target gullible investors. Despite their exposure by Moneylife and regulators coming down on them, several MLM companies are still trying to sell the forex income dream.
One such company is Hyderabad-based Variety Consultancy, which promises 15% income on the principal 'invested' for every month for 14 months, and is selling forex and commodities training packages. It also promises additional earnings on referrals—a typical trademark of any pyramid scheme.
The company sells training and educational products, which can be used to learn and trade in foreign exchange (forex) and commodity trading. Its basic package costs Rs10,000 which the company says helps to "develop an understanding of basic trading techniques and risk control." The 'Silver' package provides basic to advance training along with practical training on a live forex trading platform, costing Rs1 lakh, while the 'Golden' package costs Rs2 lakh. It claims that the 'Golden' package provides 80 plus forex training videos, daily training classes, live forex training in its chat room for one year and daily trade reviews and mobile alerts.
Experts say that schemes promising such extraordinary returns work on unsustainable business models and are bound to collapse, giving investors a run for their money. In the past, companies such as Stock Guru India and Tycoon Empire, promising similar returns, have duped thousands of investors. In fact, Variety Consultancy has not mentioned where it would be investing the collected money. This raises more doubts on the scheme.
According to Variety Consultancy's scheme, on investment, you are eligible for 15% returns on the principal for 14 months, regularly. This is dubbed 'commission income'.
On getting more investors to invest in the same plan, the company guarantees 'referral' income. This is purely based on the number of references generated by you. As soon as any reference comes under you, then you will get 10% of the principal amount invested by the person being referred. Incidentally, there is no cap on the number of references under you.
The catch here is that the income on the principal decreases as level of your down line increases. So in level one, you get 4% income of the principal amount of your down line, in the next level it comes down to 2%. This goes to level 25, where the income would be just 0.25%.
Strangely, the company also promises giving regular income on your down line for 14 months. Again the income decreases as the level increases.
Moneylife had reported on how websites providing "stock option tips" have been luring investors by promising them returns as high as 100%, on investing in options and futures. They have found the legitimate options & futures trading market of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) a happy hunting ground for their shoddy business. See: Websites providing 'stock-options tips': By all looks, another huge scam in the making:.
A few states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu have started to curb such MLM and Ponzi schemes. Market observers say that the appropriate regulator and other state governments should act on such schemes before they dupe investors.