Between the financial meltdown and Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme, investors are skittish about investing. But that doesn't stop folks with a new (or in the case of a ponzi, old) moneymaking scheme.
Take one pitch that recently came MainStreet's way. Whether to enrich investors, or to sell $99 trial subscriptions, or both, Investor’s Daily Edge, a Delray Beach, Fla.-based financial newsletter, is promoting a money making bonanza.
Would-be subscribers received a promotion saying that a “loophole” in the U.S. Treasury’s September bailout of Fannie Mae (Stock Quote: FNM) and Freddie Mac (Stock Quote: FRE) can guarantee ambitious investors as much as $8,881 a month in Treasury-backed checks from March 2009 to April 2011.
The promotional materials state that real estate investment trusts – known as REITs – are making big money not only for the likes Warren Buffet but for regular folks such as an accountant who has collected more than $50,000 in checks to date.
“Because of the loophole, GSEs like Fannie and Freddie have to distribute 90 percent of earnings to shareholders,” says Andy Gordon, investment director of Investor’s Daily Edge. “Because of what happened in September 2008, the government has to guarantee it.”So according to Gordon, there are millions in this downward economy who would love to receive almost $10,000 a month from the government.
Meanwhile another investment pro called this offer nothing more than a scam. According to Ron Kuykendall, vice president of communications for The National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, folks are likely to get a bill for a $99 newsletter subscription, but not huge investment returns.
“There is no loophole,” says Kuykendall. “The amount a REIT pays out is based on the company’s dividend policy and the idea that any investment could pay out $8,881 every month is ridiculous”
Still Gordon maintains that what his group is selling could work. “I’m seeing yields up to 30 percent,” he says. “The research is at least 3 months old, but it’s still good.”