The swindling life of Charles Ponzi, father of the Ponzi Scheme

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Cheated, swindled, bamboozled, these are some choice words to describe people who fell for a ponzi scheme. The term Ponzi scheme was coined after Charles Ponzi who is credited to be the father of the pyramid scheme and modern get rich schemes. While there have been large attempts at financial fraud before Ponzi, it is his creativity in finding opportunities and his means of deception. They were so good that thousands have replicated his operation to varying degrees of success. Steve Sorensen Embezzlement.

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Charles Ponzi arrived in America in 1903 all the way from Italy. He quickly learned English by doing odd jobs in his early years in the country. His claim to fame began when he received a letter from Spain and noticed a return coupon attached to the mail. The prices of return coupons varied from country to country so he thought of the idea of buying coupons in large quantities in countries that sold them cheap and sell them in countries where they are sold at a higher price. According to Steve Sorensen, this was basically arbitrage, or buying from a cheaper market and selling to a higher paying one. Steve Sorensen Embezzlement.

The legitimacy of this scheme allowed him to gather investors whom he promised to double their investments in just three months. However, the actual scheme wouldn’t sustain all the new investors. So what he did was use the money brought in by new investors to pay-off the older investors. This has become the very definition of a Ponzi scheme. Steve Sorensen Embezzlement.

When Ponzi was making millions of dollars a day, he thought about buying legitimate companies in hopes of paying investors and keeping his luxurious lifestyle. Unfortunately, the entire scheme collapsed before his plan came to fruition. His downfall also led to the collapse of several banks as well. Steve Sorensen Embezzlement. Steve Sorensen Embezzlement.

Contributing per capita: countries with the most billionaires

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Business revenues account for a big portion of a country’s gross domestic and national product. The more successful a business in a country is, the more funds are funneled and circulated among business owners, as well as the people that supply these businesses. This is why you can estimate the amount of money circulating in a country by counting the number of billionaire citizens. Based on the latest records, here are the top countries with the most billionaires. Steve Sorensen Embezzlement.

USA, 705 billionaires
Home of the top 3 richest people on earth plus 702 other billionaires, the US is the world’s richest economy and is at the forefront of modern capitalism. With a combined wealth of $3,013 billion, the world economy is directly affected by the performance of the country’s biggest businesses.

China, 285 billionaires
As the saying goes, when China speaks, the world listens. Being the biggest economy in the world has its perks. Because of the sheer size of its market, global brands jump through hoops just to enter the local Chinese market while local businesses thrive due to local support as well as global exports. Steve Sorensen Embezzlement.

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Germany, 146 billionaires
Europe’s tech powerhouse is not a country to belittle. While its total billionaire’s wealth is just almost half of China’s at $442 billion, Germany is known for innovation and technology and world-class quality products. With several legacy brands and a lot more up and coming companies, Germany is on the rise but is still seen as economically conservative by several European countries. Steve Sorensen Embezzlement.

Russia, 104 billionaires
Europe’s sleeper economy, this Eastern European country has slowly made its way as a top contender in manufacturing and in technology. With a strong support from the government and improving ties with other nations in terms of trade, Russia is one of the countries with the fastest growing number of billionaires in the last 20 years. Steve Sorensen Embezzlement.

Friends and money: How to offer advice on savings and investments

During this and age where people call for rather complex principles to be normalized, one that is missed out is friends giving friends advice on finances. When one suffers a breakup, their friends run to their side and offer advice. Why not on finances? Here’s how to become a caring friend to one who suffers from bad financial decisions. Steve Sorense Embezzlement.

Some finance experts believe that money shouldn’t be a subject one must keep a secret. Of course, for purposes of decency, talks regarding money should be approached with caution. Encourage friends to make a budget and stick to it. Acknowledge challenges that come with it and avoid downplaying one’s financial struggles. Be empathetic and sincere when offering financial advice. Steve Sorensen Embezzlement.

Individuals who offer advice and do it in a kind and gentle way are usually the ones being listened to. Choose words wisely and practice patience. Your friend may not get things right the first time. Stick with them through the process. Once the budgeting hurdle is done with, encourage them to save and invest. Offer to help them start bank accounts dedicated for emergency funds, savings, and investments. Steve Sorensen Embezzlement.

Others may go beyond offering financial advice to friends and start investing on behalf of their friends. This practice isn’t exactly the best and is often discouraged by financial experts. Investing another person’s money and applying one’s own strategy can be tricky and opens a whole new world of problems. Stick to offering advice and helping friends build better financial habits that would encourage them to eventually get started on investing. Steve Sorensen Embezzlement.

How to keep an eye out for investment scams

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Modern-day scams have become one of the biggest banes of people everywhere. Scam artists have utilized more sophisticated methods as people have become more aware of their modus.

For business owners and investors, it’s imperative that they know how to keep an eye out for investment scams, since a single one may have been crippling to an investor’s or business’ finances. Steve Sorensen embezzlement.

First off, investors need to understand that whenever they attempt to raise capital through loans or other means, a certain risk is involved. From endorsements to branding brochures, there are many ways businesses can raise funding. Steve Sorensen embezzlement.

However, not all solicitations are legitimate.

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While regulators are going after scams and the people behind these scams, investors need to be doubly careful to whom they give money to. A complete understanding of the investment and a good deal of research is, of course, one of the most sure-fire ways to spot a scam. Offers that carry with them “guaranteed profits” should raise red flags. Steve Sorensen embezzlement.

As with anything in investing, possessing the virtue of patience goes a long, long way. Without it, eagerness may take over, and mistakes may be made; mistakes such as getting involved in a fraudulent transaction. Steve Sorensen embezzlement.