Tuesday, July 19, 2011

World's highest return on your money for doing zilch - 24%

Dear Prakash Desai, Avusa Group’s Chief Executive,
          Here’s an idea that makes perfect business sense. I don’t normally share these financial gems that suddenly come to me in between periods when my brain is off-line. But as I got the idea from something I saw in the Sunday Times, which is one of the pillars of your media and entertainment empire, I thought I better let you in on it.
          My proposal is that we go 50/50 on the profits. All you have to do is to dispose of just about everything your Group owns. Get rid of the Sowetan newspaper, your magazines, the Nu Metro cinemas, Exclusive Books, the lot.
           Not quite all them. Perhaps it might be a good idea to still keep the Sunday Times, South Africa’s biggest selling national paper and its sister daily, The Times. They could still be useful to put your views across to the nation.
          Once you’ve collected all the money from the sales I have suggested you should invest all of it in a fool proof scheme that has been advertised regularly in that Sunday Times of yours that has a circulation of some 500 000 and readership at a guess, of around 2-million.
          The scheme I’m talking about is offering 24% per annum on investments. Where else in the world can you get such a fantastic return on your money for doing absolutely zilch? I see that Avusa’s revenue last year was R5.3-billion so I should imagine that by getting rid of the assets I mentioned you could easily top that amount.
          So with say 10 or 15-billion to invest you can imagine how much you would be getting in at 24% a year. I think you are a qualified accountant, if I’m not mistake, so you are far better qualified than I am to put a figure on what the actual return would be. My little calculator won’t take all those numbers.
          An added advantage of my idea is that you and your fellow directors could then play golf all day and be free of any gut wrenching responsibility while still drawing your enormous salaries.
          I would be the first person to take a stand against anybody who suggests that 24% is not possible at a time when my bank and others won’t even give me 7.5%. That 24% must be true otherwise your paper would never have put it into print.
          As an ex-newspaper man I know better than most people that there is absolutely no truth in the popular saying, You can’t believe everything you read in the papers.
          Sorry I’ve rambled on a bit without telling you about the kind of business it is that can produce such glittering results. It’s not a goldmine, it’s diamonds. The promoters of a company called African Dawn say they are into every aspect of  this, from digging them out to polishing and selling them.
          They claim their returns are between 3% and 9% in 6 weeks as shown by proven experience. My maths is not good enough to verify whether or not this amounts to 24% a year, but I’m sure you would be able to calculate this in a flash.
          I would ignore the fact, if I was you that De Beers, that other less well-known, little diamond firm made a profit of about 8% of sales in its last financial year after making a loss the year before.
          How stupid of me. I’ve just notice something in that august Sunday Times of yours. I don’t know how I could have been so blind. Perhaps I saw it but it never registered. As I have already mentioned I do have periods when I’m off-line. But I suppose it’s excusable when you are 110.
          Anyway what I’m talking about it that right next to that ad offering a 24% bonanza there was one from the newspaper itself. And you can’t believe what it said.
        Headed WARNING it told us, Readers are advised to carefully scrutinise advertisements offering investments opportunities. Well I did just that and there was nothing there that I could see that indicated that there was anything wrong with the proposition, unless there was something in invisible ink.
          The warning went on to say, The Sunday Times cannot vouch for the claims made by advertisers.
          Please help me here Prakash? What does that mean? If your paper can’t vouch for what’s in it, what are us readers to make of that? Does this also apply to all the stories written by journalist as well?
        It’s just as well I noticed that because I now have to tell you Prakash that I’m sorry to have wasted your time because I will not now be able to vouch for the viability of selling off Avusa’ s assets and investing the money at 24%.
          Disappointedly yours,
          Jon, the Poor Man’s Press Ombudsman.

Buy my book 'Where have all the children gone?' on Amazon Kindle It's a thriller with an underlying love story that defied generations of prejudice.

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