Monday, May 18, 2015

Vulnerability Makes Me Angry!

Some places offer thanks as they go down for the count.
Others just walk away or board up their businesses.
I've seen plenty in my travels.
After Mom's death 2 years ago, my sibs and I sorted out all the details that linger, including her modest investments. One (which will remain unnamed until I get even angrier), I'll call it "Portfolio Rip Off," was way sleazier than I could bear.

Learning about how Mom got into it shed much light on the way greed thrives in this country. Her lawyer recommended it to her/my sis as a great way to tap into the higher returns for safe investments that everyone dreams about. Why get 2% when you can get 10%?

Since it was a legit professional and longtime family friend who recommended it, a man who was good friends with the guy involved in setting up the fund, it made sense. It's a private, invitation only fund, with limited information, a process based on "trust." So, plunk, a sizable chunk of change went into this fund.

I, upon inheriting my share of this fund, was curious. I learned it was built on investments that bought up bad debt--causing even more pain to those who've been financially ravaged.
 "a leading purchaser of charged-off consumer debt. We help creditors liquidate delinquent charged-off receivables and assist consumers in resolving their financial challenges..." [GAG!]
I have little knowledge of this arena, or desire to get more knowledgeable or more involved. But it made me gag. So I rectified the locked-in reality by donating my share of the proceeds to causes I believe in.

Having recently received notice that the fund has some decisions to make, I asked a knowledgable, trustworthy friend  to check into it for me. What he found was even more despicable. And, to no surprise, the fund founders and managers are making a pretty penny, even after distributing proceeds to the likes of the 20 hapless investors.
I want out. Not so fast. And this is where it gets so confusing I can't explain it. I can't get out. Nor will I, apparently, be getting my share of the money Mom, in good faith, invested. 
I'm not sure where this is going, but I'd bet my lunch money I'll not be happy as it unfolds.

Yeah, I'm thinking of those poor souls whose life savings were wrapped up in that great business idea that got squashed like a bug when the investors of this world decided to tank the economy. I've worked for 3 decades trying to help people get some semblance of life back after they've lost everything to these slick and sleazy robber barons.

And to think our elected officials take money from these slimy money-changers. Once you buy into, or take money from these funds, you become tainted by it. Let the record show, for what it's worth, that these "investment opportunity creators" are more than willing to dupe innocent people in the process of grabbing all they can. And politicians typically drop into the same sewer pit with their moneyed donors.

Spewing about this episode of nefarious financial behavior does nothing to satisfy my unsatisfiable  need to expose the sleaze-buckets who've put a whole lot of hurt on people way more vulnerable than me. And yes, these money monsters could further crush me like a bug on the windshield.

But knowing they're doing what they're doing sure fuels my fire to continue my fight for those "consumers ...resolving their financial challenges."
And for those sharing these sentiments who have the wherewithal to contribute to HEAR US, my nonprofit that works to help homeless families and youth, here's our 10th anniversary plea for support. You can donate $10+ a month or make a one-time donation, even anonymously (and if you have a similar sleazy money fund, feel free to send it my way!)
Anyone who defends the rights of entrepreneurs to create ways to earn money like this better not cross my path. My ability to projectile vomit has been honed. I'm just waiting for the right opportunity.