This is a reprint from July 31, 2008. Bernie Madoff comes to mind. We have witnessed the plundering of the real estate market with no doc loans. As things get worse, the offshore uninsured investment vehicles could be the next big fiasco. It is not illegal to pay yourself 100k to manage a mutual fund while it goes broke.
Cayman Islands are probably where to start. It’s about $2,300 to get set up with the proper paperwork. About 8,000 of the world’s hedge funds and about 5,000 mutual funds work off of that island. Here is a how to link for the really serious at heart. This is kind of boggles the mind. The islands cover an area about 1 ½ times the size of Washington DC with a population of 50,000 people and has 500 billion in the bank. The thing I really like about this is that it doesn't involve duct tape or a handgun, and there is no jail time, it's all above board.
The total cost is under $3,000 in fees and that includes the cost of a post office box, such a deal! Advertising for clients will be your biggest expense. A printing of 1,000 to 2,000 prospectuses might cost around $10,000. Figure about 5 bucks apiece (copy someone else's that looks slick). The lead pipe cinch rule gives you an automatic 3% return on the mail out. So that would be about 30 to 60 new clients. Then as fund manager, you would mail out monthly statement telling everyone how much money they made. [Hint: pick investments for the news letter that went up for the month, a subscription to the WSJ wouldn’t be a bad idea.] The more earnings the client sees in their monthly statement, the eagerer they are to invest more ( tell your friends, we can all get rich). All that is needed is some decent software and a high end color printer, you can retire tomorrow. Balance the redemptions against new subscriptions. Gold, Silver, oil, and market shorting seem to be good areas of concentration lately. This isn’t a Ponzi scheme, because you can close up the post office box at any time and move away. Here is a more serious link about the mess if you are interested.
You can pretty well guess how this will all end up. The hedge funds will fade away worthless and the mutual funds could drop to 10% of their value like they did in 1930’s. Are you feeling lucky? Give it a try. It feels better when the money you lose belongs to someone else. Believe it or not investors are waiting in line to send you their cash so they can avoid paying taxes. Just maybe there is some poetic justice here.