I am a physician, currently practicing as an Anesthesiologist. My other passions are finance and investments. As of 2013, I have passed all three levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams, all in my first attempts. I received my Masters of Business Administration degree in 2008. I received my certification as a securities specialist from the Philippine Stock Exchange in 2009.
When some Multi-Level marketing (MLM) companies are accused of being illegal pyramid schemes, their first defense is to say that they have products to sell. They’ll even boast that these are high quality products that justify their often very high prices. But what if they are the same products sold by other currently operating and failed MLMs?
Who are the product suppliers for these MLM companies? Here’s one of them:
Moringa Mountain Trading – major product supplier of MLM companies?
Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) is a legitimate business strategy. However, many scammers have been disguising their pyramid scams as MLM companies . How can a potential investor distinguish between a legitimate networking company and an illegal Ponzi scheme?
Gotcha! If the word “investment” is used by the company, and you are called an “investor”, those are initial clues that it might be a Ponzi scheme. What are the other things you need to watch out for?
The Direct Selling Association of the Philippines (go see their website here) has come up with an eight-point test in distinguishing between a legitimate MLM company and an illegal pyramid scheme (most likely disguised as an MLM). ALL eight questions must have “YES” answers for a company to be evaluated as legitimate.
One of the hospitals I work for proudly displayed the Superbrands seal in its posters when it was awarded one years ago so I assumed then that this award was totally legit and prestigious.
Fast forward to 2015 and here are the awardees:
One of the brands awarded above was the subject of three advisories (cease and desist orders for alleged investment related “modus operandi”) from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Philippines.
The three advisories were issued against that brand in February, March and April 2015. Superbrands handed out its awards May 2015 (see image above). Wow! How did that happen?