The stock market is cracking and equity portfolios are awash in red. But Rahul Patil, a business development executive with the Ahmedabad-based equity advisory firm Radhe Advisory, has an investment plan that can erase your losses and put you on the path to profit. “If you join our premium plan for Rs 50,000, you can make Rs 1 lakh within 35 days,” says Patil.
Sounds unbelievable? Patil (who has called us after we registered on another site Krishna stocks, which is no longer functional) doesn’t think so. He insists that if we join their moneyback plan, we can make big money in no time. What they are not revealing to us (and possibly to hundreds of other investors) is that the Rs 50,000 is the fee for a service of trading tips sent by SMS.
If you invest as per the tips given by the research team, you could make a profit of Rs 1 lakh in a month. “Chances are such outfits are hand in glove with market operators and take investors for a ride,” says Ajay Bhaskar, head of retail, Prabhudas Lilladher, a brokerage house.
Hundreds of investors from across India have lost money this way. Till about a few months ago, another Ahmedabad-based company Krishna Stocks had used the same modus operandi to cheat gullible investors . Ambala-based Sandeep Kumar put Rs 30,000 in a special Diwali moneyback offer from Krishna Stocks in October 2010. “After the month ended, they told me that this was an SMS service,” says Kumar.
Most established brokerage houses such as Prabhudas Lilladher and Nirmal Bang send trading tips to their clients free of charge. Others charge a fee, but it’s not even close to the Radhe Advisory charges. For instance, the Power Your Trade service, promoted by Network 18, charges Rs 450 a month. A two-year package costs Rs 4,320.
Still, informed investors walked into the trap laid by Krishna Stocks with eyes wide shut. Hyderabad-based Kollol Chaudhury (read his account below) makes a fair amount from trading in shares and is aware of the SMS services on offer. Yet, he fell for the temptation of easy money and put in Rs 10,000 in Krishna Stocks last year.
“This is only the tip of the iceberg. The problem will become bigger as more sophisticated instruments are introduced,” says Virendra Jain, founder of the Midas Touch Investors’ Association. “There should be a regulatory mechanism to check such outfits.”
Meanwhile, urgency is perceptible in the tone of Patil. “You can download the form and pay online. Fill in the form and send it to us along with the ID of the online payment. So, when can you make the payment?” he asks. We tell him that the salary cheque has just been deposited and it may take two days to get credited. “S**t,” he mutters. “Can’t you arrange for funds and make the payment today. The earlier the better.”
Unconvinced, we probe the sales team further. Aren’t derivatives risky? Shouldn’t small investors take a long-term view? “There’s no point in taking delivery of shares and holding them for years. Instead, invest in the futures and options market for very fast growth,” says Rajshree Patil, another Radhe Advisory executive.
Experts don’t think so and advise investors to stay away. “Futures and options are meant for hedging. Only people who are in tune with the markets throughout the trading session should go for them,” says Mehraboon Irani, principal and head, Priority Client Group, Nirmal Bang.
As we sound sceptical, Rajshree steps in with assurances. “Our analyst is very experienced and can predict which way the markets will move,” she adds. As it turns out, the analyst, Arvind Yadav has been there for five years and knows the derivatives market. But ask him about the Nifty’s cost of carry and he fumbles. “I am not getting what you want to know. Maybe in your part of the country they have different keywords for certain terms,” he says.
So we ask him about open interest and he sounds knowledgeable. “Open interest, yes, yes. Tomorrow Nifty will open down and will hit a low of 5,200,” he says. So much for technical analysis. This moneyback plan means you give your “money”, and it never comes “back”.
Source: Economic Times
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February 17, 2011