A few days ago I was introduced to a new scheme called "Fantastic Pay" which promises large returns for investing money with a real estate company in Canada. The company apparently uses the money invested by members to finance property deals and receives commission from these deals.
The scheme has not been around for long - it started at the end of March 2006.
Now, usually I would not dirty my bargepole with this type of scheme - the promises are just too "fantastic".
However, this time I have decided to have a go and risked £26.62 to see what happens.
The basic premise of Fantastic Pay is that you invest some money with the company for a set amount of time. At the end of the investment term you are then paid a monthly amount which is dependant on the number of months that you invested for.
The length of time you can invest for is currently from 1 to 6 months. You can invest as little as $10 or as much as $10,000.
At the end of the term you are then paid a recurring monthly payment indefinitely.
You invest $500 for a period of 3 months. The offer for a "3 month term" is 50% monthly. Therefore, after 3 months, Fantastic Pay will pay you $250 (50% of $500) every month.
Invest $500 for 6 months and you will be paid $1,000 per month once the 6 month term is up.
Now, these returns are ridiculously high and cannot possibly be fulfilled over the long term.
If someone were to risk $10,000 for 6 months, according to their rules Fantastic Pay would have to pay out $20,000 per month once the term has ended.
Obviously, this is going to prove to be impossible...
The explanation given by the scheme's owners is that the reward percentages will be reduced in due time. The high rewards offered at present are for the first few thousand sign-ups only.
The cost to join Fantastic Pay is $18 (plus $2 to pay by credit card). This works out to around £10.92 at the current exchange rate (25/05/06).
I have risked $25 on a 6 month term. My reasoning is that if it does work, even for one month, I will get my money back with just the first payment. Anything over 1 month is profit.
If it doesn't work, I can afford to lose £26.62 - it isn't a big deal although I would be kind of annoyed...
To invest $25 actually cost me $28.75 due to "processing fees" which translates to £15.70.
So, I've got my money invested now and I will have to wait 6 months to see if they pay out.
If this does work and I get that 1st monthly payment of $50, this works out as roughly £27.03 - returning my money (plus I get the initial $25 back as well).
Worth a punt I suppose...
Interestingly, once you sign up there is a forum where a lot of current members are posting frequently. Some people have joined and invested a great deal of money, completely happy to believe that they will be earning a huge passive income in several months.
Others, quite rightly, are being more careful and testing the water....
I will keep you updated as to what happens, will you see me lose my money?
OK, the Fantastic Pay admin team have now finished the initial phase of the site.
Investments are finally available to new members - you can invest between $10 and $1,000 online. Any more than that and you have to contact the owners.
As I said before, I cannot understand how they can offer such excellent rates of return. This has been answered now, they can't. At least, they can't forever.
The current rates of return are valid only until the end of this week (25th June). After that, new rates of return will be introduced. It really is a case of the "early bird gets the worm".
Before investing, please think carefully about how much to risk and read the IMPORTANT note below.
I would dearly love to tell you that everything is going fine, that my investment from a month ago has been approved, that I can actually believe that Fantastic Pay will last for another 10 years so I can sit back and earn my $50 a month...
The problem is that I just can't. My investment which was recorded on the 6th of June is still "Pending". Lots of others are swamping the forum in despair as they haven't got a clue what is going on. Admins are saying "patience is a virtue" but, for xxx's sake....
Try as I may, I have to wonder when they will pack up and leave, taking my (admittedly small amount of) money with them.
Looking through the forum, people there are scrambling to get large investments recorded before the rates change on Sunday the 25th June. Some are actually asking how they can invest $10,000+ in the scheme. Staggering.
Check it out: http://fantasticpay.com/forum/
More news from Fantastic Pay...
Apparently, the admin have now cleared all of the login problems and all of the support tickets. The third priority was to clear the backlog of investment reports which are still "pending".
Mine has been pending for a month now...
New members cannot join up now until the end of today and, according to the site, when it does re-open for new members, the investment return rates will have changed - no more 200% a month payouts!
It doesn't look like the Fantastic Pay scheme is going to implode just yet but the creators have underestimated the scale of setting up a site like this and are now having to deal with a huge backlog!
The site is now completely shut off from new signups and will be back up in the near future - no definite date though. Everyone seems to be extremely happy in the forum, all content that FP will start paying out soon and they will all be rich.
One forum regular has even gone so far as to say "I am convinced FANTASTICPAY is going to be the cornerstone, foundation, crowned jewel, if you will, of my financial future. I have bet heavily on it with no reservations..."
Another poster said "We put in nearly 10K for a 6 month term so this will be our chance to stop merely surviving paycheck to paycheck and actually save enough to get into our own house someday"
The admin have announced that everyone who invested early (before the site closed off new members) will get their investment money refunded yet still be eligible for the monthly payments. Great news, if it happens!
Check the forum for more: http://fantasticpay.com/forum/
Fantastic Pay is now back online after a reasonably lengthy absence.
Prior to the admin closing off the site to new members it was suggested that when it did finally reopen the investment terms would change. This has now been confirmed.
Rather than invest once and receive a monthly payout for life, the Fantastic Pay team have changed the investment rates so that now everyone gets a return of 90% over 6 months.
Basically, if you invested $100 you would receive 1 payment a month for 6 months. Each payment will be 15% of the sum invested so in this case it would be $15 a month.
Once the term is up, your investment money is returned to you as the site insists that it is "no risk".
Of course, there is always risk in High Yield Investment Programs like Fantastic Pay so please do not invest unless you can afford to lose your money.
Membership fees have increased by $3 and so it now costs $21 to join Fantastic Pay. Only members can invest.
For more info, try this link:
I received an email asking me to update this page and basically let people know how my "investment" with Fantastic Pay has gone.
To be quite honest, I'm not entirely sure! Some time ago, Fantastic Pay went back on their promise to pay out 200% per month for life to early members and changed it to paying 15% per month for 6 months, the same terms as the later joining members.
Initial members were known as "Type 1" investors (of which I was one) and later joining members are known as "Type 2".
On the official forum there were some people who weren't happy about it but they were basically told "put up or shut up". Everyone was reminded that they could have a refund whenever they wanted - in fact this wasn't a problem because Fantastic Pay did reimburse our initial investments.
Personally, Fantastic Pay have paid me the following so far:
$25.00 on 27/10/06
$13.00 on 07/12/06
$22.10 on 04/01/07
The $25 was my investment rebate, the $13 was a referral fee and I am unsure what the $22.10 is for. I can't find out either because the "Financial Manager" icon in the Fantastic Pay back office doesn't seem to want to tell me anything!
So far, Fantastic Pay has been a rather strange experience and not particularly thrilling or rewarding. This was a long term "punt" with $25. So far, I seem to be up slightly but the "200% a month" promise has evaporated into the ether a long time ago.
And my payment for February hasn't arrived... Pretty crap really!!
OK, I did a little update on Friday about Fantastic Pay and I have spent a little time looking at what is going on now.
First of all, the old forum (mentioned above) is now long gone and they have setup a new forum for members only. There are dozens of fanatical FP supporters on there and anyone who speaks out against Fantastic Pay is quickly shot down and told not to be a "whiner". Charming!
Unfortunately all of the old messages on the Fantastic Pay forum are gone - including the really, really optimistic ones about how FP was going to be the
"...cornerstone, foundation, crowned jewel, if you will, of my financial future. I have bet heavily on it with no reservations...".
Not sure how these people feel now that everything has changed but FP was always going to be a long shot. I mean, who on earth can pay 200% per month for life? Our payouts now are 15% every 35 days but the admin promises that it will return to 200% in the future. Sure...
Second, there seems to be a load of new requirements brought in for "investors". The problem is, I didn't know about all this because I hadn't been on the forum for a while. The admin at Fantastic Pay seem to only communicate via the forum so the vast majority of people have no idea what is going on because they don't go on the forum.
Let me just say that I only risked a few dollars on this one and I got my entire investment back plus a little so I am probably a tiny bit up on my expenditure. The way it is run, though, is pretty disorganised and amateur and if you never got onboard in time, I really wouldn't worry. You aren't missing much!