So you wanna trade on the foreign exchange market, or “forex”. Well, I have great news for you! You can do it right now! No, seriously, you, yourself, can do it, but that’s not why you’re here. You’re here because you’ve been looking up and down and your feed and it has been bombarded with friends, family, and associates asking the same question.
“Why aren’t you trading yet?”
They’ve been painting this picture of gaining “financial freedom” and being able to quit your 9-5.
“What is it that they know that I don’t,” you ask yourself, “do they have the secrets?”
Well after some research and first hand conversations, I’m here to tell you that they don’t know shit outside of how to sell a dream.
Before we get started, we must understand the concept of Multi level marketing, or MLM. People who are in one of these MLMs will make it a point to you that they are not a pyramid scheme. To their credit, they are not in a pyramid scheme because what they are in is the updated version. Multi level marketing, or network marketing, is, as defined by South Dakota Consumer Protection Office of the Attorney General, selling a product with the strategy of “promoting a maximum number of distributors and exponentially increase the sales force.” Money can be made by commission from both selling products and the sales of their recruits, thus making recruiting a pillar of the business model.
“But how is this not a pyramid scheme?” you ask yourself.
In a pyramid scheme there is no real product, only money through recruitment. It should be noted that this is the American legal system definition of pyramid scheme. In some countries, any company’s profits that 50% comes from a recruiting is deemed a pyramid scheme.
Now that we understand the game at hand, let’s assess all of the players in it. Firstly, let’s start with iMarketslive. iMarketslive is a company that offers financial tools and resources through software. It was founded by Christopher Terry, a former construction worker who worked with one of the biggest MLM firms of the 90’s Amway. Terry learned from his time in Amway the business model of a highly functioning MLM and decided to create his own. He travels the country marketing himself as one of the smartest and most successful traders. He charges upwards of $500 for seminars in which he gives others his secrets to success. Make from his business choices what you will.
iMarketslive charges participants a one time $225 deposit and monthly fee of $165 to gain access to software that they claim gives a competitive advantage in the market. In reality the materials don’t offer anything out of the ordinary of what you can find online.. Think about it, if they really did have the secrets to the forex market, why would they still be selling membership or seminars? That takes us to the next part of this and that is your friends that you see on your feed.
It should be noted that a favorite pastime of mine is wasting scammers’ time. I like to respond to their low effort attempts at marketing themselves such as “DM if you trying to turn $100 to $1000.” So for this project, I managed to get a three way phone call between a would-be salesperson of iMarketslive and her “mentor.”
There are a couple things you should know about these people. One thing you should absolutely know , they are NOT real financial experts. Chances are the people who you see are people you went to college with and you know that Marsha was an English major so what does she know.
Another thing to know about these people is that their bottom line is making money. This may seem obvious but it can often be forgotten as they try to make it seem as if they care for your success within the company. So to truly understand their motivation, you have to understand their place in the game.
The person trying to sign you up has a fire lit underneath their ass that they need you to put out. Remember that $165 monthly payment I told you about; that same payment is forcing all of your friends into becoming master traders whether they are or aren’t. With that in mind I knew this call was going to be less of the sales pitch of the iMarketslive job description and duties and more of a sales pitch of a dream. To no surprise, that’s what it was.
I went into this conversation under the guise of a possible sign up, asking questions for clarification. Not once did anyone mention anything that has to do with trading, understanding the market, or anything that real traders would talk about. Instead it’s the continuation of the commercial you’ve already heard.
At multiple points in the call, I mentioned that I felt safer watching how this played out for them first before I made a decision. Each time it was met with school yard tactics of making me feel like I'm missing out.
“If you don’t tap in now the price to join will only go up!”
“There’s only so much of the pie to go around, so you better get your piece!”
“You don’t want to be financially free?!”
When I called her out for trying to sell me a dream, she simply denied and said she was “painting a picture” instead.
What was explained to me and what’s not explained clearly, if at all, in most of these ads is the idea of “residuals.” Residuals are, as explained to me, “what makes you wealthy,” while the trading is “what gets you rich.” At this point, I’m sure most of my ponzi/pyramid scheme aficionados’ ears perked at that line. The residual income is made by getting other people to sign up to the IML program. When you get other people to sign up, they too have to pay the $165 a month and percentage of their payment goes towards you. It really only takes two people to sign up before you can break even and, in theory, even become profitable after those two.
Seems easy enough, right? Say screw the trading and just get people to join. Let me tell you, it’s not. How do I know? Well, why are you reading this post? Why are your friends posting 39 times a day trying to break it down to you? Why is this not being championed by the financial and economic professional communities? That’s because the entire thing sounds sketchy and is too complicated for the common person to understand.
The way forex trading works is that you typically lose more than you make. Even if you win big one day, it rarely makes up for the losses you’ve accumulated. Essentially, the trading is the cheese, a seemingly innocent, legitimate prize, that leads to leads you into the quick, unsuspecting trap of monthly payments . The more people you get to sign up, the more real money you can make.
So now that you. understand the game, let’s put it all together to understand a big play.
There are groups of friends and networks who come into IML and conspire to be the top of their own pyramids. They give the impression on social media that they are all making ridiculous profits from trading. This in turn catches the attention of lots of people who sees what they believe to be multiple success stories and they try to opt in. It’s from here that they convince those unsuspecting people to join IML and let them be their “mentors”, thus making those people at the top more money, more status and eventually more influence.
So can you get rich from forex trading or through IML? Yes. Is it practical? No. Unless you can manage to not only sell to any and everyone, but also to morally push a shady business onto strangers, friends and family, then signing up for iMarketslive is not for you.
In conclusion, what IML does is not special and is no different than companies such as Herbalife, Mary Kay, Nu Skin, just to name a few. What they are telling you is not a lie; they are not a pyramid scheme. However, they are not telling you the whole truth, which is that they function like a pyramid scheme. The game is sold as a get rich quick scheme through a legitimate means, but is rarely told as a way to profit off others naivety and greed. Always remember, kids; if it sounds too good to be true, chances are it is.