Yes, that's right, feeling tired of all those beach-covered and bikini-filled places, I decided to take a trip to the Merry Old England. Actually, that's a double lie. I would NEVER get tired of holiday resorts. And I didn't take a trip to the UK. At least not literally, but - for want of a better word - mentally, if you will. Or, even more appropriate, financially. Oh my, am I immediately getting all sorts of royal or what?
As you may remember from my previous entries, together we've been to the Cayman Islands, Dominica and Panama. As if the incoming gloom of September wasn't enough, now I have to relocate myself from my hammock, where I spend hours counting my money, to a posh street in the always overcrowded London. To be specific, to a commercial office tower on Wood Street. Glass and steel versus sand and sea? Not interested? What if I told you that somebody there knows "The Safe Way to Become A Millionaire"? No, it's not a Wall Street (or Wood Street, if you prefer) remake of a Marilyn Monroe movie...
Today's protagonist, the promising WesternSum, or WestenSum as they like to call themselves on their own webpage (how many times will I repeat myself here: spellchecker, anyone?! Please! Also: not "member ship," but "membership"!
To many Star Trek episodes or what?!) is an offshore investment company providing services for investors who seek opportunities through offshore investing. Since it all sounds rather vague, let's take a closer look at what they have to offer.
First of all, if you ever wanted to find a page that consists of money-related bons mots, search no more! WesternSum's page, although rather pleasant to look at and quite logically thought through, is quite the cliche-aggregator. Need a proof? Market volatility is a major reason for investing globally, [m]aximizing the use of modern technologies, or [t]his variety in market performance can work to smooth your total portfolio performance through the power of diversification. Want a challenge? Please, google those phrases and count how many pages you'll end up with. There will be quite a few, believe me. To top it all, they even go as far as quote Benjamin Franklin! Like that's a novelty on a money-related site... Obviously, their texts aren't original in any conceivable way, but how about their products?
To begin with, I genuinely like the way they divided their offer: there are four portfolios (managed by a dedicated asset manager, a broker, and a financial analyst) with really cool and self-explanatory names:
- Aggressive Fund
- Classic Fund
- Combined Fund
- Low Risk Classic Fund
My favorite, Aggressive Fund, is their own invention that will kick up the adrenaline level in your blood. The cheapest and most hazardous deal they have, it costs $50 and works only for 2 days during which the WesternSum takes on some major risks and "aggressive" investing, but the daily interest is 0.8% and the principal is returned after 2 days. If the Aggressive Fund is the financial equivalent of a summer fling, then Low Risk Classic Fund is a long term relationship resulting in an engagement party. It lasts 92 days and costs $400 (still cheaper than a diamond ring) and the profit equals 200%. To sum it up, WesternSum offers you their own kind of shares and a unit of such shares costs from $50 to $400. The profits are calculated every day and the manually-handled withdrawals take up to 1 business day. There are no minimum/maximum withdrawal amounts (except AlertPay - minimum is $1). The downside is that they only accept US Dollar, but at the same time they honor such payment systems as: Liberty Reserve, Perfect Money and AlertPay. Another important thing: if you're kind of flaky, think long and hard before you choose the investment product since you won't be able to change it. However, you're able to invest in many products at the same time BUT from one account only since it's strictly prohibited to have more than one.
As you can see, WesternSum offers you a choice and it's a rather interesting one. The same rule applies to their membership policy: once you enter the realm of WesternSum Limited, you become a Silver Member (imagine: you don't even have to go through all the hazing rituals to achieve it!). For $50 you can upgrade yourself and be the Gold Member forever. It seems to really pay off, especially when you want to make use of their referral program (normally you get 6% referral commission of the initial deposit for every new customer, but you'll get much more when you pay the extra $50). What's more, when you're Gold you can also use the internal transfer system (user to user) free of charge.
It's London, so it somehow seems more reliable, doesn't it? But as you know, I take nothing for granted, so I decided to dig a little deeper. Especially since WersternSum's way of comforting their clients doesn't really sell it to me: Your password is stored on our server in an encrypted format, which even Western Sum may not decrypt. Really? "Even WesternSum"? But how about OTHER PEOPLE?! Talk about being self-centered... I've decided that their egotistic approach must be founded in some real sense of security that comes only from knowing that the website protected in every bit - and it seems to be true. The site is hosted by a California-based company, Staminus Communications, which specializes in DDoS and DoS attack protection and mitigation. To add to this, WesternSum understandably brags about having the Comodo SSL Certificate with 256 bit encryption (look at the right bottom of the page), which expires on 20th of July 2012, so they're safe until then at least. That's comforting, because you know my motto: safety first, money later!
Now to the truly weird part: they mention three different legislatures, namely British (naturally), but also Panamanian (Jurisdiction) and Bahamian (Account Requirements). Guys, as I've mentioned many, many times, there is no bigger sucker for beaches and sun than me, but evoking those images in this way makes me only confused. What's more, it makes the page look unreliable. You know what also makes a company seem unreliable? An answering machine with the most generic message ever: The person you're trying to reach is unavailable. Please leave a message after the beep. What kind of message CAN you leave when you're calling an investment company? "BEEP! I just wanted to know that you'll be there for me with all the support I may need when I invest my hard-earned money with your company"?!
To be fair, they also offer a fax and e-mail support, as well as a live chat, but either I don't understand the idea of a live chat, or there's nothing live about their chat. I sent them a request and never got the answer (they promise to get back to you within 48 hours, so I'm still waiting), nor was I directed to another page. Bad luck, maybe? Let's hope so... On the plus side, they've just started their own blog, a Facebook page and created a Twitter account, so I hope there won't be that many problems with communications in the foreseeable future. The only problem I see now is the beginning of Autumn. But hey, I can always look forward to complaining to you about the weather when I write about finances again!