Companies like SA's youngest self-made millionaire's sell tricks - economist

2015-09-10 05:53
Sandile Shezi (Picture: News24 Live)

Sandile Shezi (Picture: News24 Live)

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Johannesburg - Some companies that train people in currency trading, like the one belonging to 'SA's youngest self-made millionaire' are actually selling 'bullshit', economist Mike Schussler has said.

"It's a trick. It's all bullshit," he told News24.

"A lot of the people who sell these courses... the majority [of their courses] are schemes to fleece people out of money."

Since the 23-year-old Sandile Shezi shared his success story in the media, News24 has been contacted by several industry players raising suspicion over the operations of his company, the Global Forex Institute (GFI), and his business partner, George van der Riet.

News24 has established that Van der Riet served time for manslaughter and drug dealing in the UK, that the GFI has appeared to have plagiarised sections of its course notes and claims that it had made R30m in profit were apparently untrue.

Schussler told News24 that people who sold these courses were not good traders, but rather good salesmen.

"Proper money traders... don't try to sell software and training programmes and they don't flaunt their money," Schussler said.

He said few people who provided courses in forex trading actually made money from trading.

"If they did make money, we would have heard a lot more stories of new millionaires and billionaires.

"If I was making that much money, I wouldn't want to advertise it because Sars [The SA Revenue Service] will come."

He said these trainers often used invented stories to make their companies popular.

"They portray themselves as wealthy. They dress in expensive clothes, they pay for models to come for photo shoots, and they go to Avis and rent expensive cars," Schussler said.

Shezi has responded to the allegations, telling News24 that Van der Riet merely "spent two years as a guest of her Majesty" as a result of "an altercation where a man sustained a head injury and died in hospital three days later".

GFI provides training in currency trading with delegates sometimes shown an account reflecting a R30m profit and told they would be taught how to do the same.

Questions have been raised about the account's legitimacy and whether it actually belongs to GFI, as claimed on its Facebook page, where a post says, "Now is YOUR time for $$$$. This Saturday 18 July we will host a FREE Forex (foreign exchange) Class at Protea Hotel Umhlanga. You will get to meet the nr1 ranked trader in Africa and we will show you how we made R30 million then you copy our strategy!"

However, Shezi said, "I have never claimed to have a R30m account and have never tried to claim someone else’s account was my own."

After attending a free GFI class, delegates were offered an advanced course, believed to cost around R4 000. Everything apparently gets paid for in cash, a source familiar with their operations told News24.

The GFI has also been accused of using plagiarised material to present its courses. Some sections of the notes the GFI uses to train clients appear to be plagiarised from a site called BabyPips, a free beginner's guide to forex trading. News24 has seen copies of some sections of the GFI's notes and they appear to be identical to notes on the BabyPips website.

Shezi said the modules had been compiled for them before GFI was established.

"I took it personally upon myself to compare the notes. I could not find any 'plagiarised' sentences. I couldn’t find any correlation between the format and chapter headings at all. I did however notice some of the pictures looked very similar."

Read more on:    sandile shezi  |  mike schussler

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