Wednesday, January 04, 2006

New Fund Offer

Crooks, as a breed, largely exist in two subtypes. The first ones are the thug types. A typical school/college drop out, stoutly built, may be an ex-romeo in the neighbourhood. Their profession can include a diverse portfolio - thief, pickpocket, local extortionist etc.

Since, all these are proven guttersnipes and vagabonds, they are easy to sight. Most of these guys exhibit furtive glances, and indulge in surreptitious activities. We all make sure to never cross their path in a wrong away.

The other subtype is the white collared crooks - the exact opposite of the aforementioned ilk. They are not easy to sight since they come under the garb of pretension. Only our instinct can save us from them.

S/He can be the innocuous looking credit-card person, who would offer a "free" gold card for three years with a 10 lakh insurance, and then you will receive a silver card instead, with the auto-debit facility you never signed to, an insurance only in the case of air-crash death(about which that person had failed to inform), and of course, the credit card fees at the end of twelve months.

It can also be the girl with pleasant voice who every eleventh day offers you, again, a "free" loan, and fails to explain whatever that means.

For my unsuspecting colleague, it was the lady in the HDFC Bank, who turned out to be a crook, when he had gone to buy HDFC Tax Saver mutual fund(ELSS). It was the first time he was buying a mutual fund, so he was bit tentative, and she made good of his tentativeness.

Instead of giving HDFC Tax Saver, she made him fill the form for Fidelity Tax Fund, which incidentally was a New Fund Offer(NFO). My friend naively thought it is the same thing so he did what she said. She did this day time loot because these NFOs offer much higher cut to the brokers in order to publicize.

Luckily, I had asked him to photocopy the fund form, and as soon as I saw that, I could make out the obvious. He immediately blocked those cheques, and saved himself the trouble.

So everyone please look out for such crooks, and invest in those mutual funds only which have the proven track record, not the NFOs.