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This real-estate agent has a novel way to spend his next windfall
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I am 27 years old and a real estate agent in New York City. Lately, I have found myself really thinking about what to do with a sum of money that’s coming in to me from a couple of real estate closings next month.
For the past 2 years I have ramped up $15,000 in credit-card debt with an average of 20% APR. I will be collecting about $25,000 within the next 30 days. I’m debating whether to pay off my entire credit-card debt or invest it in blue chip stocks for the next 6 to 12 months, hoping to ramp up some profit.
What’s my best decision? Eliminate that debt once and for all or take on the chance to potentially pay off my debt from my profit? I have trading experience.
Thank you. I appreciate your time.
The answer to your question is relatively simple: Pay off your credit-card debt.
The answer to the bigger question is less simple. You spent $15,000 on credit cards, presumably confident in the belief that you could pay it off. Not paying it off every month in full is costly, yet you still feel sure enough to take this $25,000 and invest it elsewhere. I fear the same eagerness that led you to rack up $15,000 in credit-card debt at 20% APR will lead you to make another decision that puts self-belief over self-discipline.
I posted it on the Facebook Group for this column and it went gangbusters. It surprised me because the answer was a slam-dunk: Pay off the credit cards. But members of the group also made some salient comments. Many said, “Pay off the debt now as you won’t get a 20% market return on blue chips.” Another added, “Your expectations are just too unrealistic.” The S&P 500 US:SPX and Dow Jones Industrial Index US:DJIA has been fluctuating wildly in recent weeks.
I don’t know how you got into debt. You say it ramped up. I assume, if it was due to an unforeseen medical emergency or bill shock, you would have mentioned it. The good news is: After paying off your credit card, you will still have $10,000 left over. You could save some of this in case you do have another unwelcome surprise or avail of some of the tax advantages by investing in an IRA. MarketWatch’s “Tax Guy” Bill Bischoff has some timely advice on that.
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As Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at personal-finance site Bankrate.com, once told me: “Making minimum payments on your credit card is a treadmill to nowhere.” Sticking with that fitness illusion: Making zero payments on your credit card is akin to sitting in your gym’s dressing room, eating chips and drinking soda. It’s just a really bad idea. There’s also a broader impact. Around 30% of the FICO credit score is based on how much people owe on their accounts.
Bad decisions, whether they are financial or otherwise, don’t usually happen in isolation. So I want you to be aware that this is likely part of a pattern. If you look back at your life, you may see other signs — some minor, others less so — that point to over-zealous, well-intentioned behavior getting you into trouble. I say this not to chastise you. We all make mistakes. But they are often the same mistakes made again and again, and again.
Save $15,000 now and, perhaps, $150,000 by avoiding this kind of folly.
Do you have questions about inheritance, tipping, weddings, family feuds, friends or any tricky issues relating to manners and money? Send them to MarketWatch’s Moneyist and please include the state where you live (no full names will be used).
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Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check out the Moneyist private Facebook group, where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas: inheritance, wills, divorce, tipping, gifting. I often talk to lawyers, accountants, financial advisers and other experts, in addition to offering my own thoughts. I receive more letters than I could ever answer, so I’ll be bringing all of that guidance — including some you might not see in these columns — to this group. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.
Is Pay Diamond a Scam? [11 Reasons to Stay Away!]
Welcome to my Pay Diamond review!
Earning a passive income sounds elusive, doesn’t it? “Is Pay Diamond A Scam?” You ask yourself.
You wonder how other people do it and succeed, increasing their income streams. And here you are, you’re desperate to know the answers. You want to live that way, too. You want to earn while sleeping or traveling across the world.
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You simply don’t have any idea how it works and where to begin the process.
Let me tell you this, my friend. You’re fortunate to land here in our site and find an interest to read my comprehensive review about the 10 reasons behind allegations Pay Diamond a scam.
That alone shows me you’re hooked with the idea of changing your life through earning money online in the most legitimate way possible.
I dig into the company and compiled 11 reasons – BIG REASONS – why you should be extra careful when dealing with this Multi-Level company (MLM), given they already have quite the record in different countries.
Before we dig into that, let me show you first the itty-bitty details about the company like how they started, who they are, and how do they help you to earn lots of money within a short span of time. Imagine earning 5% weekly payouts. Doesn’t that sound enticing?
Are you ready? Let’s dive in. Shall we?
Pay Diamond Review – Quick Summary
Name: Carlos Luiz
Type: Multilevel Marketing
Price: $200 to $18,000, depending on diamond packages
Summary: Pay Diamond is a network marketing company established in 2020 under the name of Carlos Luiz as the founder. Albeit they’re new in the business, numerous reviews lurk around online about the company’s fraudulent activities resulting to the international police warnings.
Is Pay Diamond Recommended? No. I’ll discuss this to you in a while.
What Is Pay Diamond?
Pay Diamond is a company founded by Carlos Luiz, an economist, system engineer, and businessman. Its main mission is to purchase raw diamonds from mines and process them into polished diamonds ready in the market.
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As ironic as it sounds, their official website clearly mentioned his name. But many of the former Pay Diamond affiliates said they don’t have any idea who the company owner is. This sounds sketchy to me, as well.
In fact, there are many reviewers lurk around the web searching the website’s domain address and even their source of traffic to prove the site’s integrity as a network marketing company.
How Does Pay Diamond Work?
Pay Diamond isn’t solely relying on the multi-level marketing income alone. They sell their diamond packages to people interested in buying them in exchange for weekly payouts.
It’s one of a few MLM business without necessarily requiring their members to have downlines unlike any typical network marketing exist.
Upon registration, one can receive any package of their choice, such as:
Joy – $200 worth of package to 0.05-carat diamond
Light – $400 worth of package to 0.1-carat diamond
Kit Diamond – $500 worth of package to 0.15-carat diamond
Plus – $1,200 worth of the package to 0.3-carat diamond
Master – $3,600 worth of package to 1-carat diamond
Safe – $18,000 worth of package to 5-carat diamond
How Pay Diamond Will Pay You?
Once you become one of their members, you enjoy 5% weekly payouts, which sound too good to be true versus monthly payouts from other MLM companies out there. Especially without downlines helping you to sell the packages for a certain number of sales volume (as expected from a network marketing company).
Pay Diamond helps the members to put their diamonds in the market for sales while paying them per week depending on the package they bought upon registration.
- Joy – $10 weekly payouts
- Light – $20 weekly payouts
- Kit Diamond – $25 weekly payouts
- Plus – $60 weekly payouts
- Master – $180 weekly payouts
- Safe – $900 weekly payouts
The payouts will continue in accord to the rank determined from the package you purchased prior to the membership.
However, on the 25th week, they have the option to request the diamond shipped to them or continue receiving weekly bonuses for the remaining 50 weeks. They also have the option to upgrade one package to another anytime.
On the contrary, the company pays weekly bonuses, such as:
- Binary Bonus
- Team Bonus
- Qualification Bonus
- Unilevel Bonus
- Signup Bonus
Further, they also pay residual pay plan comprising the a) Matrix Compensation Plan, the commission by 3×10 configuration with $0.50 worth affiliate commissions, b) Binary Compensation Plan wherein the following ranks receive a certain number of points attached
- Joy – 50 points
- Light – 100 points
- Plus – 300 points
- Master – 1,000 points
- Safe/Premium – 10,000 points
How To Earn Money With Pay Diamond?
There are 3 ways you can take advantage to make money in this company. You can do either referral bonus, binary bonus, or weekly bonus.
1. Referral Bonuses (in-person recruitment and by referral link recruitment)
You have the option to keep recruiting to get 10% Personal Volume (PV) from the person’s packages.
Let’s say, your friend joins and buys the Premium Package worth $18,000. Automatically, you have 10% share from it.
In addition to that, Pay Diamond will pay you 5% from the package from the referral link. Unlike the other system wherein you receive a 10% bonus, you can get 5% for every person you convince online.
- $900 compensation from Safe Pack purchase
- $180 = Master Pack
- $60 = Plus Pack
- $20 = Light Pack
- $10 = Joy Pack
2. Binary Bonus
Another means to make money in their system is through binary bonuses attached to the corresponding value from the packages your friend bought in bitcoins.
- $18,000 pack gives 5,000 PV
- $3,600 pack gives 1,000 PV
- $1,200 pack gives 300 PV
- $400 pack gives 100 PV
- $200 pack gives 50 PV
In Pay Diamond’s terms, this will give you the following potential binary bonuses after:
- 5,000 PV will give you potential $5,000 bonus
- 1,000 PV = $1,000
- 300 PV = $300
- 100 PV = $100
- 50 PV = $50
Because it’s in binary, whenever you have signed in two friends, for example, for your left and right leg, Pay Diamond will automatically merge both legs with the corresponding PV. This gives you the potential residual income.
3. Weekly Bonuses
As I’ve mentioned earlier, if you become one of their members, you will receive 5% weekly payouts depending on the rank you belong.
- Safe = $900 weekly payouts
- Master = $180 weekly payouts
- Plus = $60 weekly payouts
- Kit Diamond = $25 weekly payouts
- Light = $20 weekly payouts
- Joy = $10 weekly payouts
Pay Diamond Income Disclosure Statement
The company’s income disclosure statement may be clear, however, they continuously receive negative feedback from the former members and the potential buyers of these packages as well.
Pay Diamond Reviews – What Do Other People Say?
According to most reviews, the Pay Diamond site alone has a sign of a red flag. Based on in-depth research, the site domain registration is purchased on December 26, 2020. They updated the site on November 25, 2020, with ‘Pay Diamond Marketing & Sales Limited’ to an owner, who has a virtual office in Hong Kong.
Traffic source is checked via Alexa, which reveals 12% of the traffic came from Japan and majority from South America. Basically, the site is hosted in Brazil and expected to be in Portuguese.
Additional to the first two negative reviews, Pay Diamond is apparently banned in some countries like in Bolivia.
On top of that, probably the biggest and the ridiculous membership system, the company will ask the potential affiliate to register in the site and will be asked to buy Bitcoin worth of the package. How’s that?
11 Reasons Why Pay Diamond A Scam
1. No actual product or real company to show and review
Amid there are lots of Google and YouTube advertisement of Pay Diamond’s affiliated members promoting their success in selling diamonds and recruiting new members online, they fail to impress the potential recruits. Doubts prevail instead.
In the video below, you’ll see Carlos Luiz’s comprehensive discussion about how “legitimate” their business with diamonds is.
However, when I searched about Maui International Investment Limited, the one who issued the invoice with the diamond business, as stated in the printed invoice he showed, I see nothing.
No official website found.
No details about the company, except they are a private company limited by shares entity. According to the Hong Kong business site, they’ve been operating since 4 years and 253 days.
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In contrary, another site records that this company has been dissolved since April 8, 2020. This is supported by Hong Kong Company registry list run by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, in which they don’t have the record of the company displayed in the search results.
2. No Information About the Owner
They mention a name, Carlos Luiz, as the founder of Pay Diamond. According to their official website, he has quite a background when it comes to business, specifically in network marketing with 26 years of experience on the line.
Further, they claim he’s also an economist, system engineer, and entrepreneur. He once worked as a commercial director in a Japanese multinational commercial firm; marketing director of another commercial firm in China.
3. Expensive Packages For a Starter
The lowest price range for a diamond package is $200, which can go up to as high as $18,000 for a premium package with 5-carat diamond. For an average Joe like me, where would I get such money to start selling diamonds?
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4. The Company Is Too Young For Such a Big Investment
The company has been existing since 3 years based on the information they mentioned in their website. It’s risky to invest a large amount of money for a startup investment for a company that exists less than 10 years in the business.
5. Focuses on Recruitment Than Selling Products
Because of that, the company sounds like a fraud. It’s structure clearly shows they are apparently a pyramid scheme.
6. Lots of Negative Reviews
There is no doubt Pay Diamond as a young multilevel marketing company garnered more negative reviews from the existing members and even from the former affiliates than the positive.
Not including the buzzing online reviews from the bloggers who had gone deeper in research to make sure the company is safe from fraudulent activities or not.
7. Banned In Many Countries
In YouTube alone, I’ve seen a few videos Pay Diamond produced years ago. When I checked each video, they seem to be convincing. Who wouldn’t?
They have undeniably HQ videos in their account. And to me, if I haven’t done my research well, I would be easily convinced they’re a legit company.
Because of that, Pay Diamond has been banned from many countries, especially in Bolivia. This is due to the ongoing scam warnings from the international police community.
8. Unclear ‘Bitcoin’ Membership System
Part of their membership system is to have you undergo purchasing bitcoins. Pay Diamond clarifies the only way the new members can get the packages is through bitcoin system.
If you were to ask, would you believe such an MLM system exist? Why would I buy my diamond packages in a form of bitcoin? That sounds sketchy to me. A lot.
9. Questionable Website Information
According to their official website, “. with the ONLY intention of recruiting new members who understand what the business is all about and have indicated interest to participate by simply completing our contact form.”
Unlike other MLM companies, they have real products to sell after the registration. They sell the products along with the registration on a certain bracket.
Further, the foundation of the company is clear on the website about page. It’s not the case of Pay Diamond.
10. 50-Week Maturity Period
What will happen to you if the business goes out before your 50-week maturity period? You can’t get out from the company unless if your surpass the required period of time. Besides, the company is too risky to invest yourself to it.
11. The Risk to Ponzi & Pyramid Schemes
Here’s a video post of Ethan Vanderbuilt, who thoroughly discussed how Pay Diamond qualifies as an MLM company practicing potential fraudulent activities.
He highlights the company’s records in the Manitoba Securities Commission (MSC) and Winkler Police Warn.
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Conclusion – Is Pay Diamond A Scam?
Overall, I don’t recommend Pay Diamond as your option to MLM. That is if you intend to join a risky business like that. Within 3 years, they managed to gather as many victims as possible lurking on the web and spreading their terrible stories to save others.
Unfortunately, there are many network marketing companies like Pay Diamond. And to me, as an online entrepreneur, it hurts me to see people like you, desperate for a solution to escape from a dreading day job and work whenever and wherever you want to. Only to end up burying yourself in misery simply because you became one of their victims.
You end up losing instead of gaining something in return like you expected from the beginning. This is the reason why I do the research as much as I could and inform you about the company to help you decide if your decision is right or wrong.
My comprehensive review about Pay Diamond a scam will assist you in your decision whether you take the risk and buy their diamond packages or not. If not, I have a better option for you.
How To Earn Money Online?
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He works anytime and wherever he wants to without really pressuring himself either. To date, he reviewed 500+ companies and products to help people just like you, desperate to get out from your mundane life and earn a passive income while you sleep, travel, and enjoy with your family and friends.
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Given, Roope has prepared a 9,000-word Ultimate Make Money Online Guide to give you a thorough guideline of how to start and where to start in earning money as an affiliate.
Even though Roope spent several days creating his guide to you, he decided to share it to you for 100% free. His desire is that you’ll earn a life-changing income online like he did.
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Now that I have shared my thoughts and opinions about Pay Diamond, I would love to hear from you.
What kind of experiences do you have with Pay Diamond or any other MLM companies like theirs?
Are they worth your time, money, and effort?
Let me know in the comments below!
If you have questions, feel free to share your thoughts about the post and our Ultimate Make Money Guide and I will be happier to help you.
Should You Pay Off Your Debt or Invest?
The answer is: it’s complicated.
A common situation people face is deciding between paying off debt or investing. Both are admirable and necessary.
Paying off your debt means reduced stress, lower risks, and a greater ability to withstand personal emergencies. Living debt-free will also make it easier to endure an economic recession or depression, and you’ll have increased flexibility that can maximize personal happiness.
Investing means building a reserve that can protect you and your family and provide you with sources of passive income. Perhaps most importantly, it means accumulating enough money to retire comfortably.
What should you do? Theoretically, the most intelligent course of action when deciding between paying off your debt and investing should be to compare two variables:
- The rate of after-tax interest you are paying on your debt.
- The after-tax rate of return you expect to earn on your investment.
In other words, if you can earn a higher return on your investments than the interest on your debt, you should invest. Otherwise, you should pay off your balance. An illustration would be billionaire investor Warren Buffett purposely carrying a mortgage on his home in Omaha, Nebraska up until recent decades because he knew he could put the money to work elsewhere in his investment portfolio and make a lot more in the long run.
However, this is not always optimal once you’ve considered risk-adjustment. Instead, many financial planners these days recommend what I consider to be a more intelligent set of guidelines that provide the best of both worlds.
Which Debts to Repay and Which Investments to Fund
I suggest the following hierarchy:
- Fund any retirement account you and your spouse have at work, such as a 401(k) plan, up to the amount of any free matching money you receive. For many companies, matching amounts range between 50% and 150% of the first [x]%.
- Build your emergency fund in a highly liquid, checking, saving, or money market account. At least three months of expenses is a good guideline, but it’s OK to save even more.
- If you meet the eligibility guidelines, fully fund a Roth IRA for both you and, if you’re married, your spouse. You’d need to check the contribution limits in effect in any given tax year. For example, in 2020, a married couple earning less than $135,000 in adjusted gross income can contribute up to $6,000 of earned income per spouse ($7,000 per spouse if 50+ years old).
- Pay off any high-interest credit card debt, student loan debt, or other liabilities. Personally, I’d probably prioritize student loan debt because it can be the most difficult to discharge in bankruptcy. Keep at it until you are debt-free and stop adding to it at nearly all costs.
- Circle back around and contribute to your and your spouse’s 401(k) accounts up to the maximum amount permitted by your plan or the tax regulations.
- If you’re serious about retirement saving, look into a strategy that involves using HSA (Health Savings Accounts) as another type of de facto IRA on top of your Roth IRA.
- Begin building assets in fully taxable brokerage accounts, dividend reinvestment plans, directly held mutual fund accounts, or even buying other cash-generating assets. For example, a real estate investor could purchase apartment buildings, office buildings, industrial warehouses. You might also consider funding a college 529 savings plan for your children and/or grandchildren.
By behaving this way, you achieve several things:
- You minimize your tax bill, which means more money in your own pocket.
- You create significant bankruptcy protection for your retirement assets. Your employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as 401(k), has unlimited bankruptcy protection under the current rules, while your Roth IRA has $1,283,025 in bankruptcy protection as of 2020. (This will adjust upward again in April if 2020.)
- You reduce your debts over time. There comes a point at which they’re entirely repaid, and your free cash flow goes through the roof.
- You only make riskier investments in taxable accounts once all of your other basic needs are met. For example, if you have a lot of debt and a small retirement account, you probably shouldn’t be investing in IPOs.
Alternatively, it’s not a terrible idea to be completely debt-free, drawing a line around your assets so you never have to worry about having them taken from you. I know of people who eschewed any investing at all until they owned their own home outright, paid off college, and had built an emergency fund working ordinary jobs throughout their twenties and early thirties. By the time they were approaching middle age, they had a foundation that allowed their investable assets to soar, totally unrestrained by the financial demands that seem to haunt certain individuals and families in perpetuity. In other words, their answer was always to pay off debts first, then—and only then—begin investing. And for many people, this works out very well in the long run.
The Bottom Line: You Are the Variable That Matters
In the final analysis, my opinion is that behavioral economics needs to be factored into your decision. You have to decide between investing and paying off debt that 1. you can live with, 2. you’re likely to stick with until it’s completed, and 3. lets you sleep well at night. As long as you keep going, you should eventually get to the end-game objective, which is to have no debt and an abundance of great, lucrative investments providing a comfortable standard of living for your family. With enough patience and hard work, this is a goal that you can achieve.
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