As I mentioned in an earlier post this week, I have been interested in finding out the stories of young people, especially those in the Diaspora, who invested in Menzgold. I am not so much interested about their investment per say as I am in learning the psychology of the young Diaspora, especially as I think about getting more of them to invest in businesses here.
Below is my interview with a family member who invested in Menzgold. His identity will remain anonymous but for the sake of context, his age and perhaps his line of work would be helpful to understanding his responses.: He’s 28 and works as a manager in tech.
Here we go:
1. How did you hear of the opportunity to invest in Menzgold? Who came to you with it and what did they say?
I heard about the opportunity from a sibling. He'd tested it briefly and suggested I look into it.
2. What did you consider in your decision of whether to invest? What research, if any, did you do? What was the ultimate deciding factor for you?
My brother was my research. I asked him if he'd actually seen returns. The 10% monthly dividend seemed too high. I had him connect me with someone who worked at the company and they gave me a convoluted explanation about how they were generating those kinds of returns. While his explanation left me with more questions than answers I decided to test it myself mostly because my brother's dividends were proof.
3. Would you say that you were motivated by greed?
Greed? (laughs) Why is that the default? I look for investing opportunities (though this was my first in Ghana). This one was no different for me. Like any other investment, there are risks involved. Some investments are safer and usually, have smaller returns while others are highly risky and have higher returns. My assessment was that Menzgold was on the higher end of the risk spectrum and I was perfectly okay with that. I don't know if there is a thing as "greed" when it comes to investing. Either you have an aggressive strategy or you don't... or maybe you are somewhere in between. That aside, I was honestly somewhat curious to see what would happen (laughs).
4. How much did you end up investing?
I think I put in $2K
5. Have you invested in any other businesses in the US or Ghana? What’s that process like for you? How do you decide whether to invest? If you have invested in other businesses in Ghana, what are they?
This was my first investment done in Ghana. I actually have an interest in doing more investments in Ghana but I live outside the country right now. This means I don't have much insight into what's happening in Ghana and generally, I like to have knowledge about things before I put money into it. Obviously, that was not the case with Menzgold...(laughs). What started off as an experiment for me ended up being a pretty bad investment it seems. Here in the US, I do a bit of real estate investment and crypto. Typically, I talk to people, I research, talk to some more people, do some more research, and then make a decision. I also keep up with US tech companies.
6. What were your returns from Menzgold ? What did you do with your returns?
My returns? The standard 10% monthly dividends. I didn't do anything with the returns. I put it back in. At the time it looked like the business might run for another year or 2. Again, I don't live in Ghana anymore so I probably didn't get a true sense of the atmosphere surrounding the company. To add on to that, I had classified this particular curiosity/investment as high risk so I took the risk of leaving the money.
7. Did you ever get concerned about your investment?
Not concern as much as curiosity.
8. How much do you still have there?
Everything I put in initially plus the dividends.
9. How do you feel about the recent saga?
As it relates to what the current saga means for me, I don't have any feelings. I look at it as a lost investment. That's okay. I went into it understanding the high possibility of my current situation. I do however feel bad for Ghanaian who might not have realized the actual risk before investing into the business.
10. Do you think other investors were greedy?
I have no idea. I didn't pay attention to other investors. What I can say is, is someone put in money into Menzgold as an "investor", then this person was not greedy and made a strategic move that aligned to whatever his or her investment strategy might be. The question of greed is probably more relevant for folks who did it without a good understanding of the risks but wanted to capitalize on the promise of short term gain.
11. If someone brought you another investment opportunity from Ghana, would you consider it?
Yes, I would consider it. I think I'd do more homework though.
(Note: Photo is meme called “thinking black man) and not a picture of the actual investor)