FEATURE — My brother loves to cook and is always working on new recipes. One that he spent years on was his famous salsa. In fact, it was so famous that he opened a restaurant built around it called, “Casa Salza.”

Now if you didn’t know better you might think, based on the name, that it is a place where you would find a wide assortment of salsas. But my brother didn’t name it Casa Salza because of its salsa selections. He named it because his salsa is so good that there is no reason to look any further.

And I must agree that he is correct on that. Many people that I know go far out of their way to get a pint of his special salsa.

On many occasions, family members have asked my brother to share his secret recipe with us. We don’t plan on competing with him. It’s just really inconvenient for some of us to drive 300 miles for salsa. Despite our pleadings he refuses to share his special recipe with anyone, saying “It’s a secret.”

The reason is very simple. He built his successful restaurant on this special recipe so to give it away would jeopardize his future success.

Stock image | Photo by Unsplash, St. George News

So, if my brother is so secretive about a recipe for salsa, I have to wonder about these self-proclaimed investment experts who send me offers in my email regularly. One started with the heading, “Learn how I turned $10,000 into $5,000,000 in one year in the stock market.”

The ad boasted that the supposed investment genius had discovered a secret for beating the market and was willing to share it for a nominal fee. The obvious question that should come to every potential investor’s mind is, “If he truly could accomplish such an amazing feat, why in the world would he want to share his “secret recipe” with complete strangers?” 

Imagine for a moment that you live in a big city with heavy rush hour traffic. Now suppose that you discover a little-known series of roads that allow you to bypass the traffic and get home sooner. If you shared your secret with others, how long would it take before your secret route would become just as crowded as the roads you were trying to avoid? The same principle applies to investing.

It defies logic that someone who has discovered a secret for turning $10,000 into $5,000,000 in the stock market would risk sharing it with anyone. More likely the advertiser’s secret for making millions is in scamming the public through bogus email offers. These things sort of remind me of the old-time newspaper ads that said, “Send me a dollar and I will tell you how I made millions running newspaper ads.”

When you receive outrageous offers such as these use your common sense and hit the delete button immediately. On the other hand, if you happen to receive an offer from someone who claims to have discovered my brother’s secret salsa recipe, I may be interested.

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