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Author: galagan Big gold star, 5000 posts CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 6881  
Subject: Re: Garunteed 9% Investment? Date: 3/17/2003 2:24 PM
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Michael,

Welcome to the Fool.

Let me admit upfront that this sounds like a scam to me. I have no patience for get rich quick schemes and so I am generally biased against them. I know that some people do get rich from these sorts of things, but I am comfortable that even if an opportunity is legitimate, I don't have the stomach to do what's necessary to make money at it.

That said, let me see if I understand what's going on. You buy a piece of a resort - call it a unit. They pay you 4 percent of what you invest as rent. They also pay you 5 percent for the option to buy you out at your original buy-in price. To make it easy, let's say you invest 100K and that entitles you to a full unit.

So consider a few scenarios:

1. The resort market goes nuts and your unit rises in value from 100K to 200K. So this outfit would presumably pay you your $4,000 rent and $5,000 option amount, and exercise the option to buy you out at 100K. You get 109K, but you missed out on getting 200K if you'd just bought the place outright instead of going through this deal.

2. The resort market is lukewarm and your unit stays at 100K. So you get $4,000 rent plus $5,000 option, but they probably won't buy you out since there's no profit for them. You get $9,000 a year as long as this is the case. This is the best case for you.

3. The resort market stinks and your unit falls to 50K. You get $4,000 rent plus $5,000 option, but they won't buy you out. Here's the big question: do you have the option to renew this at will? Because if they leave you high and dry at this point, you're out over 40K, with no more $9,000 annual payments. If they have to keep you in the deal, you might be able to stick out the bad market.

Lastly, if you found hidden fees when they said there weren't any, then they're liars and you shouldn't give them your money.

In summary, I think this is a way for Majesty to minimize their downside risk while keeping all the appreciation potential. I wouldn't touch it if I were you.

good luck,
dan
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