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What it takes to sell the Optimal Market Systems product

The lengths to which salespeople will go.

CAPE TOWN – Moneyweb’s investigation into the business practices of the group of companies selling Optimal Market Systems software has revealed the lengths to which salespeople will go to move the product. Moneyweb has seen complaints from over 15 customers, and the experiences they claim to have with the entities are generally similar.

As a starting point, the investigation has established that the companies – Cursu Taurorum, Tenacity Capital, VDM Capital and Pro Equity Capital – only approach white males for their direct marketing pitch. The salespeople also use this as a selling point.

A number of complainants have alleged that the salespeople insist that they only make the product available to white South Africans to help them secure better financial futures. They are also told that the company also only employs white South Africans.

One particular salesperson – Michael Rathbone – apparently takes this a step further, by claiming that he works for, or is at least associated with, the JSE. He tells potential customers that the JSE also only employs white people and only deals with white clients. He also allegedly states that the government has no authority over the JSE which is why it does not have to comply with BEE regulations.

The companies selling the software also apparently have access to personal records, including ID numbers and where potential customers bank. One complainant alleges that he was told that Absa had referred him to Cursu Taurorum as a selected client.

The salesperson allegedly went on to claim that when Cursu Taurorum was started, all the local banks were approached with the idea. The banks supposedly then agreed to refer clients and provide the initial R5 000 for trading.

Absa has however confirmed to Moneyweb that it has no relationship with Cursu Taurorum and does not refer any clients to the company.

Some complainants have also said that at least one salesperson – Cyle Gouws – presents them with the FSP registration number of a local stock broker to claim legitimacy. However, none of the companies that sell the Optimal Market Systems software are registered as financial services providers with the Financial Services Board, and the stock broker whose FSP number is given is not affiliated to them.

Another of the main selling points is that potential clients are told that they will be given R5 000 to trade with on the JSE. They are variously told that this money has been awarded to them by the JSE itself, or by their bank.

These funds are however never made available immediately, as the Optimal Market Systems product does not allow for trading itself. It is only an analytical tool with a builtin simulation. Clients are only referred to a stock broker when they insist on being allowed to trade and even then they claim that they have to make numerous requests for the R5 000 to be deposited into their accounts. Moneyweb has established that on a number of occasions the broker has had to take this up on behalf of clients as well.

The claim that appears to get most customers interested, however, is that using the Optimal Market Systems product can guarantee users returns of 40% in either a year or six months. Salespeople allegedly explain that this is possible by cutting out the companies that are taking commissions from individual investors.

One complaint details how the salesperson – Andre Lombard – allegedly claimed that insurers and asset managers are making vast profits off the money invested by their clients. He explained that the market goes up by 40%, but the client only gains 5% because of the fees and commissions they are paying.

The salespeople also allegedly impress prospective clients with claims of their own wealth. Different complaints detail how salespeople spoke about being multi-millionaires, and owning a number of houses and cars. This is supposedly off the back of using the Optimal Market Systems product.

A number of clients told Moneyweb that the salespeople are also willing to spend many hours giving their pitch. In one instance a complainant alleges that the salesperson – Alorique Roos – spent the entire day with him before eventually closing the deal.

Moneyweb has repeatedly asked these companies to justify the price at which the software is sold, however no explanation has been provided. The product costs between R22 500 and R27 000, with an additional subscription fee of R275 per month.

Other share analysis packages on the market are available for much less. For instance, Sharenet’s MarketTracker software comes at a once-off fee of R4 066, while ProfileData’s ShareMagic Gold costs R5 795. PSG is offering clients a technical analysis product at no up-front cost and a subscription of R169 per month.

Moneyweb sent a copy of this article to the lawyers representing the companies that sell Optimal Market Systems, requesting comment, however they simply issued a blanket denial, stating that: “our client denies the full content of the article”.

The lawyers also repeated the claim that: “our client is willing to resolve any complaints against them”. Moneyweb is however in possession of correspondence from a number of clients showing that these companies either simply ignore complaints or find excuses to reject their claims for refunds.

The full response from the companies’ lawyers can be viewed here.

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So, the people who buy this program actually spend R27 000 to prove they are white! Hey, I don’t mind being white but it’s not worth R27 000.

“Absa has however confirmed to Moneyweb that it has no relationship with Cursu Taurorum and does not refer any clients to the company.”

Yeah right. No bank ever sold mailing lists to anyone. And if you believe that I have some lovely beachfront property for you in Zimbabwe, going for only a couple mill.

Anyone who get sucked in by get-rich-quick promises like this deserves to lose their money.

Here we go again. Firstly, if it sounds too good to be true it is too good to be true. Secondly, if the salespeople get returns of 40% in 6 or 12 months, and have flashy cars and houses, why on earth would they want to share this with anyone else, white, black or sky-blue pink?

Exactly. Suckers will believe what they want to believe…

Actually, Sharenet provide an online Advanced Technical Analysis subscription that works on PC’s and any mobile device for about R199 per month.

End of comments.

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