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How to Profit From Crime

The way to profit from crime without being a criminal comes from an old saying from Yorkshire, England, “Where there’s muck there’s brass”.


Image from “Ginseng and Other Medicinal Plants” by A.R. Harding

I have written numerous times about how I am investing in ginseng and sandalwood and the many social, health and wealth benefits that can be derived. (1)

Three thoughts recently came to mind after reading a New York Times article entitled “Medicinal Herb Grows Wildly in Appalachia and the Midwest” by Kris Maher (2) suggest this investment is on track.

The article says: Strong demand from China for wild ginseng growing on shady hillsides throughout Appalachia and the Midwest has boosted prices for the medicinal herb as well as the number of people willing to break the law to dig it up and sell it.

Ginseng that grows in forests can fetch as much as $1,000 a pound, several hundred dollars more than five years ago, experts said. Prices have shot up amid increased demand from China’s swelling middle class and a decline in U.S. exports due to several factors that include stepped-up harvesting regulations and less plentiful supplies.

Cultivated ginseng, grown under shade cloths in fields, sells for a fraction of the price because wild ginseng more closely resembles the plant indigenous to China.


Image from New York Times article. (2)

I have started two of my most interesting investments because of Wall Street Journal articles on crime.

Where there’s crime there’s money or where there is money there will be crime.   Observing trends in crime can reveal distortions in supply and demand.

A simple way to make money… lots of it, and do some good for the world at the same time is to invest legally in products that are so valuable that their value has created crime.

The other agri crime we spotted was with sandalwood.  I love the product and use sandalwood oil regularly.  In January 2104, I read a Wall Street Journal article about Sandalwood smuggler, Veerappan. He killed anyone who got in his way and accumulated a fortune  over $30 million.  Indian sandalwood is so valuable that the tree has become endangered.  In India the tree is government controlled and cannot be cut until thirty years.  600 Border Security Force troops were used just as back up for a special police task force with the sole purpose of catching a sandalwood smuggler Veerappan.   A bounty of four million rupees ($132,000) was placed on his head after he embarked on several killing sprees.  The worst spree was when 22 members of a police posse were blown up with land mines in an ambush.

We published our Sandalwood Investing report this last January 2014 when shares in the Sandalwood plantation company, TFS Corp. (share symbol TFC) were selling at A$1.19.   TFS announced that a Nestle owned company will buy $500 million worth of sandalwood oil from them.  The share price passed A$2.15.

The shares have risen from A$1 to A$2, but the broker who tracks this share has an analysis that suggests the price could reach A$10 in the long term.

We have published a complete report on Sandalwood Investing ($2.99) which is available at www.amazon.com

You can order the report for Kindle or download on your computer at Amazon.com for $2.99

You can order the book in print for $10.79

All too often great wealth is attributed to crime. This should not be, because one does not have to commit crime to have everlasting wealth.   We can let crime sprees, especially theft and smuggling, alert us to commodities so valuable that their price creates crime. When we invest in this way we help restore balance that will reduce crime while gaining profit potential at the same time.


Learn more about agri, ginseng and sandalwood investing at our October Montreal International Investing Seminar.

See seminar details here.

(1) New York Times Demand for Ginseng Boosts Prices, Tempts Poachers

(2) Sandalwood Update