A hardly-known ship’s captain from America named William Phips wore out his patience while waiting to be seen by the King of England. Phips had come with a plan to raise a fabulous treasure from a Spanish wreck—the Concepción—lost decades before in a hurricane off Hispaniola.

Meanwhile, Phips was introduced to the Duke of Albemarle, who happened to be out-of-favor at Court and was seeking a way to restore his fortune. Phips’s scheme fired the duke’s imagination, with the talk of gold just waiting to be lifted from the sea floor. Albemarle supplied money from his own depleted purse, and convinced four other covetous gentlemen to back the entrepreneur in what became a risky, investment syndicate.

Captain Phips subsequently sailed for the West Indies. Most in London forgot about him when nothing was heard for a year. At the royal court, fashionables who had refused to venture any money upon treasure seeking laughed openly at the investors’ folly.

But on June 8th of the following year, extraordinary news arrived, and Albemarle became the most talked-of man in London, as well as one of the richest: Phips had returned with treasure raised from the Concepción whose economic value, it’s considered, would top $3 billion now.

England’s King Charles, who had neglected to invest, promptly claimed nearly half of the treasure for himself. Albemarle received 90,000 pounds—in today’s money almost $400 million. This, for an 800 pound investment. Captain Phips gained 4,000 pounds and a knighthood, and later was made Governor of Massachusetts. Only one syndicate investor, Sir Richard Haddock, had lost his nerve during the year when no news came from the treasure hunters. Haddock sold out of his share for only 90 pounds just one month before Phips returned to England with the treasure!

This industry is not new and hard-won lessons are forgotten. But, it need not be that way! Learn the hard lessons the easy way. For more information, please read the attached eBook, Investing 101.

This is published under the Appalachian Regional Commission POWER Grant, PW-1835-M.

Copyright Appalachian Investors Alliance, Inc. 2018
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