Ask an Ex-Banker: Is This The Greatest Wealth-Making Opportunity Of All Time?

Souvenir Penny MachineAndrew, in Baltimore, writes in with a sure-fire way to earn 1%, risk-free, for 10 seconds of ‘work.’

I’m almost afraid to let out his secret, as mobs will soon descend on the City of Baltimore’ inner harbor Aquarium to attempt to reproduce this sure-fire money-making process.

But, I owe it to Bankers Anonymous readers to try to enrich them as well.

(Be sure to sign up for my daily newsletter for similar wealth-building tricks.  For just $999.99 per month, you can learn all the techniques.  Up next month: Bitcoins.)


Dear Bankers Anonymous,

I am a long-time reader, first-time letter writer. I’d like to get your advice regarding a great wealth-creation opportunity that I stumbled upon.

While at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, my son asked me for a penny to put into one of those souvenir penny press machines. Conveniently, next to the penny press machine, there is a change machine. However, this is a not a typical change machine. In this particular change machine, you receive 4 quarters and one shiny penny for each dollar bill you insert. The penny is free!

baltimore aquarium pennies
The original intended use for Andrew’s serendipitously discovered ‘perpetual money machine.’

This may not sound like much, but it amounts to a risk-free 1% return for 10 seconds of “work.” I immediately realized that there was a tremendous opportunity here. I returned the next day with $200 in crisp bills.

After just 30 minutes I was able to able to convert the 200 ones into 800 quarters and 200 pennies- $202.

I realized that I could repeat this process for the remaining 8 hours that the aquarium was open and walk out with more than $234! In order to do so, I just needed to convert my $202 in change ($201 after I bought a Fresca) back into one dollar bills. Unfortunately, changing the coins back into bills was not easy to do at the aquarium. The cashier at the gift shop seemed unhappy when I gave her my coins and asked for 201 one dollar bills. Her manager explained that “We’re not a bank.”

(Of course not! What bank would pay 1% every half hour!  Duh!)

Eventually, we agreed that I could use the change machine but that the gift shop or cafeteria would not change my coins for bills.  I am unable to lug 50 pounds of coins around, especially because just 30 minutes of the repetitive motion of inserting the one dollar bill into the machine exacerbated my carpal tunnel syndrome in my wrist.  Another alternative is that I could purchase one of these machines for my home.

Note: Not the actual Fresca bought by reader Andrew
Note: Not the actual Fresca bought by reader Andrew with his newly-made riches

I have a few questions for you:

1) In consideration of the above challenges, how could I scale this operation up?

2) Perhaps I should try this same strategy, but with bitcoins?

3) What are bitcoins?

Thanks, Andrew

Dear Andrew in Baltimore,

This is the most brilliant money-making strategy of all time.  As an initial investment to scale-up your strategy, I have ordered from China 50 of these special “extra-penny” change machines for my basement.  I’m going to set them up to work constantly in parallel, churning out 1% return on my dollars every few seconds, relentlessly.  Those bitcoin miners haven’t seen anything like this!

The Banker

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I founded Bankers Anonymous because, as a recovering banker, I believe that the gap between the financial world as I know it and the public discourse about finance is more than just a problem for a family trying to balance their checkbook, or politicians trying to score points over next year’s budget – it is a weakness of our civil society. For reals. It’s also really fun for me.

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