Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Don't call the RCMP ..... I am not a drug dealer!"

Good Day Readers:

Reading this next story hit close to home. Believe it or not we do not own any credit cards. Years ago we had a couple (never paid a penny of interest) eventually deciding we didn't need them.

Oh for sure, we're constantly getting unsolicited telephone calls or surface mail attempting to sign us up. When we tell a marketer we haven't owned one for over 20-years initially there's a stunned silence followed by, "How can you possibly exist without it?" Our reply, "Easy, follow the Golden Rule: If you don't have the cash and can't write a cheque don't buy it!"

Over the years we've had some interesting looks after making a purchase. Upon being asked for a credit card we proceed to lay down $300 or $400 or $500 on the counter in $100 and $20 bills always saying, "Don't call the RCMP I'm not a drug dealer!"

Clare L. Pieuk
Paying off a student loan ... with a bag of cash
By Alyshas Hashara
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Alex Kenjeev shows off the bag he handed to a teller at the Scotiabank and the receipt he received for his $100,000 - plus payment to eradicate his student loan.

There is only one way to pay off a $114,460.30 student loan in one go: in style.

For University of Toronto law graduate Alex Kenjeev, that meant strolling up to the bank and dropping a Longo’s reusable bag stuffed with bills of varying denominations onto the counter.

“I would like to make a deposit,” he said to the cashier.

The cashier was floored — and so was the Internet, after an unknown friend took Kenjeev’s Facebook photo of the bank receipt and posted it on Reddit, a user-generated news website, where it got thousands of comments.

“It was a spontaneous decision,” said Kenjeev. “It’s a milestone in your life to be debt-free all of a sudden and I thought: Why not have a bit of fun with it?”

Kenjeev, who graduated in 2009, is currently president of O’Leary Ventures, a start-up investment company owned by Kevin O’Leary, of Dragon’s Den notoriety. He recently sold his software startup and the first thing he wanted to do was free himself of his remaining debt.

The debt load was so high in part because he was stretching the payments on his $190,000 total student debt as much as possible so he could invest in the start-up, he said.

It’s also the product of a joint four-year law degree and MBA at U of T (at a cost of $150,000) and a four-year undergraduate degree from McGill University. The average student debt in Canada is about $27,000.

So for a laugh, Kenjeev went into his RBC branch and asked to withdraw $114,460.30 in cash.

“They were pretty surprised,” he said. At first the cashier didn’t want to do it, citing extra fees for an armoured vehicle to bring the cash over to the bank. They eventually let him know it could be done in three days — no big deal after being in debt for years, said Kenjeev.

When he returned to the bank, the first bag he could find in hand, he stood in a small windowless back room watching the cash-counting machine set out $80,000 in $100 bills, the rest in $20s and $50s.

Twenty minutes later, he walked the surprisingly light bag over to the Scotiabank at Queen and Duncan Streets. No stops were made to roll around in the small pile of cash.

After convincing Scotiabank he wasn’t money-laundering, and apologizing for giving them extra work, the transaction was completed.

What was unexpected is the media and online attention over the gimmick.

Most of the comments on the photo of the receipt posted on Reddit speculate on how he made the money to pay off the loan (the consensus was drug-dealing), but many congratulate him, says Kenjeev.

But it’s the message at the end of the receipt that Kenjeev really took to heart.

“Thank you. Have a good day.”

He did.


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