Letters & Opinion

Why Would I Want To Invest In St. Lucia?

Image of Bud Slabbaert
Image of Bud Slabbaert
By Cdr. Bud Slabbaert

“I WOULD not!” Question: “Why not?” Answer: “Why should I?” In less than the length of a Tweet, I have confronted you with the problem to attract investors. How to solve it? Try convincing an investor to listen to you in less the length of a Tweet. Here we go: “We offer a unique global sustainable industry development with a secure return of investment!”

Two barriers to successful communication are message overload and message complexity. People take far too long to make a point and love to hear themselves talking. I once had to make a presentation to a UNESCO assembly of scientists. Aside from knowing how to bake an egg, I am not a scientist. I started telling them that if was not able to communicate the essence of my speech in thirty seconds, we might as well go home. I had their attention right from to start because they were challenged to find out if I could make my point.

Why is the indiscriminately used word ‘sustainable’ significant for development? Announcements of new ventures are made on a daily basis. Projections are presented in stunning ways; you don’t know whether to refute them or give them a hand of applause. Because of lustrous presentations one forgets to ask: “What if? Is it fail-safe? Is there a plan-B? What if that doesn’t work either?” Plans need to be for real, have continuance, and a sound back-up. That is realism. ‘Surrealism’ is an art form and not a form of business development. Surrealism will only become extremely high priced at Sotheby Auctions; in business it becomes an extreme costly mishap.

We know that 1+1=2. In business that is too simple to be attractive. Ask an assumed expert and pay a good fee for his expertise. This may not be a specialist on the topic, but it is an expert of his own kind who knows some tricks. He takes the 1+1 and multiplies it with (Xn-Y+π*Z), the outcome being 4. What the formula means no one really knows since no one else has this expertise. The outcome doubled and it was predicted by an expert, so, what the heck? If you are risk adverse, then ask another guru for a second opinion and pay him well also. Paying well is always good to get the things you like in life. He comes up with 1+1 divided by his formula (A>B2+3C-½) which also results in 4. You don’t understand that formula either, but you cannot know everything in this complicated world, can you? Two different experts; you can’t go wrong! The 4 becomes a magic number and a plan. Is it fail-safe? Rest assured that it is as waterproof as a house painted with water colours; it looks bright until it starts raining.

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There is a human species called investors that is sensitive for failing. They are characterized by having the money In but carefully vesting it out. They don’t have an agricultural background, yet, through evolution by experience, they know that ‘harvesting will be good when the seed, soil, and weather are good’. Some even had an MBA education to understand this simple twelve word rule. They have learned about detecting, defending, slamming and eventually making a ROI or ‘Return Of Investment’. Investors are ROI people. The French word Roi means King. Some investors only have ROI on their mind actually believing they are a king. Recently, we have seen similar things happen to greedy investors as what has happened in the French revolution: they had to face the capital guillotine and got shortened a little bit so that they didn’t have a place to wear a crown anymore.

There is a common belief that Investors sleep on mattresses and pillow cases stacked with money and these fillings grow like cotton on a tree. They run life like a casino where they walk in with a handful of dollars, play a while, and exit with a wheelbarrow full of money allowing them to buy jets and yachts and live on the fat of the land. That common belief is a common mistake. Investors are actually the most terrified people. They have a wealth problem called ‘Loser Syndrome’. Would you want to be a loser? There you go, no further explanation needed!

The first thing in solving a problem is identifying it. Now we understand the annoying question “Why would I want to invest in Saint Lucia?” We recognized why there is so much skepticism about new ideas suggesting that 1+1 can be more than 2. It is difficult for a reputable person to give his blessing if he lacks the specialist background to fully understand a proposal, or to comprehend the consequences and the merits. It is a dilemma that any decision maker has to deal with from investor to industry boss and politician. Due diligence investigations, background checks, etc. are required. There are rumours that even astrologists are used to predict what’s in the stars. Anything that helps eliminating insecurity is used. That is the reason for the words ‘secure return of investment’.

Most future revenues will come from products and services that don’t exist today. Long before an aircraft was invented there were thousands of years that there was none at all. Where would we be now if no one had developed an aircraft? Imagine today’s tourism without aviation. But at its invention time, it was a revolutionary development. Not having the evidence that something exists yet, doesn’t mean that it cannot be done. If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it mean that it didn’t happen? I’m sure that you know what “argumentum ad ignorantiam” means. Or will you just ignorantly move to the next line thinking that something extremely wise follows that gets you to the goodies? It means “argument by lack of imagination” and yes, something will follow that gets you to the treats in my next VIEWPOINT.

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