Get rich quick — at just R7 700 a copy
Picture: AMBROSE PETERS MATTHIAS Schmelz, author of
which sells for R7 700 a copy, claims he can transform anyone into a millionaire.
And should his book fail to do just that, he is happy to guarantee readers their money back.
Business Times met multi-millionaire Schmelz, 45, at his mansion, which boasts its very own lift, in Nettleton Road, one of the most expensive streets on which to own property in Cape Town, with sweeping views of Clifton.
He made his vast fortune mostly through selling eco-friendly vacuum cleaners — which use water to capture dust instead of bags and are sold for exuberant amounts by dealers around the globe.
“If you don’t become a millionaire after reading this book, you can return it at any time in the future and get your money back,” he promises.
The guarantee is printed in the front of the book.
Schmelz says his unusual guarantee was based on a calculated risk.
“There were two things on the scale: first, how many people would give the book back, and second, how many more people would buy the book with the guarantee,” he says.
But SA financial education consultant Iona Minton does not buy into the idea. “To me it smacks of a get-rich-quick scheme. I don’t believe anyone can get rich from a book. The secret of success is in a person’s fibre — your commitments, resources and contacts. At the end of the day it’s about a person and not about a book they read,” she says. Minton believes there will be many claims for refunds.
Schmelz describes the book, bound in brown and gold, as “an extraordinary compilation of concepts, strategies and inspirational ideas designed to help readers change their lives”.
He adds: “I’m on a crusade — to make the poor rich and the rich richer.”
Asked about the impact he expects the book to have in South Africa, he says: “The Robin Hood principle does not apply. You cannot take money from the rich and give it to the poor.
“There’s plenty of money for all, it’s just about finding it. What holds people back is a belief in scarcity. You should believe in the opposite, in an abundance of possibilities and resources.”
was launched at the Cape Town Book Fair in June. The first thousand copies have just been delivered from the printers and the book will shortly be marketed around the world. No copies have been sold yet.
Vanessa Badroodien, director of the Cape Town Book Fair, recalls that Schmelz’s book was a talking point. “Everyone seemed to enjoy Matthias; he was dishing out champagne while talking about the book. The feedback was good.”
The author says he is in talks with possible distributors of the book in South Africa.
He is married to beauty queen Fernanda Alves, 30, who is of Portuguese South African descent and the mother of their two toddlers. The family is based in Portugal.
Despite Schmelz’s good fortunes, he still nurtures aspirations. “My big dreams all start with a ‘b’. I want to be the best husband and father, to be the best-selling author of the most expensive business book in the world, to be a billionaire, to ban bull-fighting and to buy a Bugatti.”
THE WRITE STUFF: Self made multimillionaire Matthias Schmelz and his wife, Fernanda Alves. He claims his book will turn its readers into millionaires