Dear Mr Scott Pape,
My name is Peter. I am 59 and I have four years left to serve on a five-year prison term. As a prisoner I do not have access to a phone or the internet, so writing this letter is the only way I can get in contact with you.
I have spent most of my life in institutions, from boys’ homes to jails. I have only got a very low level of education ‒ I think I may have finished Grade 6 (am not sure). I need a lot of help with my reading and writing as well as my spelling. Yet recently I read your book and was able to understand most of it. Now I am hoping you could help me.
I have come into some money (just over six figures) which I want to invest while I am doing time, but I am having problems with my bank, NAB. They will not allow me to do electronic transfers from one bank to another while I am in jail. Yet I am afraid to close the account because if they send me a bank cheque it could go missing (that is not unusual for prisoner property).
I do not have any family or friends outside prison who can help me, either. I would love to invest at least $90,000 for the next four years before I get out of jail. My goal is to have enough money to buy my own home before I die, with no debt and maybe some savings. After all, isn’t that every man’s dream? Please help me and write back.
Good on you for learning about how to manage your money.
Having financial security is one factor that will help you stay on the straight and narrow when you get out (and I’ve donated many copies of my book to prisons across the country for this very reason).
Now, I spoke to NAB on your behalf, and they’ve suggested that you write a letter to NAB’s special service:
Reply Paid 2870
Melbourne, Victoria 8060
I’d suggest you transfer your money into a term deposit and time it to mature when you get out, and in the meantime spend the next four years mastering an employable skill.