Sunday, November 3, 2013

DEAN GRAZIOS, San Diego Wealth Building Event

If you keep doing the same thing each year you will get the same results. What can sustain your future is real estate.

Because of the time change, I am up at 5 am. I usually get up at 6 am. I just watched a non-stop set of ads for Dean Grazios regarding his San Diego Wealth Building Event (Nov 14 through 16th). I don’t know Dean. I have never attended one of his training seminars, but I found it interesting that the message is the same: Real Estate is the answer. And I tend to agree that real estate holds a lot of promise for securing a steady stream of income for the future, but I don’t want people to think the job will be easy. I tend to agree that retirees have to think differently about how they hold their retirement and how they plan for retirement. They DO need to take a more active role in planning their future. Americans generally do not save or at least save an adequate percentage of our income.

What you make from traditional investments—cd’s, regular saving accounts, bonds, and stocks—just isn’t cutting it. You loss more than you gain because the interest rates are so low and don’t even keep up with inflation.

I’ve been on this trek to find “deals” since March and although I have been through numerous training programs, I have yet to find my first “deal”. Even the houses that I purchased at one of the investment seminars for another company (see previous blogs) have not turned out to be the great investments that I had hoped. I don’t think I could get my money back if I tried to sell them, at least not right now, perhaps in the future. I have learned a lot of what not to do.

What I find fascinating about the ads is the barrage of ads at 5 am. Is it because this is when the desperate are up and watching TV? People who have bills up to their eyeballs and big credit card debt with no relief in sight? They have no savings left, they can’t pull any equity out of their house because it is upside down, and they rely too heavily on their credit cards. They can’t sleep, they pace the floor and then they sit down and watch TV to try to think about something else. I don’t know. Perhaps it is just that at 5 am the per-second rate for advertising is the cheaper.

The other fascinating tidbit is the drum-roll beat of key phrases: 1) the definition of insanity is to keep repeating the same steps over and over but expecting different results. 2) Real Estate is key. 3) Cash is king. Now a lot of these phrases are true, but one has to be particularly careful to separate the hype from the reality. It is easy to get caught up in the hype and forget that after you buy the $4,999 online training, or the $24,999 mentoring program, you are still over-leveraged and that much farther into debt. Perhaps it would have been just as productive if you went to the library (either the real library or one online through Kindle or similar service which might have the more recent books), found books on the appropriate subjects (i.e. flipping houses, wholesaling, tax liens, SDIRA—self directed ira) and read up on the subjects before jumping in with both feet.

All the hype is going to try to make you think you have to act right this minute or you will be left in the dust, lose the opportunity. The fact is that since so many of the “trainers”, and “gurus” have moved their training to online you can often get the same training for a fraction of the cost. Go to the “free” webinars and you can often pickup very valuable information for free without paying the overpriced fee for a package cd or dvd product. I am not saying that a mentoring program is worthless, just that you might be able to get it for a lot less cost.

Also watch out for the monthly charges whether you buy program at the training or online. Thirty day free trail is great if you are actually going to jump right in, set you your password, start the online training classes, set up your website, etc, but you will be surprised how quickly that 30 days passes and you haven’t done hardly anything with the program and baam you get that $97, or $197, or $299 charge per month on your credit card. Sometimes you didn’t even realize you were signing up for a monthly charge. Take the time to read what you are agreeing to in the TERMS AND CONDITIONS. In most cases you can cancel a subscription but you can’t get reimbursed for that monthly charge. And once you cancel you can’t use the program even though you prepaid for a month. That is the part that I find really stinky. The charge is usually charged to your card about a week before the renewal date. So you really only have 21 days to review the program not 30 days.

One should NOT follow my example and become a seminar junky unless you leave your credit card and check book (does anyone even carry a check book any more) at home. Don’t bring your cell phone inside if it has that feature that stores credit card numbers. And don’t fall for the line that you can only get this great deal if you sign up right now.

I think many of these trainers have been either used car salesman or timeshare salesman. They get you hyped, promise that “even you” can make millions. Most state “this is not a get rich quick scheme.” But they are quick to come back to the line that “you don’t need any money,” or “you can be a high school dropout and still do this program.”

There is definitely value in real estate, note purchasing, and tax lien buying, but do some research before you jump in. Decided which strategy is best for your personality. Personality makes a big difference on which strategy you should pursue.

While I have to get ready for church today. We are singing. If you decide to go to the “training” enjoy the knowledge, but don’t fall for the hype. Who knows I might decide to go for the knowledge, but I will definitely leave the credit card at home.

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