Investment Seminars - CAUTION

From: Splinter Wood

I gather there are MANY newcomers to this webpage in search of information and ways to invest etc.

One common piece of advice is to GET EDUCATED. This is great advice but if you are newish to the game and in search of the magic formula, you are also a high risk to becoming a victim if you run along and sign up to attend one of the many 'Investment Seminars' in the market without due diligence.

BE CAREFUL !!!!! Some such seminars are good but MANY are not. Check first with Websites like this before you sign, pay or even attend the 'FREE NIGHT'.

The operators that will be most attractive to you will be the most likely to clean out your bank account - or worse, put you in debt for 2 - 3 years to pay off some exorbitant fee that they conveniently arranged an interest free loan for you to cover the cost (because you didn't have the money).

These operators are highly trained sales people (whom I would class as con-artists) who already know the the questions you will ask, and they already have the answers ready. They know your fears and have all the responses to capitalize on that fear.

Some of these outfits will sound great, and sound right and be JUST WHAT YOU WERE LOOKING FOR. I have worked in training for many years including Seminars and also motivational programs.

If you are being asked to pay a lot of money, then ask your self why. Can you afford to pay $5000 or $10,000 or $15,000 for a course that runs for a week or less ????

Most of this information is available:

1) in Books and
2) in reasonably priced Seminars for a few hundred dollars.


If you can afford to pay the $15,000 to find out that your are a sucker and a fool - go right ahead.

Do the numbers yourself, ask them how many people attend their seminar(s). If they tell you the truth you might be surprised that some of the well organized seminars can have up to 1200 people in attendance !!

So kids - let's multiply $15,000 by 1200 attendees....wait for it ........................

$18,000,000 !!!!!


Now ask yourself how to make make money quickly...Answer : RUN SEMINARS FOR FOOLS.

Bottom line people - don't be a fool or a sucker. Don't be suckered or pressured into one of these scams. Do your bloody homework and get back to work if you want to get rich . !

One last note - watch for SCUM who will post defending items below as they often try that " ...I attended and now I'm a millionaire..". (Yeah Right) If this IS true, then I would guarantee that for every one who makes it - there 1198 of the 1200 who end up out of pocket.

Feel free to post you BAD experience here to help those potential victims from what you have gone through.

Good luck and I hope you find your way.

Splinter Wood -----
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Reply: 1
From: Simon and Julie M

Hi All
I would like to add this two cents worth for new investors.

Every piece of information gained and ACTED upon begins to create a compounding mountain of experience to draw from in the future. Combine this with a network group of other like minded motivated people. The results are life changing!

Being a successful investor or successful anything is like a powerful leader, flanked with equally powerful loyal generals.
Find people who can help YOU to achieve YOUR goals.
Look for WIN WIN opportunities so all parties benefit.

I believe the cooky cutter approach that is promoted at many seminars is like buying a lotto ticket - there is not much effort required and there are few winners.
Kind regards
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Reply: 1.1
From: Mark Laszczuk

I'd just like to say here that I went to one of the 15K seminars, and it was great! Hah! Just kidding! No, seriously, for the new kids, here is the best thing you can do: Find people who are doing what it is you want to do. If you can't find them, you aren't looking hard enough.
If you truly want your goals badly enough, these people will pop out of nowhere, no kidding. When you find them, say this to them: 'I REALLY REALLY want to succeed and achieve my goals and plans for the future. I'm super keen to learn and open to all suggestions and advice. Can you help me out a little bit please?' Make sure you ask nicely.
I'm telling you, from experience, you will have people falling over themselves to help you out with advice and other stuff. If there is one thing that successful people LOVE to do (other than being successful) it is to help others WHO PROVE THEY ARE PREPARED TO DO THE WORK to also become successful.
But you have to show them that you are working hard and are super keen. The moment they find out you are complacent, they will leave you in the dust. Believe me, they have much better things to do than waste time with lazy people.
Don't be afraid to ask for some help! Don't be afraid to ask questions! Everyone here on this forum with years of experience was in the same position as you new kids are. Only you have a greater advantage. It's called the internet, the greatest knowledge sharing tool ever invented. So use it! And best of all, it won't cost you thousands!

'no hat, some cattle'
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Investment Seminars - Why People Act

Reply: 1.1.1
From: Robert Forward

Hi guys

My feelings on why most people that attend seminars and such don't step into action is because due to the prices being so high to attend only one partner out of the relationship usually attends.

What I am saying here is that the person who attends the seminar from the couple is usually all eager to start investing with the newly acquired knowledge, which is great. But they fail in being able to get their partner, who didn't attend the seminar, to understand the strategies involved and thus it becomes a battle to get the first step into action.

I am in full agreeance that people should attend seminars as partners, this way they both learn the strategies and knowledge at the same time. They both get enthused at same time and it's easier to take that first step into the newly acquired strategies.

This is why at the Freestyler Events presented Rick Otton Wraps Boot Camp your ticketed price includes attendance for both partners. Check out some of the comments that have been made from the first Boot Camp attendees, these comments really speak for themselves.

I'd be interested in hearing comments from people who have attended a higher priced event who believe they would have benefited a lot more if their partner had of attended the event as well?


Australian Speakers For Australian Conditions
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Investment Seminars - Why People Act

From: Sim' Hampel

Rob, you make some interesting points, which I entirely agree with... and I did note the deal with the Rick Otton seminars about partners included in the price... which I think is a great idea.

However, I do think you're treading a fine line between discussion and spam in regards to the seminars your company (Freestyler Events) promotes. Please think carefully about how you word your posts.

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Reply: 2
From: Geoff Whitfield

Hey splinter,

You raise some very good points. But I'm going to be semi scum.

I'm in here because I attended a seminar. Peter Spann, 2 years ago- cost $3K for 5 days. It was a lot then- but not up to the $15K for other seminars now.

So, although I went to a seminar, it did not cost $15K, and I am not a millionaire. That's why I'm asking for just semi scum status, not full scum.

I agree that I could have learnt all of that by reading books.

But, when I went to that seminar, I did not have a clue about where to start.

I have read a lot since then, and I have frequented the forum.

When I went to the seminar, I had one investment property, and had not planned on any more. Ever. Total value then, about $400K. I did not see any use.

The seminar woke me up as to the whole investment thingo.

I found out about this forum after doing a search for Peter Spann.

I've since started to learn, grow and invest. I've got about $1.5M properties now. Most cashflow +.

I've gone a lot of different directions from the seminars. And I've read, and learnt, a lot.

But if I hadn't gone on that seminar, I would not have even started on the search. My only retirement plan would have been something from my parents. I did not know where to go, or where to look. I would not have read Jan Somers' books, and I would not have been on this forum.

So, I have not followed the master plan of the guru. But, by the same token, I have not continued on the path of inaction which I had followed before. I consider I am in a far better situation having gone to the seminar than if I had not.

Sorry for not posting only the "negative posts" as requested.
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Investment Seminars - Why People Act

From: Robert Forward

G'day Sim

Yes I agree with you on that comment of near spamming. I knew that it could have be seen that way when I typed it, oh well...

Issue is that it was the most effective way of showing a reason why some people don't act on what they learn from seminars and ways of fixing those same issues.


Australian Speakers For Australian Conditions
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Reply: 2.1
From: Splinter Wood

Hi All,

Simon & Mark - good posts. Sim you are too polite. Robert - suggest you post your stuff in Caveat Emptor.

Geoff, nice attempt at being semi-scum but unless you work or represent a Seminar group, sorry to say you don't get any scum award. You are a winner my friend.

Folks, the interesting thing that has become clear is that the 'Motivational' aspect of most of these seminars is where the trigger to act is. We all need the inspiration to get us off our butts and get out amongst it, rather than pass with the usual excuses ; no money, no time, don't know enough about it...go to the beach instead.

You can serve your self well to do motivational courses earlier in your search, which will inspire you to get out and LEARN about the Property and other investments - then get started as an investor.

All the knowledge and genius in the world will not help you if you don't start !

These high dollar 'Seminars' offering the world (and delivering the only a shoddy Atlas)are poaching on the hungry inexperienced investors who want to get started.

Geoff, your $3K was probably well spent and within reason. Point taken (Also Mark).

The SCUM who lure in the people who are going to take what should be their first Investment Property deposits as a course Fee. In fact - many don't even have the money to start with. These SCUMBAGS are soooo obviously con artists and the reason of the post is to let these newer candidates know about the serious risks of getting sucked in and skinned alive.

I intend to post a similar note every few months because of the turn over on these pages and the new people who visit.

People have short memories. some more prominent Seminars have very suspect techniques, have staff under criminal investigations, and flaunt status compared to legitimate Educational Institutions.

These facts have all been published in major newspapers. Many articles clearly warn of the traps, yet every new round the sharks get their fill.

Solution - keep informing the newer folks about the risks and guide then to safer waters where they will get good advice, support and genuine care.

More input welcome.

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Reply: 2.1.1
From: Simon and Julie M

Here here SW!

I spoke to someone the other day who spent $12K attending a seminar. 6 months later they have not listened to the CDs that came with the deal. They don't have time.

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From: Michele B

Seminars have a lot more to do with motivation than information. And if by attending one, you are kickstarted into action, great! Maybe some people need the 'face-to-face' approach while others get the push they need simply by investing in a Somers or Kiyosaki book - obviously this is cheaper! The trick though is finding a way to STAY motivated.

Getting motivated doesn't have to cost heaps although it seems that some people doubt the value of knowledge and inspiration when it's offered for free (via forum gurus for example), and yet queue for the same information when there's a price attached. Now why is that?

It seems to me that every seminar is based on a body of knowledge easily accessed in books. Each presenter puts his or her own spin on what they've read and on what works for them. So while seminars are a step-up, they are only an introduction, nothing more. There is no magic formula. Paying megabucks doesn't guarantee you a thing. Each of us has to do our own research, draw our own conclusions and devise our own formula. Sure, we are all heading for the beach but some of us are starting in Leichhardt and some in Lithgow. Some have access to the train, some have to walk. We all have to find the way that best suits our own personal needs and goals.

So if seminars are mostly about motivation, where do we go for knowledge? How about the library? I just love the 'yeah right' look I get from newbies if I say that! Everything we need is in the library and it's free. Not forgetting too that Borders will let you paw their books in the comfort of their coffee shop! Read everything, then buy your favourites to come back to. Increase your knowledge so you can talk sensibly to the gurus for feedback and inspiration. This is how you STAY motivated!

Try this one, great value for $22.95, 'Maximum Achievement' by Brian Tracy. Might help to get the basics right.
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From: Mark Laszczuk

What I meant in the first sentence was I'm kidding about attending a 15K seminar, not that I attended. I would never be silly enough to spend that much money on a seminar.
I went to a free information night for a bloke who wanted 6K for his. The information could have come straight out of Jan's books. Seriously, it was almost exactly the same. I left at the coffee break, muttering to myself about wasting an hour of my precious time. Oh well, we live and learn. I don't think he did too well, the building he was in is now tenanted by someone else. His presentation was only about 8 - 12 months ago.

'no hat, some cattle'
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Reply: 2.1.2
From: Geoff Whitfield

Splinter, I'm glad you clarified about the meaning of scum.

I had an impression from your initial post, that either people agree with you and post damaging things about the seminars, or otherwise are scum.

You've clarified that now. Thanks.

And thanks for all contributions.
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From: Always Learning

I think someone on this seminar said and I think that I have read it elsewhere


You shouldn't spend more than 3~5% of your income on training / self development / education.


If you earn $40K a year then spend $15K on a seminar I think is way too much. Notionally this means 99% university students should quit and get a job a McDonalds, but anyway the point being not to spend too much money chasing a pot of gold.


How much does it cost to run a seminar? Pay the instructor a good income and expenses, hotel seminar room, food drinks, CD's and printed materials. Well from my IT experience this would/should cost around AUD$500/day for 15 or more participants. If there are 15 or more participants and you are about to pay significantly more than AUD$500/day then ask some deep questions about the motivation of the seminar organizers. Yes I know that if US imported Robert Kiyosaki, Brain Tracy or Dolf DeRoos come downunder maybe their expenses and profit motives are higher, but commonsense in all things.


Now conjunct of the above warning statement is: "You should actively spend around 3% of your income on training / self development /education". Personally I cannot think of a better $ spent than on buying books on the subject and reading them. Books are the best bang for your buck! followed by audio CD's. Anyway I would buy the books (and read them!) first before attending a seminar.


<hr width="50%" color="pink">


<li> Unless you change how you are, you'll always have what you've got.

<li> To have more than you've got, become more than you are.

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From: Nigel W

On 9/9/02 12:44:00 PM, Always Learning wrote:
>I think someone on this
>seminar said and I think that
>I have read it elsewhere
>You shouldn't spend more than
>3~5% of your income on
>training / self development /

Twas me. Ditto what he said I said.

Remember the pareto principle (better known as the 80/20 rule) by buying 4-6 books (the Somers ones are a great start) total cost probably $120-$200, subscribing for FREE to forums like this (and others) and going to the odd free $50 seminar night or investment group you will get at least 80% of what you need to get a very good start on the property investing journey and a much better guide than most of these seminars will provide.

I think its an iterative process of:

A) expand circle of knowledge and competence a bit
B) act within that circle of competence and gain experience
C) expand circle of knowledge and competence a bit more
D) act within that greater circle of competence and gain more experience

and on and on....

Good luck
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From: J Parker

What a great thread! Michele, I especially liked your no-nonsense thoughts there- you go girl! I love the library too :)

Education is important in any field- whether or not you want to learn how to swim, cook, plant or buy property, you need some theory first. I find books are terrific, great starters for getting the brain thinking and wonderful as references for going back and looking up specifics. My husband and I have groaning shelves in our study, full of interesting titles.

Specifically tailored courses are great too, provided you don't overpay what you consider reasonable. None of us are naive enough to believe that there really are "get rich quick" schemes out there that will make us millionaires overnight. If we do, we only have ourselves to blame for being stupid enough in the first place to fall for them.

The key to all learning is motivation. That, coupled with experienced people who are willing to share their knowledge, will take us far indeed. The second ingredient that makes for a happy marriage here is passion. Nothing like actually enjoying what you're doing in the first place. If you find the type of investing you're doing a hassle and stressful, then you're fighting an uphill battle. Life is too short!

Cheers, Jacque :)
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From: Denis Backhouse

Nigel W ... I'd agree entirely.

I'm sticking my neck out a bit here (as a scumbag seminar associate), as I work in Geoff Doidge's office, but I know our daily experience aligns with your comments, Nigel.

On a daily basis, we tell people NOT to book into our seminars because they aren't up to needing them yet.

We suggest (respectfully) that they...
(1) Purchase and read the last 8 or 10 copies of Australian Property Investor ... an investment of around $100. Subscribe once they realise the value of the articles. (We have a special $10 - off subscription if anyone would like to email me for details ... $69 a year as against $79 regularly ...

(2) Get Jan's books and read them ... maybe another $100

(3)Join this forum and read every recent post and follow any interesting threads. Also read Jan's stuff on the site.

(4) Visit Geoff's website and read all the valuable info there and visit all the links.

Once they are comfortable with all that ... then we suggest they call us or email, and ask any final questions they may have before considering coming to one of our seminars.

It's all about giving value BEFORE the seminar, we believe.

Best regards,

Denis Backhouse
Geoff's Office.
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From: Splinter Wood

Good comments people. I am happy to see about 400 + hits to date. Hopefully a few of those readers have been saved the heartbreak of getting ripped off by the Sharks.

So are there any 'Newbies' who have read this thread with some feed back, comments about their experiences, (good or bad), close calls etc ??

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