Are investment seminars worth the time?

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The good, the bad and the ugly

Coming from a person who has attended many seminars to the point of it being kind of a hobby I can report that some are worth it, some are not. Let me explain.

The idea behind free seminars are to land a product sale or entice you to attend a better seminar (Master class) that you ultimately pay for. Each idea offers the opportunity to learn from the best and pave your way to financial freedom. Although there is merit in most of the seminars I would have to say that most of what they tell you in a seminar you could have learned from a book or the internet.

Good – I went to a property seminar where the speaker talked about how his company searches and holds undervalued properties for sale to members of their group. So basically the member buys the property and instantly gets it revalued to the correct market value and instantly gains equity in the property. They use the equity to buy the next property and so on. What’s in it for the group? Well, you pay nine thousand dollars to become a lifetime member of the group. The theory behind it is that you may pay nine thousand dollars up front, but you make it back in equity from the first property you buy. Some people will see that as a good deal, others won’t.

Bad – I went to a seminar on share trading. The speaker (and there were several) took turns talking about what it’s like being rich, the emotions of making money and basically what to do if your wife won’t let you buy this software. You see, most seminars start with an emotional hook. They want you to FEEL a need to buy this product because it will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. They give you their rags-to-riches story about how they slept on their friends couch or lived in a shoe box and IF I CAN DO IT SO CAN YOU. Eventually, they showed us the software which turned out to be very confusing but for only seven thousand dollars you get all the support you need. Picking past shares that fit into a neat little box is one thing, but showing live examples is another.

Ugly – I went to a seminar about property investing and the speaker was quite animated about buying an undervalued property and on-selling it within days or weeks at the correct value (Flipping) without even putting his own money into the deal. It came with a free DVD. When I watched the video I saw more of the same example after example until a particular example caught my eye. I watched in disbelief as the speaker gave an example about how HE bought a large piece of land and subdivided it into smaller pieces and built a commercial property on one corner of it. He claimed he made hundreds of thousands of dollars on the deal. The only problem was I recognised the land that he claimed to buy. I lived across the road from it and the last time I looked, it was a cemetery. What did he do with all the bodies I asked myself?

I think seminars have great value if you digest the information they are giving you. Put aside the first ten or fifteen minutes of ACT NOW talk and watch the examples they give. Sometimes you will pick up a piece of information that you haven’t previous thought of and it will give you the seed to investigate and research.

Do you have any seminar stories?