Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Step Right Up!

This past week I attended a so called free “educational seminar” about how to invest in the stock market put on by a company called Rich Dad.  Rich Dad is a spin-off from Robert Kiyosaki, who wrote a book called Rich Dad Poor Dad (I initially liked this book but have found some of the ideas go against my no debt opinions).  I am big on self education and finding ways to broaden my knowledge but this seminar I went to was one big sales pitch.

I am in sales and I understand the need to sell products but what is completely underhanded about this “educational seminar” was that there was a lot of selling and no education.  As I was sitting in the audience and listening to this guy scream at us, doing all kinds of gyrations, and getting people to raise their hands.  I couldn't help but think back to a book I read about educating yourself and not falling into the traps of so called new techniques promising fame and fortune quickly.  The only way to have sustained success is a process that promotes consistent little steps that ultimately accomplish a big long term goal.

The circus barker at the seminar was playing on the emotions of people who had lost hope or never had it.  Even though financial education is what was being sold, the people in the audience were not financially educated to recognize a con when they saw one.  

There are many people and organizations out there that want to separate you from your money.  You must be able to recognize them from the legitimate businesses that are truly trying to help you.

Here are some tips to tell the difference:
  1. Any legitimate business or business person is not going to pressure you into a sale right on the spot.  If a company tells you that they have a rate for now that won’t be available later, then you should probably walk.  Or, if someone actually tells you, you can’t think it over also walk.
  2. They don’t allow questions to be asked in the group that are being talked to.  This helps to keep the people thinking that everyone agrees with what is being said usually.  
  3. The old saying “if it is to good to be true it probably is”, should be etched in stone in your brain.  I am not saying don’t take risks but do your research either before or after (preferably both) prior to committing any money to an investment or purchase.
  4. Finally, you are the first, last, and only line of defense against being taken advantage of.  You must educate yourself on what are sound investments even when they seem to be benefiting you such as these stock educational classes that were being peddled.
I actually walked out of the presentation about an hour and 20 minutes in because I recognized that the circus barker was trying to manipulate instead of educating me on purchasing stocks (which is what was promised).  In the past I probably would have fallen for this con.  When I got home, I started to research this group and found out they sell classes for $200 only to try and sell you more classes during that time in the tens of thousands of dollars.


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