Investing gurus

Has anyone found some of the programs offered by gurus helpful? When I read some of the testimonials, I feel like its all hogwash. e.g., ‘I put $0 down and got $10K/month cash flow…’ blah, blah, blah. I have read many books, so I have a good feel for running numbers and basics to look for, but still feel that I have plenty more to learn. Maybe the best learning is experience, but I wondered if anyone feels there is a ‘guru’ program I should check out.

BTW, I went through Marc Garrisson’s Buying Tour (NAREI), and didn’t get anything out of it. It was pretty much a waste of money and time.

I went on a Garrison Buying Tour, too! And yes it was a waste of time and money! They lied about all kinds of things like: Marc being on the bus tour himself, helping with financing/partnering, the number of people that would be on the tour, the quality and quantity of properties – you name it.

On the rare occassion that Garrison was available on the tour he was trying to weasel money out of somebody. For instance, twice he tried to get us to buy memberships into some type of travel discount operation. (One of us did a little research and found it was much cheaper to join directly, which meant Garrison was trying to get a commission off of us.) He tried to get us to complain to the hotel about the rooms and service so HE could get a discount – any savings would not have been passed along to us. He wanted us to buy a copy of the video being taped during the tour. The “vidoegrapher” was just some old guy with a camcorder, but the video would cost over $100.

All this might have been tolerable if the tour even came close to living up to Garrison’s promises. But it didn’t. There was no detailed market analysis, the investment “team” was a joke and there was so much local competition that it was impossible to get a contract on any property that would cash flow, even if you offered the full asking price and/or all cash.

In short, you’re probably better off avoiding “gurus.” They seem to be slick salesman who make their money off selling their own products and services instead actually investing.


I am glad to hear I am not the only one who had this experience with NAREI. I talked to one of the local real estate agents (not affiliated w/ NAREI) who had been solicited by Marc to be one of the representative agents. He said that Marc works to negotiate a super high referral fee from the local agents. Marc did not have a real estate license in the state of the tour (AL), so his son quickly got his license before running the tour there. He tried to negotiate this referral fee before his son even had his license. The agent I talked to wouldn’t do it for obvious reasons.

On top of getting a commission on each property that was purchased by the group, he would first buy a bunch of property in the area and offer his properties as ‘pocket listings’ to his students (without mentioning he is the owner of course).

I think you are right in staying away from so-called gurus. If they were making so much money in real estate, would they really waste their time selling books? They would probably be working the real estate deals… at least I would. :wink:

Thanks for the input.

Wow, that’s very interesting! If Garrison spent as much time doing the market research he pretends to do as he spends trying to swindle people, maybe his program would actually work. On our tour in Jacksonville we were told that nobody from the NAREI had purchased any properties there so they wouldn’t be competing with us. Sounds like a nice gesture, but it doesn’t make sense. First, according to his book, in an absorption market there are supposed to be huge quantities properties for sale at bargain prices, so if they bought a handful of them, it shouldn’t make a difference. Second, if they don’t personally own any properties in the toured cities, that means they have no personal experience using the investment team that they present to attendees.

I just remembered another way Garrison tries to get money out of tour attendees. He told us that the “mentors” volunteered their time on the tour and that to thank them, we should pay for their lunch or dinner. It seemed like a nice gesture until we thought about it more. Garrison should have been covering the mentors’ travel expenses, including meals. The more meals we paid for, the less money Marc had to spend.

To top it all off, during the tour the attitude among the NAREI staff was that Marc was doing all of us some fantastic favor and we should be forever grateful. Hog wash! Garrison didn’t do anything for us, and besides we PAID him a ton of money to be there.

All I can do now is share my experience and warn others to avoid the NAREI.

Ok, amanson.

I put zero down and got 25k a year cash flow. I am real, not an advertisement. It did not happen over night. I tried to do things my own way and ended up spinning my wheels. I chose the Carelton Sheets no money down course and once I followed it I got results.

This was done while I worked two other jobs.
2004 6 properties purchased (plus hooked my sister up with 2)
2005 5 purchased - sold 3 (2 flips 1 long term)

Carleton now charges ten bucks to review the course for 30 days.
They’ll even let you keep it longer if you call them at the end of 30 days.

Who doesn’t have ten bucks? It’s well organized and covers a lot of information.

Oh, and now I don’t have to work that 2nd job.

You can also get the Sheets course…and others, on E bay for a lot cheaper. I know a person who got the Sheets course for the $10 trial. She didn’t want it, followed the instructions and sent it back. They still charged her credit card for the full price, and had to go through a bunch of hassles to get it taken off. That kind of customer service is a joke.

Iknew nothing about REI when I got that course.

I kept it the course 30 days and never opened it. They said I could extend another 30 days and recommended I read notebook 2.

I did and I was hooked. 6 weeks later I had my first no money down property.

I paid the 400 for the course and have made more than 100 times that 400 bucks just last year. (Use a calculator)

I’m not saying your friend didn’t have trouble BOBO, but they were very professional with me. Sure they encourage you to keep the course. Maybe more people should. I thank God I did!



That is great news. Thank you for the referral; I am going to check them out. It is great to hear a success directly from someone who has done well as opposed to a testimonial from the source. I don’t have a problem spending $400 if I can learn a lot and get a lot out of it. I don’t want to be penny smart and dollar foolish as they say. Your story is encouraging and I appreciate you sharing it with me.


Jeff…it wasn’t about the course. She had to go through a bunch of unnecessary hassles to get the money back. THAT is the unprofessional part. She should have been able to make one call, send it back, that that should have been it. She had to make 6 or 7 calls just to get the charge taken off of her credit card…that is ridiculous.

The course itself wasn’t the issue…it was the lousy customer service. She was not happy with the course, and should not have had to go through everything she did to get the charge removed from her credit card.

The course I recommend is Bill Gatten’s NARS Land Trust. He provides a free 3-day seminar which is tremendously informative and you can download an e-book describing his program FREE from his website.

This course is accredited as Continuing Education by the California Dept. of Real Estate. It costs $4995 to become a network member, but I have made my network membership fee back many times over.

The best feature is that you have access to most of his materials in advance at no cost so you can make an informed decision without any surprises. Customer service is very good.

Wishing you success.