Money Mindset

Money Mindset discusses the experiences and opinions of a middle-aged professional on the topic of money, including: financial planners, investment experiences, part-time income sources, real estate investment and private sales, web site income opportunities, changing professions, home office organization, money education for kids, and many other subjects I have experienced first hand or even just thought about.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Financial Success and Investment Gurus - Who Do You Trust?

No excuses. This is a long post. But my intent is to give you some insights that could save you a lot of time, or at least set your expectations about working with gurus of investment, real estate or success in general.

What about the gurus?

In a previous post, I mentioned in passing that the claims of some "get rich" infomercial gurus aren't exactly what they seem to be. The pitch usually looks "to good to be true", and because people are in such bad shape financially these days, it is easy to be open to things that look like quick fixes for your situation.

The ongoing debate about "get rich quick" schemes will continue forever. The main thing I've learned is that it's good to be skeptical of everything until you have met someone in person who is active in the area you want to move into, and can tell you, in detail, about recent deals that worked for them. If you see a "recent deal" testimonial presented as a video clip that's used in an introductory seminar or infomercial, then it's probably not that recent.

That's not to say that everyone who puts testimonials on video are running scams. But you have to realize they have a marketing department and a marketing budget. From experience, I know that marketing departments often stretch the truth much farther than the average person would (even more than the person giving the testimonial would stretch it).

Don't give up!

You can still learn important concepts from some of these gurus, and even the free seminars can teach you something. But I don't believe there are very many successes among the people who go to the free seminars, then pay $1,000 to $5,000 for the "institute" version (2 days), just to face the prospects of more courses. I attended a Russ Whitney free seminar, then a $2000 course in 2004. While there was a ton of information I would have had to learn by reading several books, and some good motivational speaking, I was surprised that so many people signed on for further training at a cost of at least $10.000 or more.

What did I do?

My feeling was that I might have been able to reach financial freedom in as few as 3 years if I paid for training or mentoring. But if I kept to my own plan, I might be able to do it myself in 5 years. I elected not to pay for the training. I don't regret that decision. In fact I have met a "testimonial guy" from one guru's video ads, and while he is probably contractually obliged to not say anything negative about his guru's system, I can tell that the real story is not as bright as the video portrays. It's often much harder to do than they say it is.

By all means, though, read as much as you can on different aspects of financial success. Even if you are advised to take action immediately, make sure you know the risks and are comfortable with them before you do anything. As real estate guru "Dolf De Roos" says, "The deal of the decade comes along about once a week." It's not far from the truth.

A Breath of Fresh Air

The good news is that "testimonial guy" and I have recently both found a breath of fresh air amid all this slick marketing machinery. It takes another change of mindset from realizing that RRSPs aren't the only kind of investment you can do part time without watching the markets every day.

This one just needs you to take an inventory of who you know and what they need. Most people don't really care about your needs, but if you can help others to be successful, it will eventually come back to you.

Money, Time and Risk

That's why I think Dollar Makers is such an innovative, common sense approach to building wealth. I only recently joined, but this blog is a direct result of changing my mindset in this way. So, I am actually looking for people who need help with their businesses. I can connect them together in a process called Joint Venture Brokering. It sounds complicated, but it's a wide open space with room for everybody to help each other. It takes no money, very little time, and has virtually no risk. These are things that most gurus can't honestly claim about their systems.

Robin J. Elliott

Robin J. Elliott is not so much a guru as a prolific business enabler. The Joint Venture Forum that he runs is a growing "High-Value Business Network". There is a code of ethics that is strictly enforced, which gives you the environment of trust that is often missing in other niches.

Instead of repeating everything myself, I am including (with Robin's permission) an excerpt from his Blog below, which contains many other valuable articles, located at:

You Can Create Time and Money Freedom

You want to be free to do what you like, when you like, right?You want to be free to go where you wish, when you wish, and to be able to afford to buy what you want. Ayn Rand said, “Freedom is to ask for nothing, to expect nothing and to depend on nothing.” Sounds good to me.

But, to many people, this just seems like an impossible dream.In fact, you can create this freedom in your own life to a large extent. It won’t happen overnight, but it can happen. You can consciously and systematically create this free lifestyle. I have. And you can, too. This is a technology, not some “Pie in the sky” scheme. It’s not MLM or Network Marketing. It’s proven and it works. Here is a simple plan to create freedom in your life: more than enough time and money and independence for you.

We should remember that Robert Kiosaki, in his “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” book, told us that you don’t need millions in the bank to retire. What you do need is more passive income than you need to live comfortably on. That’s not what some “financial planners” will tell you; they want to sell you lots of risky stocks and bonds and they tell you that you need millions in the bank. So, if you need $5,000 a month to live on and your income exceeds that, plus you have a little financial cushion stashed away for unexpected costs, you’re looking good!

And we all know that it’s better, by far, to have multiple streams of income than just one. That way, we reduce our risk, don’t we? Not all your eggs in one basket. Have many baskets, so you can afford to drop some and still survive. Spread the risk. That way, you don’t lie awake at night, worrying about losing your income because of a crash in the stock market, a grumpy boss or a dishonest business associate.

So, step by step, this is what we need to create time and money freedom and peace of mind, and all the quality of life that brings with it; ten simple steps:

Reduce and remove debts and overhead. Most people buy things they don’t need and can’t afford, with money they don’t have, to impress people they don’t like.

We need to reduce our monthly expenses and cut away the fat. Do you really need two cars and all the flash? The less you need to live on every month, the easier it is to get free. Take a good, hard look at your expenses and lifestyle. Do your things own you?

Make sure you are properly insured against lawsuits and unexpected loss. Get many quotes and be very careful which salesperson you talk with. Remember, the salesperson wants as much commission as he can get out of you. A healthy dose of skepticism is a good thing here. When I was offered dental insurance and I looked at my benefits and costs, I decided to do without. It has saved me thousands of dollars. Read the small print; insurance companies really don’t want to pay you.

Incorporate your business for protection and definitely have a business – the tax breaks are excellent, especially if you’re a Joint Venture Broker as there are many more deductibles, including trips, entertainment and the like.

Remove unnecessary costs and especially regular costs from your life. Visit your bank manager and the competition bank manager and an accountant. Look at refinancing and reorganizing your debts, line of credit, credit cards and mortgage – this exercise alone can save you a fortune and radically reduce your monthly costs.

Simplify your life as much as possible. What can be cut out? What is working, and what is not working? Are you attending a club or group out of habit, but not really getting any benefit anymore? And it’s costing you money? How much time and money will you save by leaving?

Educate yourself. Read Robert Kiosaki’s books. Read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”. Read “Think and Grow Rich” – again. Attend courses. Don’t go out and spend a fortune on schemes and dreams and “get rich quick” schemes. Be very careful. Attend free seminars but don’t buy stuff when the speaker turns into a used car salesman at the end and the mindless herd goes scurrying to the back of the room to buy his overpriced products. Sleep on it first. Don’t get emotionally whipped up. The more you learn, the more you earn. Understand money and debt. We don’t have money problems; we have thinking problems.

Align yourself with winners, not whiners. If we mix with people who are richer, wiser and more successful than we are, we will earn more as we learn more. Be open-minded and get that ego out of the way. People who are free can teach you how to be free.

You don’t learn by talking; you learn by listening and then applying the new information.In everything, maintain the Joint Venture Broker mindset: “No Money, No Risk, Very Little Time.” You don’t have to pay for things when you understand Joint Ventures. You can trade, barter and JV.

Become a Joint Venture Broker and create multiple streams of increasing, passive income.

Maximum potential, unlimited opportunities, no geographic limitations, no industry limitations. Anyone can do it, regardless of education, age or background. All you need is access to a telephone. If you have internet access, even better. Work from home, a car, a beach, a forest, a hotel, an airport, or a wheelbarrow if you like.

And you don’t have to go out and buy a business, sell stuff, sign leases, employ people or buy inventory. You can use existing resources – everything you need is available through other people and other businesses.

For more information, free podcasts, free teleclasses and seminars and much more, visit: and

Copyright Robin J. Elliott


So, there you have it. This is where I am right now; helping to build the JV Forum, working to develop my own network that is connected to dollarmakers, and aiming to prove that this new model for small business marketing success will work.

... Scott

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