It is perhaps a weakness of humans that we always think someone else knows better. Is that why many people are persuaded to hand over more than $ 5,000 to learn one area of investing that is quite learnable through other (less expensive) means? This could also explain why around 250,000 Australians have been persuaded to buy new units at over-the-market prices (mostly on the Gold Coast) in the last ten years through over-hyped free seminars.
True, some areas of investing are complex. Take wraps (vendor finance) for example. Get this deal wrong and you could be left with a house valued at less than the market price or some type of legal entanglement. It would pay to learn about the ins and outs first.
Often what draws us into expensive education is the notification that certain people hold the 'secrets' to wealth and passive income, and we want to know the secrets too. They have created massive wealth themselves (usually a by-product of their shepherd persistence) and now they teach others. This topic is divided, but here is one helpful opinion from Michael on property investing.com forum:
There are many seminar spruikers out there that purport to do many things. I've reiterated the necessity of doing some solid due diligence including asking for student references from those who've successfully used the strategies being taught (and be careful that is not someone in the direct employ of the company) and have a solicitor go over any JV (that is, Joint Venture) agreements to ensure your position is protected and that you have legal recourse in all instances, especially in things like profit splits, responsibilities, liabilities and that its clearly documented in all areas. "
Others believe that $ 5,000 and ongoing costs is money well spent to shorten your learning curve. The course the forum was discussing was a property options course, and one gentleman commented that a good property lawyer with knowledge of options could explain it for a fraction of the cost. There is also a book / CD on the subject, Options Made Simple, by Rob Balanda.
I do not believe that education will prevent you making mistakes as you go from novice to expert investor. Any path to wealth is one negotiation with steps backwards as well as forwards, and it is your response to these challenges that really determinates your ultimate level of success. Read up on any multi-millionaire and you will find that they failed at least once before they had major success. With all his great mentoring from his Rich Dad, even Robert Kiyosaki had to close his once successful surf business, and start from nothing again before he went onto success in training and wealth education.
On the other hand, it is important to get some knowledge before jumping in. For example, as a novice I might be buying a big block and thinking of doing a subdivision. In my research, I would buy a comprehensive manual on subdivisions, search all the good website pages about subdividing, and check the pertinent council regulations concerning minimum area, driveways and zoning, before going to the trouble of viewing properties or being "talked into it "He said.
If you are confused whether to go ahead with a live workshop or home study course, why not ask yourself these questions:
– Am I likely to use the information at the finish, or will my lend-ability or fear prevent this?
– Am I motivated enough for home study, or do I need the "kick in the pants" that seminar or course speakers initially provide. Alternately, would an ingoing mentorship be better value?
– What do other people on the investment forums say about this person / company? Hint: Google "full name" and "property" and "forum". Go in with your eyes wide open.
Remember that most low cost or free seminars are pullers for longer, more expensive courses. Do you think that the spruiker is going to give away his best tips and tricks there, or keep the details for the people who pay?
I think most millionaires would agree with me, (even though I am in the middle class), that only you know your objectives, risk tolerance, and expectations. Only you can proceed along the learning curve.