Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rich Dad Poor Dad - Free Seminar Review

This week I had the opportunity to attend a two-hour free seminar sponsored by Rich Dad Poor Dad. I love financial seminars. It’s probably crazy but seminars have always been my #1 choice for learning something new. Books can get long and even the best books can be set aside in a busy schedule, classes require a big commitment, and infomercials seem contrived. Seminars can provide information, interaction with others with similar interests, and are usually just long enough to fill your brain without shifting it to autopilot or sleep mode. This two-hour seminar was no exception. The speakers gave just enough taste to spark the thoughts and the free gifts had people jumping out of their seats to get them.

There were approximately 125 attendees all avidly listening and waiting to hear what the speaker, Rodney Huffman, would say about the current economy. More than half of the group was already familiar with the Rich Dad Poor Dad original courses. If you haven’t listened to it yet you may really enjoy it. If you cannot find a free copy than ebay or Amazon might have the best deals.

The session gave some basics and was focused on introducing real estate investing in an environment were foreclosures abound. In some ways it was a teaser for the upcoming intensive classes they will be offering in a month. I didn’t mind this at all as the price for the 3-day seminar is only $199 for the attendees. I don’t plan to attend but strongly believe that those who do will get their monies worth.

What I love about Rich Dad Poor Dad:

1. He challenges us to dream big and reveals those things that hold us back. Many of our dreams succeed but they do so because they are small dreams.
2. The seminars are in most major cities and are free!
3. Real estate investing can be viewed as an out of reach goal for many people but the seminars and learning materials show how it is much more possible than most would believe.
4. Instructions and methods are clear, concise, and easy to understand and some humor thrown in to spice it up.
5. With all of the above the average person can work the program.

My cautions about Rich Dad Poor Dad:

1. Some people get just enough information to be dangerous. The seminar itself states that the results in the testimonials are NOT typical of those who try the program. Translated, that means that many people FAIL and because they are doing so with big money it can really wreak havoc. One bad tenant in a rental unit can wipe out a year or more worth of profit potential in a matter of days.
2. There is an overemphasis on using OPM (Other Peoples Money). This is a double-edged sword in that it can entice people to borrow recklessly and on the other side, in their enthusiasm they forget that yes, they do have to pay it back. I wish they would put more emphasis on creating a more conservative model that uses your own money to begin with.

My light bulb moment of the evening: “The rich understand tax law.”

This was one of the duh, yeah moments for me. The speaker went through how knowing the tax laws and how to apply them can dramatically affect the usefulness of all money you receive whether you choose to invest in real estate or not. I have had a very good tax person for years and every year she advises me what investments I should have more of and what I should cut back on. She is bold enough to say “Next year this is how I want you to lay out your expenses and what to keep records of”. Mine is small potatoes to some but it’s what I work hard for. Many people think they can do it themselves and miss tremendous opportunities to put more money in their own pocket. They think that because they are not rich they do not need a tax person or knowledge in this area but that is exactly why they do need one.


If you look to Rich Dad Poor Dad as the only financial learning you will ever need and do not learn sound basic financial principles and boundaries first you can get in trouble very quickly. You need to be sure of your own principles first so you are able to disagree on some points while acknowledging others.  For example, the back of the DVD case says "The importance of refusing to live below your means".  If you have read my other posts you know I would take issue with that statement but it does not mean I need to reject everything he says.  BUT, if you use the principles as part of an entire repertoire of financial tools and information you may achieve the success you are hoping for.

The seminar focus is on acquiring property. Honestly that is the easy part and just the first step. Managing the books for optimum tax benefits, recognizing drug use in one of your units, and changing a light fixture or knowing someone who can is where it gets tricky. I once hired a man to change a bathroom floor that should have been a two-day job. The bathroom was torn apart before I figured out he did not know what he was doing and the job cost twice as much as budgeted. Worst of all was that the residents were inconvenienced during the entire process. I did ultimately have more positive stories than problems but what I’m saying is that you don’t know what you don’t know until you find it out. So, do all the research up front before jumping right in. Many people have traveled the road of real estate investment successfully and Rich Man Poor Man has opened the door and gotten many off to a good start.

Photo from Google images.


Early Retirement Extreme said...

So has RDPD gone completely over to real estate? That never really seemed to be the focus of his earlier work(?)

Carol said...

I think they are making a real estate investment focused seminar in a number of areas that have experienced high forclosure rates.