You, like many of us, have heard that intriguing radio ad for Than Merrill, from A&E’s Flip This House, holding a 2-hour workshop to “flip” in your local area. We signed up, hoping it to be the lucky night that Than actually shows up at Embassy Suites. Of course it wasn’t. However, we were met with one of his partners, a member of FortuneBuilders, who exclaimed flipping houses can work in any market. He proceeded to dazzle the crowd with local Charlotte real estate numbers and wild success stories to ultimately woo, more than half of the 200+ crowd that night, to sign up for a 3-day seminar for $200. I’m 100% confident this ‘free-but-not-really-free’ workshop was held numerous times here in Charlotte and everywhere else in the country to the dismay of the Better Business Bureau. Supposedly, the original price for the 3-day seminar – $1200; while the two of us for a meager $200. Sold!
Once we attend the 3-day seminar, I’ll update everyone if it was even worth it; but in the meantime, these were the 5 best thoughts I took away, before ponying up that “nominal” $200 fee for a possible avenue towards the effing life.
- Executing a previous Proven Business Plan – This was a great sales tactic – “Hey, these guys are easily flipping houses and becoming RICH, I’ll just follow their same process down here!” Unless you want to remain ignorant, you should know that real estate investment takes lots of time, hard work, money, and risk. However, this should not dissuade you from following the core of that advice. There’s a reason they’re proven business plans, and not all simple ideas are worth throwing away. Look at all those knock-off burrito joints, smoothie places, and frozen yogurt shops – if the food is good, customers will come.
- The lack of Financial Literacy is Alarming – The presenter made a good point: “How many of you learned about credit cards, lending rates, or mortgages in high school? And how many of you dissected a frog?” The show of hands was telling as we realized that we are ALL dealing with those issues today and not of amphibian anatomy. The financial knowledge that is lacking in our education system, can easily define a person’s future and retirement. Are the financial institutions in on this?
- Be prepared. Have an Exit Strategy – Whether it’s the fastest way to flip that house or to owning a business that can essentially run itself. Bernadette keeps reminding me that a 4-hour Work Week is possible because you can set yourself up to where the business shouldn’t need your inputs. A key is starting a business with an exit strategy in mind. Serial entrepreneurs get away with this all the time.
- Saving vs. Investing for your retirement – Another eye-opening proposition. Many of us are putting thousands of hard-earned dollars into a 401(k), where we unknowingly may be paying someone to play with our retirement funds, garnering slight returns that will be tapped out in 10 years if we want to retain even a slightly lesser lifestyle during retirement. The better alternative may be a Self-Directed IRA and other real estate investments. As we educate ourselves more on these other options, we hope to share it with you too.
- Spare time: are you spending it to Educate or Entertain? – We are all guilty of this. He was right, there’s no way skirting around it. So since then, I’ve been striving to make every decision to be productive with our goals in mind. Entertainment now comes in the form of writing this blog, nurturing our relationships, and finding ways to save or make more money. I hope you find our articles both educational and entertaining!
NOTE: We do NOT personally endorse A&E’s Flip This House, Than Merrill, FortuneBuilders or any of its affiliates and definitely not this free workshop. This article is for informational use only and the opinions expressed are solely my own.