It seems like every other day, there’s a new seminar or workshop popping up that promises to teach you how to get rich quick.
But as anyone who’s ever tried this knows, these types of programs rarely deliver on their lofty promises. In fact, they often leave you poorer than when you started.
So how can you avoid these dodgy get-rich-quick type seminars?
In this blog post, I’ll share with you a few of my personal experiences with them, and some tips to help you steer clear of these schemes.
Losing 3 Years’ Of My Annual Salary To Dodgy Schemes
When I first started my investing and trading journey, I fell for just about every get-rich-quick scheme there was.
I would go to seminar after seminar, workshop after workshop, and each time I would leave feeling motivated and inspired. Following that, I would spend thousands of dollars on courses and programs, only to find out later that I had been duped.
I won’t go into too much detail here, but I ended up blowing three big accounts and losing everything I’d saved from my corporate job at the time ($100,000 – 3 years’ worth of my annual salary at the time). If you want to read more about that story, you can check it out here.
Since then, I’ve learned a lot about how to avoid these types of schemes, and I want to share that knowledge with you so that you don’t make the same mistakes I did.
11 Questions To Filter Out And Avoid Get-Rich-Quick Type Seminars
In most cases, it’s not so much the seminar that is the issue, but rather the speakers at those seminars that you need to be careful of.
There are always going to be some bad apples in any industry, and the investing and trading world is no different.
So how can you filter out the good from the bad?
Here are 7 questions to ask yourself to do just that:
1. Do They Use Financial Porn In Their Sales & Marketing?
‘Overpromising’ phrases are very common among get-rich-quick type ‘experts’.
They’ll use very seductive language often exaggerating facts or omitting drawbacks to using their system in order to hook you into buying their product.
For example, they’ll use phrases like:
- “For serious investors only”
- “Double your money”
- “Completely risk-free”
- “The next Facebook”
- “Explosive growth”
I refer to these types of phrases as financial porn – highly addictive language that arouses a feeling of wanting to take action, but isn’t necessarily conducive to a healthy investment for you.
➜ Related Post: 5 Ways to Break Your Addiction to Financial Porn
2. What is the speaker’s background?
When you’re looking at a seminar or webinar, it’s important to look into the speaker’s background. Are they experienced traders or investors? Have they achieved success themselves? Or are they just someone who has read a few books and is trying to teach others what they’ve learned?
The latter is more likely to lead to a disappointing experience, as they may not have the real-world experience and knowledge to back up their teachings.
3. Do they have any skin in the game?
This is a big one. If the speaker is just trying to sell you a course or seminar, then they probably don’t have much skin in the game.
But if they’re also trading or investing themselves, then that’s a good sign that they’re genuine and that their methods actually work.
4. Are They Transparent?
A good speaker will be upfront and transparent about their experiences, both good and bad. They won’t try to hide their losses or paint an overly rosy picture of their success.
If a speaker is being vague about their results or experience, take that as a red flag.
Many spruikers only focus on showcasing their wins, and none of their losses – if someone ever promises you they can get 100% of your trades right, walk away immediately.
Making money is the easy part. Where most amateurs fail is keeping that money and growing it.
5. Have they managed a fund before?
If the speaker is claiming to be a successful trader or investor, have they ever managed a fund before? If not, then it’s likely that they’re just blowing hot air.
Even if they’re not, managing a fund comprised of other people’s money is very different from investing and trading with your own money. It’s a lot more pressure, and as a result, fund managers tend to place a lot more emphasis on risk management – which is good news for you.
If they haven’t managed a fund before, it’s unlikely they’ve got the right pedigree to also go out there and teach people because that is when they teach the wrong things. Everyone has a different level of risk tolerance, so for them to assume you are the same as them is very dangerous.
6. What is their investment philosophy?
A good speaker will have a clear investment philosophy that they stick to, no matter what the market conditions are.
If they’re constantly changing their tune or trying to adapt to the latest fad, then it’s likely they don’t really know what they’re doing.
A good investment philosophy should be based on sound principles and a deep understanding of the markets. It should be something that can be applied in any market conditions, not just when the markets are going up.
7. What do their students have to say about them?
If the speaker has been teaching for awhile, there should be plenty of feedback and testimonials from their students.
Do a quick Google search and see what comes up. If there’s nothing but crickets chirping, then it’s hard to take them seriously as an authority on the subject.
On the other hand, if there are plenty of happy students singing their praises, then that’s a good sign that they know what they’re doing and are able to teach others effectively.
You should also take the time to read reviews of their courses or seminars. If there are more bad reviews than good ones, then that’s a sign that you should stay away.
8. What is the quality of their materials?
When you’re looking at a free seminar or webinar, what is the quality of the materials like?
Are they just slapping together a PowerPoint presentation with some basic information, or have they created a well-researched and thoughtfully put-together presentation?
The latter is more likely to be worth your time, as it’s a sign that they’re serious about what they’re doing and are committed to providing quality information.
On the other hand, if the materials are basic or sloppy, then it’s likely that the speaker isn’t really an expert on the subject matter. They may just be trying to make a quick buck off of gullible people.
9. Is the information actionable?
The best speakers are those who not only provide quality information, but also make sure that it’s actionable.
In other words, they don’t just tell you what to do, but they also tell you how to do it.
If the speaker is just regurgitating information that you could find in a book or on the internet, then they’re not really adding much value. But if they’re providing specific strategies and tactics that you can use to improve your trading or investing, then they’re worth paying attention to.
10. How are they selling you ?
There is no such thing as a free lunch.
Unless they’re running a charity and not a business, if someone is offering you a free seminar or webinar, then they’re probably going to try to sell you something at the end.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but you should be aware of it going in. Otherwise, you may end up feeling pressure to buy something that you don’t really need.
The best speakers will be up-front about their sales pitch and won’t try to sneak it in at the end. They’ll also offer quality information even if you don’t buy anything from them.
11. Are they offering a money-back guarantee?
A good speaker will have confidence in their ability to deliver on their promises. They won’t have any problem offering a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with their material.
On the other hand, if they’re not offering a money-back guarantee, then that’s a red flag. It could mean that they’re not confident in their ability to deliver on their promises, or that they’re just trying to make a quick buck – either way, it’s not worth taking the risk.
The Next Time You Attend a Free Seminar/Webinar…
Now that you know what to look for, the next time you attend a seminar or webinar, you’ll be better equipped to separate the wheat from the chaff.
By viewing the presentation through the lens of these 11 questions, you can make sure that you’re only getting quality information from expert speakers who are worth your time and attention.