Property seminars: the good, the bad and the ugly

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The lure of big money investment secrets and priceless hints and tips are hard to resist, but some property seminar promises could turn out to bring more pain than profit, according to Your Investment Property magazine.

Property seminars promise everything from the secrets of the rich to multi-million-dollar property portfolio-creating tips. All you need to do is attend the seminar and this new life of prosperity will be yours. Or will it?

According to Angelo Piazzetta, CEO, The Property School, bold claims like these should have you running in the opposite direction - and definitely not parting with your cash.

"To come out and say 'I can make you mega-millions', to me that doesn't look right," he said. "When they say, 'come and hear from a $5m property investor', it's not always clear if it's $5m of ownership or $5m of debt. They could easily have $4.9m worth of debt."

Despite warnings like these, the possibility of making big bucks through property continues to draw potential investors.

"They [seminars] are very clever on how they draw people in," said ethics campaigner Neil Jenman. "I've seen the tricks used on people at seminars and I've seen them rush with their credit cards, pushing each other aside to sign up. It's pretty awful."

A common misconception by those who have been fooled by property seminars is that they have no right to fight for their cause. Jenman encouraged victims to stand up for their rights.

"If you don't yell you've got no hope. If people remain silent or they act polite, they're going to get nowhere. You've got to be really strong with them. They know most people aren't prepared to be strong."

The best way to approach any property investment seminar is to put in the time and effort to do your homework, said Paul Giezekamp, founder of Property Secrets.
"They [investors] need to do their own research and they have to be responsible for their actions," he said. "If it was 30 years ago then you couldn't blame people because there was no education. People buying the DVDs and everything else, they really only have themselves to blame. If they see something that isn't right they need to report it, but they need to do a bit of research first."

To read the full article on property seminars, read the latest issue of Your Investment Property magazine, on sale now.

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