This is the saga of “Lucky” the newbie investor. Lucky has big dreams of being an ultra successful real estate mogul. He is addicted to all of the flip-and-grow-rich TV shows, he just can’t get enough. He sits in front of the TV night after night watching property escalator, real estate jocks, flip this flophouse and various other fantasy shows.
He gets so excited that he can’t sleep, so he stays up watching the late-night infomercials featuring the latest real estate gurus. His mind is racing a mile a minute. “This is so easy,” Lucky thinks to himself. He’s just trying to figure out how to get started. There has to be a really easy way to do this.
The Morning Paper
The next morning Lucky is sitting at the kitchen table having coffee and reading the daily newspaper. As he’s perusing the disappointing results from the racetrack pages, he sees a full-page ad on the page opposite the one he’s reading. The headline screams at him Do You Want To Be Rich? – “yup ‘, Dreamed Of Making It Big In Real Estate? – “uh-huh”, Is Your Credit Score Hovering Around Absolute Zero? – “that’s me”, Would You Like To Learn How To Do Deals With No Money? – “hell yeah!”, Come To Our Free Seminar, – “awright!”
Lucky is so excited. He is sitting at the seminar with hundreds of other tycoons in the making. One guru after another is doing a flashy presentation and telling them all how rich they are going to be. All they have to do is buy the various sets of books and tapes and all of the secrets will be revealed to them. Lucky is pumped! He figures that if he sells his Pokeman collection and Star Wars figurines, he can raise enough cash to buy the program. After all, its only $3,000, what’s that compared to the millions he’s going to make? Heck, with these programs you don’t need any cash or credit to do deals.
Lucky reads through the material and listens to the tapes. He is so excited that he immediately starts looking for that first deal. He has to buy something right a way before he misses out. The gurus said that the current downturn is nothing more than a great buying opportunity. There is nothing to fear because real estate only goes up and the market is going to turn around any minute. Just get out there and start making offers. So he does.
He calls a real estate agent and says he wants to buy a bunch of houses quickly. The agent asks him about his investing experience and if has been pre-qualified. He also wants to know how much he has available for down payments. To all of this Lucky responds, “What do I need that for? I’m going to buy with no money down!” The agent hangs up.
Undeterred, Lucky heads down to the courthouse for the weekly foreclosure auction. He signs in at the registration table where he is asked about having certified funds ready. Lucky is confused. “Why do I need a check? I’m going to buy with no money down. Isn’t that how it’s done?”
There Has To Be A Better Way
Lucky heads down to the next meeting at the local real estate investment club. He’s chatting with several of the successful investors and explaining his frustration with doing a deal. One of these investors takes pity on him and tries to point him in the right direction. He tries explaining that investing in real estate takes a lot of hard work and success doesn’t happen overnight despite what the gurus say. There are no shortcuts on the road to success and it is extremely important to take the time to get educated. Lucky gets irate and blurts out that he’s got more than enough education, “I’m a ninth grade graduate” he yells as he storms out of the meeting. Heck, if he wanted to do that much work he’d just get a job like his mother keeps telling him to.
I was watching TV one night wondering what ever happened to Lucky. As I’m surfing through the channels I can’t believe my eyes. There he is pitching his program, Lucky’s Way to Real Estate Riches. Once again this just proves that those who can do, those who can’t teach!
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance. – Confucius