What happened to Carlton Sheets?

105 Replies

Remember that guy? He was on TV all the time. He talked about buying houses and making a fortune. He never talked about tenants, repairs, evictions, problems, etc. I wonder what happened to him. I know that Tom Vu went to prison and now plays poker. Dave DelDotto went out like Vin Diesel. That McCorcoran clown went to prison. Those guru sideshows used to crack me up. How about Armando Montelongo? Haven't heard his name in years. I get emails all the time from Than Merril peddling his crap.

Good times.....

Those are familiar names, Those were the guys that basically framed my opinions of gurus, thanks to them I make it hard on all of them, almost. I guess if they aren't in prison, they're hiding out or pushing up weeds.

Well, I'll give credit to Carlton Sheets for one thing: he inspired lots of people to get involved in real estate investing, even if his stuff was bs. I was among them. I bought his course, started it, said "That's crap, it will never work" but went out and educated myself on buy and hold because I was bitten by the bug.

Armando Montelongo must be alive and well and selling lots of mentorship programs, because I have two current customers doing deals as a result of his programs. They are thin deals, but ok for a first deal. One of them found me here on BP and his project is coming along nicely, looking good.

As for Than Merrill and Paul Esajian, I have a great deal of respect for them, actually, and know them both from multiple points of contact. Yes, they are selling courses, bootcamps, mentorship programs, etc, but I consider them to be among the best of the guru's, and I work with a number of investors who are in their mastery program. I don't like the hard sell, but their stuff is good. Of course real life is never like the seminar, but I think they do the best in preparing the students for reality. Out of the guru's that is.

Updated over 4 years ago

Looks like this thread still gets lots of traction. I want to update my opinion: I have nothing good to say about Montelongo. As for Fortune Builders (Paul and Than) it seems they have gotten far from their roots. I'm sure they are making lots of money. I'm not sure their new students are. I think some of their early students who made good decisions are doing very well.

I love this thread. I'm typically surrounded by folks with short term memories. Got to admit I got started because I was inspired to pencil out a no- money down deal. It worked for me - happy to report.

The problem, as I see it, is selling one side of the coin. Being a landlord and being a good landlord are two different things. A takes a while to learn best practices, cash flow management, and preventative maintenance techniques. Definitely more than just greed needed to build wealth with RE.

I have a rule that if anybody makes it sound easy to make money... I run the other way. There is no magic bullet. You have to pay the price, take some risk and even if you are extremely succesful... you will have some battle scars. Fast and easy money only exists in the minds of those pitching MLM and Ponzi schemes. Those looking for a shortcut are easy pray.

Carlton Sheets is alive and well, and still reeling them in. Now, he is ALL hard sell, this time his "mentoring" program. If you e-mail him, he'll respond with the extreme hard sell for about a week, then tell you you're not serious about real estate and never contact you again.

I'm with Ann- I bought his course, and it got me interested in real estate in the first place. Thank you, Carlton!

Giving credit to Carlton Sheets for getting you into real estate is like giving credit to a snake oil salesman for getting you into being healthy.

Fortunately for you @Ann Bellamy , you were able to figure it out pretty quickly and go down the "right" path. There are many others who plain and simply got burned by him (and other "gurus") and never want to hear "real estate investing" again.

@Loc R. ,

LOL! I totally see your point. However, it's up to us to do our due diligence and make our choices. Sometimes we're right, and sometimes we're wrong. Some people buy his course and then blame him for being a scumbag when they are out the money, and then never do anything because he's a snake oil salesman. Some people buy his course, say "shame on me" for thinking it was that easy, and then go and find another way.

It's capitalism at it's finest.

Originally posted by Gary E. London, CPA:
I can only assume that Tom Vu went to prison for something other than being a sleazy guru. Was it a shady R.E. deal or something else?

I've had the "pleasure" of playing poker with Tommy Vu several times. He says that he never went to prison (for anything), but I'm not sure I'd believe anything he says, at or away from the poker table... :)

I never read the Carlton Sheets. I'm not big on gurus. However, it was reading Rich Dad Poor Dad that was probably the initial thrust to me becoming serious about actually saving up some money to buy an investment property (something I had fantasized about but not otherwise taken steps toward).

One thing about the guru material is that it is accessible for most people. Smart people realize there is something missing and look for the missing information. A particular real estate agent and BP was big help for me in that regard.

Rich Dad Poor Dad did it for me although Robert Kiyoski is all about the hard sell now as well. His seminars are ridiculous and there are a bunch of Youtube videos exploiting him.

I read Carlton Sheets while I was on college and he had me hook, line and sinker. Lucky I was in school and had no credit or money.

It's sad but people are being taken every day.

Interesting responses! I bought the Carlton Sheets course years ago but never did anything with it. However it did "plant the seed". Then a few years ago I went to a 3 day Kiyoski course after I just read "Rich Dad Poor Dad" and it all clicked. Although I spent too much money on the Kiyosaki course and did not get much out of it, I was "in the game". If anything I needed to make my $6,000 back. So I got into REI and have done well and doing better every day. The way I look at it, you can sit in the stands and wish you were playing or you can get on the field and get bruised, cut, and knocked down and you can also win. "After all it's not have many times you get knocked down that counts it's how many times do you get up!!"

Armando Montelongo was a speaker at a real estate investment club meeting I attended a couple years back. He said he went broke, went into a depression for 6 months, and now how found inspiration and desire to help others succeed. This must be the only business where people will pay big bucks to learn the secrets of success from a total failure.

ALL real estate guru stuff is an outgrowth, twist, or extension (often fantasy) of Bill Nickerson's "How I turned $5000 into a Million Investing in Real Estate in my Spare Time". Save yourself money, time and aggravation, study the book and apply it's principles. It's as valid today as it was in 1959 when it was first published.

People can say what they want about gurus but I love the guys. People take the class and go out and buy, then realize this isn't so easy. Then I come in and take their problem off their hands for 50 cents on the dollar. I wish there was more gurus.

I cut my teeth on Carlton Sheets. My girlfriend bought his VCR tape course and it got me interested in REI. I didn't use any of his material though. A lot of his techniques didn't seem to work well in the easy credit environment at the time. Perhaps it worked well in the 80's.

I remember Donald Trump being a guest on talk show and someone stood up and asked "what separates you from other real estate investors like Carlton Sheets."

Donald paused for a moment and said something like..."I guess its fame because I have never heard of him but I suppose he has heard of me. I honestly don't know who he is"

Robert Kiyosaki recently (about 2 years ago) put out a book profiling several real estate experts, Carlton Sheets was one of them.

To be honest, Rich Dad was what really fired me up about REI. I had been thinking about REI for a while but that book followed by others, really pushed me to believe that can do it. I know there is a lot of fluff in those books, but I think there is a lot of good info too. If nothing else it helps provide some good motivation.

Originally posted by Ryan M.:
People can say what they want about gurus but I love the guys. People take the class and go out and buy, then realize this isn't so easy. Then I come in and take their problem off their hands for 50 cents on the dollar. I wish there was more gurus.

What's really funny is that there is some trainer (can't remember who) that teaches to do exactly as Ryan says in this quote.

The Carleton Sheets late night infomercials got me interested in REI. I did fall for the "I make $100,000/yr working 5 hours a week" type claims some of the folks on the informercial made, but I soon found out how difficult and time consuming REI can be.

At the end of the day those infomercials got me searching for more information. I'm thankful of that.