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I just spent 3 days at a Fortune Builders seminar as a newbie. It cost $100 each for me and a friend.

I feel I got more than $100 value from it. Highlights:

Forming my LLC in Nevada because of the stronger corporate veil laws

The tax advantages of owning nothing and controlling everything with Solo 401(k), revocable trusts, etc.

How to use leverage to obtain assets and turn around and make money repeatedly with the same process.

The highest level of Mastery includes local walk throughs of properties being rehabbed, daily 11 hour access to coaches to review your deals, boot camps for intensive, hands on, training for the top areas in REI. But more than that, a turn key rental club, lifetime access to all of the online training (regularly updated), marketing systems, forms and checklists needed to automate your business so you can work on it, instead of in it. A large network of investors for lending, buying and advice.

If you buy any level of the course, it is a tax write off for your business and you could pay for it in a few rehab flips. I saw questions on checklists for repair estimates and hiring contractors that would take me a very long time (if ever) to figure out doing self study and asking questions of working investors who are busy with their own businesses.

Mastery provides the training and business systems and deal support that will give you a quick start. You have lifetime access to create things like buyer packages and direct mailing campaigns with a few clicks on your laptop. It seems to me that anyone who is truly motivated could succeed easily without paying (literally and figuratively) for newbie mistakes.

As a person over 50 who is lacking in retirement I need to get started quickly. I dont have the funds or

credit to join Mastery now, but I want to to the training eventually. My question to the forum is Why is a guru system like this considered a bad investment?

PS – I am not associated with Fortune Builders. I went to the seminar this past weekend with a negative bias after reading about them here. When I saw what they offered, I was impressed and confused by the BP forum comments.

Where to start… After reading your post this product sounds like 1/2 dozen others that I have already heard about.

It sounds like the $100 might have been well spent, because it got you and a friend to start thinking about financial freedom and opportunities.

The tips you picked up are nothing more than what I have read in $20 Rich Dad books I picked up on Amazon… and BTW the whole NevadaLLCthing has been contradicted by every attorney I have ever mentioned it to.

If the program can pay for itself after a few flips -wow that is a lot. A few flips just to break even is no small task. I mean if a flip is $25,000 profit a few flips is $75,000- how long does it take you to make that much usually? Flipping houses is not a magically lucrative job, it is real work.

I would guarantee the info you would receive with this program is nothing more than you could find on this website, plus a few books. The networking opportunity that program provides, that can add value, but again networking with the right people is something you can do for free!

The ideas and info are not worthless, but they are practically free from other sources.

Regarding…anyone who is truly motivated could succeed easily without paying (literally and figuratively) for newbie mistakes…it sounds like the Kool-Aid went down smoothly.

In my area, the local community college has a Flip It! class, taught by a local flipper. I would suggest you see if there is an equivalent in your area. I paid $145 if I remember correctly. I signed up to find flippers to lend to. I lent on three flips with my self directedIRAmoney. Im 99% sure that class I took and the experience of lending to flippers is way more valuable than a FB class.

Eddie, Thanks for your input. I know that flipping houses is real work. I understand that the info is spread out over the internet and BP for free.  However, I dont know what I dont know. The FB pre-loaded forms, checklists and marketing systems seem like they would make setting my business up faster than me trying to create my own content/systems and missing critical elements.

I guess a better question is, Does the Mastery program actually deliver all the automated, online business systems content that I saw briefly on the big screens this weekend or not?

Regarding…anyone who is truly motivated could succeed easily without paying (literally and figuratively) for newbie mistakes…it sounds like the Kool-Aid went down smoothly

Lol, Kool-Aid! I worked at law firms doing legal records and information management for over 20 years that included supervisory positions. I believe in systems and SOPs for getting a job done correctly and quickly the 1st time. Why reinvent the wheel? My goal is to work smarter not harder.

It appears that BP favors DIY study and the learn as you go method to start yourREIcareer. I understand that it works for many. I appreciate hearing the logic behind the negative bias.

1. Try to learn everything in advance (which is impossible). Try to speed the learning process up by paying someone to teach you everything and hild your hand through the process. Then (after you have spent a large amount of money, spend more money buying and flipping a property.

2. Join your localREIAmeet some other local investors, read a book or 2, talk to some agents and banks (mostly free). Have some agents set you up with auto emails of newly listed properties. Run those properties numbers through a deal calculator (like the one BP has). This will give you a feel for the market. Then use the money you could have spent on FB to buy a property, do a flip and possibly make a few $$. Even if lose some money you will learn way more than any course or book can teach you because you will have had a real experience. If you are ready to spend $50k+ on a course then theoretically if you were to lose less than that on your 1st flip you would be way ahead of the game and you would have a real deal under your belt.

Something to think about. Thank you for your input!

Like I said, the $145 local community college course was great. For general real estate knowledge, I took the real estate broker class that was a few hundred dollars. When I took the class, I was already working full time as Acquisition Manager for my company. My companys legal counsel told medont take the final! If you do, you need to disclose you are a broker.I didnt take the final… and remained unlicensed… and bought about 80 properties with/for them. Ive bought/sold low 7 figures (9 if you count the pennies, LOL!) so, for fact, you dontneedFB or mentoring. But Im sure there are people who pay $50,000 or more and swear that FB made them rich. Good for them. There isnt one right answer.

BTW, I am over 50 as well. I have taken a lot of seminars in the last 20 years. The best ones tend to be focused and local, from my experience. I also have degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science and a minor in Physics. Ive written about systems extensively here on BP. We seem to be on the same page in that regard. Just not sure the promise they make is better than others…

Well, Chris, Im going to have to look up your posts on systems!  I went into the weekend with knowledge from this forum and the fact that I wouldnt/couldnt  pay for Mastery. I paid only $100 for the 3 day event.

Even if I had the money, I dont buy anything that expensive without due diligence. Thats why I created this thread. I respect BP so Im here trying to find out if all those beautiful systems, forms and cut and paste marketing materials are worth it or not. I am going to research your suggestion of a local flipping class, and visit the localREIAs as well. Im reasearching the benefits of taking the Texas Real Estate training to become an agent/investor. Is that safe or should I avoid taking the test like you did with the broker side?

We are definitely on the same page. I just really want the fast track. 🙂

@Trina WalkerSo, it sounds like youre missing the most salient part of the equation, what does it cost to enroll in the mastery program?  I dont think youve said so far.  For us looking at your post we dont know if youre making a $500 decision or a $50,000 decision.  Consequently, its hard to give any feedback.  Reading over your post it sounds like the $100 did exactly what it was supposed to do.  Get you in the room so that they could up-sell you on a mastery program.  In other places with other gurus its a Gold program, Platinum Coaching, etc.  This is all stuff that since youve been around the forums that you know.  The payoff for all of these programs is the same, spend _____ to either a.) save money from costly mistakes or b.) make more money quicker using your systems and processes.  Of course, this all goes back to the question of is the next step a $500 decision for a $50,000 decision.

Heres a hint, if for any reason you dont know the pricing, you should pass. The other thing that Ill say — and its probably not fair to say — is that what Im inferring is a lack of direction from either the program or you. I see: owning nothing, turnkey-rental clubs (whatever that is), marketing systems, checklists for repair estimates, etc. I cant tell if your direction is wholesaling,BRRRR, buying a turn-key property, flipping a property, or becoming a turn-key provider. I also cant see which of these avenues the vaunted gold/platinum/brass coaching program is supposed to walk you through.

If any system out there purports to say I can teach it all! Id run like the wind.  Sure that works well for a $100 rah rah up-sell session at a hotel ballroom but thats about it.  I look at it this way, if youre paying $1,000 or $10,000 or $50,000 to a lawyer you probably care (deeply) what their specialization is.  You dont go to a tax attorney and ask them questions about traffic tickets.  You dont go to a personal injury attorney and ask for help with divorce proceedings.  In fact, youd probably think anyone that did that was a buffoon.  You can go through the same example of going to a surgeon that does knee replacements and say how about doing my face-lift?

If theres any program out there that says that they teach you flipping and/or buy-and-hold and/or turnkey management and/or wholesaling that should tell you everything you want to know.

@Trina WalkerI too went to the same thing you did out here in L.A. Their mastery program if I can recall was upwards of $30K. If I had $30K I would be investing in properties with it. Can you pay it off on your first flip? Sure but when will that happen? I have a friend who 2 years later has yet to flip a home out here in L.A. I think the weekend seminar is enough to get you started and you can get the rest here on BP for a lot less $$$. Nothing wrong with what they are doing but I believe here on BP you have more than enough resources. The one thing that I really did appreciate besides all the good info was that they never once said it would be easy. All the best to you.

I think everyone has addressed most of the issues. The NevadaLLCthing comes down to this: if your Nevada entity is doing business in Nevada, then yes – NVs protections are in place and fully valid. If youre doing business in your home state of Texas, those transactions will be governed by the the laws of the State of Texas and youll be duplicating your costs by registering your NV entity as a foreign entity doing business in TX. So, the value of a Nevada LLC, etc. is limited.

Mastery is intended not so much for newbies as it is for establishedREIbusinesses. Im sure your notes will be a better reference on that than my faded memories from going to a 3-day three and a half years ago.

Their education teaches what it teaches, but is not comprehensive. I can steer you onto a better alternative. Theirs is not available on-line, on-demand 24×7. Again, I can steer you onto a better, more affordable alternative.

@Trina Walkerplease do your due diligence! Im sure youre a very intelligent women.

DO A GOOGLE SEARCH ON FORTUNE BUILDERS REVIEWS, FORTUNE BUILDERS SCAM, FORTUNE BUILDERS LAWSUITS, ETC.

I cannot vouch for FBs credibility but I can tell you by doing the very thing Im suggesting for you to do that my wife and I dodged a $52k+ missile and subsequently found Bigger Pockets.

ALL THE REAL ESTATE INFORMATION YOU NEED TO SUCCEED IS FREE!

In podcast 222 with @Jay Hinrichs, he states that whatever has been done today in real estate was done 20, 40 and 60 years ago. There is nothing new under the sun.

My wife and I are brand new toREI. Bigger Pockets is our source for RE information. We have already made real life relationships with BP members. Please be careful. We are all trying to keep you from regrets not judge your ability to make a decision. Just please, take a moment and make an informed decision.

Please reach out if my wife and I can ever be of any help. Best wishes and stay blessed.

They have a A+ rating with theBBB. I have no knowledge of their automated systems. I would ask FB for a list of graduates near you, then ask those graduates if the resultyouare seeking, tosucceed easily without paying for newbie mistakes, is consistent with their experiences. Is this really $30K? Ive not talked to them so dont know if this is fact or not.

They have a A+ rating with theBBB. I have no knowledge of their automated systems. I would ask FB for a list of graduates near you, then ask those graduates if the resultyouare seeking, tosucceed easily without paying for newbie mistakes, is consistent with their experiences. Is this really $30K? Ive not talked to them so dont know if this is fact or not.

What you need to watch out for is that accredited business thing. That means they PAID for that rating, they didnt necessarily earn it.

Thanks to everyone for your replies! They give me another perspective and demonstrate just how supportive the BP community is. Ive decided to build myREIknowledge over the next 6 months on BP and perform more due diligence on FB. Ill make my decision on FB in January 2018, God willing. They have 3 Mastery options ranging from $30k to $50k.

If I was 30 or even 40, I would be ready to DIY everything just to build a strong foundation over time. At my age I want to take advantage of cookie cutter systems to hit the ground running.

FB promises support, SOPs and systems to make tasks like estimating repair costs easier than shadowing a contractor for 6 months. They dont promise success. The X factor is me. I am a motivated baby boomer staring down the barrel of an insufficient retirement account. Im ready to do whatever it takes to succeed inREIin the shortest time possible. Ill report back on what I decide to do in January.

The biggest problem with things like this is that there is no fast track to becoming a successfulREI. You learn as you go. The idea that someone can plunk down their $30k and just circumvent the learning curve is folly. Even if you plunked down your money, and even if you learned things, you will still be a newbie and make newbie mistakes.

Imagine the following ad: Become a neurosurgeon in just 6 short weeks! Our Mastery of Medicine course will have you yanking bad stuff out of your patients in record time! Why spend years on classes, labs, seminars and residencies when our certified experts can give you all the need to know behind the scenes information in an easy to follow format? Call now!

REIis like anything else. It takes time to learn. It aint brain surgery but ask someone like @Jay Hinrichs if you ever get to the point where youve learned it all and are ready to own the world. Save your money and plunk it down on real investments.

Thanks for your reply. I feel confident that I can learn aboutREIfrom BP. I worked in legal records and information management for over 20 years. I love systems and SOPs. My specialty was studying processes and making them more efficient. I am a firm believer in working smarter. That is what impressed me with the FB program.

an automated repair calculator that finds the parts you need, where they are located, the ability to order from the online form and have them delivered.

a point and click scope of work form for the contractor that has every configuration of a room possible and the ability to list everything you want rehabbed down to door stops that you print and hand to the contractor.

They put you on a bus to visit rehab sites of students in your local area to see the process up close and personal.

All training is in online in one place, updated frequently and can be that accessed forever along with the forms, checklists and business systems.

Professional Marketing packets for sellers, buyers and lenders that you paste your logo and pictures into

Im not being cheeky, but will the gurus here share the systems, forms and checklists they created for their businesses with me to use in mine? Im going to join PRO today to find out.

They have a A+ rating with theBBB. I have no knowledge of their automated systems. I would ask FB for a list of graduates near you, then ask those graduates if the resultyouare seeking, tosucceed easily without paying for newbie mistakes, is consistent with their experiences. Is this really $30K? Ive not talked to them so dont know if this is fact or not.

What you need to watch out for is that accredited business thing. That means they PAID for that rating, they didnt necessarily earn it.

I dont know anything about FB, but I did spend 5 minutes looking at the complaints and their companys responses. It certainly seemed like a legitimate business. Im just calling it like I see it.

Sign up on to have listings in an area sent to your email. Pick one and check zillow to see what rentals in the neighborhood are renting for…or use zestimate but lower rent by $100 month to estimate safely. Then Fill out a mock 1040 schedule E. You will see that if you want retirement income you need a number of properties and ideally they should work with 15 year loans to eventually fund retirement because on 30 year notes you will need quite a number (or you can do as Mr money mustache and own one high-end property free and clear.) There is no fast track (I kinda read as free lunch). Just like a good paint job is 80% prep. A good RE investment is buying right and that takes knowing the market, patience and diligence. I am approaching 60, started 10 years ago and have 4 sf rentals in Texas…so I believe in RE. Just remember it is easier to get into RE than get out. Make sure you want in for a good while.

All of these scope of work systems would be great I guess if you actually have a deal in the first place.  I dont see much focus on that? Ways to acquire off market  assets? Thats the hardest part in most markets. Lots of money, lots of buyers- no inventory.

I dont know FB except for watching the founders silly show several years ago. It sounds like you are going to do it anyway. I hope they also teach you how little of a piece of the flipping pie you actually keep.

Uncle Sam will be at your closing table the following April. The realtors get the 3rd half.  No way Im spending $30-50k to give myself a high risk, high indigestion job at the highest marginal tax rate possible.

Network with locals at a meetup.  I hired a flipping buddy to do some handyman work on a rental Sunday night.  I met him at his flip yesterday to pay him and he hired my 16yo on the spot at $12hr to learn while he earns.

My teen will have a $50k mastery education before he enters 11th grade.  Stop at the next flip site you see and introduce yourself. Offer to help while you learn. Get out and meet people in your market who are doing what you want to do.

Fun with simple math time! The average home price in Euless, TX is $207K (according to the good folks at Zillow). Lets assume you dont get an awesome deal because youre not a Mastery Student but you do get that average home for $200K. Your $50K tuition is your 25% down payment.

1.) Buy an average home in your town and learn through doing, researching on BP, start building equity, start making money, etc.

2.) Get access to Master-Level bus tours and online checklists.

… and if that $50K investment in education keeps you from making a $500,000 mistake?

Listen to Brandon Turners webinars where he talks about how much money HE lost in his first deals due to lack ofREIeducation. He could have paid for FBs Mastery twice, Renatus 5x over, etc. and still come out ahead.

Education doesnt cost – lack of education costs.

Thanks to everyone for your replies! They give me another perspective and demonstrate just how supportive the BP community is. Ive decided to build myREIknowledge over the next 6 months on BP and perform more due diligence on FB. Ill make my decision on FB in January 2018, God willing. They have 3 Mastery options ranging from $30k to $50k.

If I was 30 or even 40, I would be ready to DIY everything just to build a strong foundation over time. At my age I want to take advantage of cookie cutter systems to hit the ground running.

FB promises support, SOPs and systems to make tasks like estimating repair costs easier than shadowing a contractor for 6 months. They dont promise success. The X factor is me. I am a motivated baby boomer staring down the barrel of an insufficient retirement account. Im ready to do whatever it takes to succeed inREIin the shortest time possible. Ill report back on what I decide to do in January.

I think you have chose a wise option. Their courses are always going to be there in 6 months to a year. Why not try building your own systems first?

Another good way to jump start your education is to find experienced AND legit investors in your localREIA. Offer to work for free / or partner up with them to learn. Most investors who are active dont go out seeking newbies. So you need to network all over and be persistent.

You can search on BP experienced investors in your area, and start by making phone calls to meet. Make sure you can offer something for their time and advice. There are a lot more investors do NOT even know BP as well.

And  always always do your own due diligence and trust your gut. Good luck!

Heres what Id suggest. Find a local flipper that has a track record. Say at least 5. Many are happy to take 30-50k especially if you can take out the loan. They should have money in the deal too. Partner with them where you get all your money back then split the profit. You get paid for your education. Could this go bad? Of course. You always have to be on top of it when someone is using your money.

Heres the problem we have with gurus. Note: I am not saying mentors, partners, or teachers.

First, Gurus have ALL the answers (reading your posts thats spot on). Anyone who tells you this is blowing smoke. Are their forms and processes valuable? Probably? Are they worth 29k more than the analyzing tools on BP and paying someone to do a letter campaign for you? No.

Second, you are starting off in the hole. That initial nut you have is hard to get back. They are starting you off deeply in the red before you get started. I have no problem with a million dollar business paying 50k for advice. A zero dollar business? No way! You should at least be buying franchise rights or something of value.

Third, what are they really selling? They are certainly paying a lot for marketing. They blanket advertise. Then they pay teams to travel and promote so they are making a lot of money at it. I would suggest that they are not selling the business system you hope for. They are selling dreams. Its that simple. Change the name of the guru and weve heard it a million times. For every one person who has said this guru really helped me there are 100 who paid X dollars and have nothing to show for it. Is that the gurus fault? Not always. Think about it this way how many people pay for weight loss vs actually lose weight. And the kicker is everyone already knows how! You just have to do it. Flipping is just as simple. You need to buy a house that the purchase price and repairs are 70% of the after repairs value. Super simple. Easy? Not exactly. But you learn from the doing.

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