Too good to be true

I received a “special invitation” in the mail today to the nation’s #1 conference on Real Estate Investing & Total Asset Protection. I have no idea why I would get something like this, but what puzzled me even more was the opening of the letter: “Beacuse you were referred to me…” Of course, it doesn’t refer to me by name. Inside were two “complimentary VIP tickets” (a $69 value) to the seminar.

Apparently, at this seminar, I will learn how to:

1. Use the tools that other millionaires are using.
2. Regularly buy real estate at a 55% discount off fair market value.
3. Retire in 2 to 5 years with an additional cash flow of $9,100 per month.
4. Make millions by using the secrets of real estate investing in your own back yard.
5. Buy real estate and keep all the profits tax FREE for life.
6. Lower your 2006 tax bill up to 45%.
7. Cut all capital gains tax to “0” on the sale of stocks, real estate or business by using three legal tools.
8. 100% protect all my assets from all lawsuits, liens, levies, bankruptcy, or even a divorce.

It seems to me that if this were remotely possible, everyone would be doing it. After all, it seems as though making it on American Idol is remotely possible and everyone seems to try doing that. Clearly, this is one of those things that is too good to be true, and yet, the itemized list intrigued me. I thought about the list some, and here is my response:

1. The tools: lawyers and accountants
2. This refers to those triangle-shaped lots you see in Coldwater Canyon that are nearly vertical and covered in boulders.
3. Okay, how can they possibly teach this. You would think this would differ dramatically based on each person’s situation And from where do they get the $9,100 figure?
4. I scoured my backyard and if there are secrets to real estate investing, someone else removed them long before I ever moved in.
5. Cough!!bullshit!!cough!!
6. By going from a higher tax bracket to a significantly lower one?
7. Why do you need three legal tools to do this? I though Congress was doing this for millionaires already.
8. In reasoning classes, you are taught never to agrue using absolutes. “100% protect” is an absolute and only a complete moron would believe this were possible.

Reed West, the President of “Achieving Excellence”, which puts on the seminar must make money from this scam somehow. Would it be inappropriate for me to guess that attendees of these seminars would be the “get rich quick”-minded individuals–the same ones that plague our casinos and stand in long lines to buy 40 PowerBall lottery tickets?

I couldn’t resist shooting back a very short letter to Reed West which reads:

Dear Mr. West:

I regretfully have to decline your gracious invitation to the nations #1 conference on Real Estate Investing & Total Asset Protection. I’m afraid I don’t qualify as a complete moron and so this seminar would be lost on me. I was wondering, however, if you could be so kind as to tell me just who it was that referred me to you? There are a few mailing lists to which I’d like to add that persons name, in order to return the favor.


Jamie Rubin