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How You Will NOT Make Money in Real Estate

We all have seen some book called "How I Turned my last dollar into $1 Million by buying real estate in my spare time". Some of us even bought such books on an impulse with high expectations.

They all start about the same: "I had been young, unemployed and I used borrowed money to buy a foreclosed apartment, which no one wanted to touch with a ten foot pole. Actually the bank was ready to give a full price loan to anyone, who would be foolish enough to take this disaster out of their hands."

Guess what? The lucky buyer painted the apartment bright green and it immediately sold to the next fool for $50,000 more. You don't believe him? Me neither. But check the Internet and you will find plenty of sites teaching you how to flip houses for an instant profit by painting their doors in "happy" colors.

Before you ran out searching for foreclosed apartments badly in need of painting, have patience and finish this article. Most of such books are variations of the popular book series of the 19th century - "How you can become a Happy Millionaire".

They all use primitive hypnotic techniques to fool their readers. They start with: "Your mind will change and grow, slowly and steadily with every page you read. With every thought and insight you gain, your desire and courage will grow as well."

The wild success of such techniques was attributed to the low levels of education of the reading public 150 years ago. Well, we should think again. Look at the amount of books Robert Kiyosaki is selling. His Rich Dad Poor Dad series are great in persuading you about the need to make money, but fall short on particulars about how exactly you can achieve that.

Despite an attempt to put an entertaining face to the age-old scam, most of those books' techniques are surprisingly similar. They all have this line in common: "Since every millionaire started with a desire to become rich, you must develop a burning desire for money as well. And write this down, have a plan. Once you wrote down a plan, you are half-way there."

That course of action remains me of a poor Jewish matchmaker in some remote village in Russia in the 19th century. There was a nice old maid in this village. She had a heart of gold, but was not a great beauty, so no one wanted her. The matchmaker decided that she needs his help. Whom should she marry? The King of England was widowed recently, so he was obviously in search of a spouse. A perfect combination.

The matchmaker spoke with the elders of the village, and they all agreed that it might be a good idea. Than he spoke with the maiden herself, and she also reluctantly agreed. Well, said the happy matchmaker rubbing his hands, half the work is done.

When you hear how easy it is to make money by flipping houses, you should realize that even if some of those stories are true, they are highly selective. They are not representative of the real-life situations. Those books are always telling that you can make a fortune by finding stupid sellers, whom you can swindle out of their money.

There is always a seller in those books, who so badly wants to get out of his house that he is ready to accept half the price. In real life, if the sellers are willing to sell for half price, that means the area around the house is in bad economic situation. There are no jobs in this area or there is a rising crime wave, so most residents want to move out and very few want to move in.

If this seller had a chance to sell for more, do you think he would accept your offer for a half price? Most probably he thinks that a next offer might be even lower. If you will try to sell his house for more, do you think you can fix all its problems by just painting it?

Whoever is trying to sell you such simplistic view of the Real Estate investing, doesn't have your best interests in mind. He is tricking you into buying his books, and he is using the psychological trickster techniques. Most such techniques work on the subliminal level. That means that they can trick you only as long as you are not aware of them.

Now, if you want some self-help book to make you feel better, there is nothing wrong with buying Robert Kiyosaki Rich Dad Poor Dad books series. It might even alleviate your boredom for an evening or two.

But if you want to preserve the value of your investments, or make some money for your retirement, realize that those books are poor substitute for a real learning. In order to make heavy financial decisions, you will need much more than a pep-up talk.

We all need some reassurance here and there. If hypnotic self-help books can provide it to us, so much for the better. As long as you don't start to gamble your life's savings using the advices found in those books.

You can ask, aren't there some good books on Real Estate investing with sound financial advise? Yes, there is plenty of good information available and you can also find smart books on the subject. But that will be the story in my next article.

To learn more about financial and investment advise and retirement planning visit new Money Management Forum at

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