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Rich Dad!

This past weekend, I attended Rich Dad, Poor Dad’s Get Smarter With Your Money conference/seminar.  Robert Kiyosaki, his wife Kim and his team of advisers spoke on investing in commodities (gold/silver, oil/gas), real estate (commercial, apartments, short sales, foreclosures), options trading, and creating a financial plan.  They also spoke extensively on the importance of having a good accountant, attorney and tax consultant, as well as specialists in the area you want to go, such as a Realtor specializing in short sales.

What I loooooved about this event was two things:

1) Educational focus:  Break out sessions were given on each topic with the speakers starting with an explanation of how to invest in their particular area, then a walk through of a specific real-life deal, and time for questions.  During the bigger, general sessions, the audience was given specific times to talk amongst themselves to discuss what they had just heard/learned.  I also looooved that one expert (nicknamed “the angel of death” due to his gloomy economic forecasts) was an economic historian.  He was particularly interesting.

2) Low-pressure sales: I like going to different workshops, reading books, listening to radio/tv programs, etc., to hear the latest in investing and economic viewpoints.  I listen to Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, and others. They have generally the same information, but come at problems from slightly different perspectives which helps me assess my own economic picture from different POVs. I believe this gives me a better idea of where I am in the overall fiscal landscape.  With that said, I often feel that there is a great pressure to sign up for classes or software or books, etc. But at this event, we were encouraged to make appointments with 5 people for LATER.  In fact, most of the vendors/advisers had you sign up for free attendance at their own workshops at a later date, or sign up for a personal conversation 45 days later.  This was to give you even more information before you could sign up for their investment opportunities.

Yes, the vendors and advisers want you to invest with them or to hire them.  The difference is that they want educated people who understand the investments or the services.  Lots of free advice, yet it wasn’t in the “this is what you should do” mode…advice was given after questions were asked/answered by the adviser and the questioner was given the “why” behind the advice…we were also armed with questions that we were encouraged to ask any adviser we are considering for hire, such as “what’s in it for me?” and “what is the down side, the risk?”

I am about to embark on my own weekly column (online for smaller papers) that is aimed at helping readers understand what their political and economic leaders are saying.  I then plan to give them the tools to research what they are being told.  The goal is to direct them to places where they can find unbiased information and draw their own conclusions.  The Rich Dad conference did just that for financial opportunities.

This conference was the first time I had access to people who traded in oil/gas, silver, real estate (both short sale and foreclosure, both of which I’ve been very curious), options, etc. where they talked to me one-on-one about how it is done…and they talked at length about the risks and the pitfalls.

The next step is to follow up with them on individual meetings.  I will be very curious to see/hear the numbers involved and if a high pressure sales push will follow.  I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, if anyone out there has advice on questions to ask and things to watch out for — please e them to me!

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