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Real Estate Industry

March 15th 2005

WHITTON'S WORST OF THE WORST IN WEALTH WIZARDRY

The seminar that ends up costing you $495 + $6,995 + $10,995 + much, much more.


There are no good get-rich-quick spruikers. Only varying degrees of bad.

The worst of them advertise a seminar promising you certain wealth, at which they crunch you to spend many thousands of dollars on a more comprehensive "learning" experience, and then try to sell you their own real estate deals.

And on a scale ranging from bad to awful, they don't come any worse than Jason Whitton's Positive Real Estate operation - also known as Richmastery.

Most spruikers at least let you attend the "introductory" seminar - the one designed to hook you for the real sting that costs thousands - for free. But Whitton charges $495 for his.

Whitton's One Day Property Investor Workshop is designed to achieve two things: (1) prepare you for the hard sell at the end which involves handing Whitton another $6,995; and (2) excite you with the notion that a big property portfolio can be created fast and easy. And Positive Real Estate has a stable of cash-flow-positive properties waiting for you to buy them. If you buy one, there's a finder's fee which can be as much as $10,995.

Whitton's seminars also have books, CDs and other products on sale at creative prices. The audience is told: "They're not expensive, guys. Three CDs for $350 - $350 is one hour with a solicitor."

The total package is Australia's best example of the worst of the wonderful world of wealth wizards, from a spruiker who tells attendees that if they're not out there getting "abused", they're not pushing hard enough.

Here's a sample of Whitton quotes at the $795 introductory seminar:-

* Being poor is a disease of your mind.
* You're selling your life every day for a pittance of what you are worth.
* A lot of the money I have made in real estate was more luck than anything.
* I am a seat-of-the-pants sort of person when I'm out there in the marketplace. But I recognise my weakness.
* Do you know using property in the right way you can end up paying no tax? The ATO is your friend, if you use the rules in the right way.
* Depreciation - you can backdate it four years if you get the right person to do your schedule.
* Creating active cash flow is doing some renovations and getting yourself rock-and-rolling.
* NOW is the best time to buy property.
* Don't ask the real estate agents any advice because they're here to stitch you up.
* You buy two properties a year for the next five years. How many properties do you end up with? Yes, ten properties!
* Everyone with me on this? Rock and roll!!

Investment strategies recommended by Whitton include these gems:

* Buy properties and wrap them (sell them to battlers at inflated prices and interest rates).
* Buy off the plan and sell before settlement.
* Pay wholesale prices (buy below market value).
* Rent maximisation strategies: buy the tenants an air-conditioner and put the rent up. You can claim depreciation on the air-conditioner and your yield has gone up.

But there are two really special strategies. One involves buying properties from distressed sellers at discount prices, such as seeking out properties where an owner has recently died. "Dead people can't live in the house any more," Whitton says. "The beneficiaries just want to get rid of the property." If you make "a fast offer" you might get lucky.

You can also target mortgagee sales, people under deadline pressure, developers in difficulty and divorcees. "Divorce is a nasty thing but it tends to put some pressure on people," he says.

Whitton warns that friends will be "negative" about such tactics. "You are like a hyena," he says. "Someone is in pain and you're making a low offer. You're being nasty. But it's not being nasty at all. You're doing them a favour.

"We're here to teach you to be thick-skinned. If you're not getting abused you are not pushing it enough."

The other special technique is buying a property at a particular price but getting the contract written at a higher price. You then get a bank to lend you 90 per cent of the contract price, which means the loan is more than the true price. The seller later gives you a rebate.

Whitton says he recently did a deal like that, buying a property for $184,500, but with the contract written at $235,000. A 90 per cent lend gave him $211,500 and the developer-vendor gave him a $50,000 rebate. It meant he could pay the first year's interest in advance and have $15,000 in surplus cash.

He warns his audience: "You don't go telling people at a party this, because people will get jealous and dob you in with the authorities."

Whitton says he's just a country lad and a family man who, at the age of only 32, has a personal property portfolio of "millions of dollars". "I'm doing very, very well," he says. "I'm rock-and-rolling here. I don't say that to impress people. Today's not about me, it's about you. I enjoy standing up here and helping out other people."

But the first half an hour is devoted to his life story. He has the classic rags-to-riches background which is mandatory for wealth spruikers. His support act Colin Mackenzie, who is introduced as "an extremely, extremely intelligent young man with an amazing background", also tells of several failed ventures before achieving success.

Mackenzie, a self-acclaimed economic expert, is a source of numerous gems, including:-

* Hey, you know, property goes up 20 per cent a year!
* What the heck does that mean? What nonsense are they spewing?
* I'm going to the beach, baby. I'm out of here. I'm going to Queensland. I'm buying Queensland and I'm buying WA.

Mackenzie advises attendees to avoid buying in "ethnic regions" or close to an Aboriginal reserve. "I have no issue with that, but my market does," he says.

Lisa Sanders, introduced by Whitton as "the most amazing finance person I have ever met in my entire property investing life", begins her talk with this battle cry: "Who wants to purchase millions of dollars worth of property with someone else's money?" She exhorts people to "be in the driver's seat, borrow when you don't need to", to "take action and control of your future NOW!" and asks: "Are you serious? Are you set to go NOW? Is your money running at 100 per cent?"

Whitton says: "With somebody like Lisa on your team, you're going to be going faster quicker."

Attendees spend a large part of the day involved in The Property Game, where they buy fictitious properties. Whitton applies capital growth rates as high as 36 per cent to create equity in everyone's portfolio so they can buy more properties. By day's end, participants have portfolios worth up to $6 million - all in a day's trading.

The day features numerous plugs for the Positive Real Estate team who can make it all "rock and roll" for investors and finally comes the big sell. We all need a gun team around us and the best way is the join the Property Mastermind Mentoring Program run by Whitton.

It costs only $6,995, you get "first dibs" on properties for sale through Positive Real Estate - and there are bonuses if you "take massive action" today.

Concerned? Don't be. Program members are there to provide testimonials. Disciple Dorothy (who says: "I do heavily recommend it. I have advanced a lot more faster than what I was doing on my own") already owns five properties. "Hey, that's awesome," says Whitton.

Still worried? Fear not. Whitton will "guarantee the system 100 per cent".

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