By Ana Veciana-Suarez
Tribune News Service
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Columnist Ana Veciana-Suarez sounds off on the enticing yet improbable get rich quick schemes that continually flood our TV screens and email accounts.
Tribune News Service
Any minute now, maybe even next year, I, your faithful scribe, will retire a multimillionaire.
I will move to a mansion on the beach, hire a full-time housekeeper, keep a hairdresser on retainer (to touch up my roots, of course) and drive a fancy-schmanzy car. Better yet, I’ll get myself a driver.
All I have to do is flip houses. Or condos. Or abandoned lots in gentrifying neighborhoods. Easy-peasy.
Why not? Others are doing it, and they are all too willing to share their knowledge. I just saw an ad for a “free” real estate workshop that can get me started in wealth-building real estate techniques. It promises all kinds of “potentially life-changing information.”
“Don’t wait to board your flight to financial freedom,” the ad announces. “You don’t want to miss this exciting opportunity to start on the right financial path and build your own legacy.”
This isn’t the only offer I’ve come across in the past few weeks. Another “Fix and Flip” seminar ad tells the story of its leader, a man who went from being a jobless nobody to a real estate powerhouse making millions. Still not impressed?
Then check out the couple offering an opportunity to “purchase real estate at a discount using your self-directed retirement accounts.” Or, using “other people’s money to fund and fix your real estate deals, allowing you to start to make money even if you don’t have the cash or credit.”
Flipping houses is the latest in a long list of get rich schemes that share one extremely appealing (and irresistible) trait: a big return for a minimal investment. Traditional saving and asset-allocation investing, on the other hand, requires too much patience, too much discipline, at a time when our attention span has shrunk to the size of a gnat. We like fast results with minimal efforts.