What happens when you try to get rich quickly

Robert Kiyosaki, Robert Allen, and Loral Langemeier would have you believe that in order to get rich all you need to do is throw your money into real estate, sit back, and let the profits come. It's not that simple. There's risk involved. You have to know what you're doing.

Jon forwarded a link to what he calls “a personal finance trainwreck”. He writes: “If this guy is for real (and there appears to be some suspicion about that) then, wow. Unbelievable.” Casey at iamfacingforeclosure.com thought he could make a killing at real estate. He wanted to reach Financial Independence quickly.

I'm a 24-year-old aspiring real estate investor from Sacramento, California. After going to few seminars I bought eight houses in eight months across four states with no money down. I fixed and sold two and then ran out of cash. I am now facing foreclosure on six five houses. I'm learning my lessons, finding solutions and blogging about it.

Casey's story is fascinating. Here's a young man who read Kiyosaki and Allen, and who is trying to find riches by following their advice. He's trying to make money quickly, and is struggling, but is willing to share the gory details. In one entry, Casey writes that he and his wife are running out of money. They've been living on credit cards, which are now maxed out. He's afraid he might have to get a job.

I can't just do a job. I do not want to give up my dream of financial independence. If I get a full-time job, I will continue doing my business and investing on the side. Finding time to do both will be hard (tried it before many times). If I must do that, I will. But it will probably take much longer to reach my goals.

An hourly job has limited earnings potential. Getting a 3% raise every year is not my idea of upwardly mobile. Making $25/hour writing code seems like a waste of time when I can sell a real estate contract for $5,000 after doing 5 hours of work = that's $1000/hour!

So if I can work really hard for one month and find just 2 deals, I can make $10,000. That's much better return on my time.

Casey received many responses (the comments are the best part of the site), some helpful, some angry, some flabbergasted. Some are all of these at once.

You've just nailed the difference between fantasy and reality. […] You are in the process of learning the difference between GAMBLING and INVESTING. Everything you've done so far has been gambling. Investing requires that one balance the risk with the rewards, diversify, and be dedicated. Some investments will fail, but a wise investor won't have too much tied up in any single thing (like real estate purchased on a guru-drunken binge). Investments are made with money that one could stand to lose. Investing is not done by leveraging oneself up to the eyeballs and beyond, hoping for a miracle.

You can see television interviews with Casey (choose “House Flipper Part One” or “House Flipper Part Two” from the menu in the middle of the page). His story is also featured in two articles from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Langemeier, Kiyosaki, and Allen are inspirational. Some of their ideas may even be useful. (Prlinkbiz — who I'm sure will have something to say about this entry — is a huge Kiyosaki fan, and seems to be making his principles work for her.) But these folks preach that their methods are sure-fire ways to wealth and success. They overpromise in an attempt to sell books and seminars. Langemeier says she's created 200 millionaires, and that she can make one out of anybody. Yet I can find no independent evidence that this has occurred. I'm not saying that it hasn't happened, but I'm skeptical.

The only sure-fire way to wealth and success is to spend less than you earn, to save the difference, and to invest that savings for growth.

Follow-Up on Casey Serin, the Man Who Would Be Rich

Casey stopped by Get Rich Slowly yesterday and had this to say:

I don't see why a person CANNOT get rich quick… but still do it in an honest and safe way. Whenever you hear “Get Rich Quick” you think somethhing bad.

And yes, if you read my story, it DOES sound like i'm just a big screw-up. AND YES.. I did do some stuff that I am NOT proud of (liar loans). However, I am learning my lessons and hoping to make a comeback.

I am determined to find a way to make an honest buck in real estate in a down market. My mentor “Rich Dad” did it. It took him only about 10 years. Now he has 20K+/mo in PASSIVE income from REAL ESTATE.

Is 10 years too quick? What about 5 years?

That's an interesting question. How quick is too quick?

It's not impossible to get rich quickly — the day before I wrote about Casey, I shared advice on how to handle sudden wealth — but it's dangerous to focus on quick wealth as a goal. I'm convinced that people get rich quickly by chance, not by intention. If get rich quick schemes worked, more people would do them. You'd read and hear documented tales of success. But they don't work. They're mostly scams designed to transfer money from saps like Casey into the hands of others.

My advice for Casey is this:

If you have a burning passion to make these sorts of plans succeed, then pursue them with only a portion of your finances. Follow tried and true personal finance wisdom with most of your money. Take 90% of what you earn, and do the boring stuff with it: pay off debt, start an emergency fund, invest for retirement. You are so young right now, that if you would invest just $5000 each year until you're 50, you could retire then as a millionaire. (Assuming 10% returns.) This is with almost no risk. Why try to get rich all at once? Why not ride it out?

If you're dead-set on trying to get rich quickly, then don't use all of your capital to do so. Do the safe stuff with 90% of your money. Save the remaining 10% to make real estate purchases. If you strike it rich, great. But if you don't, then at least you haven't mortgaged your future. This isn't ideal for most people, but you have the drive and desire, so it gives you something to play with. But this means that you'll have to work in order to meet your goals.

I don't want to kick Casey's dreams. Dreams are good, and I think people should pursue them with gusto. Too many people make a practice of telling others why their plans won't work instead of lending support. But when your dreams are at odds with reality, you need to re-evaluate.

$2 Million in Debt in Two Years

Casey Serin of I Am Facing Foreclosure held a two-hour conference call to take questions from readers and to explain his situation. I didn't hear the call, but I did read the entire transcript (part one, part two).

For those of you unfamiliar with him, Casey Serin is the Napoleon Dynamite of real estate investing. He took real estate seminars from Russ Whitney and read books by Carleton Sheets. He bought into the “get rich quick” mentality. In October, the San Francisco Gate wrote:

After spending a year and upward of $15,000 (borrowed on credit cards) going to real estate seminars and buying home education courses from everyone from Russ Whitney to Bruce Norris and, of course, the aforementioned Robert “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” Kiyosaki, Serin embarked on his brilliant career as a real estate flopper, er, flipper. “I wanted to move toward financial independence,” he told me by phone from his home in Sacramento, referring to “passive income,” a key tenet of the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” scriptures (“Don't work for money, allow money to work for you”).

Most people take these seminars and read these books but never do anything. Serin heeded the advice of these gurus. In his own words, he “bought 8 houses in 8 months in 4 states with no money down looking to fix ‘n flip.” He bought these houses between October 2005 and May 2006, after the U.S. real estate market had already begun to decline. He ended up $2.2 million in debt, and he's been blogging about it ever since.

Serin's story bugs a lot of people. He made many mistakes. He lied on his loan applications (and continues to rationalize this by saying it's “industry standard policy”). He exhibits no regret. He continues to live a normal (even lavish) lifestyle despite being deep in debt. He refuses to pay anything on his debt because he doesn't think it'll make any difference. He refuses to take a job. He doesn't take any action to improve his situation. He seems to be a publicity whore. Despite his failures, he believes that he can still get rich quick in real estate if he only finds some sweet deals.

I don't get angry at Serin. I just think he's dumb. He continues to pursue a way of life that is just not tenable. He's trying to bypass the “hard work” portion of the American Dream. I consider his story a stark counterpoint to my message of “get rich slowly”. (Trivia: Casey went to high school with Ramit of I Will Teach You to Be Rich. The former tried to get rich quickly and failed. The latter teaches sensible entrepreneurship and personal finance advice, and has succeeded.)

As I said, I read the entire transcript of Serin's two-hour conference call. It's an amazing glimpse into the mind of a young man who wants wealth now. Since I know most people don't have the time to wade through the entire thing, I've culled the best parts to share here.

The first thing that strikes you when reading Serin's stuff is that he doesn't seem to have learned his lesson. He's two million dollars in debt, but he's still convinced that there's a quick fix for this mess.

Besides real estate, I'm also looking at other opportunities. With this exposure I've had, I've made a lot of interesting contacts in different industries, not just real estate. I'm talking with a gentleman in Southern California who's a silver broker, for example. The silver and gold and precious metal market right now is on the rise, and whenever there's turbulence, or any kind of a war, or anything crazy with the economy, that's a good place to put your money. I'm definitely looking at that. I'm looking at stocks, but individual stocks, not mutual funds — the performers, the companies that are about to take off, that you're able to make some money; for example, with penny stocks.

I want to mail Serin a box of personal finance books. I want to send him Dave Ramsey, Your Money or Your Life, the words of John Bogle. I want him to read real personal finance advice that works. But I'm afraid the books would go unread. (Does anyone have his address or know how to get it? Maybe I really will send him some personal finance books.)

At times Serin seems to have learned something. Regarding “no money down” deals, he says:

If I was putting my own cash down, I would have been a lot more careful. That's what happens when you have a real down payment. Anybody out there who's looking to do a no money down deal, I say, you have to be careful. Don't treat the no money down as just a free deal for you.

But other times it seems he hasn't learned a thing:

I love those no doc loans, they're the best because you're never stating anything so no one can ever go back and say you were lying on your application.

One caller tried to explain the concept of “buy low, sell high” to Serin, but he didn't want to hear it.

CS: Well, you know, if you're going to do flipping in a down market, here's the biggest thing. Buying is going to be easy. There's tons of people giving houses away, including myself. You come to me; I'll give you my houses away. Just take them over, or whatever; save me from foreclosure. So, buying is not going to be the hard part. Selling is the tough part. You have to get really good at selling your properties, and in a down market, you probably don't want to buy anything that's not a first-time-buyer home.
[…] SC2K2: I just can't handle how brainwashed you've been by all those seminars.
CS: Oh, yeah?
SC2K2: The way you make money in a down market, is you wait for the prices to bottom; you buy in paying very little; and then you sell when they've gone way up. Yeah, your Rich Dad probably —
CS: That's the long-term strategy. Are you saying you can't do quick flips on the way down?
SC2K2: You know, Casey, there's no way you would be able to handle quick flips.

Serin isn't interested in a long-term strategy. He wants his money now. He doesn't see that this is precisely where he's going wrong. While he's focused on quick riches, he's neglecting basic personal finance. For example:

I thought at the beginning it would be such an awesome story, a comeback story and show so much success to be able to pay everything back, but at the same time I think I had a bit of a wishful thinking going on, because I didn't realize when I first started what kind of a hole I was in. The hole's so big that at this point, I'm really out of options.

Yeah, but here's what's going to happen. I pay a credit card — even fifty bucks — that doesn't do anything to the collection process. Here's what happens: it's going to go and get discharged, and then they're going to try to sue me and try to get that money. So that fifty bucks could have been used better in something where I can actually make money, perhaps doing another deal —

And:

GDS: What's your FICO now?
CS: I actually don't know because I haven't logged into Washington Mutual in a while and I probably should have done that before this call, but last time I checked it was in the high 400's, 490 I believe or something along those lines. It might be lower now because I'm going to have two official foreclosures showing up on my record any time.
GDS: Well, it doesn't go below 450, so it doesn't get much —
CS: It might be interesting to see if I might be a person that actually gets a 450 FICO score. I might be one of the few amongst some of my friends. I'm hoping other people don't do the same thing I did.

The end of the conference call is the best part. A caller named Nacho tries to push Serin to think about his situation, about the things he's done.

CS: Not everyone's going to be successful and self-employed. But don't you know self-employed doctors or lawyers or successful realtors or anybody who doesn't have a W-2 but still makes money? It's not like W-2's the only…
NACHO: But you haven't been successful! So isn't it time to try something else? Supplement your side jobs with a real job.
CS: Well, you know, I never said I'm not going to get one. I'm definitely considering that, and since I do still have money coming in through some of those other sources, it allows me to stay flexible so I can still kind of be in real estate a little bit, and other opportunities.
NACHO: Do you understand that the real estate market is tanking? Do you have a grasp of that?
CS: Oh, yeah. That's why I'm looking at other investing opportunities, not just real estate.
NACHO: And do you understand that you bought in at the worst possible time? You do understand that, right?
CS: It's not like you can't make money in a down market. My local Rich Dad, he made his fortune in the last downturn in California. But of course he had a lot more experience.
NACHO: Did he have decent credit? Was he able to secure loans?
CS: Well, he could secure loans. He had money partners. He had mentors. See, I kind of started off without any mentors guiding me, and that's kind of one of my problems. And I didn't have any construction experience.
NACHO: You know what, Casey? I don't think mentors is your problem. I think you've got enough with these guru mentors. I think that that's the last thing you need. What you need is a swift kick in the ass, from somebody who's going to tell you the truth. Seriously. Someone who's going to tell you the truth.
CS: I appreciate you being upfront and giving me a little dose of reality, as you said.
NACHO: Well, that's how I roll. I'm always trying to keep it real. I'm just trying to let you know, man, that you need to start looking at things differently. You've been going a certain way and it's not working out for you, and you really need to change the way you're viewing life.
CS: Well, I appreciate it.
NACHO: Because everybody that you owe money to is going to get shafted, and then, in turn, taxpayers are going to have to pay — you know, foot the bill.
NACHO: Are you worried about going to jail?
CS: I've already kind of addressed it, but the thing is, if I live my life in fear, what good is that going to do?
NACHO: And you don't think that you deserve to go? You don't think that what you did was basic thievery?
CS: Well, the thing is I wasn't out to rob banks, I was out to make a business, and I screwed up.
NACHO: But Casey, you got everything fraudulently. Come on, you knew in your heart that that was the wrong thing to do.
CS: Part of me was thinking that maybe I shouldn't be doing stated income loans, because even though everyone seems to be OKAY with it, I had a little bit of a gut instinct. I should have listened to it; you're right.
NACHO: And you understand that when you do things wrong like that, sometimes you have to pay the piper?
CS: Oh, yeah. And do you think I'm paying the piper?
NACHO: No, not yet. Not by any means, no.
CS: You don't think that all the financial stress and the issues I'm going through is not enough?
NACHO: Absolutely not, Casey. I think you should be out there working your ass off — two jobs if necessary — paying five bucks a month on every single bill if that's what it takes to pay this stuff down. I think you should be calling your creditors and making some sort of payment arrangement for you to —
CS: You know what? Check this out; put yourself in my shoes. Even if I get three or five or ten jobs right now I'm not going to be able to catch all my loans up, so they're going to go to collections, and they're going to start suing me. So if the only good thing I can really do right now is bankruptcy protection or refinance all those loans.
NACHO: If you pay five dollars a month on any bill, they can't send it to collection, Casey, do you understand that?
CS: Sure, they can.
NACHO: No, they can't.
CS: If I don't pay the full monthly payment — I can't just keep letting them go… That means I can just pay a dollar on all my loans and they'll just keeping indefinitely. They're not going to do that.
NACHO: I'm not talking about the foreclosure loans, I'm talking about the credit card bills.
CS: Even the credit cards.
NACHO: Casey, you have to do something to try and right this wrong. Who's the guy who has the blog – I am [$334,442 in unsecured debt. I am 23. Will I make it ?] dollars, whatever the hell it is, in debt.
CS: Yeah, the guy eating Ramen and stuff. Yeah, he's eating Top Ramen; he's doing all this other stuff.
NACHO: He's doing the right things. If you would do those things, people would be behind you. People would be giving you suggestions and telling you what to do. Do you understand that?
CS: Well, you might have a good point there. But I wonder if that guy's really for real, though. Do you think a person can survive on Top Ramen for six months?
NACHO: Oh, yeah. Sure.
CS: Do you think he can eat that crap and still be healthy and still be safe?
NACHO: Yeah, throw some vegetables in there. Casey, the last thing you need to worry about right now, seriously, is eating your vegan — your mildly vegan — seriously, you throw some vegetables and a little bit of whatever, some chicken in the Top Ramen, and it's fine. Have some beans and rice; that's fine. Buy a big-ass bag of beans and a big-ass bag of rice and cook it up. Have oatmeal for breakfast —

Casey Serin may or may not be a good guy. I can't tell. He seems likeable enough. But he has succumbed to the idea that the best way to make money is through tricks and games. I'm not saying that you have to be a wage slave all your life in order to get money to save for retirement. But there are clear, safe paths to wealth and happiness. They take time. They take effort. My goal is explore these paths with you. It's too bad Casey's not along for the journey.

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J.D.
J.D.
13 years ago

On a personal note, the reason I loathe Robert Allen is that we get at least one spam message from his organization a day. In fact, today’s spam from him came in as I was finishing this entry. Jerk.

prlinkbiz
prlinkbiz
13 years ago

LOL Not Kiyosaki fan- but subscriber to the same financial principles of investing in income producing assets and businesses as a means to financial freedom. This kid is right on in my opinion as far as investing in real estate will have a much better return for his time because of the ability to leverage.That being said, real estate is still not get rich quick; you cannot just throw your money into it. This kid bought at the top of the market in Sacramento- not a good start. I am totally with JD, you need to spend les than you… Read more »

prlinkbiz
prlinkbiz
13 years ago

To counter balance the John T Reed BS link http://www.mastermindforum.com/kiyosakiresponsetoreed.htm

2million
2million
13 years ago

Your right Kiyosaki and gang paint a too good to be true picture on getting rich quick (IMO).

However, as with just about all personal finance, money management material there are useful tools and techniques that can be applied to anyone trying to become financial secure. Risks are a necessary evil to increasing your net worth. Taking stupid risks like Casey admittedly did can cause a financial train wreck as much as smart risks can set you on a path to financial freedom.

Charles
Charles
13 years ago

I am reminded of a famous quote from real estate mogul Trammel Crow who said “The road to riches is paved with debt.” But Crow made his big bucks during the upswing of the post-WWII real estate market.

I laugh at the financial ruin this bozo faces. He should be prosecuted for fraud, and many commenters on his blog expressed the same opinion, after reading how Mr. Real Estate lied on his loan applications.

William Mize
William Mize
13 years ago

I read about this guy in the Blue (Metafilter) a few weeks ago; and skimmed the site. And yes, the comments are the absolute best part of the site.
A whole lot of “reap what you sow” and throwing under the bus.
My own personal take is that he got caught with his foot off the base and got called out, and now he’s arguing with the umpire. I still get a vague feeling of insincerity in his attempt to get out of this mess.

Vincent
Vincent
13 years ago

I can’t see much in John T Reed’s analysis except for malice and spite. And entertainment value. Jealous finance book author?

I read a couple of Kiyosaki books but I can’t recall him advocating any get-rich quick schemes. Are you referring to his seminars?

http://www.litereviews.com/2006/07/28/rich-dad-poor-dad/

Schizohedron
Schizohedron
13 years ago

Has anyone ever seen Kiyosaki and Tom Vu in the same room at the same time? Remember Vu’s infomercials from the late 80s/early 90s? Real estate infomercials + sobering up after college beerfests = fun! Vu definitely advocated his course as a get-rich-quick scheme: “”A lot of your friends will tell you, ‘Don’t come to the seminar. It’s a get-rich-quick plan.’ Well, tell them, It is a get-rich-quick plan because life is too short to get rich slow.” (Bold is mine. Don’t be hating J.D., Tommy!) A refresher course can be found at these links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Vu http://infomercial.tvheaven.com/tomvu.htm John T. Reed… Read more »

Susan
Susan
13 years ago

Vincent, are you reading the same Reed page I am? While I acknowledge that they’re competitors and I’m taking the whole thing with a grain of salt, the issues brought up there seem *huge*. Like, lying about his background kind of thing. Kiyosaki’s response doesn’t even seem to deal with the fact that he’s never identified the ‘rich dad’ and nobody can find him, that he’s made deceptive statements regarding his own bankruptcy and education, and heck, even the fact that his descriptions of the different types of taxable income (and the huge tax disadvantages of incorporating) are completely wrong.… Read more »

prlinkbiz
prlinkbiz
13 years ago

Susan- what level of business do you play at? My guess is not Kiyosaki’s level. Rich Dad does exist, RK and Kim are wealthy through business and real estate, whether you agree with how they have done it or not.

James Kew
James Kew
13 years ago

I too found iamfacingforclosure via MeFi. While it makes compelling reading, it’s a very guilty pleasure: there seems to me no way it can end well short of Serin parlaying his story into a book/movie deal. And while yes, the comments are often the best part (a lot of level-headed advice which Serin tends to ignore in his I’ll-trade-my-way-out-of-trouble way) they’re often the worst part too. A lot of rude berating, taunting, and ethnic slurs — and those are just the ones he allows through moderation. Part of me also wonders if we’re all being played — at times the… Read more »

James Kew
James Kew
13 years ago

And on a personal-finance level, this post by Serin resonated somewhat: http://iamfacingforeclosure.com/54/crazy-real-estate-accounting-mess/ We’re entering all the transactions into Microsoft Money and categorizing them. We have kept pretty good records of everything. It all just needs to be categorized. Lots of tedious work! What this brings home is this: simply “keeping” records is not enough. If you don’t have a good overall view of your financial position, those big piles of bills and receipts are just so much paper. He later comments: http://iamfacingforeclosure.com/54/crazy-real-estate-accounting-mess/#comment-1634 That’s exactly what I’m trying to figure out as we go through all our transactions for the year…… Read more »

Susan
Susan
13 years ago

prlinkbiz: It doesn’t matter what level you’re playing at. With a little research I could do tax planning for anybody, from Microsoft to Joe the Barber. The tax code is the same for everybody, though okay, Microsoft probably has a *fleet* of tax accountants, not just one. The rich do not want corporate distributions as income. They go to great lengths to prevent that from happening. Much of what Kiyosaki seems to be saying corporations can claim as deductible expenses is outright bullsh… maybe I can’t say that here. Anyway. If they aren’t deductible expenses, then they’re double-taxed distributions. Even… Read more »

RJ
RJ
13 years ago

…And some of us don’t make the bold moves to become extremely rich (via real estate flipping, etc.) because we actually like our middle-class jobs and the lifestyle that they provide. I’m not rich, but I feel like I make much more money than I can use, thus I invest what I don’t spend. In some ways, I feel like I’m already a multi-millionaire, but without all that money. Does that make sense?

prlinkbiz
prlinkbiz
13 years ago

Susan, your pretty impressed with yourself. Maybe you should make some money first.

Susan
Susan
13 years ago

Making money isn’t the point, in this case. It’s not about money, it’s about the tax code. I know the tax code fairly well. I can speak with some authority on the subject, certainly more than the average person who pays somebody else to do theirs. I don’t know whether you fall into that category or not. I don’t know as much as, for example, a major firm tax partner. It doesn’t, however, take a major firm tax partner to know the ‘ordinary and necessary’ qualification for business deductions or the fact that any and all income is taxable unless… Read more »

Joshua
Joshua
13 years ago

“Langemeier says she’s created 200 millionaires” They don’t live in the United States then. The USA only has about 300 million people, last I checked (2004 data?) That would mean 2 out of 3 people in this country are millionaires. I don’t think so. As for Casey’s story – it sounds exactly like what Dave Ramsey (a real financial advisor who’s system WORKS) went through. He was in the real estate business buying foreclosures, fixing them and then selling for profit. Except he did all the fix up work on credit, borrowed all kinds of money and then when his… Read more »

James Kew
James Kew
13 years ago

Um, Joshua: that’s “200 millionaires”, not “200 million millionaires”.

knuckle_headed
knuckle_headed
13 years ago

Joshua ain’t too bright.

Casey Serin
Casey Serin
13 years ago

I don’t see why a person CANNOT get rich quick… but still do it in an honest and safe way. Whenever you hear “Get Rich Quick” you think somethhing bad. And yes, if you read my story, it DOES sound like i’m just a big screw-up. AND YES.. I did do some stuff that I am NOT proud of (liar loans). However, I am learning my lessons and hoping to make a comeback. I am determined to find a way to make an honest buck in real estate in a down market. My mentor “Rich Dad” did it. It took… Read more »

Steve
Steve
13 years ago

While I admire the fact that you speak out against get rich quick hucksters, I think that perhaps your disdain for them is coloring your viewpoint on whether or not it’s actually possible to get rich quickly. Surely it can’t be completely up to chance to some people do in fact get rich rather quickly and others don’t. Are you suggesting that everyone is on equal footing and that certain people aren’t better business people or more money savvy than others? That said, I think your 90-10 portfolio allocation is reasonable. I don’t think people should chase riches at the… Read more »

Ralph Morgan
Ralph Morgan
13 years ago

It IS possible to get rich quick if you have a good business idea, have enough capital to get established, work your butt off, and have a bit of luck…. Trouble is, simply borrowing huge amounts of other people’s money (maybe telling some lies to get it) and buying real estate or stocks hoping that the bubble won’t burst before you get rich is simply gambling. And if it doesn’t work out the individual often will declare bankruptcy, which means it is the shareholders of the lender, and other lenders (if rates go up due to higher default rates) that… Read more »

Binary Dollar
Binary Dollar
13 years ago

I hope he doesn’t dig himself deeper into debt. I wish him the best of luck…

Lazy Man  and Money
Lazy Man and Money
13 years ago

I’m with Steve, there are ways to get rich quick by intention. Pretty much any successful company’s founders have done it. Sure there’s some chance in it, but they made a lot of their own luck through intention. You throw around the “assuming 10% returns” and “almost no risk” a little lightly. The plan may get you a million dollars, but that isn’t going to buy nearly as much in 50 years. If you factor in inflation, taxes, and investment fees, you’re probably looking at something below 6% returns if you want to pursue things that are “almost no risk”… Read more »

Dan
Dan
13 years ago

Casey’s dreams deserve some kicking. He’s over $2 million in the hole due to some very shady deals and poor decisions, and there is a very real possiblity that he will go to prison for mortgage fraud. And he’s still in complete and total denial.

He needs to wake up before he loses his freedom, his marriage, and any hope of financial solvency.

J.D.
J.D.
13 years ago

Some good comments so far. I think Ralph encapsulated my views when he wrote: It is possible to get rich quick if you have a good business idea, have enough capital to get established, work your butt off, and have a bit of luck. @Steve — It’s not completely up to chance that some people get rich quickly, but it’s mostly up to chance. I think that in the short term, business skills and money savvy play a tiny role in things. These sorts of qualities have a greater effect on long-term success. Meteoric success, I think, is generally the… Read more »

James Kew
James Kew
13 years ago

I suspect also there’s a lot of survivorship bias — a lot of new businesses fail, but we hear only about the successful ones.

Duane Gran
Duane Gran
13 years ago

I believe Casey may well find an opportunity to become the poster child of the housing bust. Whether this is profitable remains to be seen but I’m reminded of a dot-bomb clearing house for bad news about tech companies in the early 2000s. The author took great delight in cataloging inside information about companies facing distress. His information became valuable to short sellers, headhunters and human resource departments. As for quick riches, people get sucked into believing that their attitude will somehow bend reality to fit expectations. It is one thing for a successful investor/entrepreneur to glow with excitement —… Read more »

majeest
majeest
13 years ago

[Note: I haven’t yet had the time to read through Mr. Serin’s site, so I’m probably speaking out of my hinder on some of this.] I am determined to find a way to make an honest buck in real estate in a down market. My mentor “Rich Dad” did it. It took him only about 10 years. Now he has 20K+/mo in PASSIVE income from REAL ESTATE. I think there’s something Mr. Serin isn’t considering: The market isn’t static, and his “Rich Dad” probably had more than a little “right place at the right time” going for him. If his… Read more »

icup
icup
13 years ago

“I am determined to find a way to make an honest buck in real estate in a down market.”

Right off the bat, I would say how about just buying *one* house with other people’s money and not *eight*.

I mean, I’m not a ‘Rich Dad’, so wtf do I know, but that seems like common sense to me. If you sell that one for a huge profit, then try another one (after paying back your debts), or another 2 even. Even at that point it still would be gambling.

DC Portland
DC Portland
13 years ago

Although your advice to Casey is financially sound, I believe Casey’s issues are more fundamental. Casey should ask himself, why do I want to get rich quick? Will it make me happy? For what purpose is $20k of monthly passive income? Is it just to buy stuff that will not make me happy? I dare say, Casey may want to investigate what is truly important to him in his life.

prlinkbiz
prlinkbiz
13 years ago

Of course for the most part people who read Get Rich Slowly are nt going to get it. It is completely possible to get rich quickly without any scams- it just takes busting your ass and learning how to do it. It takes the willingness to risk and leverage it all. It takes the willingness to fail and get up and learn from your mistakes to keep going. It takes a certain temperament that most people here don’t have. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you are somehow better, or that someone else is wrong for wanting something… Read more »

Cheng-Jih Chen
Cheng-Jih Chen
13 years ago

Yes, someone can get rich quickly through legitimate means, but one thing that Casey doesn’t appear to understand is that _he_ probably won’t be the person it happens to. And judging from what’s on his blog, the odds against him were even longer than for other people, as he was getting into markets he didn’t understand, had a cavalier attitude about risk, and had a disdain for actual work. Even if everything were in his favor in terms of market knowledge, analysis, etc., entrepreneurship has more crashes than successes, because of, say, a bad run of luck. Casey gives the… Read more »

prlinkbiz
prlinkbiz
13 years ago

Again- it isn’t easy- but it can be done. he is going to make a come back because he is reaching out for help and getting it. Just watch.

James Kew
James Kew
13 years ago

He’s going to make a comeback? If I remember rightly, Casey: a) is underwater on all his loans b) is not servicing his loans, putting him $20K deeper every month c) is not servicing $100K+ in credit card debt d) has no income, having repeatedly rejected suggestions to rent out his houses or take paid employment e) is overwhelmed by mounting paperwork The unpaid apprenticeship with “rich dad” is a luxury he cannot afford. And together with comments like yours, it is feeding his illusions that he can trade his way out of this mess if he just finds the… Read more »

prlinkbiz
prlinkbiz
13 years ago

I have friends who made it out of the rat race to become financially free at multiple millions a year levels- in two years, seven years, and by the age of thirty (3 separate), all different ways- all done right- mistakes and all. It can be done.

Flexo
Flexo
13 years ago

prlinkbiz is sticking up for Casey because they have the same hero, Bob Kiyosaki. 🙂

NLG
NLG
13 years ago

The guys seems to be more adept at whining and complaining than he is at actually doing anything. Its almost as if he expected the properties to fix and sell themselves. I don’t know why he hasn’t found some renters for half the properties, and tried to move some of them.

I guess noone wants to touch his properties to help him out now though because he’s definitely going to start attracting the attention of the law……. screwed.

NG

prlinkbiz
prlinkbiz
13 years ago

He’s going to make a come back because some of us know how to come in and fix mistakes and turn problems into something positive. Among my friends I count multi millionaires who made that money solving these kind of problems, friends who made and lost and made multiple millions again, and these people are taking Casey on to help him. Keep an eye on mine and Casey’s blog in the next week. I feel confident that Casey is going to find the help and tools he needs to get out and get on to achieiving his goals. It’s too… Read more »

NLG
NLG
13 years ago

That’s the funny thing about the situation. There are an infinite number of solutions to his problems, but he doesn’t seem to be exploring them at this point. All of the recent posts have been a ‘woe-is-me’ account of what is happening, without much in the way of a positive, pro-active problem solving approach.

If you can help him out, nice work, it will be an amazing success story.

prlinkbiz
prlinkbiz
13 years ago

I think thats what amazing- why haven;t more people stepped in to help? Is it that not very many people know how to solve these problems? The people who do make a lot of money, because they literally keep families from going under and help people out of bad situations- sometimes of their own making and sometimes because of some hard luck. I can tell you Casey is in for a wild ride and everyone who watches is going to learn alot!!!

mtm
mtm
13 years ago

Frankly, Casey should be criminally prosecuted. Our banking and financial systems work only if there is integrety in the system. His ilk jeopordizes that. I hope one of his lenders is aware of his publicized fraud and calls the local federal prosecutor.

Mike
Mike
13 years ago

I can’t get your math to work out. Casey is 24 years old. Investing $5000 per year until he’s 50 (26 years from now) at a rate of 10% would likely yield him somewhere in the range of $600K, not $1M. And that’s a gross, not net, figure. Taxes alone will pull out a small chunk of that. And as a previous poster mentioned, that kind of money won’t have the same spending power that it currently does because of inflation.

I do agree with your approach though. It’s better to put something away for retirement than nothing at all.

Jilly
Jilly
13 years ago

What’s sad is that everyone is falling for Casey’s sad story. Instead of using the site to “help others in his situation” he is listening to the advice of cons who are helping him shape the site and make money off traffic of the people he claim that he is there to help.

He’s a real POS and will probably get away with the whole thing and a ton on ad revenue.

David
David
13 years ago

Casey is an idiot!!!!!! Flat broke, owes tons of money, too lazy to find work and still talking about investing more! More proof that it’s possible to lie, steal and cheat your way to the bottom!

Jenna
Jenna
13 years ago

People like CS make me ILL – I mean, physically queasy. Here I am 27 yrs old – living in Manhattan trying to scrape together as much money as possible to try and put down a New York City REQUIRED 20% down payment for a 400sq ft studio. This is only after it’s taken me 5yrs to create a positive net worth (after $30k of school debt) and a $10k emergency fund. I TRULY don’t understand how people can allow themselves to be so coerced and accept any information given to them as truth. Aren’t we taught to be critical… Read more »

Tyler
Tyler
13 years ago

Unbelievable this kid! He is my age and I am much smarter. He’s become brainwashed from the stupid “late-night tv real estate gurus.” I am 24 and own two houses and I am making money on both (I live in one). This was done through hard work, good financial practices, living below my means, etc. This kid needs someone like me to give him a dose of reality. Someone his own age who has done it and done it right.

NCN
NCN
13 years ago

Casey Serin is the Bizzaro World ME…
NCN

DC Economist
DC Economist
13 years ago

JD,

His first podcast was with Jerome Maybe, of fraud fame. Jerome told him to turn himself in, and that was months ago.

J.D.
J.D.
13 years ago

Casey Serin is the Bizzaro World ME…

NCN gets GRS super-bonus points for combining comic books with personal finance. I should offer some sort of reward any time a commenter is able to slide in a comic book reference…

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