|Financial Seminars Not Always what they Purport to Be|
It’s hard to resist. In your mail sits an invitation to attend a “once-in-a-lifetime” financial seminar that promises to share “unique wealth-creating secrets and business-building strategies.” Enclosed are two tickets “valued” at $149 each.
Who would turn down an offer to learn how to “regularly buy real estate for 31 percent to 48 percent below value?” Or how to “legally cut all capital gains tax to ‘O’ on the sale of real estate, stocks or your business.’ And you probably want to know how to “lower your 2005 tax bill by 31 percent.” Not 30 percent, but 31 percent.
If that’s not enough to pique your interest, you’re also promised that you can “retire in 2 to 5 years with an additional cash flow of $9,100 per month” and that you can “structure your business properly and 100 percent protect your assets from all lawsuits, liens, levies, bankruptcy, or even a divorce.”
And did you know there are government-approved investments guaranteeing 16 to 36 percent?
Once again, the Mountain States Better Business warns that if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.
Just ask Roger Gomez of Fort Collins, owner of the Internet businesses Armadillo Armory, Colorado Medieval Festival and Medieval World. He has attended financial seminars before -- decades ago -- and even bought into one, spending $3,000 on workbooks and related products. When the program wasn’t working as promised, he tried to get his money back and couldn’t.
So when he got the “invitation” to the American Training Conference Sept. 30 in Fort Collins, he did some of his own research on the education/training conference company that conducts seminars worldwide. What he found is that the company has an unsatisfactory record with the BBB serving Utah where the company’s corporate office is.
“The real red flag for me was the BBB report,” said Gomez. If it didn’t have an unsatisfactory record, he wouldn’t have pursued the issue. But because it did, he felt strongly that others should know the facts about such seminars and the companies that run them.
According to the Utah BBB report, “This company has an unsatisfactory record based on past BBB experience with Money in Training, which has the same principal officers as the National Training Conference. Money In Training has an unsatisfactory record with the Bureau for theft of a federally protected trademark, failure to honor a cease and desist agreement, false and misleading advertising.”
Their report also states that “The BBB has processed customer complaints on this company in its three-year reporting period. The company did address the disputed issues and customers verified the complaints were resolved.” This report may be viewed at www.saltlakecity.bbb.org.
Consumers who plan to attend free seminars should be aware that in most cases the presenters will promote products and services that are for sale. The BBB offers the following tips to help you recognize good financial seminars from those that don’t always have your best interests in mind.
For additional information, contact the Mountain States Better Business Bureau online at www.mountainstates.bbb.org, or phone the BBB at 970-484-1348, 970-686-7722 or 800-564-0371. It’s just good business!
About the Better Business Bureau
The Mountain States Better Business Bureau is dedicated to fostering fair and honest relationships between businesses and consumers, instilling consumer confidence and contributing to an ethical business environment, in both the traditional and online marketplaces. The first BBB was founded in 1912, and the network of BBBs and the Council of Better Business Bureaus have grown to become the most recognized advocates for promoting ethical business and advertising practices in the United States. In 2004, the Mountain States BBB provided more than 280,000 instances of service to consumers and businesses. The BBBs Internet self-regulation program, BBBOnLine, helps consumers identify online merchants that meet BBB standards through its Reliability and Privacy "trustmark" programs and the BBB Code of Online Business Practices.