Before you buy anything read this article - Posted by Jim Sarver

Posted by Ronald * Starr (in No CA) on March 23, 2002 at 15:42:42:

John Behle--------------

I feel you are right on the money. I appreciate your insights, which gives me a chance to understand things better.

I would recommend that other people read your writing for helpfull understanding.

Good Investing and Good Posting/Writing*************Ron Starr***********

Before you buy anything read this article - Posted by Jim Sarver

Posted by Jim Sarver on March 21, 2002 at 13:00:35:

I’m looking to start investing more in real estate so I’ve been researching various “programs.” Being a person who is skeptical of things that sound to good to be true I started searching the internet for some feedback on these programs. I came across a good article I think would be useful for people to read before buying any programs or attending any seminars:

I’m in sales so I understand the sales process and also understand when somebody is trying to sell you something vary rarely do they have “your” best interest in mind. I’m not pitching this guys web site or his program. I’m not going to buy it. However, he does offer some free advice I think is worth reading.

Re: Before you buy anything read this article - Posted by Bob Taylor

Posted by Bob Taylor on March 22, 2002 at 10:08:33:


I don’t know what your current vocation is, nor, do I know what you are looking to do. However, unless you were born into wealth, and, never have had to earn a living, you have had some downsides, too, just like most of the rest of us. If you have a burning desire to make it in the Real Estate Investing business, which can be very rewarding and profitable by the way, you will do the research needed to find out what you need to know bwfore you spend a whole lot of money.

John Reed is just 1 person with 1 opinion. Surely there must be investors in your town that have the reputation of making it good, or, big, in R E I. Those are people that need to be talked with. See what their opinion is. Of course they might not want to educate a competitor.

Then I would suggest you go to this board, and, read the articles, the how to articles. Go to other boards to do the same. After you do that will you never waste any money on courses you don’t get anything out of? Of course you will. I went to a $2,000.00 work shop last week. Was it worth that much money? Not today, but, I did get some ideas to help me change my direction, and, do more deals, at a higher margin. So, you just never know.

Don’t take 1 person’s word for anything. Use your own God given talent to be nosy, and, find out what real people that you know, or, can talk with, are doing. You will not be sorry. You can be very highly paid.

Good luck, and, good buying/selling,

Not recommended . . . - Posted by JoeKaiser

Posted by JoeKaiser on March 21, 2002 at 17:22:24:

As a member of the “not recommended” “guru” group (I never claimed to be a guru, btw), I have a special affinity for Mr. Reed. Though I’ve never met him, I have chatted via email on a couple occasions and subscribed off and on (mostly off) to his newsletter going back a dozen years.

All in all, he’s one of the good guys. You can take that to the bank. His opinions are sometimes delivered with a heavy hand, but he says what’s on his mind and that’s not a bad thing.

I also accept the fact that not everyone is into lease options and that he wasn’t particularly impressed with my lease option course. Frankly, some of the things he objects to about my lease option course are valid concerns that I will address and change the next time around.

He does have experience with real estate investments. He lists the properties he’s owned here:

and btw, 117 units is not a small number . . .

But the thing that I don’t like and the thing I think is unfair, perhaps even dishonest, is the trumpeting of other people’s past failings (I’m not sure talking about someone’s mistakes from decades ago is relevant today), all the while failing to mention his own (at least I can?t find any mention of them on his website).

Observers should note that those last couple TX apartment buildings on the list, as a recall, were deeded back to the lenders in lieu of foreclosure. I further recall that those properties, at the time, represented a significant portion of Mr. Reed?s wealth and that hundreds of thousands of dollars were ultimately lost through the ownership and subsequent loss of those two properties. Me, I understand that stuff and how easily it could happen to anyone and wouldn?t judge Reed?s current offerings based on decades-old information.

But I also understand how easily it would be to splash Reed?s name on a website, list his failed investments, and conclude for the reader?s of the site that he is ?not recommended.? In fact, as a retaliatory measure, I once did that very thing.

How silly of the both of us…

Let me ask you this. If you were considering purchasing Reed?s materials and during your investigation of the author stumbled onto a website that disclosed how the only two investment deals he?s done in the last two decades resulted in a half a million dollar loss (this is a ?plucked from air? number, I don?t recall the exact amount, could be more or less) when the properties were deeded back to the lenders in lieu of foreclosure, would you buy his ?how to? books? Me neither.

But I know a bit more about his stuff and recommend it all the time. Like I said, by and large his materials are excellent. To me, his earlier mistakes make little difference as to the value of his current books and I wouldn’t judge the merits of his advice based on something that happened in a crazy market more a dozen years ago.


Because it wouldn?t be fair . . . and that?s my objection to the way he goes about his business today

John T. Reed is a self appointed arbiter of all that is good and bad in the real estate ?guru? world, yet his own record, littered (if two can be called ?littered,? that is) with failed investments and hundred thousand dollar losses, by his own yardstick, would put him into the ?I do not recommend? category.

How?s that for irony?

The real estate ?how to? community is a better place with the Jack Reeds of the world out there doing their thing, to be sure. But hey, take a grain or two of salt with anything you read or see on the web. There?s always that Paul Harvey thing to look out for . . . ?the rest of the story.?

Gooood day,

Joe Kaiser

Re: Before you buy anything read this article - Posted by DN in SF

Posted by DN in SF on March 21, 2002 at 14:44:42:

You can type in his name in the Main Group search and see what everyone else thinks of him and his critiques.


Re: Not recommended . . . - Posted by trel

Posted by trel on April 01, 2002 at 10:11:45:

I don’t know why I feel compelled to jump into this
discussion for the about the 30th time… other than
to state the following:

We all make mistakes… and sometimes individual events
occur in one’s life that force us to take less
comfortable paths. Failures, if evaluated properly,
can lead us to new successes. I don’t care the JTR has
had some less than stellar experiences.

I am always pleased to see one speak out in an attempt
to impart quality, factual information to others that
may be interested. JTR’s site, seemed to do that, so I
became an instant fan.

It was only when I took a hard look at some of the
recommendations and associated comments, that I became
a non-believer. I remain disappointed that JTR
publishes inaccurate information. He maintains lists
of some people called gurus, that indeed are not. He
publishes information that is clearly second-hand, and
has no first-hand knowledge of the subject/company,

I think its dangerous to post information from sources
deemed to be unreliable, or information from the
uninformed. Anyone can make a complaint about anyone
else, and whether true or not, it will appear on the
JTR site.

I have attempted to correct JTR, for his benefit and
for the benefit of those that read his site, with real
hard evidence and factual information, but JTR refuses
to acknowledge the information provided, so I gave up.

I’ve always applauded the effort… but once again
state that he intentionally publishes inaccurate
information… and apparently doesn’t care to correct


Re: Not recommended . . . - Posted by linda

Posted by linda on March 24, 2002 at 22:50:50:


I read Mr Reed’s comments and as a new investor found them to be quite confusing. When I am considering a purchase, I want to know about the materials in the course, not whether a “guru” returned a letter or bailed out of a bad deal! If I want information I go to a review, If I want gossip - I’ll read “The Enquirer”

Re: Not recommended . . . - Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA)

Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on March 21, 2002 at 21:27:10:

Joe Kaiser–(CA?)--------------

I liked your post. It seems to me that you have shown some humility and a sensible stance here. That you will use the criticisms to improve your educational materials is a credit, I feel, to you.

You are right about Jack’s deeding the properties back to the lenders. And I think there is a mention of it on his website. At least he has discussed it several times in his newsletter. He got caught in the Oil-Patch disaster of the late 1980s. When the price of oil dropped dramatically in 1985, lots of exploration for oil stopped in the “oil patch.” Lots of people dependent upon oil for income left TX. Also, there was a huge residential housing building boom going on, largely fueled by the savings and loans. Thus, the demand for apartments dropped, the supply was huge, and apartment houses dropped in value. When his apartments were worth less than his loans, he indeed did deed them back to the lenders. He continued after that to pay on one of the loans, as he was obligated to do, as he tells the story.

I think I can fault Jack only in a couple of ways. One, he was not diversified. He had two properties and they were pretty close to each other. Two, he did not see the crash coming, or move very quickly to sell when the prices started to drop. I suppose this could be due to arrogance? He says that nobody could have predicted the situation. That may or may not be true. I’m not sure. The third thing to criticize him on is that he did not hang in there for the long haul. I have not checked on apartment house values in TX, but I suspect that the ones he owned are now worth about what they were before the bad times in the oil patch. Now, that would have required a real effort, paying out of pocket to hold on to properties in a downturn. And I have never yet heard of a metal being awarded for real estate heroes who stuck it out through bad times. However, economically, it might be that it would have been better for him pay up and to hold on. Hard to judge from afar.

Oh, and then when the bottom was reached, it would probably have been possible to make some incredible buys and soar when the good times returned to TX. So one might criticize Jack for not getting back in and making up for his previous loss. Does that make him a weakling or coward? Does anybody owe it to others to invest in real estate to prove they know somthing about it? I’m not sure.

As I recall, the amount of the loss was something like what you said. Maybe $600K? Maybe $800K.

I agree with you that pointing out people’s failures is probably not as impressive as Jack would seem to like to make it seem. However, at the same time, it is good to get the “rest of the story” which few of the gurus will provide clearly. Maybe we all have some real estate dealings that we would rather not be included in our reputation.

Good Investing, Good Posting, and Good Educating**Ron Starr****

Re: Not recommended . . . - Posted by Jim Sarver

Posted by Jim Sarver on March 21, 2002 at 18:09:14:

Well…I seem to have at least opened the issue up for debate. I’m not trying to stir anything up between people that have been in the industry for years…this is only day 1 for me. I’m just doing some preliminary research. That’s how I happened onto this web site.

I hope my comments didn’t come across as cynical?they weren?t meant to be?you make valid points. Really my purpose for posting his comments was to make sure that people stop and think clearly before they lend too much credence to what someone they don’t know tells them what to do with their money & time. (You would think that?s common sense, however, it’s surprising!) The only way to really make a lot of money is to work hard for it. And once people make money the part their generally not prepared for is to learn how to keep it.

I don’t profess to be that smart…I got luck owning property in San Diego, CA. When I bought I had no idea how values were going to rise out here. Now…since I’m part of the dot.bomb generation I’d like to take what I’ve made on my properties and move on into the real estate realm full time. But I?m planning on starting slowly.

I?m willing to listen to advice?just not pay for it!

If I were a boxer - Posted by John Behle

Posted by John Behle on March 22, 2002 at 23:58:20:

If I were a boxer, I’d take any advice I could get from Muhammed Ali. These days Pee Wee Herman could probably take him in a fight - but it doesn’t invalidate his experience, what he knows or what someone could learn from him.

So, to invalidate Reed for any mistakes or misfortune would be an idiotic action for someone truly interested in learning or succeeding.

YET - Reed seems obsessed with the misfortune or mistakes of others. HE DOES invalidate them and encourages others to also. There is a double standard. The problem is there are few perfect teachers out there and in some cases that may just mean they managed their P.R. better.

Re: Not recommended . . . - Posted by Rob

Posted by Rob on March 22, 2002 at 10:55:50:

If you are going to not spend any money and get free advice, you are looking at moving in slow motion. I find that the reason why some move faster than others is because they paid. I haven’t met too many that can fast track thru investment without much help, education and knowledge. Of course, experience is the best, with going all out and “just do it!”.

Here let me recommend a book that Reed don’t recommend:
Richdad/Poordad for only 10-15 dollars to start you.
Many have been at this site for a while and know about Reed. It is nothing new. You should have check him out first.

Kaiser is correct, and along with Ron Starr, But I have yet to see the many students of Reed step up and produce Results like some of the gurus that Reed don’t recommend. I am not saying that those gurus are great. Everything depends on the individual, and his motivation. No one can motivate you, except yourself.


P.S. Ron, what does Reed say about the guys at the courthouse step with you? What is his recommendation on that, and what they do?

Re: Not recommended . . . - Posted by michael

Posted by michael on March 21, 2002 at 20:20:12:

When joining a discussion area, it’s a good idea to get the lay of the land before seemingly appointing oneself guardian to "make sure people stop and think."
There are plenty of people here who can do that quite well. You are quite bold for someone who is admittedly only at “day 1.”

You didn’t open up the discusion about Reed. If you’d take the time to search the archives, you’ll find he has been discussed ad nauseum, for years.

As for your statement “I’m willing to listen to advice… not just pay for it.” My first reaction is to say that is a very foolish thought, but in the end you are going to pay for the knowledge one way or another. You will waste considerable time, i.e. years, and considerable money through your inevitable mistakes.

A decent library of courses will cost one a couple grand. One dumb mistake will cost you many times that amount.

A good attorney or CPA will cost you money for their advice, why should a top notch opinion in RE be any different? Why should someone give you their hard won experience for free? What do you have to give in return?