John T. Reed....I Do Not Recommend - Posted by JPiper

Posted by Laure on March 22, 1999 at 21:25:14:

that you agree with his book “tax avoidance” because I just got it tonight !! LOL

Thanks !

John T. Reed…I Do Not Recommend - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on March 21, 1999 at 13:04:49:

John T. Reed ??. I do not recommend!

For those of you who do not know Mr. Reed, allow me to acquaint you with him. Mr. Reed is a publisher of a real estate newsletter, and a writer of various books on real estate investment. He is also a self-appointed critic of real estate “gurus”. In case anyone doesn’t know, I have not written any books or courses, and I don’t sell real estate advice of any type. I am not related in any respect to the owners of this site, nor am I related to any “guru”. What follows is strictly my own opinion.

I have long held the belief that Mr. Reed’s evaluation of guru’s is biased and emotional. A recent review of Mr. Reeds critiques contains one example of this so blatant that I could not resist commenting. The critique involves Scott Britton.

Scott has produced a video regarding the rehab process. While I have not personally viewed this video, I understand that it describes how to make $10,000 in 98 days. It’s available here on this site for about $40, certainly a nominal cost. Mr. Reed evaluates Scott by stating first that he does not recommend Scott. Here’s his reasoning: $10,000 in 98 days means you earned $102.04 per day, divided by 8 hours, which is $12.76 per hour. Mr. Reed then goes on to describe jobs where you can make $12.76 per hour?.. “driver, chauffeur, customer service, child care site supervisor, carpet cleaner.” Mr. Reed then concludes that a customer service job is far less risky and requires far less effort than rehabbing a property.

Nice hatchet job Mr. Reed. This is Reed’s entire analysis. The problem is that Mr. Reed leaves out one key point. Britton hired contractors to do the work! In other words, Britton did not make $10,000 for working 98 8-hour days on a rehab project. Now I don’t pretend to know how many hours Scott had tied up in this project, but I am comfortable with the idea that it’s considerably less than 784 hours.

One wonders why Mr. Reed would analyze Britton in this particular manner. Could it be that he and Britton are competitors? In case you don’t know, Britton also writes a newsletter, as does Mr. Reed. Could it be that Mr. Reed figured out a “clever” way to knock a competitor in a public forum where the competitor has no way to respond? To be honest, I don’t know if this was Mr. Reed’s motivation. The only other reason I can personally think of though is that Mr. Reed is just plain stupid. Otherwise, how could Mr. Reed simply “omit” material information like the fact that the work was done by contractors. So it comes down to a simple choice?.. Mr. Reed is either stupid, or he has a vested interest in the criticism that he writes.

Frankly, my viewpoint is that Mr. Reed’s criticism of Britton leaves everything that Reed says or writes in question. It’s the old story?..if Mr. Reed will stoop to this level in terms of his criticism of Britton, where does he draw the line? Mr. Reed is quite concerned with everyone else’s integrity, but one wonders why is he so focused on this issue? Is he resonating some deep, inner feeling that he himself is lacking in integrity, so that’s what he sees in everyone else? Now, either way, his analysis either carried significant self-interest, or he is stupid?.and if the latter, there would be no reason to read his information. Personally after having read this latest criticism by Reed, I have no confidence in the competence or reliability of either Reed or anything that he writes.

A careful reading of Mr. Reed’s criticism in general shows some facts, interspersed with various rhetoric and emotional arguments unrelated to the topic of real estate. The problem with this style is that a reader could draw various negative conclusions that would be illogical and incorrect. I certainly don’t have a problem with factual statements concerning a real estate guru. What I do have a problem with is a few factual statements, combined with Mr. Reeds rather emotional or incorrect opinions, which are then put out on the internet and other places in the form of a conclusion.

In the case of Scott Britton, Mr. Reed has totally overstepped the bounds of responsibility and propriety. He’s attempted a hatchet job on a competitor, without ANY facts whatsoever.

Mr. Reed??I do not recommend.


Re: John T. Reed…I Do Not Recommend - Posted by Sue(NC)

Posted by Sue(NC) on March 22, 1999 at 07:29:26:

I remember in High School listening to Cat Stevens- boy, that dude wrote some cool tunes! Then I heard that he supported the murder of Salman Rushdie, author of ‘The Satanic Verses’. Cat Stevens? Support murder?
Made me sick, but hey, I still like his old songs.

Reed isn’t quite as bad as Cat Stevens. He wrote some REALLY good books. ‘Tax Avoidance for Real Estate Investors’ is the BEST book I have read on the subject. And it’s readable by non-accountant-types.

I DON’T recommend inviting Reed to dinner. I DON’T recommend believing his appraisals of other real estate investors. I DO recommend ‘Tax Avoidance…’

Re: John T. Reed…I Do Not Recommend - Posted by Jerry Greer

Posted by Jerry Greer on March 21, 1999 at 21:33:51:

Jim, You never cease to amaze me! That is why I am honored to call you a friend. You allready know how I feel about you and your contribution to this site and its visitors. You my friend are an example for all to follow. I can only hope to be as respected as you in my lifetime.
Your Friend,
Jerry Greer.

The ultimate proof - Posted by HR

Posted by HR on March 21, 1999 at 20:04:58:


I agree with you completely.

I first became acquainted with Reed through his book on aggressive tax avoidance for rei, a great book. Much of his other stuff, especially his essays, are completely biased, though, and are actually dangerous; they present very bad information.

The critique of Scott is one example.

Here is what, for me, is the ultimate discredit of Reed: while Lonnie does get Reed’s approval, Reed implies that Lonnie’s squirrel dog bargaining tactics are improper, unnecessary, and probably unethical and immoral. Lonnie – unethical and immoral? Is he kidding? There is no better embassador of rei than Lonnie. He is a Southern Gentleman par excellence and a man that many of us have come to trust completely because of 1) his personal integrity and 2) the creativeness, profitabilty, and excellence of his techniques.

So if the choice is between Lonnie and Reed… please, there is no choice whatsoever.

If ya’ll haven’t read Joe’s essay, treat yourself to a chuckle. It’s classic Kaiser wit and wisdom.

When I think of Reed, I think of that Texas saying he should have learned while living there: Big hat, no cattle.

Reed’s obsession with morality also reminds me of a great saying by Jung, the great Swiss psychotherapist:

“Those who fly closest to the sun cast the longest shadows.”

Scott Britton - I DO Recommend - Posted by Bill K. (AZ)

Posted by Bill K. (AZ) on March 21, 1999 at 18:23:24:


Let’s not forget that Scott Britton, and other experienced investors, could easily have several rehab projects in process at the same time. So, using Mr. Reed’s misguided logic, one could easily be making $25.52/hr (2 rehabs), $38.28/hr (3 rehabs), $51.04/hr (4 rehabs), etc. Not bad change for a few rehabs. Plus, I’m certain that Scott is busy with other aspects of investing AT THE SAME TIME.

Instead of congratulating other investors on their success, Mr. Reed feels more important trying to pull others down to his level.

I talked to Scott, much too briefly, at the convention. I wish I could have talked to him more. I found him to be knowledgeable, quite personable and very humble. All characteristics that Mr. Reed could use.

Scott Britton - I DO Recommend!

GREAT post. Continued success!

Bill K. (AZ)

The Two Sad Things About Reed… - Posted by J. Clifton

Posted by J. Clifton on March 21, 1999 at 16:54:15:

…is that:

  1. over the years, he has been the one “authority” on RE investing that mainsteam media sources like (Money magazine) reference whenever they are evaluating the creative side of the business—thus giving them a very unbalanced view of seminars, gurus and sites like Creonline. It’s peculiar that Reed’s own articles, attitudes and teachings are never subjected to the same scrutiny by the mainstream, as they subject creative investing.

  2. Mr. Reed has contributed some valuable books to the creative RE field, that are tarnished by his attack-dog antics elsewhere. His book on aggressive tax avoidance is deservedly acclaimed, and “How to Buy…” 20% below market book introduced many people into the universe of bargain opportunities beyond foreclosures and fixers. The latter book was also useful for pinpointing the actual successful prospecting techniques, kill-ratios and closing methods of real-world investors—an approach that was forerunner to Creonline’s exposure of these same “doers” each day in this newsgroup. It’s truly sad that Reed is wasting his talent on bashing the very pros he says he reveres—real live investors!

Thank you Jim Piper - Posted by Jim IL

Posted by Jim IL on March 21, 1999 at 15:32:19:

I just wanted to say “Thank you” for the commentary. Your words always carry heavy weight with me and I’m sure most here.
As far as I’m concerned, you are one of the “Guru’s”, you simply do not sell books or courses.(perhaps because of that, you are the BEST)
Your postings and chatroom discussions have been some of the best advice and support we newbies have found. I am eternally grateful for you and your openeness and willingness to share.
I recall a recent post of yours where not only did you ask for advice from the board, but kept us informed of the progress of the experience. (This was your post about the lenders and insurance issue).
Through your sharing of that experience, it gave many of us another example of how to handle certain situations. We were all given the PRIVLEDGE to learn from your experience.
As always, you sir were kind and selfless.
I did attend the convention, but sadly, did not really get to meet you. I did walk toward a conversation that you were invloved in, and another CRE member pointed you out. (Hey, Jim, thats JPiper!)
I then listened to what you where saying and again was amazed at your integrity and openess.
So, before I ramble on for much longer, I’ll close and simply say again, “Thank you JPiper”, you are what many of us can only strive to be.
God Bless you Jpiper, and best of luck to you,
Jim IL

Re: John T. Reed…I Do Not Recommend - Posted by phil fernandez

Posted by phil fernandez on March 21, 1999 at 15:02:06:


As usual you are right . John Reed is stupid. Plain and simple. When he down grades others, who he might feel are his competition, he only hurts himself. We on this site know enough not to put much weight into what he says. And I can’t imagine anyone who has been on this site for long would even consider his opinions as significant

If only John Reed could see the whole picture, which it is obvious that he can’t, only then would he see how childish and insecure that he is. I pity the man.

Let’s not forget . . . - Posted by JoeKaiser

Posted by JoeKaiser on March 21, 1999 at 14:50:18:

Reed does this sort of thing intentionally. It’s his “schtick.” In fact, he once commented to me that “nothing draws a crowd like a fight.” Too bad, I really liked his stuff way back when.

And don’t forget “That’s the fact, Jack,” my retort at:

Joe (not recommended) Kaiser

Re: John T. Reed…I Do Not Recommend - Posted by Ed Garcia

Posted by Ed Garcia on March 21, 1999 at 14:35:33:


I know you as a honorable man with character.
I also know that it is not your style to criticize or bad mouth other
individuals. I don?t know John Reed, but based on what you?ve just
posted, I?m sure I?m not missing much.

I have had the honor of meeting Scott Britton on two occasions. He
seems like a fine person, who believes in what he teaches.
Jim, to me that?s important. Even though I may not agree with Mr.
Britton on some of his teachings, I respect his opinions, and know that
he does what he does in good faith, with honesty and integrity.

For someone to take cheap shots at a Class act like Scott is sad.

You have stated that you don?t make money off your advice, I know the
reason you have made such a statement is to demonstrate that your
opinions are not for gain, and that you are not making your statement
for any other reason other than you believe in what you have just stated.

I also think it shows your character when you stand up for a fellow man.
I think that shows what a Class act you are Mr. Piper.

Other than your posting, I have never heard a bad word spoken about
Scott Britton, as a matter of fact I have only heard good things about him.

I am proud of you Jim for standing up for Scott, and I want you to know
that I for one am glad that you have made your statement.

Scott Britton has worked hard to accomplish what he has, and he doesn?t
deserve to be used as someone?s target for personal gain.
I want you to know that I think it is wonderful what you have done to
support Scott. And want you to know that I for one am behind you.

Ed Garcia

Re: John T. Reed…I Do Not Recommend - Posted by David in Ft. Worth

Posted by David in Ft. Worth on March 21, 1999 at 13:15:03:

Amen, Brother Piper!!! Thanks for your great opinion and information that you freely give. We newbies do appreciate it.

David in Ft. Worth

Ditto That (nt) - Posted by JHyre in Ohio

Posted by JHyre in Ohio on March 22, 1999 at 09:11:28:


Re: The Two Sad Things About Reed… - Posted by ALex Gurevich, TX

Posted by ALex Gurevich, TX on March 21, 1999 at 20:44:52:

>>and “How to Buy…” 20% below market book introduced many people into the universe of bargain opportunities
>>beyond foreclosures and fixers

I remember how 3-4 years ago I got stuck out of town with a car trouble. While waiting for repairs to be done at shop, I walked into the nextdoor bookstore and browsing through the real estate section spotted this particular “jewel”.

As I scanned through the table of contents I got excited about the topics covered. I had about 3 hours. As I started to read I remember the funny feeling I was getting, as if somebody was telling me other people’s stories. The stories were told by an observer who had not done anything like that, but, instead, just interviewed those folks, and even questioned whether what they were saying was true.

I remember asking myself, what does this man has to do with teaching how to buy bargains ?

Re: Thank you Jim Piper - Posted by Laure

Posted by Laure on March 22, 1999 at 21:27:36:

Piper was enjoying the Texas air outside with the “smokers” on most of the breaks ! We teased him that he was giving his own lectures ! hehehe

Laure :slight_smile:

JohnT.Reed=the Jerry Springer of R.E.(n.t.) - Posted by gwtx

Posted by gwtx on March 21, 1999 at 15:30:02:

nuff said

Re: John T. Reed: A Loose Cannon - Posted by Stacy (AZ)

Posted by Stacy (AZ) on March 21, 1999 at 13:34:51:

I agree, Jim. Reed mixes factual commentary with opinions (some extreme) and his personal agenda, and never acknowledges that there could be a difference between the two. I sincerely don’t believe he knows the difference, which is the height of arrogance.

His comments about CREOnline and some of the contributors are simply ridiculous.


Re: The Two Sad Things About Reed… - Posted by Sue(NC)

Posted by Sue(NC) on March 22, 1999 at 07:11:23:

Yes, Reed’s 20% book is written from other people’s experiences… but does that necessarily make it bad? It is, after all, just a synopsis. I don’t know of many investors that are experts in 15 different realms.

While I will agree that someone who has worked the business knows the details best, that doesn’t mean that you need the expert for an overview. Nuclear scientists don’t usually teach Physics 101…(but you probably want the expert on hand if you’re going to build the reactor!)

HEY NOW ! - Posted by Laure

Posted by Laure on March 22, 1999 at 21:31:19:

I actually watch the Springer show ! And my shop made an “I Love Jerry Springer” T-Shirt last week ! LOL
Not for me, it was for a customer. I would never actively advertise watching his show ! hehehe

Laure :wink:

Re: The Two Sad Things About Reed… - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on March 22, 1999 at 10:20:20:


I read this and your other response under the Reed thread. I understand your desire to render some impartial words?’s similar to the feeling I have when I read Reed’s commentary on “gurus”.

Here’s the problem I have with what you say. Reed is a writer. He’s not a real estate investor (he illustrates his failures as such in Texas?..see Joe Kaiser’s website for info on his deeds in lieu of foreclosure), not a CPA, and not a tax attorney. Reed quit real estate investment after he failed. What Reed does for his books is to compile and condense information as a writer.

As a writer we can only rely on Reed’s words, words we hope are based on fact distilled from subjects he is not trained in. We have to rely on Reeds integrity to have written ALL the facts, as opposed to SOME of the facts. Whether Reed does this is a guess in my opinion. Certainly the situation I cite in my original post is an example where Reed did not print SOME of the facts, or even ANY of the facts. He simply wrote some information that was a hatchet job on another individual, without regard for facts. Did Reed do this in his books? Good question. I don’t know how you would know. Personally, my philosophy is that if a guy does it once, he’ll do it twice? overlook this at your own peril.

Let’s compare it to a movie critic. We expect that the movie critic will have SEEN the movie. We then would expect the critic to discuss the movie, tell us what it’s about, tell us what he finds wrong or right with it. We don’t expect the critic to also be a movie producer, or an actor. Even the most naïve amongst us would recognize that as a conflict. In this case Reed does not discuss Britton’s information. In fact, I am forced to conclude that he OMITTED information that he MUST have know IF he viewed the tape. MAYBE he didn’t view the tape though??and if this is the case then he gave his opinion without knowledge.

Think about it Sue. If he viewed the tape he purposely omitted information. If he didn’t view the tape he was talking about something he knew nothing about.

Now the question I would ask you is this: Do you think this says anything about Reed’s standards regarding the information he disseminates? If it does, does this standard result in information you can rely on? In Reed’s tax book did he omit any information that might have had an impact on the conclusions he reaches? Did he actually read the case citations or tax rulings? Does Reed’s 20% book omit any important information? Can we rely on Reed to have presented his second-hand information accurately? Or is he shooting from the hip? How do you know?

That’s why I said in my original post that his review of Britton brought EVERYTHING he writes into question?..because it reveals the man’s standards, his philosophy.

The question that eventually arises is “What is Reed’s motive?”. Fortunately the answer is easy to determine. Reed is like the movie critic who also produces movies. We don’t have to look any further than that.

Frankly Sue I believe in being impartial myself, just as you evidently do. I think people make mistakes, errors in judgment. Believe me, I have been guilty of both many times. But an error in judgment is different than a basic character flaw?..and that is what I believe Reed has revealed to us in his review of Britton. And if I’m right about this flaw, then the credibility of Reed regarding anything goes right down the tube.