The rise and fall of no-money-down real estate gurus

The New York Times reports that the Carleton Sheets infomercials that were ubiquitous a couple years ago are now off the air, as the real estate training mogul struggles with his tarnished reputation -- and serious losses in his own investments.

His late-night infomercials extolled the wealth-building potential of real estate and emphasized that fortunes could be accumulated with no cash, no credit, and no education, in your spare time, with little risk. The result for many who followed Sheets' advice was massive losses, ruined credit and devastated dreams.John T. Reed -- the anti-guru whose website is devoted to painstaking exposes of the many charlatans and hucksters who inhibit the world of real estate "education" -- has a B.S. Artist Detection Checklist on his website, and it's required reading for anyone who is even contemplating thinking about ordering a "real estate investment course" from a late-night infomercial or internet advertisement.''

What's a shame about all the deservedly negative coverage of these real estate charlatans is that history has demonstrated amply that real estate is a fantastic way to get rich -- but it requires hard work and self-sacrifice and it has very little to do with the yachts and Rolexes that you seen in infomercials.

Actually, most real estate millionaires got that way by wearing Timexes and devoting as much cash as they could to their investments. Carleton Sheets is off the air, but many, many people will become fantastically wealthy buying real estate in the current market -- but they won't do it with no money down or without hard work.
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