Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Things that piss me off: "University Inflation"

Fortune outs a scam artist in Phoenix that acts like he runs a university.

Here's a general rule of thumb for real estate advice - the more expensive it is, the worse it is.

The article is about a "univeristy" in Phoenix that charges students $16,000 for a week long seminar where they are going to be manipulated into thinking they can get rich quick.
the company rented Lamborghinis and Ferraris for six of its sales reps for the night so they could roar up to the hotel just as prospective students were filing into the Hyatt. "We want to generate some excitement," says Yurasek.
Then, as if $16,000 wasn't enough, they are then bombarded with sales pitches for more services - financing, real estate agents, credit repair agencies, remodelers, etc. The company especially makes it's money by organizing everything for its "students." This means telling them where to buy and pushing through the financing and everything. At least you would expect them come up with a mediocre investment, but no:
When Brant heard that Nouveau Riche students had bought 60 condo units in her town - sight unseen - she said, "I'm speechless. The housing market here is tied to the auto industry, and prices are falling faster than you can imagine: 10% last year and another 10% this year. Who knows when it will reach rock bottom? As far as rental properties, it's hard to rent anything here now. Houses and apartments sit empty all over town. People are leaving because there are no jobs here. We're really suffering."
What a tragedy. The people that are at these conferences are making a huge mistake.
These days Piccolo is living large - and proud of it. "Only in America," he says, "can a guy who barely made it through college end up owning a college."
What a douche-bag. Of course, he's not the only one. The NYTimes also outed another seminar scam artist earlier this year

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