Monday, September 22, 2008

Fools Gold or Golden Fools? Channel 4

Astonished, flabbergasted, lost for words.

If any of you have watched Channel 4's aptly titled "The Price of Property: Fools Gold" with Jon Henly, you too are probably picking up your jaw from the floor. Personally, I have not lived in the UK for over a decade now and whilst no-one has been able to escape the rising house prices in the UK and Europe in general, I find it almost unbelievable to see a woman who managed to spend the best part of a million pounds on property she hadn't seen over a weekend, then on top of that, go to see one of them and wonder why the furniture was made of cardboard and seemed incredibly cheap!?

I must admit, although the numbers quoted seemed somewhat off, it is a stark, long overdue lesson on how not to invest money you don't have in something that is yet to exist and that you can't see! The woman in question (vague as she was) thought when asked that she would be some £400,000 out of pocket if she sold all 7 apartments there and then. (We don't know when this was filmed, so it could well be double that by now!)

The world of property seminars and exhibitions is a very murky one, not just from out and out misrepresentation hype, but the manipulation of the public into parting with their cash for something they know nothing about with the simple aid of a fancy dog and pony show in a posh hotel with big shiny TV adverts. (We'll come back to this murky world in a moment)

First, Ask yourself the question. Do you think you could fly a rocket to your local Tesco and back without crashing after an intensive course from NASA in just a weekend?

"Oh no!, that's just being stupid" I here you cry, well is it? This woman had gambled over half a million pounds of money she didn't have in a weekend.

The Channel 4 show went on, interviewing a young lad on his first "buy to let" investment at auction, saying "I can't lose, everybody needs somewhere to live" HELLO!! has no-one read the news lately???!!! like, in the past year?

Why and how do people manage this? even then when they have, why do they think there is still money in it?

It's simple. Hype, Press and Seminars.


Whilst the Channel 4 show in this case has highlighted everyones mistakes after the effect, in an all very nice touchy feely way, we still have the wrath of tv shows to thank for the hyping of riches to be made from property investment, most of which are sponsored by some sales company or another, or in some cases property companies going to the length of buying TV stations to get just that bit closer to your wallet whilst you sip on your Horlicks on a cold winters night.

The press?

Well they will take ads, and sponsor events held invariably by media companies linked to real estate interests in some way or another (we have illustrated just the surface of this in previous posts)

Seminars and Exhibitions?

Dare we say it...... Inside Track and Instant Access. There. What a great idea, send us money and we'll tell you where you could buy. It'll make a profit, honest guv! The Instant Access website(s) does throw some confusion into the mix here, take a look at these 2 very similar links,

There is a great deal of debate and argument going on around Inside Track, Instant Access and all of it's owners, so we are going to refrain for the moment from commenting in too much depth, leaving you the reader to ask yourselves the question as to why a site might need 2 different versions. Once the dust settles a little, we will have a report on the shenanigans from both of these companies.

Back to the point though, before we rant on any more. Seminars. DON'T go there. No matter what the nice man in a shiny suit tells you or shows you, the chances of you paying off your house 150 times over in 10 minutes if you buy these 5 properties for only 5% down and take a 150 year interest only mortgage and rent them out to all of the 6 million tourists that walk past the front door twice over when it's 40 degrees below in darkest Bulgaria are slim to say the least!

As Public Enemy once said, Don't believe The Hype!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Love the site, nice to see someone taking a realistic view on the overseas property business, I know that Inside Track have gone bust, I have just heard from a friend that Inside Access has gone the same way - have you heard anything about this??