Thursday, September 18, 2008

To Attend Or Not To Attend Seminar

"Make More $$$" "How To Be A Millionaire".

These are some of the bold captions that captured our attention in the media. The advertisements invite us to learn the tricks or success stories of the speakers in one of the leading hotels. There are so many seminars that 'could' lead us to the world of wealth abundance. The topics range from option trading, Internet marketing, stock market investment, property investment etc. We could definitely acquire some knowledge but the question posed is it worth the fee / cost effective as they do not come cheap!

How does it work? The organiser normally entice us with a free 2-3 hours preview. In the preview the speaker will tempt us with some tips and at the same time doing his sales pitch as well! Some preview seminars are structured to be emotionally charged. Incentives are dangled so that they could close the sale there and then. If we are unsure, don't sign up.

Seminar is a quick and condensed way to obtain training and information. However there are other wealth of information available at a cheaper price namely from mentoring and good old books. Of course, there are authors becoming speakers and vice versa so obviously we could learn from the books. So why bother to attend the seminar? According to the speakers / authors, even though there may be redundancy, there would be new updates and materials in the seminar, moving along with time.

By attending seminars, we could cut the learning curve tremendously and may be more effective than reading. The three dimensional approach may work out best for certain people. (Just imagine attending a lecture in university vs reading a text book in the library!) We may read something but the experience is different when we hear the speaker saying it with conviction. There are other benefits in attending seminars i.e. networking and buying merchandises at discounted prices.

How do we select which seminar that is right for us since we have limited budget and time? For a start do some research on the speaker. The Securities Commission (SC) clarifies that services related to investment advice and fund management are regulated under Security Industry Act 1983, thus those offering such services need a license from SC. Anyone can become a speaker and claim to being rich.

Then research on the subject of the seminar. Advertisement normally paint a pretty picture but does it suit our risk profile? Find out if the seminar teaches those aspects that we could relate to and apply. Bear in mind some strategies work well overseas but might not work here due to different tax laws, culture, readiness etc. Find out if there is a money back guarantee if the contents fall short of expectation.

Rule of thumb. Too good to be true yardstick still applies. Be skeptical of high or guaranteed returns as every investment comes with some degree of risk. Just be wary of any claims and promises of high rewards without corresponding risks. However just going to seminars itself does not make a difference. We must apply what we have learnt!

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