National Real Estate Investors (NRI) / Ripped off!
I went to a "free" sales pitch in San Diego 2 years ago, and James Smith was one of the speakers. I was very impressed with his talk and I signed up for his 3-day Real Estate seminar, with coaching, for $6000. The seminar itself wasn't bad although it was overpriced. But there was an upsell to their "Platinum" program with more seminars and the great "M5" conference for only $20,000. So I signed up for that. Also at the seminar Darel Snyder and PSI Group, a close friend of James Smith, was selling his Phoenix Condo project. They had supposedly received special permission to present this project to the introductory seminar because it was so safe, so I invested in the $250K condo. That was at the top of the market just before Phoenix took a dive. They now say that the Real Estate downturn was completely unforeseen, and they couldn't predict that it would happen. Well, I've since found real Real Estate experts who were selling in Phoenix at the same time I was buying because they knew the market was ready to fall.
I went on to the M5 conference and they had a dazzling array of speakers lined up, about half of which were good RE information and the other half were mainly sales pitches for their products. I bought into some oil wells that were "can't miss" type investment, and so far that's a complete loss as well ($50K).
The biggest disappointment was the coaching. I went through 4 coaches, and until the last one they gave me very little useful information. While with the first coach I bought my first property on my own, which turned out to be a very bad deal and looks like we'll lose money on that one, but the coach told me "I really think you should buy this one because you're going to learn a lot". Well, he was right about that -- I learned how to lose money. But I thought that's what I was paying them to help me avoid.
The worst investment was recommended by another coach, and was a land development deal in (where else?) Utah, that was supposed to pay back multiple times the original investment. Based on the coach's recommendation, I invested $500K in that one, and so far haven't seen any of my original money come back. The coach was a partner in that deal, and the developer didn't have enough experience to get the financing on the project and it went down the tubes. The NRI "training" is useful by extremely overpriced -- there are other real gurus that charge far less for better information, and I've found some of them now. But the worst part of NRI is the investments that they push and the poor coaching which doesn't help you to make any money, and in fact leads you to lose money.
DON'T BUY ANYTHING FROM JAMES SMITH and NRI -- you'll be sorry! Do your research and find the real experts, who don't charge $3-5000 for a single class.