Thursday, March 29, 2007

What is Nouveau Riche University?

Nouveau Riche University is a new multilevel marketed real estate investment program. It consists of three primary parts: a course that claims to teach people how to invest in real estate, a "community" of "investors" who have access to their database of properties to purchase ("Investor Concierge"), and the marketing of the course and community through standard multilevel marketing techniques.

The course is not inexpensive, ranging from $300 per month to a $16,000 one-time payment, depending on the "level" you wish to join at. The level primarly affects how quickly the individual begins getting money from people that they sign up (their downline) and whether they get to see the properties available for purchase first, or after members who are at higher levels.

At the $16,000 level (which of course is strongly encouraged), you receive $8,000 for every person you sign up below you after the first two (the $8,000 from each of the first two goes to the person who signed you up, your "mentor"). So if you can manage to sign up 4 people, you've broken even, and you have full top-priority access to Investor Concierge, which allows you to buy properties in their database, sight-unseen if you wish. You also get 20 days of intensive training in real estate investing, access to conference calls, etc.-- all the things you need to help you succeed in real estate investing (and/or marketing the system, presumably).

But is it really possible to make money investing in real estate using this system? And if it is, why do the principals in the company bother selling the course? Why not just buy the properties themselves? The sales pitch says they are "paying it forward" and have altruistically decided to let others become rich too. This is certainly possible. Other explanations are also possible.