When it Comes to Real Estate Investing: I Say Don’t Gamble Your Hard-Earned $$ away.
I’ve been on the real estate roller coaster trying to hit my freedom goal of making enough money to quit my job.
Unfortunately for me….I lost it all.
You don’t have to. Thank god I found the right mentor to teach me a better way.
I like Cowgill’s take on the deal, but
for reasons I explain below.
Please, Please don’t think that this is an entirely negative review.
I think it is straight up.
But before I drop you into review city, let me introduce you to my mentor James. Once you know who he is I invite to read until your eyes bleed if you like… I invite you to read every word I wrote from the research I did, and it was a lot.
After you watch the video to the end, read the review below.
All About Private Money for Real Estate Investing
Alan Cowgill is a real-estate investor who has become an expert in the area of finding private lenders to finance real-estate deals. His seminars and products teach new and seasoned investors how to find private investors while keeping in compliance with SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) regulation.
A Look at Alan Cowgill’s Private Money Course and More
No Dodging the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission:
When it comes to the SEC, Cowgill is clear that he doesn’t advocate going around regulation or skirting the system. Instead, he says:
“my system teaches you the exact opposite – it teaches you how to behave in order to be in total compliance with the rules.
“You’ll learn exactly what you need to do to raise strangers to the friends, family and associates level where you can legally ask them to be private lenders. In creating this system, I wanted to be crystal clear on what you need to do to stay in compliance.
Cowgill spent 17 years working in another industry before venturing into real estate investing. His focus is small multi-family and single-family properties in Springfield, MO, where, according to one review, he has acquired over 100 properties since 1995.
He started writing books and educating other investors at least as early as 2008, when his book How to Get All the Money You Need to Buy Property came out. Since then he has added 25 additional titles to his offering of books on Amazon. Most are only available as downloads. Prices vary from ten bucks to forty bucks.
Cowgill knows his stuff, if quantity of materials produced is any indication.
Check out a few his books on Amazon:
- 8 Slam Dunk Ways to Find Private Investors;
- Alan Cowgill on Pooling Private Lender Funds;
- Alan Pulls Back the Curtain on the SEC;
- Usury Regulations;
- The Magic of Investor Luncheons;
- Seven Requirements for Managing Private Lenders;
- 5 Reasons Why Real Estate Investors Need to Be Mindful of the SEC.
On his website, Cowgill has a whole array of products for purchase. Some are books; many are CDs and DVD packages.
Reviews of Cowgill’s material are more positive than negative.
The negative reviews aren’t scathing or venomous. They mostly state that the material was more basic than the buyer expected.
One reviewer of the Private Money course wrote: I hate to be the voice of dissent – but the course is VERY basic. It says, hit up your current network – friends, family, etc.
“Also mentions trying to explain the benefits of self-directed IRS, because that’s where a lot of potential prospects could move their money from a traditional 401k/ira into, so they could invest with you. It’s an ok course if you have no clue. I got the course so I could utiilize his presentation.
“ I have since acquired other power points that are just as good for less or no money.
The Price is . . . Right?
Like many other REI gurus, Cowgill also hosts live seminars around the country. Live events come with a whopping $5,000 price tag. Want the Gold Plan Coaching Package, to help you implement the stuff you learned at the seminar? That can be yours for an additional $10,000.
Alan Cowgill Seminar Critique
You can skip the seminar and purchase the materials as home study courses instead, if desired. To go through the Boot Camp in the comfort of your own home will cost you $3,000. Here are the price tags on other random Cowgill courses I added to my cart:
- Private Lending Made Easy: The Basic System — $697
- Private Lending Made Easy I: The Premium System — $997
- Private Lending Made Easy II: The Wealth Management System — $797
- Prospecting For Lenders — $497
- California Loophole — $397
- How to Use Private Money to Fund Your Next Apartment, Commercial, or Land Deal –$297
Not Out to Disrespect
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again . . . I’m not out to disrespect anyone or their hard work or the dues they’ve paid. I take my hat off to people like Cowgill who have become successful and made their systems work.
Having said that, I do want to point out red flags and things that make me scratch my head.
If you’re a newbie real estate investor, I want this review to help you by providing the good, the bad, and the ugly. Then you can be the judge.
Scratching My Head Over This One
This may seem pretty irrelevant at first, but hang with me. I’m going to address the quality of writing on Cowgill’s website.
Really, a middle-schooler could write better copy than what I see on Cowgill’s website. The sentences run on, are often confusing, and are not succinctly or professionally written. Here’s one example:
These professionally written and designed slides will enable you to take a person who may never have even heard of private lending when you started your presentation and walk him through the details so that by the end, you’ll have someone who is warm and receptive to the whole concept of being able to diversify some of the investment capital that he has parked out in conventional securities to something he may still consider unconventional, but that he now understands.
Watch more videosI bring this up because unprofessional writing makes me suspect unprofessional products. If sentences like the above are on Cowgill’s website, what’s the content going to be like on his forms and PowerPoints (ready for you to show a Kiwanis club, if you order the right package)?
The poor writing in the Testimonials section is also a flag. These testimonies are obviously created by the same person who writes all the other content. Compare the above sentence from Cowgill’s website with this testimonial:
Alan Cowgill and his private money instructors follows and elaborates on his class work book hard copy PowerPoint slides such that we students have a basis for our notes. This way, we students carry out of the training a set of class notes integrated with Alan’s slides, instead of our taking notes without any relationship to the slides. This is extremely valuable for the coherency and integrity of the class.
The writing in that quote makes me cringe. All of the testimonials are variations of that and sound just like the content found on the rest of the website.
I’m not going so far as to say the testimonials are fabricated. I don’t know. Maybe the website writer was trying to improve the quotes and render them publishable. (Why not drop in testimonial quotes in their original form? With an attribution so that it looks like a real person said it?)
But the fact that a Cowgill-camp writer either made up or rewrote quotes waters my seeds of doubt about the whole enterprise and the products.
The Postage Costs $400?
Here’s something else that just didn’t sit right with me.
“The Three-Touch Rule: Prospecting for Lenders,” comes with a manual and four audios (length of audios not given), plus a 54-slide PowerPoint that you can use at a Kiwanis club, or REIA meeting, or one-on-one, plus (If You Order Now!) a special forms download.
Ok, no issue with the content.
Moving along to the price.
The price used to be $1097 for all of the above, but because times have been hard, Cowgill was—through careful analysis, he said—able to shave off $200. And then Cowgill’s accountant suddenly realized that the price could be further reduced if the package was delivered by download instead of physically shipped.
Are you kidding me?
The cost of shipping, materials, and labor to get one package out the door would be twenty bucks TOPS.
The new price, after the shaved-off $200 and the incredible postage savings of $400, dropped to $497.
I smell a rat.
At the End of the Day
And then there’s the thing about the high price tag for the seminars. When other guys (think Gary Johnston) are charging $500 for a three-day live seminar, what’s so special about Cowgill that he’s charging $5000? Or $3000, for the home version?
Prices like that make me suspicious, if I’m being perfectly candid. I’m not calling it a scam.
People would be screaming if it really was. I’m not saying there isn’t good and valuable information to be gained. I’m sure there is.
I’m just saying: that’s a heck of a lot of money. If you go to a seminar, sign up for the coaching, and probably buy several additional tools/resources, your wallet will be fifteen to twenty GRAND lighter than before.
Would not that money be better spent on your own project?
Be smart, is all I’m saying. Don’t convince yourself that you can’t pull off your project without a $5000 seminar.