Consumers' Institute warns about investment seminar in Auckland

Wednesday 23 June 2004

Consumers' Institute is warning people to be very wary of a real-estate and investment seminar to be held in Auckland on 29 June.

By The Landlord

"The promises made for this seminar are some of the most ludicrous we've ever seen," said the Institute's chief executive, David Russell.

Claims are that attendees will learn how to buy real estate at under half price, how to retire in as little as two years, and achieve annual returns as high as 50% on "government approved" investments.

Many people have received free invitations which are supposedly worth $149.

Consumers' Institute says the day long "National Training Conference" is simply an infomercial where the presenters sell tapes, CDs and books on real-estate and investment. They are tailored for the United States, and it is very unlikely they have given any thought to local conditions.

An example of this is the NTC website that claims seminar attendees will learn how to get around paying capital gains tax on real-estate. We do not have capital gains tax in New Zealand.

The NTC brochure states "four of New Zealand's Greatest Financial Superstars" will be presenting the seminar - they are William Danko, James Smith, Phil Town and Wayne Gray. All are American, and were recently touted in Australian seminars as "four of Australia's Greatest Financial Superstars".

They claim their investment scheme is "government approved." But the New Zealand government does not "approve" any investment schemes.

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