UPDATED:  MARCH 24, 2011 SEC identifies Mike Watson Ponzi Scheme — Read Filings here.  Utah News has written an investigative report which you can read about this  real estate guru scam.


Do You Still Think Real Estate Investing Is The Path To Liberation?

Name: Mike Watson Investments

URL: www.MikeWatsonInvestments.com (link disabled)

Purpose:Their mission statement states “To create and liberate partners by instilling in them financial prosperity, balanced lifestyle, career satisfaction, and freedom by providing world-class education and hands-on participation.”

3 Things You Will Learn From This Review

  1. The exact outline of the “Foundation to Success”
  2. How I used some of the techniques I learned
  3. What I Didn’t Like

Before I go any further, I’d like to make a few things crystal clear. I’ve been involved with Mike Watson program since 2005, however I’m not an employee and I don’t receive any kind of compensation from them.

I’ve been to multiple “boot-camps,” workshops, and tele-seminars. The most eye-opening programs I attended were the on seller-financing, raising capital, and even a door-knocking event.

What’s The Scoop About Mike Watson Investing In A Nutshell

This is not a Nouveau Rich or Carlton Sheets, basic-real-estate-information-for-the-masses training courses. Mike Watson specifically tailors his information to appeal to experienced Realtors and real estate investors.

Mike Watson Investing does not offer a plethora of educational programs. When you visit their website, you will see he offers 8 “degree camps” for $16,000 (his website is disabled now) .  Yes, this is not a typo. That kind of cost will weed out many of the get-rich-quick types, but not all.

Most of the live events are held in Phoenix, Arizona or Provo, Utah.

Like most things in life, it doesn’t work… if you don’t work it.  Before you whip-out your credit card, be a pessimist… check out the free information on his website and implement those ideas into your practice.  If you get measurable results, ask yourself, “Do I really need to un-thaw the Visa credit card from the block of ice?”

What I Like About Mike Watson Investing

Foundation To Success: Mike crafted a clear guide of what he feels are important broad factors to having a profitable project.  I have the poster in my office and it reads:

  1. Know the Foundation to Success.
  2. Find your red button statement (your why) and your who.
  3. Find properties using competing and non-competing methods.
  4. Analyze those properties for highest and best use and future potential.
  5. Write offers with the two OPM’s.
  6. Put the property back up for sale.
  7. Create and enhance equity
  8. Sell for a short-term profit or refinance for a long-term equity position
  9. Prosper.
  10. Share with others and repeat the process.

Change From Mike Watson Institute to Mike Watson Investments

I noticed Mike changed the name from “institute” to “investments.” It may be a slight change to some, yet it bring them more inline with a super-charged real estate investment group, like AZREIA on A-Rod steroids, where action lead to results.

Training Programs Are Extremely In Depth

I’ve never went to any other real estate investment program, like Carlton Sheets or Ron Legrand.  Take that back, I did go to The Donald Trump Institute, I’ll do a review on what I learned, but I can tell between fluff and functional. For example, the MLS search cd, the deal evaluation submission forms and the seller financing workshop has helped attract, negotiate and close more deals with my own real estate investor clients. 

Since the real estate market collapse, I recently was involved in a very intense re-negotiation for an 11 acre land development project. This project would not work if the seller would not only drop his price nearly a half million dollars, but also became a long-term partner in the project.

This deal got done because of my team’s deep understanding of seller financing and how to clearly explain terms that everybody wins.

What I Don’t Like About Mike Watson Investments

  • The Price is High. You don’t have to pay anyone thousands of dollars to learn how to invest in real estate.  All you really need to know are two cliches:
“Location, Location, Location”
“Buy Low and Sell High”
Other than that what else is there? Some would say, “Time and experience, my friend.” Listen, if you feel you made a $16,000 mistake in investing with Mike Watson you’ve gained more real estate investing knowledge that no one can take away from you.  If you make a $16,000 mistake on a real estate transaction you’ve gained knowledge and a tax bill from the IRS.
  • The Ultimate Salesman or Teacher.
I was sitting in a degree camp in Phoenix. As Mike was doing his final remarks, he prodded those who did not sign up for the next camps to do so.  A gentleman who flew in from Florida was sitting next to me.  He claimed he had enough. He stated, “I flew out all the way out here not to be sold on to another program. I already bought in to this. I’m leaving.”
This episode reminded me of what William Arthur Ward wrote, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” Many times inspired people don’t need to be sold.
  • Forum Participation Has Dropped

Thanks to Web 2.0 you can tell the health of online communities through member participation on forums. From 2005 to mid 2008 participation on the Mike Watson Forum was great. People were sharing their challenges, successes and new strategies. Now just like real estate prices, the participation on the Mike Watson general forum has plummeted. Will it ever come back?

Who Shouldn’t Invest Into Mike Watson Investing

  • If you ever read “Rich Dad-Poor Dad” you understand that the only way to get out of “the rat race” is to become an investor.  If you still have it in your spirit to call someone other than yourself your best client/employer, then this program is definitely not for you.
  • Don’t put it on your credit card. Like other things you have purchased that are now collecting dust, like Gary Kellers’ book “The Millionaire Real Estate Investor”, you are only going to get out of it as much as you put in (cliche alert). If you don’t have the ability to generate massive action and don’t have the disposable cash to invest in the training, just devour the free information.
  • What I have learned is to apply this process across different industries. If you don’t understand the concept of multiple streams of income, you shouldn’t invest in the “camps.” I have applied the concepts that I have learned in a pool business, internet niches, and in a restaurant. Specifically, I took what I learned from the raising capital workshop invested in a pool business and made a short-term profit of 35%.

Final Thoughts On Mike Watson Investing

Mike is a very personable guy. I have talk with him outside of the workshops during a field event, and I do appreciate some of the intimate things he observed. Like my own self-limiting beliefs that I had held on for years, but no longer

Even though, I won’t be unthawing my credit cards anytime soon, what I have learned from being a part of the community is that everyone of us can be great… we just have to first believe.

Here’s The Link!

www.MikeWatsonInvesting.com (link disabled)

Happy Investing!

Kendall Matthews

P.s. In 2007, Mike Watson held a “Retire in 5 Years” Super Camp.  According to Mike, the 8 main components of retirement are:

A paid off life
Residual positive cash flow
Passive Income without property
Lump sums of income over time
Income for life
Equity positions in properties
Great tax strategies for retirement
Own a sellable business that provides income

Is there anything in this list that is missing or you would add?