Book Review: The Wealth Dragon Way by John Lee and Vincent Wong

Con Artists and Bullies. I have a 4-word review for The Wealth Dragon Way: The Why, The When, & The How To Become Infinitely Wealthy by John Lee and Vincent Wong.

Nope.

Nope nope nope.

That sums up my view of this book. If that sounds redundant, well I’m sorry, but so is their book.

We learn from the introduction that authors Lee and Wong started out as poor children of Hong Kong immigrants to the UK, but through spending money on classes on how to make money from real estate, plus careful readings of Guy Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad, they each bootstrapped themselves up to a position of giving classes on how to make money from real estate.

This book, one realizes quickly, is a companion to these classes.

Now, I’ll admit from the beginning that theses types of ‘how to make money from real estate’ courses always get my hackles up, smacking as they do of snake oil and hucksterism, similar to Secrets of The Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker.[1]

But I plunge onward, hoping for some insights to accompany the salesmanship.

Oh the clichés!

On one typical page titled “The Learning Curve” Lee and Wong serve us inspiring thoughts by Malcolm Gladwell, Bruce Lee, and Rocky Balboa (in particular the Rocky III with Mr. T version). On the next page we read hot takes on Steve Jobs, Sun Tzu, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg. Is there any cliché they will leave unturned?

In Chapter 8 we learn that fear is holding back many people, and that we all have to overcome our fear.

In Chapter 9 we read stories of people who have suffered from the ‘rat race’ of working for a salary.

In Chapter 10 we get prepped to work hard.

Finally, in Chapter 11, we will learn how to become “Infinitely Wealthy.”

Ideas for Infinite Wealth

The first piece of advice, obviously, is to buy property for rental income. I am not surprised, since these guys are in the ‘classes on how to buy real estate and get rich’ business.

The second piece of advice: Start trading currencies. Oh, no. Please no.

The third piece of advice: Become a niche micro-brand expert, like a mascara specialist via Youtube vidoes. Ok…maybe. I guess?

But perhaps you should read on, because their secrets to building passive income through purchasing real estate surely is next? Don’t worry, I already read it for you, to save you the time.

In Chapter 13, we learn that the key to successful real estate investing is to purchase properties below their value. That sounds good! Unfortunately, it’s actually kind of hard to buy property below market value, as markets tend to be more efficient than we think. But still, they advocate – numerous times – to always buy property below market value. From there they mention the importance of generating leads, speaking with sellers directly, and making sure the bank valuation is high enough to extract equity after loading up on debt.

Lease Options

One of the two authors, Vince Wong, explains that his further secret to success is the “Lease Option,” in which he takes over a set number of mortgage payments of a (presumably desperate) homeowner, in exchange for an option to buy their house at a set price in the future. This kind of strategy works in an environment of underwater sellers eager for a way to avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy. If the property recovers its value, the option-holder has the right to purchase a property. It’s not a terrible idea if you’ve got a access to a wide range of desperate sellers. Wong claims he built a massive pipeline of desperation and I don’t have reason to doubt him.[2]

Desperate customers

This, we learn toward the end of their book, is the real key to the authors’ real estate successes. Their niche, I assume, works just as well in attracting students to their ‘how to get rich with real estate investing’ classes.

As the third leg of their marketing pitch, this book is built around the same type of customer as their students and property sellers.

 

Editors addendum: After I wrote this post, the vast majority of commentary I received – by people who have been taken in by their live course – has confirmed what I thought about their book. Cliches, inappropriate financial strategies, marketing gimmicks, up-sell tactics preying on the financially vulnerable.

Their tactics actually are worse than that though.  They have a litigious approach to criticism, threatening and initiating lawsuits against people who find their courses bad, bordering on fraudulent. They go after people who have the audacity to let others know what they experienced. So, add bullying to the list of ways in which everyone should avoid these folks. Bad news all around.

 

 

[1] Eker’s book, which is apparently quite famous and often appears on the lists of best personal finance books (!), even has specific advertisements/coupons/come-ons to his ‘get rich’ classes printed on the cover.

[2] Except why spend one’s time giving “pay us to learn to get rich buying real estate” classes? I guess that’s the point from which my real prejudice derives. If real estate is so damned profitable, what is the point of teaching other people your tricks?

 

 

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