Review: Leading Financial Seminar (or how to buy real estate cheap)

Melissa Dawn By Melissa Dawn, 2nd Apr 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Property & Real Estate>Mortgages & Finance

The old saying is true; if it looks too good to be true it probably is; here's an over view of my seminar at Leading Edge financial, or how to buy investment real estate with no money down!


Many of us want to diversify our incomes. While writing and other on-line pursuits can be lucrative; there's nothing like bricks and mortar. When a friend asked if I wanted to attend a free real estate seminar from Leading Edge financial, I jumped at the chance. This company sells itself as a “provider and seller of financial education”. I had high hopes for this real estate seminar due to the fact that Scott MacGillivray Host of TV's “Income Property”, was directly associated with it.

What I got was four of the longest hours of my life :-)

Arriving for the Leading Financial seminar

I gotta tell you, it has to be a heck of a seminar to get me up and out and active at 9am on a Sunday morning. I arrived with said guy friend, to find a group of mixed people waiting to attend the seminar. There were retiree's, young couples, professional real estate agents, and income property investors. They wanted us to fill out a series of forms, detailing what financial assets we had, before the seminar even began.

This was the first red flag for me. The day I tell people what investments I have other than the tax man, is just not going to happen. So I fibbed :-) Already I am a bit peeved, no sign of a coffee pot.

We enter the conference room, without having to give our name, or complimentary tickets to anyone. We sit and it is a small gathering, about fifty to sixty people, and nothing like what is portrayed on the website where they show stadium seating with literally hundreds of people.

The start of the seminar

Now the guy friend I attended with, really only came out to get the free digital camera, that was promised in the literature to ALL conference attendee's. On the paper it said that the first 50 people to have confirmed their attendance would also get a free Netbook computer.

Once seated, the conference began very quickly. The first gentleman, Trent Ellingford told us that unfortunately Scott MacGillivray could not attend. Already some people looked peeved. I have to admit this guy did an excellent sales pitch; he had good statistics on U.S home foreclosures, gave a quick overview of the US banking system and explained in simple English how we could invest in distressed and foreclosed properties as non-US residents. I have a family member who has dabbled in this, and made a profit without the aid of a seminar so I have to say my interest was piqued.

Apparently, one of the goals was to focus on properties in three areas; Phoenix Arizona, Las Vegas and Indiana. At the break I ventured to ask why these States and was told....”Well they are warm with direct flights to them”.

The beginnings of cracks in the veneer

Now I couldn't believe what this guy had just said. They are warm, with direct flights? Check out our airport sometime, there are many direct flights to many US cities!!!!

I ventured to ask why we were not then concentrating on Texas, which has one of the highest foreclosure rates (and by the way is pretty warm too, at least to us Northerners!) A family member of mine bought a house just outside of Houston, and sold it in less than forty days for about 17k profit. The guy's response!! “Well we will be looking at Michigan and Ohio too!”.

Last time I checked both Michigan and Ohio get pretty nasty winters :-)

So the first part of the sales pitch continued until we were hit by a one time $1,997 fee for three days training in mid April. Now apparently this three day seminar was to help us with the aid of materials do three things: Find the Buyers, Find funding sources, Spot Handyman specials.

I thought it was time to go home :-) Surely there was an easier way than paying these people nearly 2k!

From the looks on people's faces they thought so too! Then we were told that participants had access to funding from a company called Insiders Cash, and we would never have to find our own sources of money to buy these properties!

I'll admit I sat up a little straighter on that one! They take 2% off the sale and a one time processing fee per sale of just under $500. Certainly great for cash strapped wannabe investors yes? Especially as they will fund deals up to 500k a transaction!

It was time for a break. Six sets of people went up and paid the $1,997.

The next part of the seminar

All right on the break with a smoke in hand I decided I wasn't parting with nearly 2k without first searching the Internet for an easier and mostly cheaper training path. A ladie I talked too had the same idea and we went in search of a free access computer in the hotel. Wouldn't you know there wasn't one. Nor was there any signs of a cup of free coffee. So for entertainment we went back to hear the next part.

The next part of the seminar was on how to purchase tax lien certificates. Now a family friend has been involved in this for years, so I know a little but I wanted to hear the sales patter. The second gentleman to speak was a middle aged guy called Layne. He touted on about how most of his life he had had to nickel and dime, barely making it with two part time jobs and a couple of businesses, and how his friend had to buy him his first tax lien certificate.

I knew what was coming next, and from some of the annoyed looks on the people who had just spent almost 2k so did they! Layne hit us for a tax lien training kit! The sum? Just $1,297 if we bought on the spot! And for those lucky participants who had just spent $1,997...they only needed to add on just under $500 more for the second kit.

And the kicker? This guy also had statistics, and said Iowa was a good place to buy tax lien certificates as they offer a 16% return. Someone else asked him what Texas paid :-) According to Layne they pay 50%! But once again we weren't looking at Texas. Turns out a quick Google search says they pay 25%, and Iowa is still cold :-)

They all went back and bought it.

The last part of the seminar

At some point doughnuts were brought out, and I did in find a pitcher of water at the back and some glasses. Still no coffee to be had, and absoluely no signs of any camera's or Netbooks. By now my back was hurting, and all I wanted to do was go home.

The last speaker was terrible. Can't think of his name, but he did mention that presenting the last portion of the seminar wasn't normally his job (thank god for that) he decided to teach us a little bit about buying Bank Notes. I think they save this section for the last for those of us who just won't buy anything without access to the Internet to check things out!

This time we were only hit for $197.

Then we were told they had just run out of Camera's and we would have to fill out a form so they could be mailed to us. And the free Netbook? Apparently there is a draw for one. At some point, somewhere.


Tonight I did some research. There seem to be four companies involved: Leading Financial who creates the training materials and conducts the three day seminars; Tax Lien Tutor, who handle the training material for the tax liens sales course, Insiders Financial who seem to be almost identical to the first?? and Insiders Cash, who will fund real estate sales.

In the end my head was spinning. I have researched options and while these people do promise to re-reimburse tuition when you have done your first sale, (and show testimonials to that effedt) you have to complete a sale from the first two seminar options within 90 days.

As for their promises to finance, they may well indeed do so, as long as they agree to the deal. I couldn't get them to give specifics on what deals most interest them, other than residential properties. Guess you had to pay for the 3 day program to find that out!

There are far, far cheaper teaching alternatives on the Internet, that you can peruse while having a darned cup of coffee!


Financial Seminar, How To Buy Bank Notes, How To Buy Foreclosed Homes, How To Buy Investment Property, How To Buy Tax Liens, Leading Financial Seminar, Real Estate Seminar, Scott Macgillivray

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author avatar Melissa Dawn
I have been writing ever since I can remember, and currently focus my attention on articles, how to guides and e-books. Check out my group e-book at

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author avatar Buzz
2nd Apr 2012 (#)

Great read and very informative, Mel. Thanks for sharing.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
2nd Apr 2012 (#)

Wow! Glad you're too smart to be taken for a ride. Great post Melissa. Thank you.

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author avatar Christine Crowley
2nd Apr 2012 (#)

Good info. Who would have thought? Glad you escaped.

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author avatar Melissa Dawn
2nd Apr 2012 (#)

THanks everyone for reading! Wanted to make it quite clear that Scott MacGillivray is NOT the owner of these companies, and anyone wanting to learn how to do these types of real estate transactions can learn for one tenth to a quarter of the cost online!

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author avatar Dennis
24th Mar 2013 (#)

Just got home after 5 Hours at the Leading Edge. I did get the camera and Scott was there with his touching story. Not sure why Scott is hanging around with these Heat Merchants ! NO I did not plunk down a cent ! However attendance was over 400 At least 50 got up to Buy the 1st $1997.00. Not sure How many Moles ? Saw only a FEW of those BAGS with Merchandise after the Dust settled. A shame, Scott was very pleasant and funny BUT the Main acts a bit less than desirable.

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
3rd Apr 2012 (#)

I wonder if you did hand over any money, Melissa. A financial advisor has said that we should never hand over money until we have made our first sale and then they (the promoters) can take their money out of your commission. Most of those seminars are cons. Did the promoters have suntans, light blue suits and large gold watches? I just hope you didn't sign anything but I don't need to tell you that. Anyway, you gave an excellent review.

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author avatar Melissa Dawn
3rd Apr 2012 (#)

Ivyevelyn! thank you for kind words. Nope they got nothing out of Mellie, not even the right email address to follow up. These guys actually wore jeans and tried to look casual with no tans lol. All these companies are based out of Utah! And yet I believe a lot of people came because Scott MacGillivray is a Canadian, but he does NOT own this Leading Edge foolishness.

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author avatar Songbird B
24th Apr 2012 (#)

It is all too easy to be caught up in these Seminars when they promise the earth, but so glad to hear that you saw right through them Mel.. Bet that coffee tasted good when you eventually got a cup! lol

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author avatar Melissa Dawn
24th Apr 2012 (#)

Lol Songbird it sure did. And they did phone to do a follow up where I voiced my displeasure and told them I would never buy their products. Never got that camera either!

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author avatar Smith
4th Nov 2012 (#)

I attended one last week and it was exactly the same as you had described they have increased the taxlien program to 1697 + tax. Too bad I did not see your blog before. They are day light robbers.

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author avatar HG
11th Nov 2012 (#)

Me either saw Mellie"s blog before :< Still I'm glad that I read it.
It was high tuition to learn how some people are so talented to manipulate light believers like us.
I attended 2 of 3 day camp. On 2nd day, moment of the truth arose they tried to sell advanced
training packages highest one was $50k and there were a handful of people signed up for that. I hope them to get those money back by actually make a lot of money though. I will try other way by the way.

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author avatar Sonia
7th Jul 2013 (#)

I have just got home from a 3 day seminar and loved Scott Lamm he is a great speaker didn't have a problem with him or what he was teaching. However the salesmen aren't helpful as to how do we (aussies) open a USA bank account and get a LLC as that is one of the most important thing to get us started. I thought if it took him 3 days and still couldn't or didn't want to answer my question and just wanted our money for a package what is he hiding and if we did join what kind of help are they going to be?
At the end of day 3 and not purchasing a package it felt like we weren't good enough even if we did have the cash but for health and personal reasons we would want to start and join up in a couple months. Garth or whatever his name was spoke down to my man and was glad when she stood up to him and said "Don't talk down to me!" and that we have taken the time out of our life 12hrs a day (round trip) lost 3 days work, paid parking $30 a day and what they think we aren't invested in learning more. We wouldn't turn up for day 2 if we weren't.
Anyway I want to know if its a scam and to hear if anyone who has paid for the package if it does work etc or if it was a scam and waste of money.

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author avatar Howard Trenorden
8th Jul 2013 (#)

Hullo Sonia,
am I right in saying that if you have just returned from the 3 day seminar, and training that you were in Adelaide in the Hilton Hotel? My wife and I were there, and we left after lunch on the Sunday 7th July 2013. We are in our seventies, we have very little available cash. All our super is tied up where due to Government regulations, we can't touch it. They suggested that we take equity in our house, that I have owned for 50 odd years. That caused me to feel sick in my stomach, the night before, and I could not sleep much because of it. Also with all the jargon used, and terminology, as well as the many different ways to do deals, we became overloaded with information and did not come back after lunch on the Sunday 7th July. We were told at the first free seminar, that we wouldn't have to use our money, and they would show us how to make money with other people's money. This turned out to not be the case, and the so called packages were extremely expensive, in my opinion, so we could not take any of them. There was no point in staying after lunch on Sunday. Maybe I could have made some money out of it, but I certainly wasn't going to put our home at risk, just to find out.

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author avatar Alex
7th Nov 2012 (#)

Wow you described it perfectly well. And you are right... No cofee but plenty of pitchers of water. And after 2.5 hrs into their presentation they bring out two boxes of donuts. I am pretty sure I heard the same 3 guys present because the first guys name was Trent, second guy cant remember, and the 3rd guy was horrible. I didn't give them any money and they sounds of it it doesnt look like i'll get that camera either.

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author avatar Melissa Dawn
17th Nov 2012 (#)

Hi all! I did eventually get the camera. It didn't work and quite frankly it was so cheaply made it was an insult.

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author avatar Angela
18th Nov 2012 (#)

My hubby and I attended a free seminar this week in Vancouver, Canada and had different guys but the same experience! We got the free camera, water and no donuts, and the last guy was terrible! The embarrasing thing is that we bought the entire 3 set package! Now we are researching before the 3 day course and IT'S NOT LOOKING GOOD! We had about 100 people and around 8 signed up. If these guys are so good at investing then why don't they write their own book on it and WHY do they even need to tour the continent 'sharing' with others? I hope I can get my money back and not attend the course!!!

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author avatar Mike
10th Feb 2013 (#)

Hi Angela,
Did you and your husband end up going to the training? Do you have an update?

Thanks !

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author avatar Stacey heaston
31st Dec 2012 (#)

when will i get the note book that i was told i would get for going to the seminar in grand rapids michigan two months ago.

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author avatar Tammy Campbell
11th Jan 2013 (#)

Well we did go to this seminar and were PROMISED the ipad for me and my guest aswell as the digital camera. We had to mail away for the camera and the ipad was to be sent out automatically cause we attented the seminar. Well guess what??? No camera and no ipad sooooo. I guess the joke is on us

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author avatar Ahmed
11th Feb 2013 (#)

Thanks for sharing your experience. I received an invitation to attend a seminar in Atlanta on Feb 23, 2013
You told me everything i was looking for. you saved me a Saturday. Thanks a lot.

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author avatar Nick P
23rd Feb 2013 (#)

I am sitting in the Atlanta seminar right now as we speak and I wish I would have just stayed at the hotel by the hot tub. When we got here there was a cheesy recording of a "phone call" with Scott McGillivary saying that his flight was delayed. That confirmed all of the things that I was already feeling in the beginning. Right now the guy is makin fun of Bank of America. This is too good to be true and I suggest if this clown train comes to your town, stay home or at the hotel and enjoy yourself. Scott isn't coming. And all the people that bought the $1,997 package has on the same suit as the speakers. There is the one blonde plant here that looks so fake it is not even funny because she was back to her seat too fast to have forked out that much money or wrote a check. I am just waiting for my turkey sandwich which they promised at this point. Beware.

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author avatar Nick P
23rd Feb 2013 (#)

Was too quick to jump the gun, Scott McGillivary actually showed up in Atlanta today unless it is a look alike.

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author avatar Mattie R
25th Feb 2013 (#)

I attended the seminar in Atlanta on Saturday, as well. The room was packed with people and I did stay until it was over in order to get Scott's books on CD. To my disappointment there is nothing on them. Three of us attended and so far not one of the CD packs have anything on them.

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author avatar Sevket Tokdogan
12th Mar 2013 (#)

I have received your invitation letter thanks I want to reserve our seats of Park Royal Parramatta with my wife,march 21st,thursday, 2013

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author avatar Sonia
7th Jul 2013 (#)

Hi Sevket, are you in Australia? and did you purchase a package and if so how have you found it?

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author avatar Julie
9th Jul 2013 (#)

Firstly, here in Adelaide our introduction was about 2 1/2 hours long and we all received the camera (and I was in the Saturday - the last session). We signed up and attended the 3 day training at the Hilton Hotel for approx AUD2k + GST. For those who are commenting about coffee, we had tea, coffee and apples to help yourself to at any time. On the tables were water and mentos. We had 3 days of very intensive detailed training an a lot of insight into how the RE Industry works in the USA. In our opinion, this was money well spent. We were never promised an iPad, the promise was a computer tablet for the first 50 people to book their introductory session and then attend it. Those who will get them are due to be advised today (Tues 9/7 - 9th July) Back to the 3 days.... At the end of the 2nd day the different packages were explained to us. On the last day we could decide if we wanted to purchase any of the 3 advanced training packages. Today we are due to receive the email with the further info to get up and running (Getting the RE Software started, Procedures for getting a bank account with Wells Fargo) etc. So far so good. We haven't actually watched our DVD's yet, or tried the on-line training yet, but the extra manuals have a lot more information for us to go on with. I'll keep you informed.

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author avatar Greg
7th Mar 2015 (#)

Hi Julie,
We have just been through the same experience here in New Zealand and have signed up to a package, after the three day seminar. How have you fared, and please give us your thoughts? We need to act fast if necessary!
Many thanks, Greg

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author avatar Tilly
25th Nov 2015 (#)

Can anyone update this site whether they have actually made money from the 3 day intensive program presented by Scott Lamm-and how well their systems work?

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author avatar Tony
10th Aug 2013 (#)

Well presented seminar in Canberra, supplied with light dinner, but the new starter successful lady was so fake, unqualified actress.  You would find out many conflicts if talking more details.

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author avatar Heather
25th Oct 2013 (#)

Thank you so much for this post. I was about to attend one of these seminars tomorrow night for the camera. Glad i read this, i wont waste my time. I already have one and an iphone anyway, might as well just enjoy my friday night! :)

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author avatar Glenn
26th Oct 2013 (#)

Hey Julie, did you end up purchasing one of there expensive packages? How has it worked out for you so far?

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author avatar Angie
26th May 2014 (#)

Just attended the 4 hour seminar and was suckered into the $2000 USD 3 day training. After reading this I am regretting the purchase. I also noticed that in my startup package there is no copy of my receipt which I would need to cancel according to their website. I also found no reviews online with respect to this company so I assume they must have gone through at least a few name changes as googling the presenters names offers much insight. I guess I should make a call to Visa tomorrow to get out of this mess. :/

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author avatar David Ashwell
3rd Jul 2014 (#)

Hi Sonya

I just read the comments from this site and I am SO HAPPY that you have opened this medium so these bastards can be stopped. I should have twigged when I saw the insulting camera, what a piece of crap. Then the un-trained people that ran the show, terrible, so I have just cancelled my card with them. Thank you all for your due dillegence.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
16th Nov 2014 (#)

I've attended several of these. HATE THEM. Hate getting duped into going for the free pitch, even. Such a waste of time. I keep hoping one will be legit. I don't mind working hard. I hate being taken for a fool. Thanks for sparing others!!

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