Beware: Guru Worship

Very recently a friend asked if I could help turn around a project in which some property investors had bought into.

Come to me oh wise guru

The project is a well-conceptualized retail and office space complex completed roughly 2-years ago.

Unfortunately, the complex is all but dead. There are no tenants, the spaces impossible to sell, and the owners at their wits end.

How did these 30 odd property investors end up buying into this project? They went on the advice of a “property guru.”

Guru fever is high these days. We want to know how they’ve become so successful (or rich), and most of us are willing to part with an arm and leg to get to the bottom of this conundrum.

I’ve attended quite a few talks by property gurus this year, and there is a diverse range of them.

You have those feeding garbage to an emaciated crowd and you have those throwing pearls of wisdom.

Not many of us can differentiate between the garbage and the pearls (Hint: The garbage is usually high on positive talk and how you will be a millionaire soon). Inevitably, some property investors end up servicing monthly installments of RM11,000 to make a “guru” rich. The example I started with is a case in point.

So, how do you avoid all this?

Sadly, there’s only one reason why any property investor allows herself to be misled; GREED.

A guru’s wares become attractive when greed is allowed to overwhelm common sense. When greed is complimented by GURU WORSHIP, you have a potent propensity for bad decisions.

What you need to remember:

  1. Gurus are not always right and not always qualified to be gurus.

  2. Don’t follow blindly.

  3. There is no such thing as high returns for low risk.

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