Jan 12 2008

MyLife: Inspiration from the Trump Institute

Published by at 10:48 pm under Uncategorized

“The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer and the middle class is disappearing,” the fast-talking walking success story shouts out to the audience. “We’re turning into a society of rich and poor. You want to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.”

Rick Brown is an unapologetic devotee of Donald Trump-style, take-no-prisoners money-making strategy. This writer sat in on the Donald Trump Way to Wealth seminar at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel.

Most frequently-used talking point of the day: Money’s a game. You know the rules, you win. You don’t, you lose.

Runner up: If you can do what we’re teaching you once, you’ll want to do it twice, four times, twelve, sixteen, thirty-two, sixty-four, and now you’re on your way to wealth.About two hundred people paid $1,500 today to get training from the Trump Institute as a result of the seminar. Clearly, Trump inspires.

UPDATE (By request. Thanks, Michael): As you would expect, the seminar was about getting rich through real estate. Essentially, the Trump Institute provides training for people to buy undervalued properties without really owning them (and thus paying no tax) and reselling with a pre-found investor in a day or two, possibly with the assistance of a realtor.

While the concept is fairly simple (no risk, high reward), the intricacies of pulling it off can be diabolically complex – which, of course, the Trump Institute will be happy to talk these people through, for a tuition fee. It really isn’t a get-rich quick scheme; more sort of a get-rich in five to ten years scheme.

Of course, if anyone else is interested in hearing what Rick has to say, he’s back at the Sheraton Vancouver Guilford Hotel in Surrey on Monday at 1 pm and 7pm. As it turns out, the tickets are just a marketing gimmick – anyone can go in and they don’t even check, so it’s essentially first come, first serve.

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38 responses so far

38 Responses to “MyLife: Inspiration from the Trump Institute”

  1. Mike Klassenon 13 Jan 2008 at 8:44 am

    Wha?? No “Location Location Location!” No “Buy this house with zero down?” Where’s the beef, Jonathon? If we’re going to come to Currents we should expect a few tips to make us rich, doncha think?

    From your account it sounds like this guy is saying it’s better to be rich because being middle class is passé, and the poverty thing is for suckers. Good advice, I guess.

  2. jnarveyon 13 Jan 2008 at 11:15 am

    Funny thing: Rick never actually mentioned “location, location, location”. I guess he had enough catch-phrases of his own.

  3. Albuquerque real estateon 14 Jan 2008 at 11:46 am

    Quite interesting. Donald Trump and his organization are definitely intelligent people. Do you watch the Apprentice? That show is too funny!

  4. jnarveyon 14 Jan 2008 at 11:06 pm

    I’m a big fan. But the first season remains the best in my books.

  5. Sueon 05 Mar 2008 at 6:31 am

    Does anyone know where Rick Brown is from, or any other info on him? He mentioned that he grew up “around here” at last night’s seminar in Calgary. I was wondering how far he was really stretching the truth.

  6. Paulon 08 Mar 2008 at 9:35 am

    I just went to a seminar today and Rick said he grew up in toronto.

  7. Raulon 09 Mar 2008 at 10:42 pm

    Somebody told me that if they had known sooner how rich they would become through real estate they would have done it much earlier.

    By the way Jonathon, did you notice I moved over to WordPress? 😉

  8. Annon 24 Mar 2008 at 6:34 pm

    The Rick Brown I met at the free seminar today grew up around here (Philadelphia). Maybe his parents were nomads. What an honest man he is!

  9. LCon 09 Apr 2008 at 4:56 pm

    That’s funny. Maybe there is more than one “Rick Brown”. The “Rick brown” I meet last night at a Los Angeles Trump Institute seminar is from, where else, LOS ANGELES, with a sister who went to UCLA.

  10. Mike Bon 05 May 2008 at 9:24 pm

    Interestingly enough the Rick Brown at the free seminar in Burnaby today said he was from Burnaby. But I think he is actually an American of some sort because of the way he said “roof” the Yankee way as in “ruuf” like a dog,lol.
    He did quite the hard sell, for the “program” they were trying to market. Both speakers today were doing the hard sell from what I felt, if they are Trump Institute reps of some sort,then quite frankly I was underwhelmed by what I saw….

  11. veronicaon 18 May 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Today May 18th Rick Brown said he was from where else, Houston TX, where we all atteneded the seminar. The reason he said he was chosen by Donald was because he grew up in our area, what a SCAM!

  12. Annaon 01 Jun 2008 at 5:54 am

    In yesterday’s seminar, Rick Brown said he has a chinese girl friend in here, sound like he want us assuming he is living around here Toronto. his girl friend poor in English, but made 10 M last year by just coping him what he done. Rich Brown and another guy do not want answer many questions as they should in the seminar.

  13. Metaon 02 Jun 2008 at 10:50 am

    I went to the same seminar as “Anna” above. Reads like she is that Chinese girl, but, never mind. Most people’s professional emails, blogs, etc. indicate illiteracy, these days. Anyway, she has a point, as do the others. Rick certainly did not “sound Canadian”, especially the way he pronounced “Mo-o-o-o-ntreal”, i.e. like an American.

    Steve Johnson sounded more sincere, I felt. But, $1297 is a LOT to pay for tax lien certificate training, especially when the same training (minus, of course, the Trump name) can be found on the internet for only $70.00 !!!!!!

  14. Wynneon 10 Jun 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Hi, I have registered the tax lien certificate training, however, I am thinking about cancelling the traning sesson now. As what “Meta” from the above said, it’s true that we can purchase the training package on the tax lien for less than $1297.

    Did anyone went to the tax lien training and can you tell me whether or not the training is helpful.

  15. Tonyon 18 Jun 2008 at 6:13 pm

    I recently visited a Donald Trump Institute seminar featuring Rick Brown and he said he was from Sacramento, California! Wow, for having a mom who worked at a local mall and making little money, he sure has grown up in some interesting countries! What the..?

  16. Intriguedon 21 Jun 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Took the seminar here in Calgary, just this morning – 06/21/08: found it all very intriguing, but as already stated, there was no question period; where can I find the online seminar for tax lien certificate training for $70 ?

  17. Intriguedon 21 Jun 2008 at 12:55 pm

    P.S. – has anyone read anything concrete about what the proposed increased percentage of non-performing assets held by U.S. banks, (to be allowed in law) by the Bush Administration is going to be? Steve Johnson said that it is currently 3%: if it is substantially more, then it will definitely make a difference in the available inventory after the banks pick and choose over the homes that they deem as worthy to hold.

  18. Jasonon 23 Jun 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Lmao….wow….I can’t believe Donald Trump would put his name on something like this. Just got back from attending the seminar in Edmonton….and guess what? Rick Brown grew up in Edmonton and Donald chose him specifically because he’s from here and knows the market here like the back of his hand. Steve Johnson did sound more real, but now I’m not sure about either of them. I’m glad I didn’t buy the training. I’m a college student and it definetely inspired me to learn more about real estate and tax liens, but I sure as hell won’t ever buy training from a seminar from anyone, ever. Thank God for the internet, lol, or many of us would’ve never known this.

  19. LJon 24 Jun 2008 at 9:20 pm

    I’d like to hear from anyone who has actually learned something from the seminar and made money doing it. Sounds like these guys are very well rehearsed and sucking money of people and getting nothing in return. If that isn’t the case I’d like to hear something good about the program… so far I’m not hearing much.

  20. Phil B.on 01 Jul 2008 at 1:37 pm

    I attended the Trump Institute Seminar two days ago (June 29, 2008) in Plantation, FL (Broward County) and guess who the presenter was for the first two hours, Rick Brown! He stated that he grew up here in South Florida (LOL) and is one of the reasons The Donald choose him. Too Funny! Does Donald approve of his employees lying to audiances in an effort to try and establish a local bond with potential customers of his course. He must if it puts more money into his pockets. I didn’t have a checkbook with me to pay for the course then, and was getting ready to drive to a different location in Dania, FL where the last “training” session for this area is being held in less then an hour. I’m not going to go now. Rick Brown sure had me fooled, NOT anymore.

  21. Cindyon 25 Jul 2008 at 4:53 am

    I attended the Trump Institute Seminar in Atlanta, GA July 21, 2008. I don’t remember where Rick Brown said he was from. I was sad that I didn’t have any money to participate in the training. After reading the comments of others who have also attended throughout the country, I a grateful that I wasn’t able to make such a costly and possibly regrettable investment.

    I don’t have my own place and having two teens, I am truly in need of a concrete way of earning a sufficient income. I was hopeful that I might be able to use some of the information to work and purchase a home that we can live in. I can assure Steve Johnson that I did not attend just to receive the book. It was a real stretch just paying for gasoline. I will investigate other means of knowledge on Tax Lien training.
    Thanks for the information being shared.

    Cindy T

  22. Anthonyon 25 Aug 2008 at 8:30 pm

    Taking the seminar now at LA. Rick Brown said Donald seeked him out because he is from LA. Again thx Gods there is internet. It is surreal to read all these comments and heard ‘Rick Brown’ told me during the break why Trump picked him.

  23. ripped offon 07 Sep 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Yeah Rick Brown We saw him here in Ontario,California he said he was right here from the I.E. son of a moving bitch momma was a nomad what the fu*k? he is a man from many places what a rip off.

  24. Josh Becketton 13 Sep 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Saw Rick Brown doing his Trump Institute session in Waltham, MA. Very deceptive, including the crook doing the Tax Lien Certificate afterward. They even had a loud mouth couple, probably a hired pair, saying “this guy’s right”, “that’s right”, “this guy knows it”, to manipulate the weak minded in the room. I was disgusted that the Trump name is being used like a set of crooked real estate money grabbers. Yeah, they are providing a ‘service’, but give me a break. They don’t say the whole story at all.

    Rick Brown boasted that he never graduated from High School, yet in his “story” some “guy” taught him about real estate. Was Rick Brown gay at that time? I mean what did he as a “young boy” give to get that information. Brown said there’s no luck. Well, he got “lucky” didn’t he?

    And the other guy said he had a Criminal Law degree at the University of Ohio and used law to explain Tax Lien Certificates. But later on he said his law degree earned him zero. I bet it did earn him everything he’s making now. And he said his office was a “brief case”. Oh sure, to run from the law. At the end he showed two blond boys at a beach 9a doctored photo). He never said they were his children.

    The entire atmosphere of the employees were to manipulate your thinking from the beginning. They assume the attendents are weak minded and will slip that credit card right away, they take the cash upfront. They had the swiper there.

    I got the free book AND IT WASN’T EVEN THE HARD COVER, it was the cheap miniature softcover! A Trump scam! Trump says he gets back those to go after him, but in this case Trump was scamming to pay off his debt (a $400.00 commission for everyone who buys).

    Look at the math. 30 people buy at a total of $45140.00 x (25 weeks x 8 seminars per city) = $9,028,000 total. All goes into tax lien Certificates for a 3% chance of no-money down real estate for these band of theives. Yep, you need a crooked, but good fast paced team…..they don’t tell you that.

    The biggest surprise was why the Waltham Police was not waiting outside to arrest the entire lot.

    Josh Beckett

  25. DCon 23 Sep 2008 at 5:28 pm

    The deals that Rick Brown mentioned seemed too good to be true. it is stange that there was no room for questions during his 2hr talk. In the end, those did not want to miss the boat on a big chance just had to join him and pay for the next seminar.

  26. AttendedSeminaron 04 Oct 2008 at 10:31 am

    To Josh Becket-

    The tax lien instructor who claims to be an attorney is NOT Steve Johnson, it is someone else. I learned some great ideas from the class and though i did not buy the class im glad i attended. I dont think they are a band of crooks but just trying to sell some materials, alot of it is true but they dont have sufficient time to explain everything in Detail. That is what the training is for i guess. I would like to hear from someone who has actually attended the classes to hear what details they give there at the class

  27. Cherylon 04 Oct 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Just attended the “Trump University” seminar today in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Again, Rick Brown was the featured speaker. He did not mention where he was from but did mention his Chinese “friend”. Did any of you hear his “Sea Biscuit” story. Quite pathetic.

    I agree with the previous posters…he made it sound too good to be true. As the old adage goes, if it sounds to good to be true, it usually is.

    He kept emphazing the fact that he did not need to work but was doing this because he really enjoyed it. I believe he called it “plurk”….play + work. Unfortuantely not many of us are in the position to be able to “plurk”. Question….if he has as much money as he says he does, why does he need to do a 2 hour pitch session for Donald Trump?

    He also volunteered his personal cell number for the first 30 people that signed up today. I would be curious to know if he did this at any other seminars. Judging by his tour schedule, if he had 30 people per seminar sign up and 15 seminars per month that would be 450 people calling him on his “personal” cell phone. I don’t know of any CEO that could keep up with that, let alone Donald Trump himself.

    Again, as previous poster had indicated, there was no Q&A session at the end. Just the usual push to sign up.

    By the way, our cost was $1,999 but just for today only. He had been instructed to cut the cost from the usual $4000. He had also been instructed that for everyone that signed up, their spouses could also attend the training sessions for free. What a bargain!

    Just as an aside, when filling out the obligatory seminar registration card, I overheard an elderly lady asking if there would be coffee served. I could not believe the registration “clerk’s” response……”This seminar is free…..what are you here for, coffee or a seminar”. Excuse me…..$1,999 is free?

    Glad I made the right decision and walked out after Rick Brown!
    If I was Donald Trump, my only comment would be “You’re fired!”

  28. BCon 06 Oct 2008 at 10:43 am

    Yes, Rick offers his “personal” cell number in every location. So I agree – I’d be VERY surprised if it is his number. What I found most amazing is that his pitch is exactly the same in all seminars…word for word, including intonations and “jokes”. THAT is impressive. Yes, I attended a few out of curiosity – I admit I was tempted at the first one, but after seeing the same “show” a few times it was just too freaky for me.

    What is amazing is that at the sessions I attended at least 30-40 people signed up. That means that you are competing with 100+ others (just from the sessions this week) looking for the same properties in your local area – trying to do the exact same thing as you are.

    There are many comments on the web regarding these “seminars”, but I have yet to see a comment from someone who made the $30k+ in the first 30 days after the seminar like Rick suggests everyone will…

    I thought about making Rick/Mr. Trump an offer – “I’ll pay the $2k when I get my first check of $30k+ after 30 days, heck I’ll even pay ‘the regular’ $4k.” That is what I call “No Risk. High Reward”. :)

    Like someone else said, “if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is”… Having said that, I’d gladly be proven wrong.

  29. Dwayneon 16 Nov 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Same story here. If I would have know about this blog I would have just read this and save myself 4 hours and 10 dollars parking. I did get a few ideas from the seminar but nothing more than that. Would I reccomend this seminar to anyone? Ony if they are willing to sit throgh a 4 hour seminar for a free book. Besides that I think it might be better to learn how to do this on your own and save the tuition fee. Thanks for the book Donald!

  30. Markon 17 Nov 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Can someone describe Rick Brown looks like, as my wife went to the seminar. I will show her this blog when she gets home.
    Thanks very much everyone for sharing.

  31. Louiseon 21 Nov 2008 at 11:53 pm

    Let’s see Rick Brown is in his mid-50’s. 5’8″, receding hairline. Try as he might to surgically retain his youth, he actually bears some resemblence to John McCain, in the jowls. He’s from California, I think. Lived for some time in Hawaii. Knowing him for more than 20 years, I personally have never met anyone as sinister as Rick and find him dishonest to his core. He loves to brag about his frequent traveler privileges and how front desk folk revere him. Wow, reading the comments above, I’m not surprised, yet surprised about the extent of his dishonest schtick.

  32. Monon 03 Feb 2009 at 3:35 pm

    I bought the tax lien product, but returned it after the 3rd day because it was obviously a SCAM. They said that the product allows you to buy tax liens by using their software. Totally, not true. It allows you to see list of counties, but no tax liens available. It was a good thing that my husband searched for feedback on the seminar and found so many people who bought it already and found out from the next seminar that they had to pay another $6000 dollars to be able to see the tax liens. We decided to return the product and call the customer support for refund. They said we could send the product back and send them the tracking number of the package and they will process the refund. Unfortunately, since it is a SCAM, they couldn’t be reached anymore after that call. I emailed them the tracking number and kept calling them. I call maybe 3 – 5 times a day but there has not been any answer. I leave messages, but they never call back.

    I am thinking of filing a complaint against them. Please, can anyone tell me which sector in the government is the best place to file this complaint against them?

    Many thanks!

  33. Chrison 11 Feb 2009 at 4:15 am

    My wife and niece attended the free seminar on Feb 7 in Montreal. THe both decided to sign up for the $ 1600.00 course on the 27th. Not knowing anything about the Trump Institute and Rick Brown; I googled and found this site.

    The next day my wife and niece went back to the hotel where the seminar was being held and asked for their money back.

    We were told that its their policy to only refund through a third party in Rorchester NY.

    Once I explained to one of the staff about consumer protection laws in Quebec we were then told that its not possible to put money back a credit card from the seminar location.

    Once that happened; I basiclly got very agressive and threatened to call the police. At that point they agreed to make and exception because quote “my bad attitude”.

    My wife and niece did get refunded and it was verified by a call to Visa.

    The bottom line is; don’t trust these people to refund from a third party. Be polite; but don’t be afraid to escalate and threaten them with the police and any other regulatory agencies. They will refund your money but you need to be just as agressive as needed.

    These people are just modern day carnies; looking for rubes in every city there go to.

    Many thanks

  34. Derekon 19 Mar 2009 at 10:58 am

    My wife & I encountered the same show just outside DC a few months ago. My wife was excited & intrigued by the whole thing, but I insisted she wait until we heard the whole pitch. Rick knew enough not to challenge me, and got away from my side of the room.

    Our tax lien friend was standing right in front of me when I realized that I could just Google everything with my Blackberry, and he went completely to the opposite side of the room & stayed there when he noticed that I was doing a lot of reading.

    Most creepy was the “Yes Man” in the red Obama shirt who was an obvious plant to get crowd interaction going. Whenever that is happening….well a scam is afoot.

    More interesting than an AMWAY meeting though! LOL


  35. Ashon 14 Sep 2009 at 7:44 am

    Hi – I am from LA and just attended the Rick Brown presentation in Pasadena Yesterday. He claimed to be from San Diego !! But what a smooth talker – he gave the example of a chinese lady and her son who could not have even speak English and made 2 deals in less than 30 days – gave that example about atleast 5 times. Towards the end – he offered the first 20 folks who sign up his cell number – and man about that many people did actually signup. I am glad i decided a wait, do my research and then decide. I will not signup. The deal was 1500# for 2 people


  36. Donaldon 14 Sep 2009 at 11:54 pm

    I attended Rick Browns seminar last night. Room was full and the BS was flying. He showed a video clip of the Donald saying wonderful things about him. He told us that he made Donald so much money that he got his testimonial.

    Ok speaker but the bragging about all the money he makes was over the top. I knew right then it was a scam. They have this seminar dialed in and making lots of money off of poor desperate people. Which he claims he hates to see poor people mistreated or taken advantage of. He showed us an FDIC tape that had many properties for sale on it. However the tape is over a year old after doing some research on the addresses.

    I say avoid this seminar and the next seminar and the upgrading seminar that follows that seminar.

    Donald Trump JR

  37. Debraon 09 Mar 2010 at 5:13 pm

    I just attended the seminar in California and all the above stories were repeated and more. This time he grew up in San Mateo ,CA and his Mother worked at Zales, they lived in a small apartment etc. Yes the Chinese woman and her son were also on hand. It sounds too good to be true and it is.

    I am sure you can buy wholesale from banks and I’m sure the same is true for tax liens but the question I kept asking myself was “How are they making money?” I was told he had all he needed and was tired of the other seminar people ripping the average guy off….hmmmmmmmm

    Good luck, to you Rick and let’s pray for the rest of the people who get hooked.

  38. Mark Pon 23 Sep 2011 at 5:47 am

    I attended the intro seminar on Wednesday, here in San Diego. I’ve read all the comments above, and I need feedback from all of you regarding: Yes, he’s trying to get as many to sign up, which makes him money, but no one has indicated if they’ve actually attended the training that cost $1500, in my seminar. Maybe I’ll learn some really good and important to know things? We all know the real estate market is in real trouble, and from what I’ve heard from several other sources, the market is likely to crash worse soon. Could I possibly get some good info that could potentially make me some extra money? Seem possible, unless the training is bogus? We need someone to talk about having actually attended the training. I recognize that my job would be to do the extensive “leg work” and running around to find, have inspected, and notify the appropriate people of the likely good deal(s) that I’ve uncovered, I suppose form using the techniques he/they teach, but I feel willing to spend the time and energy to make even if it were only a couple thousand on each deal, rather than the $30,000 per deal examples Rick Brown was giving. What do you all think??? Thanks for any comments. And can someone who has paid the big money and attended the training, please make a post? Sincerely, Mark (signed: filled with fear of losing my $1500.)

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