Saturday, May 13, 2006

John Burley's Advice vs. Astrology

“guru” and self-described “prosperity trainer” (about whom I have written extensively here), arguably most famous for his infomercial, used to offer an “intensely powerful” quarterly newsletter, called The Burley Chronicles. I believe a subscription cost around $99 a year. It’s apparently discontinued—I suspect for reasons that, in a moment, I’ll be making abundantly clear—but if you enter your mailing information at his web site then you’ll probably be sent your own complimentary issue, along with a bunch of other promotional materials.

In my copy, the 3rd issue from 2001, Burley welcomes readers with, “The learning, fun, and education continues.” Much of what follows is an “education” that isn’t worth 10 cents—let alone $99 a year! For example, in the same article, Burley says:

The cause of the depth of the current US slowdown (read ‘recession’), may be debated, but there is now general consensus regarding the timing and likelihood of economic recovery. Everybody agrees that they have absolutely no idea!

Everyone is searching for better profits and economic news. Are they looking in the right places? As a Level Five investor, where do we look for increased returns on our investments?

As I often say, it is not really important where you look for your investments. It is more important how you look! [emphasis original]

Looking at investing with the lateral thinking mind of the Level Five investor is the key to recognizing the limitless opportunities that exist in any market—and particularly in a recession market—for double digit and higher returns.
I read this stuff and become physically ill. This is “investment advice” on a par with what you’d get out of your daily horoscope! To prove my point, below I have taken several of Burley’s nuggets of wisdom (or something) and randomly interspersed them with items I’ve pulled from daily horoscopes. I challenge you to tell them apart.

Learn to produce results without agreement from others. It’s a marvelous skill to have, and will be quite profitable. And once you get past the nervousness, you’ll be very strong.

Remember, all coins have two sides and both sides are shiny if polished properly and viewed from the proper perspectives! Awareness, Attitude and Action!

We are still playing our own game by our own rules and the playing field grows larger by the day.

Don't worry if what you try doesn't work. It's just as important to know what won't. It narrows down the seemingly endless possibilities.

There are so many opportunities around these days that you might actually have to flip a coin to help you decide which one to pursue first.

Invest in an area that you have long been curious about. Get some of those old questions answered and you'll sleep better at night.

Remind people to look at the facts if they're getting emotional.

The sentiment of abundance that has driven growth over the last decade has taken on the scent of scarcity. This is when the astute and prepared rise above the naysaying rabble.

The workload is intense and the objective is muddled. Before you knock yourself out, find out what needs to be done and what doesn't. Your efforts will be appreciated.

I’ll reveal the answer in the comments at some point in the future. In the mean time, feel free to offer up your own guesses.


Dikkii said...

Hi Einzige,

I see what you mean about Burley - I notice that when he was in Australia last, on 27 July 2004, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) issued an enforceable undertaking to him and his company that he would not offer investment advice.

NB: You can't provide investment advice in Australia unless you hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) or are an "authorised representative" of a licence holder.

Burley and his company were neither, so ASIC nobbled him.

Mind you, having seen what he puts out - it would be hard for anyone to say that they were following his advice - you have to find the advice first and it appears to be buried under piles of inane rubbish.

Einzige said...

Thanks for those links, dikii. Very interesting.

Of course, the other way to look at it is simply as the Austrailian Financial Services industry just trying to use the power of the State to keep their little cartel going. Otherwise, the influx of competition would prevent them from being able to overcharge their clients. As you've argued on your own blog, the possession of a license doesn't guarantee that the advice is going to be any good.

Dikkii said...

Quite correct.

I've also argued, though not on my blog, that the licensing of participants in the financial services industry is a serious limit on free speech.

For example, if you get poor service from a pension fund (we call them superannuation funds in Oz) you can't criticise them because that would be considered to be advice.

Food for thought.