Money Review: Scam Seminar

MONEY: Tuesday 29th November, BBC2, 9pm

I wanna be a billionaire so frickin’ bad, sings Bruno Mars. Well… don’t we all. Never mind the recession or the worst unemployment rates for young people in over a decade, it’s easy apparently. Wave your hands about and chant ‘I have a millionaire mind’ over and over again! How about writing yourself a cheque for a million pounds paid to you by the universe?

Inspired? No, I didn’t think so. However these are some of the techniques employed by the wealth hungry hopefuls of the new BBC2 documentary Money. The programme explores the world of self-help seminars, but this time they aren’t about happiness or self contentment, instead they focus on techniques to make you rich. It features money-making prophets such as Richard Kiyosaki who apparently offers a ‘financial education’, teaching seminars on how to become ‘financially free’, in other words how to live off your assets thereby creating a perfectly luxurious and work-free lifestyle. T. Harv Eker is another motivational speaker featured; he focuses on the self-belief and correct mental attitude needed to be able to put this lifestyle into practice.

As you might expect, it’s all very American and all very difficult to believe, made worse by the people that actually buy into it. Buy being the operative word of course. Take Janice for example, a 38 year-old nursery nurse who rattles off the cost of just a portion of the seminars she has been to. Two hundred pounds for one, nine hundred pounds for another. Not to mention the two thousand pound credit card bill she has on top… from going to seminars on how to make money. I’m not kidding. If this documentary exposes anything, it’s just how gullible people can be.

Money isn’t a hard-hitting doc on our current economic crisis, nor is it an exploration of fat-cats who splash the cash. Despite your better judgement, you may enjoy it. Just remember that if you’re expecting some tips you will not find them here, unless you want a crash course in teaching waffle as foreign language that is. Don’t get me wrong, not everyone is deluded, some of the more successful people featured have in fact earned their money through common sense and entrepreneurial initiative. The sad part, and the most infuriating, are those that simply make money from saying they can help you make money. Trust me, they can’t. You’re better off working in Homebase.

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