I spent a frustrating morning yesterday at the Learning Annex’s Real Estate Wealth Expo in Atlanta, where I was broadcasting live from the Georgia World Congress Center. There seemed to be about 10,000 to 15,000 people in attendance — most of those got up awfully early in a really horrific, torrential downpour to hear Rich Dad talk about generating wealth. When I arrived, a line of about 60 people snaked around a booth waiting for Kim Kiyosaki to sign her book, I suppose.

But the place felt like Las Vegas, and not in a good way.

Attractive, leggy women wearing hot shorts and heels or really short skirts, tight shirts and heels were handing out pamplets, folders, and flyers. People rummaging for freebees at the various booths dropped slips of papers or business cards with their contact information into glass fish bowls, hoping to win something.

From what I could see, 1/3 of the booths were companies selling land. Another third were selling no-money down mortgage programs. And the final third were a mix of timeshares, holiday resorts, real estate agents, and tapes, book packages, video and other so-called learning tools.

In other words, how to get rich in real estate. Let me count the ways everyone is telling you you’ll prosper.

Some folks felt like they got a good deal for their $99. One man told me that he loved hearing “Tony Robbins, because he makes me learn how to focus.” He said that listening to Tony Robbins had boosted his energy level to 125 percent. You can’t argue with that.

But I felt bad for those attendees who were wandering around aimlessly. It was as though they were looking for the oasis in the desert, a mirage of the financial mind. When you listen to someone on a stage in front of 2,000 people proclaim himself a former “coke addict” who is now worth “millions of dollars,” it’s hard not to feel like a failure. But constructive steps to help someone formulate, map out and achieve that dream? That was in short supply.

On the other hand, I met a couple who had written to me at www.thinkglink.com four years ago, when they were newly married. They asked if they should buy a house in which to live or buy investment property. I told them buy a primary residence and then start acquiring investment homes. That’s what they did. Over the past four years, they bought a primary residence and 6 investment houses.

The husband (his name is Russ) is going to join me on the Ilyce Glink show this Sunday morning at 11am EST (10am CST). If you’ve been searching for the oasis, it might help to hear from a perfectly regular guy about the steps he and his wife took to start making this particular dream come true.

I hope you’ll join us.

May 8, 2006.