It’s hard not to want a better life while standing on a crammed subway during rush hour. Between the transit delays and the people smells, I must be doing it wrong. OK, I’m totally doing it wrong — I paid a full adult fare and I still didn’t get a seat.

Real Estate Wealth Expo

Then I see the sign — it’s a subway ad for the Bitcoin and Real Estate Wealth Expo. For a one-time fee of fifty bucks, a panel of celebrity millionaires will teach me how to get rich, fast.

The line up is money: Sylvester Stallone offers knockout life strategies (like Rocky), Alex Rodriguez shares his game-changing winning ways (minus the steroids), and Pitbull will explain how to go from negative to positive (in a song). I’m pumped.

As a personal finance journalist with a 10-year history of writing, speaking, and TV-ing sound ways to help you manage your money, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to learn faster ways to build wealth. My method takes time — to succeed you must cut costs, put money aside, and live below your means. I’m tired of my current means. I want big houses (also called mansions), luxury cars (known as “Not the Subway”), and a big enough passive income to hire small enough rappers to actively serenade me about my incredible wealth.

“Change your mindset. Learn. Become a MILLIONAIRE.”

The advertisement makes it sound so easy. What could go wrong?

I arrive at 9:30AM with my VIP Expo Pass hanging around my neck like a noose. I thought I had a priority ticket but it turns out everyone here is a VIP. Kudos, everyone!

bitcoin Real Estate Wealth Expo VIP

I also discovered the event started at 7AM. Since the conference didn’t post a speaker’s schedule — I emailed several times for one — I missed Manjit Minhas, of Dragons’ Den fame, keynoting on “pursing your passion”. She founded a $137 million brewery business, so I’m guessing her passion is booze.

I’m already bummed. Not only did I miss a limited edition female panelist (only 17% of the event’s speakers are women), but I’m starting to think organizers don’t want us to know how to navigate this event.

No worries. I’m here in time to win some Bitcoin. Maybe.

I still don’t know how to spend, invest, save Bitcoin. I don’t think the speaker knows either, but he does know a place where I can buy Bitcoin. I’m taking a hard pass on Bitcoin neck tattoos and wondering how Bitcoin boasts more “moneyness” than cowry shells, USD, and Starbucks Cards.

If you know, please tell me. OK, let’s play ball with Shark Tank’s Alex Rodriguez.

A-Rod isn’t exactly a profound speaker, but he’s big and takes up a lot of stage space. I feel richer just being in his presence.

The crowd is restless, we need a break. So let’s build wealth like they do on Wall Street, by dancing for it.

Every investor knows that winning money stored in a suitcase is one of the four pillars of investing. But to really make money I need something less physical, more mental.

The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) plays big at the Bitcoin and Real Estate Wealth Expo. All the so-called “big money-making opportunities” have time limits and windows open for payment. The financial courses cost between $99USD to $2,500USD — so making a quick decision to “invest” in a course is how the expo gets you to part with your cash, fast.

There’s no time to reflect. They only want “investors” who are “motivated winners”, no reflective losers. I’m motivated to throw up. Time for some levity.

This is my first pair of ThunderStix. I’m hoping to use them for something constructive, like hitting myself repeatedly for attending this event. But I need to make it through another “investing course” before I get to see Sylvester Stallone speak. I’m gonna do this!

I went for coffee to refuel, and now I’m staring at arrows dancing across a graph on a screen. I’m a big fan of building a balanced portfolio through ETFs or index funds using The Couch Potato strategy, so to me deciding how to invest my hard-earned money by following dancing arrows feels like gambling.

The Couch Potato Portfolio is an investment strategy that keeps costs low by building a diversified portfolio of index funds. Many Nobel laureates have recommended indexing as a way to build wealth.

I made it, and so did you. Kudos.

After 12 hours of dancing, Bitcoining, and being sold to over a loudspeaker in a massive hall, I have one final thought.

It’s important to think critically and not accept everything (or anything) a friend, family member, banker, investment advisor, or a wealth influencer tells you. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Update: I spoke to BNN about the Real Estate Wealth Expo

I went on BNN’s House Money with Greg Bonnell (@greg_bonnell) to talk about the Bitcoin Real Estate Wealth Expo. “It really concerned me that this was allowed to happen.”

Also, I brought my ThunderStix. 🙂

VIDEO: BNN: An inside look at the Bitcoin Expo

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