How do I break into this business as a beginner?? - Posted by Troy

Posted by John Behle on October 18, 1998 at 19:53:10:

No problem, I just wanted to clarify. No offense taken. I wouldn’t take great offense if somehow someone was dis-satisfied with my course. I would just want to know why and how to improve.

How do I break into this business as a beginner?? - Posted by Troy

Posted by Troy on October 16, 1998 at 02:23:52:


How do I break into this business as a beginner?

What kinds of steps do I need to do in order to
make my first deal? How’s the learning curve of
this business?

Do I need to network with an experienced Note dealer
to learn the ropes quick?

So much to ask…I don’t know where to start… Help!!

Any recommendations are very appreciated.


P.S. What do you think about these Cash flow gurus on TV
like Larry Pino and these seminars like John Stefanchik
preaching the business as easy and lucrative? Is their
seminar fee well justified to attend??

Starting out as a beginner - Posted by John Behle

Posted by John Behle on October 18, 1998 at 15:55:05:

First, Though I mention the advantages of buying and keeping notes, I suggest you start by brokering a note or two. Even before that, just find and refer a couple.

Working with a truly experienced note broker would be a good idea. Especially if he/she has their own funding sources and do the business somewhat independently. You do not need expensive seminars or consulting programs just to learn to refer or flip a note.

The most important thing you can ever learn is the sources of finding notes. Most people only learn or teach a few. There are over a hundred good sources of notes. Some of which (like the MLS) I have referred to here in recent posts.

It’s all just a waste of time if you can’t find the notes. Most new investors or brokers really do not know this end of the business like they should. So, yes, hook up with a local broker that can deal with them while you focus on finding them. You then learn everything you can about finding notes. While you are looking, learn the time value of money (TVOM) inside and out. Learn to discount any cash flow quickly and easily. It is a simple three step process. Watch how your local broker funds notes and learn about the national funding resources available like Metro and others.

Focus on finding notes until you are up to your neck with them. Then finding buyers and later learning how to do the “due-diligence” and fund notes comes next.

Read all the simple, basic books on paper you can find, before spending hundreds or thousands on a course. Then, carefully investigate and ask students and successful paper investors what courses to begin with. Don’t just sign up for the “pitch”. Some of the so-called success stories on some of the expensive seminars were already in the business long before the seminar came along. Some like to be on TV, some have a vested interest like “send me your note business”, etc. Several of the student success stories on these informercials are actually my students.

The problem with some of the expensive seminars is the so-called Guru has very limited experience in the business. Even if they learn about it and are a decent instructor, they can’t teach street smarts if they haven’t been there. They can not teach you to adequately protect yourself or be competitive in the market place. They end up many times teaching things that sound good, but that do not translate from the “Podium to the Pavement.” So, they end up teaching in-adequate material to un-prepared students that do not succeed. Especially when it comes to things like how to find notes. They end up telling you to go to the county recorder’s office or to buy a mailing list - which happen to be two of the least productive methods of finding notes. Proper advertising, networking and especially working with Realtors are your best sources of notes. See the feedback sections of Newsgroup 2 for more info on some of these seminars.

Re: Intro class - Posted by Lisza

Posted by Lisza on October 16, 1998 at 13:24:12:

Sounds good Mr. Farr except If he is brand spankin’ new I wouldn’t recommend the Intro class unless he really has $99 to part with. I took the class Sept 24th and I didn’t necessarily learn anymore coming out as I already knew going in, about the business. It was more geared towards the marketing side, which is important, because if you don’t know where or how to go about pulling in note holders there’s no need to worry about learning how to broker them. For marketing, yes take the class. They both promote their materials in the class, you get a little booklet that runs down some statistics and gives the different groups to seek as referral sources. The majority of the people in the class were seasoned note purchasers or had at least purchased one, so when discussions went on, I was out of place. He would learn more reading Del Ashby’s book “Trading Mortgages”.

Like This! - Posted by Farr

Posted by Farr on October 16, 1998 at 09:32:58:


Stay away from Stefanchik and Pino (though I’ve checked out their books from the library and read them). You read as much about the business as you can from wherever you can. If you’re looking for a seminar, I would propose that you stay close to two dominant individuals in this business. The first is Jon Richards of Noteworthy fame. Jon and his organization sponsor a convention each year, and the next one happens to be in Dallas (yer’ back yard!). At this convention, you can take a complete 1 day note brokerage course for $99 (Pino, who’s in trouble with the law, charges $7,000). Jon and Hank Harenberg (of New Mexico) teach this class. Convention fee is $259 or $299 depending on whether you’re a newsletter subscriber. Visit Jon’s website at

The other person to stay close to is Bill Mencarow of Papersource fame. Bill just had a convention in Wahsington DC in late-September. Bill has a website called Papersource Online at

When you get there, click on an area called the “Notes Lounge,” where you will see five categories. Peruse the I Have/ I Want section, the Advice section and the Mentor section initially. It never hurts to have a mentor in the business, and one of their guys is a real help. His name is Ed Lisogar from National Capital Corporation, and he offers limited mentoring via telephone or e-mail (presumably in exchange for future note referrals that you find as an investor or broker, but for some reason can’t handle).

These two gentlemen (Mencarow and Richards) are two of about four people I trust in this business. The others are your hosts on this website and section, Terry Vaughan and John Behle. Terry will tell you that he learned a great deal from John, and both Mencarow and Richards likely did also. Behle occasionally offers live “seminars,” (don’t let him hear you call them seminars), but he has a wealth of books on the paper business, all of which I’ve purchased. Terry also has some great material, though I have not yet added it to my library. Check out his material in the How To Articles section of this website.

Hope this rather long-winded answer gives you some direction.


Tom Farr
Denver, CO

Re: How do I break into this business…?? - Posted by Troy (TX)

Posted by Troy (TX) on October 16, 1998 at 07:40:17:


To avoid future confusion over which of us authored a given message, I’ll begin using “Troy (TX)”.


Troy (TX)

Re: Intro class - Posted by John Behle

Posted by John Behle on October 18, 1998 at 11:19:58:

I’ve heard good things about Del’s book, though I haven’t read it. Del’s been at it a while. He took my two day training in Virginia about 10 years ago. I’m not sure if he was new or already investing. I think he was already a real estate investor and made the “conversion” to paper then.

Re: Like This! - Posted by Troy (BayArea-CA)

Posted by Troy (BayArea-CA) on October 17, 1998 at 13:29:50:

Thanks, Tom for the invaluable advice.

I hope your are not confusing me with Troy Mills (TX).
I will in the future try to identify myself as Troy
(BayArea-CA). That way, Troy Mills will not get
your answers to my (Troy BayArea-CA) elementary questions about this business.

Thanks, again.

Troy (BayArea-CA)

Re: Like This! - Posted by Greg A

Posted by Greg A on October 16, 1998 at 22:51:12:

What are your thoughts on Russ Dalbey and his Advanced Course for a beginner?

Will do the same, amigo! Re: How do I break… - Posted by Troy (BayArea-CA)

Posted by Troy (BayArea-CA) on October 17, 1998 at 14:20:11:

Troy (TX)

I will do the same. =)

Troy (BayAreaCA)

Re: Intro class - Posted by Lisza

Posted by Lisza on October 19, 1998 at 06:34:16:

I spoke with him right after I read his book. He was very nice to speak with. He said that he is not active like he use to because of personal reasons, but if I ever needed or wanted him to go in on a deal give him a call.

Re: Like This! - Posted by Farr

Posted by Farr on October 17, 1998 at 13:10:46:


I know Russ personally, and he’s a fine man. I have seen his courses, and they are fair. However, I would stick to Mr. Behle and Mr. Vaughan for as much of your education as possible in addition to Richards and Mencarow.


Tom Farr
Denver, CO

Re: Like This! - Posted by Greg A

Posted by Greg A on October 17, 1998 at 17:23:34:

Thank you for your response. I had ordered Mr. Behle’s “Winning In The Note Business” last week and found it to be an overview.

After reading your previous post yesterday, I ordered “How To Start A Profitable Note Business” by Mr. Richards. I appreciate your obviously experience based input and look forward to any suggestions you and the other knowledgeable members of this board have for new people that are interested in investing in their education.

Thank you,

Greg Adams
Omaha, NE

THAT’S RUSS DALBY’S COURSE - Posted by John Behle

Posted by John Behle on October 18, 1998 at 14:53:18:

I checked the library. You are talking about Russ Dalby’s course - not mine. I haven’t seen his, but I bristle a little if mine is called “An overview”. It isn’t.

Not my course! - Posted by John Behle

Posted by John Behle on October 18, 1998 at 14:46:17:

Let’s be careful with our comments here. I don’t have a course called “Winning in the Note Business” and you are not on our records as having placed any order for my course.

My course is not a basic overview. It is the most advanced course in this industry and has been for almost 20 years. My challenge has always been trying to make it basic enough. That’s why it has expanded from one book to nine.

My SINCERE Apology - Posted by Greg A

Posted by Greg A on October 18, 1998 at 19:34:58:

Mr. Behle,

I cannot apologize enough!!! I don’t know what I was doing when I posted the WRONG name. You are right of course that it was Russ Dalbey’s course.

I have found your posts and articles on on this site some of the most knowledgeable I have read on this topic from any source and the last thing I want to do is offend you or leave anyone with a false impression. I have heard nothing but wonderful reviews on your courses and have been waiting for them to be offered on this site.

Again, please except my sincere apology.

Humbly yours,

Greg Adams
Omaha, NE