Real Estate Advertising (William Nickerson: How I Turned $1,000 Into A Million)



William NickersonNearly every promoter of real estate investment today owes his existence to a 47 year old, breakthrough ad.

However, unlike many of today’s promoters who are 95% pitchmen/5% real estate investors, Bill Nickerson was the real deal. He was as blue collar as it gets — a telephone company employee — who started off in his part time and built substantial wealth through real estate investing.

At the time this ad was published, real estate investing was not something the average wage earner got involved with. That’s hard to imagine today considering the deluge of late-night infomercials.

And that’s why this was such a breakthrough ad.

Take the title of this now out-of-print classic: “How I Turned $1,000 Into A Million.” It’s spot on specific…and infinitely stronger than…”How I Got Rich in Real Estate.”

It’s an evergreen headline that’s swiped successfully to this day.

Even forty seven years later, the copy is very strong in this ad. Look how the very first sentence sides with the skeptical reader and builds momentum from there.

Who ever heard of an ordinary wage earner like me amassing a fortune of half a million dollars in his spare time?

Yet that’s what happened to me. And the money making formula I used can be applied by almost anybody, almost anywhere.

Maybe you’ll make less than $500,000. Maybe you’ll make more (as I did later on.) In any case, I see no reason why you can’t accumulate enough to retire on a handsome income while you are still young enough to enjoy it to the fullest. Your chances for success in this field are far better than 400-to-1. In fact, 1600 times better than if you went into business according to actual US government statistics.

Notice too, the sophistication of this approach. Nickerson says: “the money making formula I used can be applied by almost anybody, almost anywhere.” This adds volumes of credibility to the claim because we all know there’s no way everyone, everywhere can make something work successfully.

Interestingly, even though this ad is for a 47 year old, $4.95 book, the information within has hardly been excelled upon.

Here’s the full sized ad for “How I Turned $1,000 Into a Million.”

The following is a transcription of this terrific ad. Unfortunately, the identity of this superb writer is unknown.

How a $1,000 Investment Enabled Me to Retire at 42 with $500,000

The true story of an amazing money making formula that may change your life too… the way it did mine.
by William Nickerson

Who ever heard of an ordinary wage earner like me amassing a fortune of half a million dollars in his spare time?

Yet that’s what happened to me. And the money making formula I used can be applied by almost anybody, almost anywhere.

Maybe you’ll make less than $500,000. Maybe you’ll make more (as I did later on.) In any case, I see no reason why you can’t accumulate enough to retire on a handsome income while you are still young enough to enjoy it to the fullest. Your chances for success in this field are far better than 400-to-1. In fact, 1600 times better than if you went into business according to actual US government statistics.

How It All Began

When I was 25, my wife, Lucille, and I started saving part of my first modest earnings as a telephone company employee. In three years, we saved up to $1,000, which we used as a down payment to buy a home. Then, I began looking about for a way to insure a modest retirement income to supplement my telephone company pension.

I started with only the $1,000 cash equity in my home. Much to my surprise, I was able to pyramid this modest asset into $500,000 by the time I was 42 — all in my spare time. I retired at 42 to concentrate on my investment — with plenty of time left over for gardening, swimming in our backyard pool, hunting, fishing, and traveling.

Many friends turned to me for advice on how they could follow me up the road to fortune. Finally, I decided to write a unique guide book, in which I would share my money making secrets.

Another $500,000 in Only Two Years

This led me to study other men’s money-making experience and current non-depression period opportunities. Although I had not intended to increase my holdings, I found so many opportunities that in two years I doubled my estate to over $1,000,000.

Now my book, how I turned $1,000 into A Million is ready at last. And in it I reveal – and tell how to use – these four basic principles of traveling the last remaining road to great fortunate still open to the average person:

1. How to harness the secret force of free enterprise – the pyramiding power of borrowed money. If you have ever experienced difficulty in arranging a personal loan (or a commercial loan to go into business) you may have the idea that banks won’t lend money to the little fellow for the purpose of making money. But I will show you to get lenders to put up gladly at least three dollars for every one of yours, thereby quadrupling the earning power of your capital.

2. How to choose income-producing multiple dwellings in which to invest your own (and your borrowed) capital. If you are interested in investing in income-producing property for income alone, then you will probably get along all right without any advice from me, although even there I can give you many tips. But if you are out to pyramid your capital, there is a definite set of conditions to look for.

3. How to Make Your Equity Grow. A fair market value of an income-producing property is in ratio to its income. Therefore, if you increase the annual net by means of the steps I outline, you increase the market value of the property – thereby, increasing your equity.

4. How to virtually eliminate the tax bite on your capital growth. I will show you how you can increase your net worth steadily without it being subject to income taxes – not even capital gains tax! J.K. Lasser’s, a famous guide, “Your Income Tax, says of this method that “the mathematics have almost unparalleled attraction.”

If you have about $2,500 right now – or if you can save only $50/month for the next four years – you can start out soundly on the road to $1M. To enhance your progress, you will need an additional personal investment of $50/month, or 600/year, for two more years after that, making a total investment from your personal savings of $3,600. But then you will start receiving income from your investment. In addition, if you follow my instructions carefully, your capital can grow at the following startling rate:

In 2 years, your $3,600 grows to $5,800

In 4 years you have $11,575.

In 6 years, $21,681.

In 8 years, $39,363.

In 10 years, $70,548.

In 12 years, $124,884.

In 14 years, $219,972.

In 16 years, $386,376.

In 18 years, $677,583.

In 20 years, $1,187,195.

How far you go up this ladder depends on how much retirement income you would like. You can conservatively expect to earn an average net return of 6% on your personal equity. So, if you would be satisfied with a retirement income of at least $12,000 a year, you must decide to stop when your equity reaches $200,000.

“There must be a catch to it!”

“Right now, it would be understandable if you were stuttering — but it is not that simple, there must be a catch to it!”

Of course there is a catch to it! There are hundreds of catches, hundreds of pitfalls and traps for the unwary, who have never traveled what I call the reality road to riches. But, I made it by learning as I went along. And, you have a priceless advantage, which I never had — the advantage of being able to know beforehand everything I had to learn by trial and error.

My 497-page book is literally the product of a lifetime, into which I have poured every distilled ounce of practical knowledge I gained along the road to fortune. It answers all the questions on real estate operations that my friends have ever asked me. I lead you through one actual transaction after another, setting forth each step in detail.

This method of making money is not dependent on continued economic boom or inflation, it is benefited and underwritten by America’s continuing population boom, which is expected to result in 77 million more people by 1980. And it is comparatively recession-proof.

Read the book for two weeks free — then decide. You may have other questions, other doubts. Rather than attempt to answer them all here, the publishers invite you to examine my book free for two weeks in your own home. If you are not impressed, return the book in two weeks, and pay nothing, owe nothing. Otherwise, it is yours to keep for only $4.95, plus a few cents postage.

Perhaps the hardest thing about making a million dollars, or even $200,000, is the act of believing it is possible. This may be the stumbling block which will keep you from ceasing upon the extraordinary opportunity presented here.

Out of every 1,000 people who read this page, perhaps only 10 will be able to overcome their ingrained skepticism, enough to send away for more information. And out of those 10, perhaps only one or two will exploit this opportunity to the hilt. But those fortunate few may enjoy the kind of financial success that millions dream of, but only a few achieve. I have come to the conclusion that opportunity frowns on those without faith, but a real fortune awaits anyone who earnestly seeks the fruits of free enterprise

William Nickerson is not the only self-made millionaire of our time, but he is perhaps the first one who is willing to reveal his money making secrets to others in great detail. As a salaried telephone company employee, he did so well with his spare-time money-making, that at 42, he was able to realize the popular dream of early retirement from the daily grind on a handsome income. He wrote his best selling sensation, How I Turned $1,000 Into A Million, (described here) out of his firm conviction that the age of opportunity is not dead – that one remaining road to fortune still lies open to the average person. Read what he has to say here carefully. Then if you would like to find out more, without cost or obligation, mail the coupon for a free examination copy of his book.


4 Responses to “Real Estate Advertising (William Nickerson: How I Turned $1,000 Into A Million)”

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  1. Scott Brown says:

    Thank you for this information…I love this sales letter. I’ve been looking for an irresistible title for my book (sales letter to my new kit) I’m inspired by his story. I think I’ll call my book

    “How I turned $3,000 into over $1,000,000 in less than 12 months investing in Bank Owned Junk Houses!

    Thanks,
    Scott
    480-343-8097

  2. It’s really a powerful sales letter to get back to it for reference. I still can see the elements of it used in many modern online/offline sales letters.
    Thanks for breaking revealing its hiding psychology.

    Jack K.

  3. Roger Christensen says:

    I read Mr. Nickerson’s book in 1962. I went to Real Estate Classes in 1963 in Wisconsin, Took the R.E. Test and received a Brokers license in 1963.
    Since then, I’ve bought and sold over a hundred houses and had over 200 apartment units. I still have 20 single family houses.
    All thanks to William Nickerson’s book
    I was very lucly to meet Mr. and Mrs. Nickerson in person at a Real Estate Convention
    Thank You again,
    Roger Christenseen 713-201-3317
    May 22, 2012

  4. Lawrence Bernstein says:

    Sure, Roger, I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with Bill Nickerson!

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