Costs: $18, $10, $10, $25, $60, $150, $300 + $29.95/month
4 Corners Alliance Group claims that you can make $500,000 by spending just $18. Does that sound sketchy? Let's find out if it's legit.
Update: It looks like the 4 Corners website has been updated recently, and some details of signing up have changed within the last year. I've updated some parts of this review. My opinion that this is a pyramid style MLM with expensive products remains unchanged.
What Is It
This is a pyramid style MLM with financial education products.
Financial education is important, but you can get it for a lot cheaper than what’s available Four Corners Alliance. If the products aren’t worth the money you pay, it’s going to be impossible to convince people to buy them.
Every MLM junkie will tell you that their company is not a pyramid scheme, so I always look at the so-called products available as a litmus test to see if the company is legit or not. At a first glance, financial education books don’t sound like a bad idea.
That is…until you see what they are and how much they are going to cost you. The books available at Level 1 are only going to cost $10, which isn’t bad for a PDF download (they are not available on Kindle or any other eReader). I haven’t read the books, so can’t comment on the quality of information.
However, as you get to the upper levels (Level 5 and Level 6), prices become astronomical. $150 for Level 5 and $300 for level 6! When is the last time you paid $300 for a book?
Note: On most reviews it appears that both level are 1 book each, however I did find one review that showed you get 2 books for level 5 and 4 books for level 6. Regardless, no one really digs into what the books are about and whether the information inside is good. I have strong doubts that anyone read them.
If you want to learn how to invest in REITs, there are many books out there for between $10 and $30. You could buy 10 books or more on REITs and gold investing for that price!
The fact is, if you want a financial education in the form of digital books, you can get it elsewhere for cheaper, and probably at a better quality. So if you aren’t joining for the products, you’re joining for the opportunity.
Here’s what the FTC has to say about that:
If you start a direct selling business, you need to believe that the products you are promoting are legit, and that they are a reasonable price for the information they offer. I can't say that the products from 4 Corners meet either of these criteria. However, if you want to make money by helping people with financial information, then I recommend you start a website!
With your own website and brand, you can promote any products you want and make money from advertising or from affiliate promotions.
As is common with MLM companies, the compensation plan is complicated and requires at least 20 minutes to explain how you get paid, and how much you get paid.
The main pitch we are give is that it only costs $18 to join and you can turn it into $500,000. Of course, there’s more to the story! Keep this chart in mind when reading below, and try to follow along 🙂
$18 is the first fee to join. That covers the cost of $10 book you just purchased, $4 goes to the company, and $4 goes to your sponsor. You need 4 people before you get to the next level. For each person you get paid $4.
So now you have a total of $16 in your pocket. Not bad!
Now you have another $10 fee, so your total profit for signing up 4 people is $6. Your next level is 16 people.
If you can get 16 more people to sign up, your total commissions are $64. But wait! Now you have a $25 fee to pay to get to Level 3.
So far, we signed up 20 people, received $80 in commissions, and paid $45 in fees. Over 50% of our commissions goes to fees. Am I crazy, or does that suck?
4×6 Forced Matrix
One advantage you have is that they use the “forced matrix” system, which means everyone is working together to fill this matrix. When you get 4 people, if they get 4 people each, that achieves your 16 people.
However, like most high school team sports, there’s usually about 8 lazy people for every 2 strong people, so if you are motivated, expect to do most of the work while other people kick back and reap the benefits.
Note: To be honest, I’m a bit confused on one part. When I sign someone up, are they forced to complete my matrix, or can they start their own? Are they simultaneously building their own matrix AND my matrix?
It’s not worth calculating past 64 people because most folks won’t get that far. Do you know 64 people that want to learn about finance? Without proper training on how to build a website and market yourself online, you’ll be forced to be like most MLMers in the industry, cold-calling friends and family to sign up for you program.
4×7 Matrix + Matching Commissions
So the point that all this gets really complicated is when they add a monthly subscription for $30 which is a 4×7 matrix (separate from the 4×6 above). For this service you get only $1 for level 1-4.
This means you need 256 people to join the subscription newsletter (more finance book) before you start earning more than the previous 3% commission you were earning.
Recruiters also spout a lot hyped stuff about matching sponsors commissions to increase your pay. At this point I kind of got confused but was not that interested in truly understanding how this part of the compensation worked. It doesn’t really change how the company works anyway.
Notice the clever wording of the so-called income disclosure on their website.
First off, they do not have an official compensation plan that I could find. But most importantly, they say “Based on industry standards” and “projected to be”, which means the numbers are total BS.
Besides, are you joining the program to make income, or chump change? $2000/year is $166/month or about $5.50 per day. How much time are you going to spend trying to earn that extra hundred+ dollars a month?
If you spend just 1 hour per day trying to be the average earner with 4 Corners Alliance Group, you are working for far below minimum wage. Even fast food workers now make $15/hour in the US.
If you are still interested in 4 Corners Alliance’s financial products or opportunities, here’s a tip: Ask your sponsor about the books. Ask him or her what they found most useful or how they compared to other financial education books they’ve read.
If the sponsor gives you the runaround and doesn’t answer directly, they probably didn’t read them.
MLM VS Affiliate Marketing
If you want to learn how to earn money outside of traditional employment, I have found success with affiliate marketing. It’s cheaper to enter and there’s fewer gimmicks and tricky sales tactics to deal with.
Best of all, YOU choose the products. You are essentially a freelance advertiser, and because you are not tied to one company, you recommend only the stuff you like. In fact, most hobbies could double as an affiliate marketing business.
And because you’re marketing this stuff on the internet, there’s no need to pitch to family or friends. The only affiliate marketing training I recommend is the same place where you get personal assistance from me starting your first affiliate website.
Whatever type of product you decide to promote, it's important to own your own website to grow your business.
Parties only work if you have a network of friends with money in their pockets. Network marketing only works if your friends are interested in joining business opportunities.
With a website you can reach the entire world, and only promote great products to people interested in what you have to say. Plus, you open up doors to multiple streams of revenue like affiliate sales, ad click revenue, paid advertising, and even selling your own digital products.