It's a popular buzzword being sold: "auto-pilot income." From what I understand, "auto-pilot income" is another way of saying "passive income" but with the idea of creating an "auto-pilot" source for it. In other words, do "x" and then "y" and then "z" and the "system" then keeps giving you money.

While often compared with the classic get rich quick scheme, not all programs/sites/systems promise "huge returns" or unreasonable amounts of money for what it would seem to be almost no work.

Most do inquire email addresses, which leads me to think they are list building and email marketing. I genuinely can't get my head across what such "system" can give anyone passive income from ... well ... nothing. The idea is that most of these sites don't ask for money, but "coach" you something -- like teaching you how to build your own stream through their network, downline, or other related niche.

They don't usually "guarantee" anything, but I've seen some that actually do claim to guarantee "unlimited income streams" and do not apparently ask for any money from their "members" or such.

My real wondering would be:

  1. How or where could they create or get these so called "income streams"? Most people and their networks, businesses, or etc. never clearly explain up-front how this works to the "opt-in" newbie.

  2. If they don't want money, why would they be so eager to help you make so much? What's the catch? It's hard to believe this common marketing buzzword comes out of kindness and selflessness.

  3. If they aren't affiliate marketers or multi-level-marketing, how else could they create income streams out of nothing? I can't really think of any other ways to create passive income streams from networking/marketing programs -- that's pretty much the only way for that niche, it seems.

NOTE: This is not to be confused with auto-income generators, which seem to be similar, but have a different angle to them. This question is not a duplicate of this one -- it pertains to "auto-pilot" passive income brought on from network/website marketing groups and/or other people of the related such.


3 Answers 3


These have been around for decades. In the 80's and 90's they had you setup small ads in local newspapers and you would sell a brochure tells people how to make money, or solve some other problem. The idea was that money would roll in. The more ads you placed the more money you made.

In the late 90's they had you setup a small website instead of a small newspaper advertisement , but the rest was the same.

They were also done with eBay as the medium.

Now they are live streams.

Most of the money made is by the people selling you the course materials to show you exactly how to make money. Some of the people pitching these ideas though books, websites and infomercials were able to update their shtick to change with the medium, but the end result was always the same. Most people didn't make serious cash.

The initial description of how it works is done for free and isn't enough information to know how to do it. The real secrets are after you pay for the advanced course. Of course to really make them work you need the expensive coaching sessions.


Genuine (nearly) passive income can be had from some kinds of investing. Index funds are an example of a mostly self-managing investment. Of course investment involves some risk (the income is essentially paying you for taking that risk) and returns are reasonable but proportional to the risk -- IE, not spectacular unless the risk is high.

If someone is claiming they can get you better than market rate of return, look carefully at what they are getting out of it and what the risks are. Fees subtract directly from your gains, and if they claim there is no additional risk, they need to prove that.

You are giving someone your money. Be very sure you are going to get it back. If it isn't self-evident where the income comes from, it's probably a scam.

If someone is using the term "auto-pilot", it is almost certainly a scam. If they are talking about website advertising and the like, it is far from autopilot if you want to make any noticable amount of money (though you may make money for them).


If someone is using the term "Autopilot" for local lead generation, it is a legit business model. Lead generation through local search (sometimes called "rank and rent") is one of the lowest competition, most hands off businesses you could setup.

  • You have to convert leads into sales of something, which is very much not "hands off".
    – ceejayoz
    Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 13:39
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    Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 14:27

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