For those who follow real estate investing gurus, it might be interesting to note that Russ Whitney’s company, through an internal investigation, is calling for the founder’s resignation. Russ Whitney, the founder, chief executive officer, and chairman of the Whitney Information Network has in the past aligned himself with Robert Kiyosaki (of Rich Dad, Poor Dad infamy).
The report said the committee “found that, among other things, before the start of the government investigations, the company’s marketing function â€” including advertising for company products, solicitation of customers, presentation of live seminars, telemarketing, coaching and mentoring â€” was characterized by inadequate controls, inadequate training and a failure to devote adequate resources to compliance.
I don’t expect any remuneration for customers who were swayed by the marketing cited in the report, unfortunately.
Here are the basics about Russ Whitney. He is a high school drop-out who built a money-making business. What was that initial business? Well, Whitney doesn’t really explain:
“I ordered a book that had a couple of ideas that made sense. I finally found something that I could do that didn’t require a lot of money to start, and in 3 weeks, I made $11,000…” He and his family celebrated his initial financial success with a commitment to use that money to make more money. He quickly invested it in another money-making vehicle. A little over a year later, at the age of 22, he had racked up $117,000 in profits.
Why no details other than to say his plan “involved real estate?” Well, he wants you to attend his seminars, buy his books, and become part of the program if you want to find out. As any guru, his primary income doesn’t come from these investment opportunities — it comes from the massive “education” program built around his investing ideas. That’s the truer way to wealth, at least for Whitney — become a cult-like motivational leader.
For some interesting reading on Russ Whitney, consider some of these articles. There is enough content here and elsewhere on the Internet to keep you busy for days.
News-Press: Top Whitney Execs Targeted
Rip Off Report: Russ Whitney
Russ Whitney’s Building Wealth and Russ Whitney’s Blog
John T. Reed on Russ Whitney
New York Times: Russ Whitney Wants You to Be Rich
Teach Me To Trade and Rich Dad Academy: both assisted by or partnered with Russ Whitney
Below is a video (part one of two, Adobe Flash required) about suspected rip-offs by Russ Whitney. The source is not identified.
If you’re interested, here is the second part of the video.
Updated August 9, 2011 and originally published November 17, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.