In a bizarre twist of fate, the author of one of the world’s most respected and read financial planning books has been forced to file for bankruptcy on behalf of one of his companies after being hit with a court-order to pay out more than $24 million.
Robert Kiyosaki, author of the bestseller Rich Dad, Poor Dad, was ordered by the US District Court to pay $US24 million on behalf of one of his companies, Rich Global.
The payment will go to a company called Learning Annex, which was one of Kiyosaki’s earliest business partners. The Learning Annex helped Kiyosaki arrange speaking engagements and build his personal brand.
Rich Global filed for bankruptcy on August 20. The company’s founder, Bill Zanker, told the New York Post the pair had agreed he would receive a percentage of his takings, “and [Kiyosaki] reneged”.
“The Learning Annex is the greatest promoter. We put his ‘Rich Dad’ brand on a stage. We truly prepared him for great fame and riches.”
“But when it was time for him to pay up, he said no. This has taken years in court. I won even more money than I asked for from the jury, then he declared corporate bankruptcy. Oprah believed in him, and Will Smith believed in him, but he didn’t keep his promise to us.”
However, Kiyosaki isn’t likely to feel a massive blow from the filing. Forbes suggests his worth is around $80 million, while the popular author maintains an interest in nearly a dozen other companies.
He found his fortune after his book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, became a sensation on the US talk-show circuit. The book focuses on personal finance and investment, with the book drawing its popularity on the back of Kiyosaki’s writing style – each chapter is structured like a parable from his own life.
The book found commercial success on The New York Times list even before it was picked up in 2001, having sold more than 26 million copies so far. Kiyosaki’s biggest validation came when his book was profiled on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show.
However, Kiyosaki has faced criticism from the financial management community, who suggest some of the advice contained in the book is actually harmful and dangerous.