Losing lustre

Friday 3 July 2009

By Philip Macalister

One of the more fascinating stories for property investors this week has been changes at formerly high-profile “education company” Richmastery.

This story reports on a restructuring where the business is transferred from one company to another and the former company is put into liquidation.

Richmastery is one of those organisations which attracts a fair bit of criticism; Often it is labelled as promoters of “get-rich-quick” schemes and even the word “spruiker” has been attached to it.


No doubt some of the criticism is well-founded. Other bits are tall poppy syndrome, or just competitors taking a free-hit.

One does have to acknowledge though, that over the years Richmastery has helped many people get into property investment and succeed.

What is interesting to observe is that the company is not as prominent as it was during the boom years. Its advertising is rarely seen these days. The millions of email I used to get in my inbox have stopped coming.

Many companies have a life cycle and one wonders whether these “property education” companies only last for one property cycle? I don’t know the answer.

It seems there are a number of contenders starting to emerge who are eyeing up the space once dominated by Richmastery.

Of course the other reason Richmastery may have gone through this corporate restructure and left behind a shell company with no assets and $76,000 in debts could be something to do with one of the last comments in the liquidator’s report.

It says Richmastery and Gilligan Rowe are in a legal battle. None of the details are revealed, but no doubt a scrap between the two principals would be one riveting legal battle.

Comments from our readers

On 3 July 2009 at 3:45 pm John said:
We got done like a dogs breakfast by Richmastery in Tauranga. Yes we were a bit naieve but we got conned into signing up for monthly mentoring and high pressured into an account which ballooned out to nearly $7000 a few months after attending the Auckland "training weekend". Once they put their Gisborne nasties from the credit collection onto us, we called in an advisor who forced them to reduce their totally unfair bill but we were shatterd by the experience when we thought we were going to be taught something +ve.
On 3 July 2009 at 11:59 pm Jeff said:
I got ripped off to. Paid a finders fee for a unit that was going to be built, but after almost 18 months, the developer pulled out. We never got our finders fee back for a property that we never got. That was money that was going to get me into property investment, but now all my money is gone. Did learn a good lesson fromm this property education place though, be very careful where you put your money.
On 4 July 2009 at 1:21 pm Pam said:
Looks like the lesson was learned, never put your money anywhere unless you have done your homework first. Lessons so many of us trusting kiwis learn the hard way.
On 5 July 2009 at 9:39 pm Mike said:
Was pathetic but predictable to see people line up one after the other to ride the coat tails of Phil Jones, only to be burnt and dropped by the way side. Integrity, moral compass - not words that can be used by Phil Jones or many of those who looked to ride the gravy train, only to find they were the next victim of the games Phil plays. I was wondering with GRA would be the next one...
On 8 August 2009 at 7:41 pm Justine said:
Like so many others we got stung too. We had'nt even finished our 1 year mentoring course.Nobody phoned to tell us ANYTHING.My sympathies go out to every one who got told wonderful things at a high price, by these people...YES it hurts.You could be left feeling bitter however I hope we can all rise up and take some of the knowlegde they gave us and take the property market by storm and show Phil Jones where he can stick his .... well I think you lot know what I mean!!!!
On 11 August 2009 at 2:39 pm Lucy Greenland-Wilkie said:
Wow these comments are very scathing of RM but each person would have different experiences to report. My husband & I that we found the Oct 1997 Academy and the 12mth mentoring course following that, very expensive. We couldn't really afford it at the time but looked at it that it was a small investment towards a comfortable future & maybe even early retirement. The the experts we were fortunate to meet and network with, the knowledge they shared & meeting other people just like us with similiar goals was a boost of good faith in RM.
Admittedly we haven't taken great strides in the property investing arena but we are a good way to taking this journey.
Maybe its not doing anything for RM that Phil is in the US but he wears NZ on his sleeve. I've been very happy with the ongoing support he provides.

Whatever the issues are, I hope they can be resolved.

Happy property investing.
On 3 September 2009 at 3:52 pm Exocet said:
It's funny (in a non-humorous way) to see what was actually behind the RM house of cards when it fell down.

No doubt that it was all planned out in advance by Jones;
Step 1 - "remove himself" from the day-to-day operation of the company by moving to the US
Step 2 - stay "hands off" just long enough to have plausible deniability while RM (now on a collision course with disaster) keeps taking customer's money
Step 3 - step back in to liquidate the company and leave everyone involved with him high and dry... business partners, franchisees, etc... and of course customers like Justine who'd just paid for services stranded with nothing to show for their X-thousands of dollars.

If you're going to smash your own house of cards, expose yourself as a sham, embarrass ever single person who's ever spoken at your events (thinking of Ron Hoy Fong, Steve McKnight, etc), and burn your bridges with every business partner and customer you've ever had, this is certainly one way of going about it.

I hear he's now even pissed off his "buddy" Donald Trump for using Trump's name to market his latest theoretical information on how to invest in the US, which he sells for something like $20,000.

Have fun in the US with (what is arguably "not") your money, Phil, since you've probably got no friends in NZ anymore... unless you're hiring people to be your friend these days.
On 8 September 2009 at 12:57 pm Jim Nimmo said:
I went to the very first property acadamy after being sucked into it after one of the 3hr mini seminars in Christchurch. We already owned about a dozen properties by that time and thought "this could be good" and promply signed up for the "big one". We would learn heaps. I ran into Phil Jones in the hall way of the hotel on the morning of the first day. Being a bit shy, I still tried to make conversation. He couldn't find the energy to even say gidday. I was gutted and even though the course gave us some good info, (a lot of that I alraedy new,) it put a dampener on the whole weekend. The US is welcome to him, he will certainly be the minnow in the pond over there.
On 16 December 2009 at 2:25 pm Grant said:
RM are a total shame, pay huge amounts of money for information you could easily find in a book. I paid $500 for a one day course that taught me nothing. At the end of the day if you are in property investing for the long term you dont really need to go to seminars to learn, you learn by reading books and getting out their and investing.
Commenting is closed

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