About Charles Givens
Charles J. Givens is one of the original financial gurus seen in book stores and on late night infomercials. His death in the late nineties, at the age of 57, left a lot of unanswered questions about his books, business, and courses.
Throughout his lifetime Charles Givens wrote three best selling books including, Wealth Without Risk, Financial Self-Defense, and More Wealth Without Risk. Much like all his financial advice these had mixed reviews with critics claiming that his strategies were too risky and at times simplistic and proponents saying that his advice has helped them.
Charles Givens was known for his lavish lifestyle and was known for arriving to seminars in a chauffeured white and gold limousine. Under the mantra be all you can be he charged people almost one thousand dollars to attend his seminars.
Eventually Charles Givens' companies and products became the targets of lawsuits and criminal investigations. These were centered around false profit claims and the refund policy attached to his materials.
One of the most damaging of these cases was in California where a jury convicted Charles Givens of consumer fraud. The court concluded that he misrepresented the effectiveness of his strategies to almost 30,000 people and was ordered to pay $14 million in refunds.
The prosecuting attorney came to the obvious conclusion that Charles Givens was making the majority of his money selling his courses. The crime being that his financial strategies themselves don't produce income like he said, and that his wealth was derived from people's hard earned money.
This court case forced Charles Givens' company to file for bankruptcy and he eventually lost control of his business in 97.
14 ‘Charles Givens’ Reviews
I found this site actually looking to find Mr. Givens and just found here that he had passed. What a difference he made in my life. 22 years ago I stumbled on "Wealth Without Risk," and found the book to be fascinating. My brother-in-law and I employed the wealth building techniques by building rental properties and we became multi- millionaires because of it. I paid for the services and seminars back in the day. Some were helpful, others not so much; but I can truly say that book changed my life. Others like Robert Kyosaki stepped in to fill the void in later years with similar type advice. But he was the first for me. Thanks Charles, and rest in peace.
Well, lets take a fast look at the suit. A guy goes out doing the Givens thing and cancels his whole life insurance, but doesn't get the term life insurance as recommended. His estate sues Charles Givens because the decedent didn't complete the task. I call that failure to stand to your responsibilities. So a money grubbing lawyer comes along and says I can shift the liability to Givens and collect big. He who blames others for his own situation without proof has a serious problem.
I should state that for the cost of joing Charles J.'s organization for less than $400, the life my wife and I have led since that day in 1992 would have been impossible without believing in and applying as many of his techniques as possible. Charles was long away from making ALL of the personal appearances to get new members when we joined in 1992, but the strategies were all his and we (two public school teachers making < $40,000 combined at the time) started implementing the 30-day Quick Start the evening we got back from the seminar by filling out the Dreams List. I think we had 15 dreams, which must not have been enough or very "dream-like" because the financial, travel, and security parts of those dreams were ALL accomplished within 6 or 7 years as I remember. (We had the Quick-Start Booklet up until about 5 years ago, and we kind of teared up re-reading it as the only thing Charles J. couldn't help us do was slow down the passing of time.
Without going into much more detail, 20 years gone I can still remember some of the things we did. 1) Since 1992 we have never paid for "Medical Coverage" on our auto insurance--realizing that with our regular health insurance, adding and paying for medical claims on car insurance was a duplication of efforts. 2) We got two credit cards at the time from his list including a low-interest one with Wachovia and as directed one with higher limit (38,500 in 1992) from MBNa--subsequently bought out by Bank of America and is our only credit card to this day. 3) Obviously we bought Real Estate using the Givens "Other Peoples Money strategies, often getting $3000-$7000 back at closing. At one point we owned 26 single family houses, which rather than renting out, we sold on Contract for Deeds with 2-year Balloon paymenst as per one of CJG's strategies.
Our own bit of good luck had us out of all but 2 properties by the summer of 2005.
There is rarely a week that still goes by 20 years later when my wife and I don't say something aloud that a Givens' influence is recognizable.
So Charles, rest easy, my man.
He An amazing man, changed my life for the better.
I read all his books and paid to take his course in the 80's. I was forever changed both mentally and financially. I retired at 40 yrs old and continue to use his materials today. I invested in stocks, real estate and used most of his principals. If a person couldn't make it using his materials, then they probably can't make it using anyones. He gave you the info, you had to apply yourself to make them useful.
I read his stuff and worked the system. With today's economy and stock market, I wouldn't follow his "old" way of investing cause things have changed. However starting a business, doing taxes, paying myself first, maxing out my before taxes investing, dollar cost averaging certainly helped me be independent.
There is another author out there today, Sean Higgens who has put out a book for buying tax liens and deeds called "Wealth Without Risk" Can he do that- I mean the same title. Maybe since Charles is gone?!
I attended the free seminars back in 1988 & 1989 whenever I could. I loved them. I never shelled out the membership fee, but learned a lot from the sessions. I have used the strategies my entire life and they have never let me down. (Net worth over 1Mill before I was 30) What exactly is wrong with showing people "The TEN Biggest Money Management Mistakes And How to Correct Them" I have even trained many people over the last 20+ years on how to benefit from the same lessons. Thanks Charles, sorry that others were looking for easy street and lost hope.
this program does not work. don't waste your time people and don't get too overexcited.
Thanks to the Givens recommendation in his course I was able to recoup the $2500 his company ripped me off! After investing in his course I was told I could not get advice as promised because state law did not allow "advise over the phone." The only way was to purchase more expensive literature on the subject. His company gave me continuous runaround for a refund even though I followed his guidelines to do so. Thank goodness I didn't buy his program with cash! I finally got my refund through credit card dispute. All I can say now is "Chuck, you got what you deserved!"
Forget about Givens as an investment adviser. His best work is Superself, a book about personal effectiveness. Buy a copy, it's old (1993) but timeless - it's the best book you'll read all year. I've read mine 3 times.
I still read and used MR.Givens information and find the material still working.
Givens gets a bad rap because of the civil-law standards of evidence. The initial lawsuit against him was by the widow of a man who didn't properly follow his advise regarding insurance. Because ALL the evidence in a civil case can be used in future cases against the defendant, even if they are ridiculous and outright falsehoods, Givens settled out of court to avoid a trial. That settlement, however, led to still more accusations of mismanagement and wrong-doing, and the legal dominos started falling.
Givens's estate had the last laugh, however. His personal wealth was so insulated, legally, from his business endeavors that even successful litigants against him got little recompense for their efforts.
When I first read Wealth Without Risk it opened my eyes. I never followed many of Givens recommendations on investments. There is one piece of advice he gave and that is to learn to recognize bad investment or money management advice. That one thing has saved me more grief and created more ability to recognize when someone is trying to scam me. Givens seemed to be a clairvoyant type and actually I probably learned more from the simplest stragegies. His subsequent business failings in the end surprised me and his death also surprised me. I knew things were going sour when he didn't appear on the talk shows anymore. These days most people have never heard of him. Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman are the new financial guru's.
I PURCHASED GIVENS PRODUCT IN THE LATE 80'S. AFTER READING & RE-READING OVER & OVER I DIVED IN. I HAD TREMENDOUS SUCCESS. I HAD A GOOD 10 YEARS, AND THEN LOST TRACK OF WHAT I WAS DOING. MAINLY DUE TO THE CELEBRATIONS THAT I WAS ENCOUNTERING CONSISTENTLY. NOW I AM RE-ESTABLISHING MY SELF, , AND I JUST HAPPENED TO GOOGLE GIVENS, TO SEE WHAT WAS NEW, AND FOUND OUT THAT HE HAS PASSED, AND HIS REPUTATION IS IN DISTRESS. I WENT TO HIS FREE SEMINAR WITH TWO OTHER COUPLES, WE ALL THREE SPENT $300 ON THE COURSE, AND AFTER MONTHS THE OTHER TWO, SHELFED IT, AND COMPLAINED OF A LESSON LEARNED, AND BEING A RIP-OFF. I KEPT ON, AND FINALLY UNDERSTOOD THINGS, AND STARTED TO FOLLOW THE GUIDANCE. I DID VERY WELL IN EVERY ASPECT OF THE INFO. AND BUILT A COMFORT LEVEL I HAD NEVER DREAMED IMAGINABLE. I DID DROP OUT OF THE ORGANIZATION, BECAUSE I DID NOT THINK THE MONTHLY DUES WERE WORTH THE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION THAT I WAS RECEIVING, BUT NOW I GUESS I AM LIMITED TO THE MATERIAL THAT I HAVE,AND I WILL RE-TRACE MY STEPS, AND TRY TO GET BACK ON TRACK.IT WORKED ONCE, AND I DO NOT SEE WHY IT WON'T WORK AGAIN.