Throughout Richard G. Stewart’s successful ventures in finances, commercial real estate, and land and resort development, he has been known as a visionary leader and entrepreneur. He has been the founder and partner of several successful companies and the pioneer of many business creations:
The Bureau of Business and Financial Management, also known as the BBFM, was a company created by Richard G. Stewart with the goal of certifying 500 sales representatives as Certified Investment Consultants. By signing up with several insurance companies as a general agent and broker/dealer, signing an agreement with Amex Securities as a broker/dealer, and training his consultants, Richard enabled the work force to sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds, REITs, gold and silver.
In 1976, Richard created the “Mastering the Business of Life Course Series” which culminated into the R.G. Stewart Prosperity Conference in 1980. Delivered to 27 cities around the country with over 40,000 attendees ranging from middle-class Americans to high-profile celebrities, the conference was hugely successful. The Life Course Series elevated students from an uninformed level of awareness to mastering the subject of money, and many students achieved millionaire status in the following years after the course conclusion.
As President of Stewart-Thomas Inc., Richard owned, developed, and operated the Ahwahnee Resort and Country Club, Bass Lake Resort, Merced River Resort, and Pismo Creekside Resort. After creating memberships for these resorts, Richard sought to increase sales. He created the first Membership Guarantee Program that guaranteed the return of the principal cost of these memberships to the member in 15 years, which resulted in an extremely valuable product to the Members as they enjoyed 15 years of family fun with the guarantee of receiving their money back at the end of that period.
Together with his son, RJ, Richard created the first Premier Access Loyalty Program that gave members discounts and rewards over the same 15-year term of the resort Membership Guarantee Program. These rewards and discounts equaled or exceeded the cost of money used to purchase the membership.
While operating his many resorts, Richard pioneered a cooperative-competition business model, known as ‘rights to use’, that vastly increased sales and profits for participating ‘coopetition’ members – a highly successful model which later become known as the Timeshare Industry. A unique part of the package Richard created was the reciprocal resort membership which gave all members the right to use open-looped timeshare resorts with exclusive rights to the Stewart resorts.
After reading “How to Wake Up the Financial Genius Inside You” by Mark O. Haroldsen, Richard purchased his first property in El Paso, Texas after it spent two years on the market with no offers. He placed the purchase into a limited partnership which had a total of 50,000 units. Richard convinced each of his tenants of the advantages to buying a percentage of the partnership equal to the square footage they rented in the building. This enabled the tenants to qualify for tax depreciation as they held equity in the building and led Richard to eventually sell 100% of the limited partnership units to the tenants. Mr. Mark O. Haroldsen eventually was a guest speaker at the Millionaires Conference held by Richard in Los Angeles, CA in 1984.
In 1980, Richard created the concept of the equity participation program and applied it to his Pacific Stock Exchange Building purchase in downtown Los Angeles. The package was called a “Trudy Pat”, a financial vehicle in which thousands of people, in the model of coopetition, invest money and own pro-rated fractional interests in a fund that makes a loan for a real estate development secured by a first deed of trust on that property. In addition, the investors each received an equity participation in the development equal to their pro-rated fractional interest, insured by a title policy in their name.
The Trudy Pat program was so successful that in 1990 Richard funded National investors, a company specializing in creating packages to fund large real estate acquisitions, completions of the conditional use permits (CUPs), and full stage development. National Investors was given the rights by the Department of Corporations in California to raise over $300 million for Trudy Pat projects. Richard’s initial presentations to investors directly raised the first $150 million in capitalization for land, resort, and commercial real estate ventures.