Monday, June 30, 2014

6 People Who Went Bankrupt Early In Life and Later Retired Comfortably

Portrait of Henry Ford (ca. 1919)
Portrait of Henry Ford (ca. 1919) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Filing bankruptcy doesn't only affect finances. People who file bankruptcy often take a hit to their self-esteem. Fortunately, bankruptcy doesn't mean an end to success and financial stability. According to Abakhan & Associates Inc. from Kelowna, British Columbia, bankruptcy may provide the clean slate needed to start over and become even more successful than before. Several well-known people had to file for bankruptcy before they found success.

Cyndi Lauper


Before she was an 80s music icon, Cyndi Lauper's band Blue Angel had a record that flopped. Their manager sued them for a hefty $80,000 and forced Lauper into bankruptcy. She went out on her own and her hit song “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” helped make her one of the most popular singers of the 80s. With her bankruptcy behind her, she created a better financial future for herself.

PT Barnum


Before he created the “Barnum and Bailey Circus”, PT Barnum owned a museum that showcased natural oddities and invested in the development of East Bridgeport, Connecticut. Both business investment failed to work out, and subsequently PT Barnum was forced into bankruptcy. Four years later, at the age of 61, he found success in the circus business.

Walt Disney


Walt Disney's first animation firm, Laugh O Gram Studio was opened in 1920 in New York. The company saw some success, but ended up suddenly broke. It was this first attempt that created the iconic mouse, Mikey and also forced Walt Disney into bankruptcy. Disney earned the money to travel to Hollywood where he started his business over and named it after himself. He earned millions of dollars and remains one of the most well-known names in the industry.

Henry Ford


Today, the Ford Motor Company is a household name. The founder, Henry Ford wasn't always successful, though. As an engineer at The Edison Illuminating Company, he created his first automobile called the “Quadricycle”. The design was a success, but his marketing efforts failed, and the vehicle didn't catch on with the public. He left the company and filed for bankruptcy shortly after. A year later, he created the Ford Motor Company. His newly developed automobile was record breaking. In 1908, he released the Model-T and became one of the most famous names in the car industry.

Milton Hershey


Milton Hershey is the father of Hershey’s chocolate. This brand is ubiquitous and is recognized internationally as a quality candy company. However the beginning wasn’t easy for Milton. In fact his first couple of attempts at starting a confectionary company failed and resulted in bankruptcy. The family eventually came to view him as an irresponsible vagrant. He finally found his success after learning some confection secrets from a company in Denver, and bringing those secrets to Lancaster Michigan.

H.J. Heinz


Love your ketchup? Thank H.J. Heinz for having the persistence to push through difficulty. At 25 he started a company that produced horseradish. According to legend, there were 57 varieties of his horseradish. After an economic slump in 1875, Heinz’s enterprises were forced into bankruptcy. That didn’t stop Heinz: the very next year, Heinz partnered with family members to start producing the world’s most popular condiment: ketchup. In Pittsburg, the business took off and gained massive popularity. Today the legacy lives on as Heinz Co. rakes in billions of dollars in revenue per year.

Bankruptcy isn't a reason to feel bad, and it doesn't mean giving up on a better future. When filed wisely, bankruptcy can be a good way to protect against debt, start over with a clean slate and work toward building a better, more stable financial future.

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