It’s math that for most of was introduced in late elementary school. Percentages of this, percentages of that… useful for practicing division and multiplication,  and invariably leading onto fractions.

So how is it that Herbalife just keeping getting basic math wrong?

Spotted by Connor Davidson, an “obsessive long/short investor, writer and skeptic”, Herbalife’s latest screw up is in their 2015 Income Disclosure Statement.

Last revised on the 24th of February 2016, the due-diligence document contains some interesting percentage calculations.


The easiest one to verify is 10% of 68,768 (the total), which is obviously not 7264.

And it’s not just the $0 earnings bracket, every percentage cited in the “Number of Members” column is inaccurate.

Seriously, this is a basic math that has gone unnoticed for fifty-four days now – almost two months.

I mean what, Herbalife can’t afford to pay even a high-school grad to go over their percentages. Hell, a sixth-grader could even do it but uh, y’know child labor and all that.

What’s worse is this is the second data screwup Herbalife has made in as many months.

Last month Herbalife ‘announced it had overstated its worldwide growth in customers and distributors‘.

The reason cited for the overstatement was a “database error”.

What’s it going to be this time? Someone’s calculator ran out of battery and Herbalife execs had to calculate percentages with their fingers?

Come on now. As someone who makes their fair share of errors which readers pick up on, I do give Herbalife a bit of slack with the database error.

Going live with basic percentage errors though in an Income Disclosure Statement, used by prospective affiliates to potentially gauge whether or not they want to sign up however, is pretty bad. And worse still it the calculations were discovered by a third-party!

Herbalife generates billions of dollars in revenue annually. They spend tens of millions of dollars on legal representation each year, as well as $694,000 on security for CEO Michael Johnson.

A few hundred (thousand?) on getting their Income Disclosure Statement audited for errors before its published though?



Update 19th April 2016 – Well that was fast, in less than 24 hours Herbalife have quietly edited their 2015 Income Disclosure Statement.

The percentages have been updated to correspond to the affiliates in the various income brackets. No word yet on where the original percentages came from or why nobody at Herbalife spotted the error in almost two months.