Many celebrities have made millions through investing. In 2019, Jay-Z was the first rapper in history to acquire a fortune of one billion-dollars according to Forbes. Already extremely wealthy from his lucrative music career, the majority of Jay-Z’s wealth has stemmed from his diverse investment portfolio.
We have hand-picked 5 celebrity investors and examined how they've increase their wealth through investments - looking at which investments have been their most profitable to date.
Maybe our list will inspire you to think about how you could generate income through investing – even if you’re not a world-renowned celebrity.
Jay Z - The Billionaire Investor
Jay-Z’s billionaire status has been achieved through a diversified portfolio which includes art, music, property, champagne and liquor. Jay-Z’s most lucrative investment happened in 2013, when he invested $2 million in a little-known start-up business called Uber - which was later worth over $70 million. On May 10th 2019, Uber became a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange and is predicted to dramatically increase Jay-Z’s wealth in the coming years.
Jay-Z hasn’t always been a savvy investor, he’s learned valuable lessons along the way. In 2010 it was reported that he lost millions on a luxury hotel investment in New York, highlighting the risks to investing and the need for a diverse portfolio and extensive due diligence.
“The genius thing that we did, was we didn’t give up, we didn’t say ‘Because these guys…’ we used that ‘What do they know’ approach and didn’t give up.”Jay-Z
Ashton Kutcher - The Tech Savvy Investor
Ashton Kutcher is known for his good looks and acting roles. Throughout the years Ashton has been astute enough to have invested in a multitude of extremely profitable start-up tech companies, including online holiday rental service Airbnb.
After co-founding the venture fund, A-Grade Investments in 2011, Aston has graced the cover of Forbes magazine showcasing his successful investments in the tech industry and has appeared on Americas version of Dragons Den, Shark Cage.
According to recent reports, it is estimated that Aston has made around $25 million from acting and modelling jobs but has accumulated approximately $200 million from investments.
During an interview with the New York Times in 2011 Aston gave some insight into his unique investment approach that has seen him be an early investor in some of the most talked-about tech start-ups.
“I look for companies that solve problems in intelligent and friction-free ways and break boundaries”Aston Kutcher
Opera Winfrey - The Inspirational Investor
In 2019 Forbes reports Opera’s net worth as $2.6 billion, which is rather impressive considering Opera stated her life in poverty and has also donated $425 million to charitable causes throughout her career.
One of Opera’s most notable investments has been in Weight Watchers, recently rebranded as WW, which she invested into in October 2015. Initially WW share price climbed from $7 to $101, netting Opera $427 million on paper. However, one Wednesday following a slow period in 2018, the value of WW shares decreased and Opera lost $58 million in a single morning. Although WW shares remained nearly three times the price Opera paid for them, it is a prime example of the risks associated with the stock market.
Even with a bad start to 2019, investing in WW seems to be paying off for Opera. The company has finished the June quarter with more subscribers than anticipated and predicts a 2019 fiscal revenue of “at least” $1.4 billion.
It appears Opera Winfrey has followed in the footsteps of esteemed investor, Warren Buffet and chosen to invest in a business she knows and understands.
“WW has given me the tools to begin to make the lasting shift that I and so many of us who are struggling with weight have longed for. I believe in the program so much I decided to invest in the company and partner in its evolution.”Opera Winfrey
Robert DeNiro - The Angel Investor
Academy award-winning actor Robert DeNiro is renowned for valuing his privacy. This may be why not many people are aware he co-foundered the world-renowned restaurant chain, Nobu.
Robert DeNiro dropped out of school at the age of 16 to pursue an acting career and went on to win multiple Academy Awards and a Golden Globe. With the money made from his acting Robert DeNiro invested in regenerating his New York neighbourhood by starting numerous companies in the Tribeca area, from The TriBeca film festival to The TriBeca grill and TriBeca productions.
The majority of Robert DeNiro’s wealth has been acquired from his involvement in Nobu, which is estimated to have earned him a staggering $250 – $300 million between 2004 and 2018 alone. Fortune estimates by 2023, Nobu restaurants and hotels will generate $1 billion in revenue – not bad for a restaurant that nearly didn’t happen!
Back in 1897, the little-known Chef Nobu Matsuhisa welcomed Robert DeNiro into his restaurant. Robert DeNiro was impressed and offered Chef Matsuhisa the opportunity of a lifetime – a chance to open a restaurant in New York. Nobu Matsuhisa didn’t feel that the time was right and politely declined the offer. Only to have Robert DeNiro call back 4 years later to ask again – this time Nobu accepted.
"Time goes on. So, whatever you're going to do, do it. Do it now. Don't wait."Robert DeNiro
Bono - The Ethical Investor
World-renowned superstar Bono has a lot of credentials on his C.V, including singer-songwriter, philanthropist, venture capitalist and co-founder of U2.
An avid investor, Bono created his own private equity firm named after one U2’s hit songs, Elevation Partners. One of Bono’s biggest successes has been as an early investor in Facebook where his company acquired a 2.9% stake for $90 million, in 2015 that investment returned $1.4 billion. Bono made more money from this investment than U2 made from their music.
A year after Bono bought his Facebook shares, he was labelled “The Worst Investor in America” by 24/7 Wall St. This was due to a string of poor investment decisions including one in technology company Palm, which Bono had invested $460 million in. Little did anyone know then that Bono was involved in one of the most profitable investments in recent years.
Bono has recently focused on ‘Ethical Investing’ with the aim of offering investments with attractive yields and a positive social impact. Teaming up with the likes of Richard Branson, Mo Ibrahim and billionaire Laurene Powell Jobs, Bono has helped create the $2 billion Rise Fund. The Rise Fund is managed by TPG Growth offers investors “complete returns” with measurable positive social and environmental outcomes alongside competitive financial returns. The Rise Fund has recently invested in Healthcare Drone Delivery Service, Zipline. A company that uses drones to deliver much needed medical services in third world counties.
“Entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid.”Bono
The increasing trend of Celebrity investing...
The trend of celebrity investors is on the increase. Celebrities have realised that their wealth makes it easier to generate additional income streams through investments.
Our Top 5 celebrity investors have all pushed themselves outside their creative comfort zones and stepped into the world of investing. Each Celebrity listed has experienced with the risks associated with investing, all suffering losses along the way. Yet, they have never invested what they couldn’t afford to lose, enabling them to reinvest in other opportunities and reap the rewards.
By having the disposable income to invest, each celebrity on our list was able to create a passive income which surpasses their already lucrative salaries.
If you have been inspired by our Top 5 celebrities and would like to know more about investments opportunities for high-net-worth individuals contact us.