There's no arguing that there's a lot of money in Hollywood. For instance, Nicolas Cage was once able to make $40 million in one year based on acting alone (and that's just Nicolas Cage! Imagine a really talented person's earnings). Whether you're on stage, in front of a camera, or behind all the scenes, there's certainly a fortune to be had if you're working in the entertainment industry.
That said, there are plenty of stars who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to earn some outrageous fortunes. Acting and singing alone didn't earn these celebrities all of their estates, yachts, air crafts, and lavish lifestyles. They've invested much more than their raw talent in their careers. They've invested their time, their energy and yes, even their money, toward becoming ever-richer.
People believe that most celebrities cash in on their talent because they don't have any other marketable skills or knowledge that would earn them money. That's certainly false; plenty of celebs are good at playing dumb when they're actually quite clever, and even more prefer to keep their knowledge and wealth private (it's none of our business anyway). Even the more idiotic and simple on this list are savvy enough to see opportunity when it presents itself, and they have the money from their various entertainment ventures to at least hire someone to watch their investments vigilantly. So, whether they want you to know about it or not, here they are: 15 celebrities whose side careers make them more money than their entertainment careers.
15 Bono & Elevation Partners
14 Jared Leto & Risky Investments
13 Madonna & Investing in Vita Coco
12 Justin Bieber & Early Investments
11 Magic Johnson & His Many Franchises (Detroit Venture Partners)
Magic Johnson is, of course, best known for his years playing basketball with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, since he retired from professional basketball, he's been busy investing and growing his fortune. He owns Magic Johnson Enterprises, a company presiding over his chain of movie cinemas (Magic Johnson Theatres), Burger King franchises, and health clubs/gyms. He also has a stake in T.G.I. Fridays and Sodexo.
10 Andy Samberg & Indy Startups
Leave it to Andy Samberg to invest in some totally hipster startup. Andy is known best for his time on Saturday Night Live, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and his work with The Lonely Island, a comedy music group. However, he's quite the entrepreneur as well. Back in 2010, he invested in a startup app called CanaryHop, which offered listings for real-life experiences: you could take skateboarding lessons, join a Segway tour group, or join a session of "discrete men's grooming" (whatever that means).
9 Kim Kardashian & ShoeDazzle
8 Jessica Alba & Honest Company
7 Will Ferrell & Investing in Comedy
6 William Shatner & Priceline
William Shatner is best known for his role in the debut series of Star Trek as Captain Kirk. He's often made fun of for his sometimes corny acting, but that doesn't make him any less beloved in our hearts; he was one of the captains of modern science fiction film and television! Of course, after he left Star Trek, things slowed down for him a little. In 1997, he was approached by Priceline, a startup company that offers cheap flights and hotels (similar to Expedia).
5 Shaquille O'Neal & His MBA
4 Jessica Simpson & Her Clothing Line
Jessica Simpson has actually made a good living off of her dull wits: remember when she was on Newlyweds with Nick Lachey and wasn't sure if Chicken of the Sea (the tuna brand) was chicken or fish? Yeah, she can be quite the airhead. But she's not a complete dunce, apparently! If nothing else, she's made some lucky and well-timed business and investment decisions.
3 Dr. Dre & Beats
Seriously, it's hard to walk the streets of any city around the world and not see someone wearing Beats headphones, or go to a party and not see a Beats speaker. BEATS ARE EVERYWHERE! Rap artist and producer Dr. Dre saw an opening and opportunity in the music technology industry, and he invested in the research and development to revolutionize the industry and came out the other end a wealthy man.
2 Lady Gaga & Her Blossoming Investing Prowess
American Horror Story star and singer Lady Gaga hasn't always been an investor, but she's recently picked up some clever tricks that have made her a lot of money. She's holds a major stake in Place (a social media platform recently known as Backplane intent on connecting music and sports professionals with their fans; the site's other major stakeholder is Google chairman Eric Schmidt), which is rapidly growing and expected to have a hefty and profitable buyout in the near future.
1 Ashton Kutcher & Brilliant Investments
Ashton may play an idiot on TV (in such popular shows as That 70's Show and Two and a Half Men) as well as in film (who could forget such idiotic classics as Dude, Where's My Car? or What Happens in Vegas), but he's quite the genius in reality. He actually has a degree in biochemical engineering, and never intended for acting to be his livelihood. In his spare time, he's invested seed money in some insanely well performing companies, such as Skype (a video chat site), Airbnb (a vacation and boarding site), Foursquare (a better version of Yelp), Hipmunk (a cheap travel site), Flipboard (a personalized magazine experience app), Path (a photo sharing app), and LikeALittle (the original version of the common Facebook university-affiliated 'missed-connections' pages). On top of everything else, he's also started his own foundation (with ex-wife Demi Moore) to fight human trafficking. Needless to say, this man knows what he's doing.
Sources: investopedia, elevation
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