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Michael Jordan’s Net Worth: The King of Sport’s Billionaire Lifestyle

290 people have been added to the Forbes list of billionaires, but perhaps the most recognizable new name on the list belongs to the legendary basketball player, Michael Jordan. There are now over 1,700 people on the billionaire list, but nobody quite has the childhood mystique of the great former basketball player and Hall of Fame member. Jordan has always been rich since becoming one of the greatest of all-time, but how did he get into the prestigious billionaire club?

The start of something big

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Jordan was making a decent (decent meaning 10’s of million’s) salary with the Chicago Bulls before he famously left the team to chase his dreams of playing Major League Baseball. There are a lot of theories surrounding the move that involve avoiding a suspension for a gambling addiction that Jordan had, but nobody has ever been able to confirm that suspicion.

The baseball career didn’t work out too well for Jordan, as he spent two years in the minor leagues for the Chicago White Sox Double-A affiliate and struggled to become a star at the plate. Before heading down to Alabama to play on the diamond, Jordan’s salary was maxed out at $4 million per year from the Bulls, but that was nothing compared to what Jordan was making from Nike as a spokesperson, and peanuts compared to what was awaiting for him upon his return to the NBA.

Michael Jordan came back to the Bulls to help the team re-establish their dominance over the NBA and he made a grand total of $63.2 million for his final two seasons with the Bulls, both ending in NBA Championships. When it was all said and done, Jordan racked up six titles with Chicago in his final six seasons with the team; a feat that would live on in NBA history.

Jordan was even the star of the smash-hit film “Space Jam” during his resurgence as an NBA superstar, and the additional appeal to children attributed to massively increased sales of Jordan and Nike’s world famous Air Jordans. At this point, Jordan was a multi-millionaire, but still not even close to becoming a billionaire. Jordan came back to basketball after three years in retirement with the Washington Wizards, but it was more of a passion project in which he only earned a $1 million salary.

Getting away from the court

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Between his second retirement and short playing career with the Wizards, Jordan was named the Director of Basketball Operations in Washington. After his time with the Wizards wrapped up in 2003 (a very forgettable part of Jordan’s career), Jordan was fired from his previous job as the Director of Basketball Operations after not being able to build the Wizards into a championship team. One of the biggest mistakes that Jordan made during his tenure was trading away young point guard Rip Hamilton to the Pistons for an aging Jerry Stackhouse.

The Wizards were left with Stackhouse’s huge contract and dwindling future while the Pistons turned into a perennial contender with Hamilton, even winning the 2004 NBA Championship. Jordan took a couple of years off to spend personal time, which included hitting the gym and playing a lot of golf. People thought that might open the door for yet another comeback, but it never materialized.

Heading down the East coast

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In 2006, Jordan had decided that three years away from basketball was enough and wanted to get back into the front office so he purchased a minority stake in the Charlotte Bobcats (now the Charlotte Hornets) to become second in charge behind Robert L. Johnson; Jordan held the position for four years until he was named the majority shareholder in 2010 and was in charge of basketball operations again, even becoming the first African American majority owner in NBA history.

When Jordan first became the majority owner, it was estimated that the Bobcats were only worth $275 million which sounds like an enormous amount of money, but that is minuscule in terms of a sports franchise. Ever since the Bobcats acquisition, Jordan’s stake has swelled to almost 90 percent over the past two years, and that value has more than doubled to a current $700 million. NBA is a big business now with franchises being valued at over $2 billion, such as the Los Angeles Clippers during their sale in 2014.

Jordan is still in charge of the Hornets, and in his first year as a majority owner, the team set an NBA record for the worst winning percentage at .106. It seemed like times were bleak in Charlotte, but their fortune is taking a turn for the better as the team no longer sits firmly at the bottom of the standings.

Where the money comes from

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Michael Jordan is still pulling in an insane amount of money from endorsement deals. Since his name is on the Air Jordan line, Michael is still making $100 million each year from sales of his shoes and clothing alone. Jordan doesn’t even have to design the shoes himself or market them heavily, but having his name on the product makes it a “must have” item and that makes both him and Nike a ton of money.

Since having Michael Jordan’s name or face attached to a product usually translates into instant sales, many other companies have paid him a small fortune to appear in advertisements. Jordan has been a spokesman for Gatorade for several years and has helped the company grow tremendously into a mainstream drink instead of a sports drink just sitting on the sidelines of sporting events.

Jordan also has endorsement deals with the Hanes clothing line, Upper Deck trading cards, and Five Star Fragrances (including his own cologne). Jordan also took a hefty sum to appear on the cover of NBA 2k11 and 2k12 video games, to record-breaking sales. Jordan was rarely a playable character in video games before signing the deal, and many people were antsy to get their hands on a controller to move the virtual legend himself around.

A special thanks to Steve Ballmer

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While Jordan did have hundreds of millions sitting in his overall net worth, it was the domino effect of the historic Los Angeles Clippers sale in 2014 (that we mentioned earlier) that really made Jordan a true billionaire. Donald Sterling was forced to sell the Clippers when racist and sexist remarks he made were recorded in private. The NBA owners decided to ban Sterling from the league and Sterling’s stake went up for sale.

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stepped in to buy the team, and spent a lot more than anyone could have anticipated. Ballmer purchased the Clippers for $2 billion in a record breaking sale; as a result, the valuations for other teams around the league immediately skyrocketed, which is how Jordan’s net worth finally broke over the $1 billion hump.

The future for Jordan

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The Hornets are not quite a championship contender, and haven’t been for some time, but with Jordan at the helm, there is a chance that some of the league’s best free agents might come to the city in hopes of playing for one of the all-time greats. Jordan’s on-court presence was a lot more illustrious than the personnel moves he has made lately, but the Hornets aren’t a complete laughing stock anymore and are starting to generate a buzz in the league

Even if the Hornets never make the NBA Finals, you can bet that Jordan is still going to make major bank. NBA franchises are increasing in worth year after year, and the Jordan brand is still going strong after nearly three decades. Michael Jordan overcame many obstacles in his career and shot for the stars to become the man he is today, and he’s a safe bet to remain on the billionaire list as long as he owns the team.

America’s New Civil War: Income Inequality On The Rise

Anyone living in the United States can tell you about how widely spread the family income range is. There are many factors that play a role in the amount of money you make, even if you keep your education and employment history constant. As unfortunate as it is, gender, race, age and geographic location (among others) will all contribute to your early earnings. For the sake of consistency, this article will focus on United States as a whole, and will not take into account state and/or metropolitan variances.

The median household income in the United States for 2013 was roughly $51,939, according to most recent Census data. This number splits the American population in half on a financial basis; with one half making less than this figure, and the second half making more (in some cases – much, much more).

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Since the Great Recession hit America, the median household income fell by more than 8% in the 6 years between 2007 and 2013. If we account for inflation, family incomes are currently at their lowest point since the mid 1990s.

If we look back even further – to the end of World War II, we can see some interesting patterns. Between 1945 and the late 1970’s, incomes in the United States were becoming more and more equal, and the gap between the upper and lower crust was shrinking at a noticeable rate. This pretty much means, that the lower income brackets were rising faster than those at the top. This pattern persisted for a few decades, all the way up until the late 1970’s when the trend took a complete 180º turn, and the rich started getting richer (a pattern that can still be observed today).

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Let’s look at some numbers to really appreciate the difference between the trends leading up to 1977, compared to the way things are now. Data shows that the top 1% of households received about 8.9% of all pre-tax income in 1976. If we look at more recent data, for example, the 2012 tax year, we would notice that the top 1 percent share had more than doubled. Currently, the top 1% of the United States population is raking in about 22.5% of total yearly income. That being said, what exactly are the income brackets that divide American families? Well, this varies slightly depending on whom you ask, however regardless of your source it is no argument that the lines between the upper and middle classes are more than clear.

According to the New York Times, you need to make over $89,125 to fall into the top 25 percent of all families in the United States – based on pre-tax income alone. Numbers reported by the NYT also suggest that if you make over $50,742, you will fall into the top half of all American families. Although not immediately impressive, the middle-class figure becomes much more appealing when considering the fact that the bottom quarter of American households only net $25,411 or less.

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Just like with any statistical model, there will always be outliers. In this case we can look at the vast extremes like the top 1% of families making more than $382,001 a year, and the polar opposite, bottom 10% that end up making a mere $12,154 (sometimes even less).

While the reported numbers of the top 1% are certainly impressive, it’s important to consider that most of the people falling into this bracket were born with various socioeconomic advantages. That’s not to say the numbers are any less valid, or the incomes are any less deserved. The point here is that a vast majority of the 1% had entered this life with a financial head start. Life isn’t fair, deal with it.

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The one percent also put in impressive amounts of work to remain where they are on the financial pyramid. Statistically speaking – the 1% work longer hours, and are more than three times as likely to work more than 50 hours a week when compared to the bottom 99% of families

Additionally, a large chunk the 1 percenters are self-employed… maybe they’re on to something after all.

Let’s take a look at the life of an ‘average’ member of the 1 percent. Before we do, though, it’s important to establish that the 1% is super variable. For example, it takes only $380k to be in the national 1%, but it takes nearly a million to be among the 1 percent of earners in Stamford, Conn. For the sake of consistency, we will use the 1% national average provided by the Tax Policy Center, which is around $1.5 million.

Moving on…

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First – married 1 percenters are just as likely as the rest of the American public to have two incomes. Goes to show that no matter how much money you make, it never hurts to earn a bit more.

While both members of the household tend to work, men are more likely to be the breadwinners – earning (on average) 75 percent of the family income, compared to the 64 percent of the income earned by men in other households.

While, it’s statistically likely that men of the house make the vast chunk of household cash, it’s curious to see where they tend to be employed. In the case of the one-percenters, the most likely profession will lie in the field of medicine. Doctors are more likely than any other profession to secure their place in the 1 percent. In fact, 20% of the super rich are involved in medicine in one fashion, or another.

While, the 1% gets to enjoy a vast array of perks ranging from private yachts to private islands, most of us are not as lucky. Let’s side track from the uber rich, and take a look at the way an average American household lives.

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An average Joe, aged 25 or older, will make roughly $32,000 a year and hold a white-collar office job. He generally does not have a college degree, and either has been, is, or will be married, as well as divorced, at least once during his lifetime. Interesting, how the entire (average) middle class lifestyle can be effectively summarized in one sentence…

While the average Joe household gets by just fine, the family definitely doesn’t live a life of luxury. Things start looking up for upper-middle class families, though. These families commonly exceed household incomes of $100,000, with some smaller one-income families earning in the high 5-figure range. Generally speaking, educational attainment is the biggest distinguishing feature of the upper-middle class.

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These families have a greater disposable income than the middle class, which means more international vacations instead of road trips to the lake, individual bedrooms for kids, and multiple cars – amongst other privileges that the lower income bracket might not afford.

While there is a clear divide between the social classes, some people will argue that only a few people are truly aware of their place in the economic hierarchy.

Robert Gordon, a social sciences professor from Northwestern University’s economics department claims that, “people have only a vague idea of their income, based primarily on their income-tax returns, if they are filers,” he says. “If they are not filers, they are in a large lower group that has only a vague idea of what their income is.”

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“A large majority of Americans live in the outer fringes of cities, suburbs, and exurbs,” he continues. “Theirs is a life of low density and backyard barbecues. Many more people today compared to five years ago are having trouble paying the mortgage on this lifestyle, but it doesn’t change their feeling that they are living a middle-class lifestyle.”

To sum it up, and quote Thomas Gray – “Ignorance is bliss.”

Dan Bilzerian Net Worth: The Poker Playboy Who Has It All

Dan Bilzerian is an American poker player, actor, and a (self-labeled) venture capitalist. While he has always been well off thanks to his father’s money, Bilzerian is currently worth about $150 million in his own ventures. Today he is most recognized for his gambling talents, and his eccentric-playboy lifestyle that most can only dream of.

Bilzerian is getting more and more attention thanks to his social presence – on Instagram especially. He has over 7.5 million followers, and he chronicles his playboy lifestyle in great detail – uploading pictures of private jets, luxury cars, and half-nude supermodels. Anyone that has even skimmed through his photo uploads can tell that Dan lives a crazy life. In fact, Bilzerian has had three heart attacks before the age of 33.

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Although Dan lives his life in excess, it had not always been the case. In 1999 Bilzerian joined the Navy, and eventually went on to undergo SEAL training. After completing 2 hell weeks he was kicked out due to a disagreement with one of his administrators, so he had never graduated. Since his military career didn’t workout, Bilzerian got involved in other ventures – mainly poker and acting.

He is unarguably a very talented poker player, and he has won a number of tournaments since the start of his gambling career. His most notable game is the one where he won $10.8 million in a heads-up, no-limit hold’em at stakes of $5,000 – $10,000. After winning, Bilzerian took his new pile of cash and flew (on a private jet) to Mexico to celebrate. In addition to his poker playing, Dan has also done some work in film. He has appeared – as a stuntman – in films, “Olympus has Fallen”, “Other Woman”, “Lone Survivor”, and “Equalizer”.

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Now that it’s established that Dan Bilzerian is doing well for himself, let’s take a look at how he actually spends his millions. For starters, Dan has an arguably unhealthy obsession with weapons – automatic guns specifically. His love for guns was developed early on in his life, when his father gave him an M16 rifle that he returned with from the Vietnam War. Ever since that day, Dan was hooked. Today, he claims that he owns over 100 different guns that he believes can be stylish accessories – if the state law permits it off course.

When not spending thousands and thousands of dollars on guns and rifles, Dan is likely to spend some on a new watch instead. For a person so preoccupied with his image, he seems to care very little about his clothing, but watches are apparently a different story. High quality timepieces are another passion of Bilzerian’s, and he claims that his cheapest watch costs 40,000 dollars.

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While, yes, Dan owns a few very expensive and extravagant articles of clothing, like a $40,000 Tom Ford suit, he spends most of his days dressed in simple combinations of black t-shirts and camo cargo pants. His choice of attire reflects through his philosophy; he believes that clothing has very little to do with achieving success with women.

To quote the poker playboy himself – “Just be confident, successful, funny, whatever it is, girls aren’t necessarily attracted like guys are. Guys are attracted based on looks 95% of the time. Girls are almost the opposite. Looks are a smaller factor. They’re more attracted to a confident guy, or a successful guy, or someone who makes them laugh, or makes them feel comfortable.” Regardless of how true this may or may not be, Bilzerian has no shortage of success with women, his Instagram followers can attest to that. Dan uploads (often times not work appropriate) photographs of him living his extravagant life with half naked models in his hot tub, or topless women styling his hair. I’d say it’s safe to assume that his advice has at least some merit to it.

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While Bilzerian knows guns and women, he seems to completely lack common sense. His regard for safety and wellbeing is so low, that it’s no surprise he has already suffered three heart attacks. In fact, after one of the heart attacks, Bilzerian checked himself out of the hospital early, and claimed that he was going for a run (jokingly making a $1 million bet that he wasn’t going to die). Besides not caring much about his own health, Bilzerian (on a few occasions) has, in one way or another, caused harm to others.

It’s no secret that Bilzerian likes to party, and things sometimes get out of hand. One such instance, for example, is when Dan attempted to throw a pornstar off the roof of his house into his pool. The Hustler organized stunt has nearly killed them both. The naked actress panicked at the very last second and grabbed Dan’s t-shirt. The incident ended with the girl breaking her foot against the edge of the pool. She later said that she may sue Bilzerian for the damage, but was pretty calm about what happened on twitter. Her lawyer’s threat to Bilzerian drew a response that read, “Like your client, the facts of the claim won’t, quite, fly.”

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The pool incident was only one of many questionable occurrences in Bilzerian’s life. Dan was also accused for kicking a woman in the face while out celebrating his birthday. While there is footage showing the alleged actions, Bilzerian has obviously denied all of the allegations, claiming that he was merely protecting another woman that he was with at the time. True or not, it makes you wonder how far Bilzerian is going to take his crazy parties, and at what point will the self-named “venture capitalist”-playboy realize that enough is enough.

While Bilzerian makes many undoubtingly questionable choices, many of us (even though we won’t admit it) would swap places with him in a second. In an interview with Bluff Europe Dan puts – “I feel that if you don’t have people hating on your lifestyle then you’re not doing it that well. There’s always going to be people envious — it’s just the way it is. An ugly girl is going to hate on a pretty girl and a poor guy is going to hate on a rich guy. That’s just the way of the world.” Whether you agree with Dan on this, or you don’t, it’s impossible not to have an opinion on this rich and pompous playboy.

That being said, Dan Bilzerian frankly just doesn’t care.

Warren Buffett’s Entire Philosophy For Investment

According to Warren Buffett, “it’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.” While many modern investors and scholars may tell you otherwise, who are we to disagree with undoubtedly the most successful investor in all of history? Buffett, to this day, remains involved in some of the biggest investment plays in the world, and he isn’t shy to discuss his tactics.

If you are at all familiar with the investment genius, and business magnate – Warren Buffet, then chances are you’re also familiar with his basic investment principles and philosophies. Just in case you’re not, let’s Buffett is a strong believer in value investing – an investment paradigm that derives from the ideas on investment that Ben Graham and David Dodd began teaching at Columbia Business School in 1928.

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Although value investing has taken many forms since its original conception, the foundation remains the same. In essence, value investing involves buying stocks at less than their intrinsic, or fundamental value. There is a lot of calculations involved here, and the intrinsic value is usually calculated through some form of fundamental analysis. To spare you the headache of diving into this even further, allow me to sum up value investing in layman’s terms. Value investing simply means that you buy a security, such as stock in a public company, for a price that greatly underestimates the true value of said company. Buffett himself did just this many, many times over – piling on his billions each time. American Express, Coca-Cola, and Disney are just some of the household names that Buffett was clever enough to spot (and invest in) at the right time.

While the man was obviously on to something with his investment strategies, he did not keep his methods secret; quite the opposite, in fact. In May of 1984, Buffet laid out absolutely everything you need to know about his methods, and investment philosophy. In a speech at Columbia Business School, he introduced what he called, “The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville.” The speech was later adapted into an essay that you can find here.

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In essence, this speech (and essay) challenged the idea that equity markets are efficient through a study of nine successful investment funds generating long-term returns above the market index. There are a lot of great quotes that can be pulled from the essay to effectively summarize it, but the best has to be this:

“The common intellectual theme of the investors from Graham-and-Doddsville is this: they search for discrepancies between the value of a business and the price of small pieces of that business in that market.” This quote is very powerful, and it summarizes Buffett’s whole approach to investing. He makes it clear that he doesn’t think about buying a stock; he thinks about buying a business.

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You might wonder to yourself – if value investing truly works, why isn’t it more wide spread? That’s a fair question, and to be honest, a large part is that what value investors do is not well known or even completely understood. This is mainly due to the fact that universities accept the notion that markets are efficient, and as a result focus more on teaching and applying modern portfolio theory – likely the polar opposite of value investing.

That being said, let’s take a closer look at the value investing process. As originally conceived and developed in the 1930’s by Graham, value investing involved three steps. The first step was to screen stock based on either price-to-earnings (P/E), price-to-book (P/B), or a different valuation related metric. This was done in order to actually identify the possibly undervalued stock. Next, it was important to evaluate the low price-to-earnings stocks to estimate their fundamental value as accurately as possible. The reasoning behind this is very simple. This step was done in order to minimize error, and in turn reduce the risk associated with the investment. When all of that is said and done, an investment decision to buy is made if – and only if – the stock price is below the fundamental value calculated in step two. That being said, there also needs to be some breathing room to play the part of a safety net. This margin – in Warren Buffett’s case – was generally around 30 per cent.

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That’s pretty much it. Buffett’s billions are summarized in one short and sweet paragraph. Like many effective success formulas, this one might seem too good to be true. Even so, academic research focused primarily on the first step of value investing found that value stocks outperform growth stocks on a global scale; both when the markets go down, and when they go up. These findings fly in the face of market efficiency, which advocates (rather assertively) that risk and return go together.

If the evidence in favour of value investing is so great, why isn’t everyone a value investor? I can’t answer that, but if I had to make a guess I would say that because the driving forces behind the value premium are human psychology, which at often times can lead to some very irrational choices. It can be hard playing the long game, and greed can often get the better of us.

To summarize Buffett’s philosophy, the following quote – found in his annual letter to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway (1996) – says it best.

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“To invest successfully, you need not understand beta, efficient markets, modern portfolio theory, option pricing or emerging markets. You may, in fact, be better off knowing nothing of these. That, of course, is not the prevailing view at most business schools, whose finance curriculum tends to be dominated by such subjects. In our view, though, investment students need only two well-taught courses – How to Value a Business, and How to Think About Market Prices.”

This really helps paint the big picture. Buffett makes it crystal clear that you don’t have to be a genius to invest well; in fact, all you need to do is master the basics. That being said, if you think you have what it takes to follow in Buffett’s footsteps, go for it. Just make sure you have the patience, not to mention – some serious capital.

Donald Trump Net Worth: Don’t Follow the Money; Let it Follow You

Donald Trump is one of the most recognized names in the United States. Although, Trump is best known for his achievements in real estate, and appearances on NBC’s reality TV show – The Apprentice – the Trump name is slapped on virtually everything. From golf courses, resorts and hotels to merchandising, it’s not uncommon to see the name emblazoned on alcohol, chocolate, ties and even mattresses. While the dollar figures for the privately held organizations dealing in merchandise aren’t made public, it’s no secret that Trump is doing a little more than just ok for himself.

With his TV show paying out an estimated $3 million per episode, and his multi-million dollar Manhattan buildings constantly popping all over the New York skyline, it’s only natural to wonder what the man is actually worth. Although, Trump obviously does not disclose this figure publically, it’s speculated that he is worth in the neighbourhood of $4 billion. On a side note, 2011 estimates placed his net worth somewhere between $2.9 to $7 billion, which he was not very happy about. In fact, Trump is noted for publicly criticizing low estimates of his bank accounts. That being said, it hardly matters. Point is – Trump is worth somewhere in the billions, and his wealth just keeps on piling up.

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While Trump’s come up is quite impressive, the real estate mogul didn’t start from nothing – quite the opposite actually. Donald’s father, Fred Trump, was a premier housing developer who built thousands upon thousands of multifamily dwellings in postwar New York. At the time of his death, Fred was worth an estimated $400 million. Prior to his passing, Donald’s father also used some of his hard earned money to finance his son’s first real estate deal. He bid on a rundown housing development in Cincinnati, and hired his son to turn it into something habitable. After their success the Trump’s enjoyed a million dollar profit and Donald was hooked.

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Bringing up his silver spoon was not an effort to discredit or reduce the magnitude of Trump’s accomplishments. While, yes, he did have access to opportunities that others could only dream of, Donald Trump gave it his all to capitalize on them and create something iconic. “I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big,” he famously said in one of his countless interviews.

Trump’s initial success motivated him, awaking his inner businessman. Using his share of the Cincinnati profits, Trump began growing his empire. Ever since buying his first property – Trump – became a household name in real estate. What’s even more impressive is the fact that Donald Trump remains an influential developer today, even though it’s estimated that he only owns about 1.5 million square feet of property in New York City. To give this figure some context, consider that the Durst Organization owns 13 million square feet in Manhattan alone. While this developer holds more than 8 times the property when compared to Trump, chances are (unless you’re involved in real estate) you haven’t even heard of Durst. Why is that? Well, the answer is simple – Trump has something most other developers do not – fame.

Fellow New York real estate mogul, Richard LeFrak, puts it nicely: “Consumers know his name. That’s what sets him apart.” Trump takes every opportunity he has in order to stand out, and makes a lot of money doing so.

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Having to carry the burden of being a billionaire, Trump does his very best to live his life like a current day monarch. He, along with his former model wife – Melania, lives at the very top of the Trump Organization’s office building. The gold and marble-clad Louis XIV-style residence is spread over three floors, where the real estate titan has plenty of room to spend time with his 7-year-old son.

Now, that we’ve established Donald Trump to be a complicated man (with an ego arguably larger than his net worth) let’s take a look at what the real estate tycoon preaches regarding business strategy. The business magnate has a lot to say when it comes to advice, but for brevity’s sake we will look only at some of his best tips.

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This should come as no surprise, but Trump, like many other successful businessmen is a strong believer in being passionate about what you do. This doesn’t only apply to the world of business, but can also be relevant in any other field or career. Trump attributes much of his success to his passion for real estate, and argues that no matter what you are doing, the best way to stand out is to be fully invested in your job. To quote the magnate himself, “be passionate about your work – never let it become just a job.” While this is a great piece of advice, we often forget about it, and make excuses and offer justifications as to why the current job you hate is good for you. If you’re unhappy with the work that you do, your potential for greatness is greatly undermined.

Next, Trump encourages young entrepreneurs to always remember where they’ve come from. Roots are important, and when you start making money (and lots of it) it can become harder and harder to hold on to your values. These values are directly correlated to the brand that you’re building, so make sure to stick to what you believe in, and work on providing the best possible product.

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To quote the man – “You have to understand that a brand requires integrity on every level. Set the bar high from day one and never let it slide. If starting out today, I would have the same vision I’ve always had – to create a gold standard brand. Every endeavor reflects that attitude.“ This quote should help understand how Trump has built one of the most recognizable personal brands in the business world.

While in some cases it can be easier to make the decision based on profit entirely, that may not always be the most ideal approach to improving your brand. In fact, Trump strongly suggests that you don’t follow the money, but let the money follow you instead.

Raised By Wolves: Jordan Belfort’s Top Ethical Business Investment Strategies

While Jordan Belfort’s biography is a very controversial topic, this article will steer clear from that debate, and focus solely on his legitimate strategies, and world views. Jordan Belfort, a man of many talents and skills, is famous for his uncannily positive take on building success for himself (and others). Virtually all of Belfort’s strategies for success in business and finance are grounded in good mindsets, positive outlooks, clean appearance, and tenacity at its finest. The simplicity, yet overwhelming sensibility, of his advice on all fronts can easily make one wonder: “Why aren’t we all doing it, too?”

A lot of people like to hammer on about ‘setting goals’ and ‘making accomplishments’, but they almost always leave out one very important part of going forward – having a vision. Jordan Belfort believes that a vision is almost as important, if not more so, than all the goals in the world.

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If your goals are the milestones to success, your vision is the active change that those goals effectuate on the world within which you live. Goals are important to know where you’re going, but a vision will let you paint a picture of why you want to get there so badly. Feed your brain’s hunger for better things by always visualizing the effects of your eventual success.

If your goal is to make $100,000 this year, then a vision might be a new home for you and your family. If the goal is the new home itself, then the vision would be the impact that will have on the livelihood of you and your family. In essence, you need to think bigger to achieve the greatness you ache for.

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It’s easy to dream about how you want your life to look, or talk about what you’re going to do to get to that picture perfect finish. The problem here is the fact that you’re not doing actually anything, but blowing smoke. Nobody wants to hear about what you will be doing because they’re more interested in what you’re doing right now.

This is where the wolf comes in – Belfort’s business strategies center around getting things done. If you want to do something to impact your situation positively, then you should actively work on your goals and make your way toward the finish line. While it’s important to reach for the stars, you want to make sure that you have achievable goals that allow you to keep pulling yourself closer to outer space. Never stop doing, because every positive action you take is a step (no matter how small) in the direction you want to go.

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Results are what matter, people don’t usually care about the technique for creating them. In reality, as long as you can get the job done, the way you do it doesn’t mean much, within reason, but we’ll leave this debate for another time. For now, it’s important to stress that bandwagon mindsets only breed more of the same. This can make us feel inadequate, since – in essence – we’re just copying someone else. Originality is just subjective, what you do with it is the objective, and you shouldn’t be shy about utilizing everything you’ve got.

‘Original’ is a great way to describe Jordan Belfort and his methods. That being said, don’t be afraid to invent your means, and develop your own methods. Never stop the train, and always stay on top. As long as you’re producing a winning streak, everyone involved is content to just smile and applaud. That’s because when all is said and done, you still finished the job, regardless of the ‘how’ involved.

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People will look at you before they listen to you, and what they perceive, the critical first impression, will greatly determine their attitude towards you and your dealings. From the moment you walk into a room, the way you hold yourself, and the way you appear, will be a big teller in whether or not anyone wants anything to do with you. Knowing what you’re doing is only part of the equation to a successful business deal; looking like you know what you’re doing matters almost as much.

Fitting yourself out with a sharp look, and then wearing it like a wolf, will be one of the best investments you ever make. When Belfort steps into someone’s line of sight, they know that this guy means business, and in a big way. Don’t forget that a lot of people won’t even get to talk to you before they get to see you. Your image is a big deal, because that’s going to be your voice in almost any contact you have where you’re not actually there to meet the person head on, and they’re filing away opinions you can’t even defend yourself against. Looking like a hack, even if you are one, is never going to do anything good for you. Look like a pro, instead, even if you aren’t one.

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Failure is hard to overcome, but an easy way to rule that sucker down is to remember that failure is just a lesson you should be learning, not mourning. Don’t take failure as a quitting point, but instead as an insight into what you could be doing better. When Jordan Belfort stepped onto the business road selling meat door to door, he failed miserably. And yet, he went on to be a supernova in the worlds of business and finance. Why? Because he decided that failure was just another way to succeed.

If Plan A fails, use it to make Plan B a whole lot better. Learn from mistakes, teach yourself how to never break it that way, at that front, ever again. Regroup and revise your strategies in both success and failure, and you’ll find silver linings and gems of empowerment in places you never thought possible. Instead of throwing something away, it might be better to improve that something so that it functions more like you would expect. One of the greatest teachers for you, is you, and when you’re teaching yourself how to do something new, your failures will play a big hand in your growth.

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The Wolf of Wall Street didn’t become a Wolf by acting like a sheep… or cattle. For Jordan Belfort, being a Wolf meant chasing his targets, stalking for opportunities, and pouncing on anything that landed within reach. In a world of money and more money, a little greed never hurt anyone.

Don’t be afraid take what is yours, guard it with all you’re worth, and then take some of what doesn’t belong to you. ‘Stealing’ is a moot term in the dog-eat-dog cycle of the world, and capitalizing on everything that steps in your path should be business as usual. Remember that nothing good will just come to you; you’ve got to chase it down and take it for all it’s worth.

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You could follow every one of these bits of advice, and then every other tip, trick, and strategy you come across, yet still fail spectacularly if you lack the one golden trait: confidence. Persistence and tenacity mean more than anything, because you need to be confident enough in yourself and what you’re selling to go that extra step, and then pound the pavement until you’ve closed the deal. You must be able to sell yourself before you can sell anything else, and nobody will buy into what you’re offering if they can’t even believe in the person they’re buying from.

Jordan Belfort oozes confidence, which is one of the main reasons he has come as far as he has. Tackling a challenge in business will always have a better outcome if you spearhead your plan of attack with confident undertones. Don’t doubt as much as possible, and always have a sure edge in your swing when you’re aiming for the horizon.

The Powerhouse Duo Jayz and Beyonce Paid Thousands for the Bail of Baltimore Protesters

When it comes to charity there are quite a few people that like to flaunt their accomplishments, and to show everybody just how much they “care.” Two people that can’t be added to the list of people that flaunt their deeds are megastar Jay Z, and his wife Beyonce.

Many people assumed that the power couple didn’t care too much about charitably helping others, but it turns out they just prefer not to publicize it. After the protests in Ferguson and Baltimore, many were stunned to learn that Jay Z and Beyonce hadn’t spoken out or donated to the Black Lives Matter cause.

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The two were remaining silent on the situation despite all of the criticism they were receiving, but there was one person that did the speaking for them. dream hampton (all lower case), is an author, critic, and filmmaker; she was also the one who helped Jay Z write his autobiography five years ago: “Decoded.”

dream hampton revealed that not only did they care about the cause, they might have been the largest charitable philanthropists at the time. dream hampton hopped on Twitter to reveal all of this in a series of tweets that have since been deleted; she started receiving attention with the first tweet that read: “I’m going to tweet this and I don’t care if Jay gets mad.”

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Knowing the relationship that Jay Z and she had, the message caught some eyeballs, and the series of tweets afterward revealed some incredibly interesting details. “When we needed money for the bail for Baltimore protesters, I hit Jay up, as I had for Ferguson, Jayz wired tens of thousands in minutes.” That charitable donation went unnoticed as there was no advertising. Jay Z clearly didn’t want the attention, but he was about to be exposed for his caring and generosity.

dream hampton would go on to say: “When Black Lives Matter needed infrastructure money for the many chapters that were growing like beautiful dandelions, Carters wrote a huge check.” Much like her first tweet predicted, the Carters didn’t want the news to spring out, as her next tweet said she was told to, “shut the —- up and head to brunch. Gonna erase my error ridden rant. Hope you got your little screenshot.” Not only did the world get their “screenshot,” they were inducted into the potential secret lives of the two stars.

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Many were curious if it was really Jay Z and Beyonce that told her to rescind the tweets, but dream hampton wouldn’t say for sure. However, she did acknowledge that the facts were true in multiple interviews. dream hampton told the Daily News: “I can say I’ve personally helped facilitate donations they’ve given to protesters directly and that they never ask for anything in return, especially publicity.”

Why Jay Z and Beyonce have been so quiet with their charity and beliefs is still a mystery, but it appears that they care much more than they let on. It makes you wonder just how many more charitable acts the two have done under the radar. Jay Z is one of the richest rappers in the world with a net worth of $550 million, and Beyonce’s networth is $450 million. With a combined net worth of $1 billion, the Carters certainly have a few extra dollars to spare towards the community in any cause they see fit.

Gopro Founder Nick Woodman Fulfills a 229 Million Dollar Promise to His Old College Roommate

Have you ever helped a friend out and constantly heard that you would be repaid “eventually?” Most of the time, you will never see that money ever again, but that’s not the case if you’re a founder of a multi-billion dollar empire. That’s what happened when Nick Woodman, the founder of GoPro (the digital camera that records video on the run) made a deal with his college roommate.

10 years ago while attending the University of California, San Diego, Woodman was trying to get his business off of the ground.  Woodman worked with his roommate, Dana, and for Dana this would turn out to be a lucrative decision. Dana was hired as the first ever employee of the company, and his recent payoff is now worth the effort he made a decade ago.

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Woodman’s GoPro company has made him filthy rich, and he is now being referred to as the highest paid CEO in the United States. This came about when GoPro went public last summer and instantly made Woodman nearly $300 million. That was enough to get his net worth elevated to more than $2.3 billion, making him one of the youngest billionaires in America. Not too shabby for someone who started so small.

That immense wealth wasn’t the case when they started, As with most billionaire stories, Woodman’s was a humble beginning that started with a promise.  Woodman was only able to pay Dana with the promise that he would be getting 10 percent of the sales  he received from the public transaction (which didn’t even seem like a possibility 10 years ago). Back in 2011, GoPro had given Dana more than 6.2 million stocks and options which would be cashed out during the public transaction: what was once just paper would become gold.

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Woodman came through on his promise, and Dana made $229 million in return for his efforts and patience. Dana is still working with GoPro as the director of specialty sales and music for the young company. While there have been countless instances of company founders forgetting about the people that got them there, it appears that Woodman’s relationship with Dana has never been better.

Now that the both of them are rich the two longtime friends can enjoy the fruits of their labor together. GoPro is now trading at over $50 per share, and has been as high as $98.47 in the past year, so don’t expect these two to go broke anytime soon; their story is one of true friendship, and hard work paying off spectacularly.

Billionaire Li Jinyuan Takes His 6,400 Staff Members on a Luxurious Vacation

Normally when bosses do something nice for their employees, you’d expect a day off or a company picnic. One CEO broke the mold and gave his company a gift they’ll never forget. Rather than a simple outing, he purchased a vacation for his entire staff!

Li Jinyuan, the CEO of Tiens Group is worth an estimated $1.5 billion, was able to finance a trip for 6,400 of his employees. The trip entailed a flight from China to France for four days; taking them on a vacation unlike any other. Of course, only the finest would do for this trip, so Jinyuan booked nearly 5,000 rooms for his employees in nearly 80 of the finest hotels in Cannes and Monaco. Quality service for their quality service: Quid pro quo at its absolute.

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The 57-year-old boss scheduled the magnanimous holiday weekend in celebration of the 20 year anniversary of the Tiens Group opening. The expensive venture included a trip to the world famous Louvre . No doubt the exquisite art paralleled their exquisite trip. The company outing celebrating a record-breaking 20 year anniversary wouldn’t be the complete without doing something big enough for the record books. With that in mind, they set a Guinness world record while on the beach by creating the largest ever human chain by spelling out the words, “Tiens’ dream is Nice in the Cote d’Azur.”

Nearly 150 buses shuttled the group of employees around and the entire bill was on Jinyuan: nearly $36 million. Although the Tiens Group is a Chinese company, they were able to help the struggling French economy as well by spending large. This trip set out to benefit the employees, but ended up benefitting an entire country! They were even so generous that the foreign affairs minister of France, Laurent Fabius, was there to greet them and thank Jinyuan personally for his $20 million spent on the country. This was truly a company trip to be envied and commended.

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The bar has been set pretty high now for other bosses thanks to Jinyuan’s act of kindness and celebration. It will be hard to go on that camping retreat in the local mosquito-filled campsite now that you have seen what some bosses will do for their employees. Just remember for your future bosses; whatever they do, it’s the thought that counts. What will the 50th anniversary look like for the Tiens Group? Only time will tell, but we’re guessing that the application line is getting pretty full right now in anticipation.

Forrest Fenn’s Two Million Dollar Scavenger Hunt Could Make You Wealthy Overnight!

If you have ever wanted to live out your childhood dreams of finding treasure, like in the popular 1985 movie “The Goonies,” you can have your chance thanks to the mind of one eccentric millionaire in New Mexico. As an avid art collector with more than millions to his name, Forrest Fenn is a man of means with a thirst for adventure, and he would like to quench the thirst of others who share his passion. This is the chance of a lifetime to be involved in a real epic quest for treasure!

Fenn has stated that he wanted people to build connections, work together, and get out of the house and on the hunt in the search of a monumental treasure. How much is this hidden wonder worth you ask? Try a life-changing estimated $2 million. Although the exact location is still unknown by anyone but Fenn, clues have been given away by the man himself to help people find it. The 84-year-old hid the treasure in the Rocky Mountains and it’s said to contain some fine valuables that cost a fortune: a true “diamond in the rough” perhaps.

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Some of the many valuable trinkets that are hidden inside of the treasure chest are eagle and double eagle coins, a plethora of gold nuggets, ancient figurines, gems, and plenty more captivating items of varying worth. Fenn revealed all of this during an interview by ABC. The treasure has been sitting, hidden from the world for more than 5 years!

When Fenn was diagnosed with terminal cancer 27 years ago he came up with this special idea. He wanted people to “live more” and find more joys in their life. Fenn then began to pen his memoir entitled, “The Thrill of the Chase.” Throughout the time it has been hidden, people have been very close. Fenn has even described people having come within just 60 yards, but close isn’t close enough. Perhaps with some more persistence people can close the distance between them and their dreams: their wallets and the treasure.

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The clues started being revealed within his book, and more have been revealed in the recent years. The original clue was in the form of a poem that read, “As I have gone alone in there And with my treasures bold, I can keep my secret where, And hint of riches new and old. Begin it where warm waters halt And take it in the canyon down, Not far, but too far to walk. Put in below the home of Brown.” A cryptic message that has no doubt piqued even more interest in the fabled treasure. Another more ambiguous clue is: “the fact that it is north of Santa Fe.” Quite a clue considering there are no measures of distance. “5,000 feet above sea level” is another revealed clue that is even more mysterious with the addition of the clue: “the treasure is wet.” Wet and 5,000 feet above sea level? The plot thickens. Maybe the final clue, “It is not in a structure or graveyard,” will eventually provide enough information for an intrepid hunter to track down the treasure.

Now that you have all the information, maybe you can track down the $2 million treasure yourself. Will you be able to decipher the mystery and endure the potential dangers of the hunt? Will Fenn hopefully see someone finding his treasure before he passes? Does the treasure even exist at all? There is only one way to find out: get out there and search, fellow adventurers of the world!