From actors to athletes and even social media stars, celebrities are some of the most interesting and entertaining people in the world today.
Actors enthrall us with captivating movies and exciting TV series. Athletes compete on a world stage, showing off their athletic ability play after play. And social media stars capture our attention in an infinite number of ways, always coming up with a funny video or crazy stunt.
As a society, we have come to rely on these celebrities for entertainment, fun, and laughter.
Though one area that most of society hasn’t associated with celebrities is the investing world. “What stocks are celebrities buying” or “how are celebrities investing their money” typically aren’t questions people ask when talking about investments; however (as we’ll soon see), celebrities may have more investing know-how than most realize.
What Are Celebrity Stocks?
Celebrity stocks are companies that have caught the attention of different celebrities.
Whether it’s a professional actor like Jessica Alba, an athlete like Serena Williams, or a music sensation like Jay Z, celebrities may choose to invest in either publicly traded companies or private businesses through venture capital deals. (Some celebrities have even founded their own VC firm or holding company to take a more active role in the private equity space.)
Celebrities, much like the rest of us, look to invest their money in innovative companies with the goal of achieving outsized returns and investing success. These superstars invest in a wide range of different assets and, sometimes, can take an active role in promoting the stock or company they decide to invest in.
Once a company has received the attention of a particular celebrity, it typically becomes labeled a “celebrity stock.”
Where Are Celebrities Investing Their Money?
Following celebrity investments is surprisingly tricky, as on top of these Hollywood stars picking publicly traded stocks, they’re also extremely active in the private equity world.
Much like Warren Buffet and other famous investors, celebrities will invest in early-stage firms that don’t yet trade on the public stock market.
This doesn’t mean a retail investor should ignore the investment decisions of celebrities. Tracking where high-net-worth individuals are allocating their capital can be a great indicator of which publicly traded companies and overall industries are poised to do well in the future.
These individuals are providing much-needed funding to emerging startups and large enterprises alike, and any serious investor should at least take note of how these superstars are investing their money.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at 15 top celebrity investors to see which stocks, private equity deals, and investments they’ve been buying recently.
15 of the Most Successful Celebrity Investors
1.) Mark Cuban
When talking about the most famous investors in the celebrity world, a list wouldn’t be complete without the owner of the professional basketball club the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban.
Mark Cuban, with a history of being a serial entrepreneur, could perhaps be better defined as an investor turned celebrity rather than the other way around. Nonetheless, Cuban has become famously popular for starring on the hit reality TV show Shark Tank, where founders pitch their business ideas to a panel of investors who invest capital in promising startups.
Data from research firm Crunchbase shows Mr. Cuban has raised more capital (at $3.3 billion) than any other name on this list.
This celebrity has invested in a wide variety of different businesses, including women’s clothing apparel company Gameday Couture to a high-protein butter nut spread Nuts n More.
2.) Ashton Kutcher
Ashton Kutcher is a renowned celebrity investor, having even started his own venture capital firm, A-Grade Investments. With an estimated net worth of roughly $200 million, the famous actor has been busy in the venture capital world, investing and raising around $3 billion within the last six years.
Kutcher, with a strong presence in the private equity world, has unquestionably become the most famous investor who earned their celebrity status through acting.
3.) Jay Z
The famous hip hop star (whose real name is Shawn Carter) also has his own venture capital firm, Marcy Venture Partners.
Jay Z, with an estimated net worth of $1 billion, has made over 10 successful private equity deals.
More specifically, the performer has invested in commission-free trading app Robinhood and ride-hailing app Uber while also starting a slew of other companies, such as music streaming service TIDAL which reached a valuation of $100 million back in 2014.
4.) Jared Leto
Being the lead singer of 30 Seconds to Mars, as well as an academy award winning actor (winning best supporting actor in 2014) Jared Leto has all the capital he needs to become a savvy investor. With over 26 companies in his portfolio, this former singer turned Hollywood star is undoubtedly one of the most active celebrity investors today. He has an estimated net worth of $90 million and has made several successful investment decisions, including Reddit, Moment House, and Relativity Space.
5.) Baron Davis
Retiring in 2016, Baron Davis was a former basketball star, who wasted no time in becoming an aggressive private equity investor after hanging up his jersey.
A former partner at Plus Capital, Davis has made close to 48 investments over the last 7 years with a notable exit from sports drink company Vitamin Water which is now owned by Coca-Cola. More recently, Davis holds a position at Dear Mama Ventures, which is a VC firm focusing on supporting entrepreneurs of color.
He was also a co-founder of the video portal platform IBEATYOU and has an estimated net worth of $60 million.
6.) Jessica Alba
The famous actor first got a taste of investing back in 2011, when she founded her own company Honest Co. — a digital-first consumer goods store, which in February of 2022 was given a valuation of $550 million.
With an estimated net worth of close to $200 million and several successful investments in meditation app Headspace and online booking platform Resort Pass, Jessica Alba has become one of the most (if not the most) successful female celebrity investor in the world today.
7.) Ryan Seacrest
Amassing the majority of his wealth from hosting the popular singing show American Idol Ryan Seacrest invested in the firm Headspace (yes, the same Headspace as Jessica Alba), which is now valued at close to $1 billion.
More recently, Mr. Seacrest invested in Path Water, an innovative company making sustainable on-the-go bottled water products.
8.) Oprah Winfrey
The former talk show host has amassed an impressive net worth of $2.5 billion. And while she made an impressive salary in her working days, much of her net worth has come from successful investment decisions.
More specifically, Oprah had all the details she needed when investing in plant-based milk company Oatly whose share price rose significantly on their first day of trading on public markets, raising over $1 billion and making Ms. Winfrey a very successful early-stage investor.
Known to some as “the world’s richest rockstar,” Bono was a very early investor in social media company Facebook (now Meta Platforms). Back in 2009, Bono acquired a 2.3% stake amounting to 56 million pounds, which is now worth well over 100 million pounds.
Since then, he has been a co-founder of The ONE Campaign and managing partner at venture capital fund Elevation Partners. He has made several other successful investments in startups such as Varo and Blue Bottle Coffee.
Will.I.Am, AKA William Adams, has a net worth of $70 million and, much like the music industry, entered the business world with a splash. The singer/songwriter currently has four different job titles, including CCO at 3D Systems, Chief Executive Officer & co-founder at i.am+, and President at the i.am.angel Foundation.
Additionally, Mr. Adams has made several successful investments, including plant-based food company Impossible Foods, mobile gaming platform Versus Game, and AI company Stradigi AI.
Altogether Will.I.Am has helped raise over $550 million for various startups and has become a true investing mogul in the private equity space.
11.) Serena Williams
After an incredibly successful tennis career, Serena Williams dedicated herself to helping female entrepreneurs find success.
Williams has a net worth of approximately $250 million and started her own VC fund in 2017, which focuses on a wide variety of different businesses, all of which were founded by female entrepreneurs.
Her first investment into a privately owned company happened while she was still playing tennis competitively, and since then has built a portfolio of over 60 different businesses.
Her most recent investment was TMRW Sports which so far has raised close to $15 million.
12.) Kevin Durant
Another basketball player making the list comes in the form of 6’9″ power forward for the Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Durant.
The basketball star has one of the most diverse investment portfolios amongst active professional athletes, making $35 million last year from his off-court investments.
13.) Will Smith
Similar to Serena Williams, actor Will Smith has taken a more focused approach in his investing career by starting his own VC firm, which invests in companies attempting to solve social problems, such as improving access to healthcare or making high-quality foods from sustainable sources.
Whatever he’s doing, it appears to be working, as the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has grown his net worth to over $350 million.
Most recently, Smith invested in a company called Gravity Sketch for an undisclosed amount alongside other high profile investors and VC funds including Kevin Durant, Google Ventures, and Rich Kleiman.
14.) Ryan Reynolds
With a shining example of a diverse portfolio, not only is Ryan Reynolds the second highest paid actor in the world, he is also proving to be a very successful investor.
The actor recently sold his Gin company (for a handsome profit) and has taken stakes in a variety of different firms, including Canadian financial platform Wealthsimple, password software management company 1Password, and even the Wrexham Association Football Club, to name a few.
His net worth currently sits at $150 million, but with what seems to be a strong knack for finding successful investment opportunities, it’s likely this number will be much higher years from now.
15.) Justin Bieber
Not only is Justin Bieber one of the youngest and most popular singers of all time, he is also becoming a very successful investor.
More specifically, Bieber was an early investor in music streaming platform Spotify and has also invested in MoonPay, a growing trading platform for cryptocurrencies.
Should we be Investing Like Celebrities?
Clearly, some celebrities have the magic touch when it comes to making investment decisions.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean retail investors should be following their every move.
Celebrities have access to an incredible amount of resources and professional investment firms to help make their investment decisions for them.
Additionally, through amassing large amounts of wealth during their career, these individuals can afford to take risks other investors usually shy away from.
At the end of the day, everyone has a different financial goal, risk tolerance, or strategy, and copying the investments of someone else is almost never a good decision.
Rather, performing your own investment research and possibly incorporating the investments of celebrities (when they fit within your own investing strategy) will most likely lead to a much better outcome for investors.