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Where do Titans of industry build their wealth? Not in their industries it seems.

Updated: Mar 20, 2023

No matter what industry a titan may be known for, investing in real estate to build long term wealth is something many seem to agree on. Recently, a number of interesting articles have confirmed the premise that titans in businesses outside of real estate use real estate as the place they put their money to grow their fortunes or even fund their dreams. Some of these titans may surprise you but their philosophies are very much in line with each other and their real estate holdings and successes are irrefutable.


The New York Times obituary of fashion icon Pierre Cardin who, at the time of his death had as estimated net worth of $800 Million, not surprisingly spoke in detail about his contributions to the world of fashion. However, what many probably did not know is that he was a savvy entrepreneur and considered himself more businessman than designer. “He cautiously believed in hard assets, converting his income from licensing into land and buildings, including properties in Paris, a villa and boutique near Cannes, a palazzo in Venice and holdings in Barcelona, Milan, Rome and Brussels. He bought the castle formerly occupied by the Marquis de Sade in Lacoste, France, where he established a summer music festival. He invested in properties near Cannes, including, most memorably, the Bubble Palace, so called for its system of interconnected terra-cotta domes.”


Dr. Jerry Buss, the colorful, charismatic figure who was known for his business savvy, poker playing and was a regular at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion, made much of his fortune through real estate.

As a child of the Depression he dug ditches with his father and dropped out of high school to work. After returning to school he worked his way to a PhD in chemical engineering and a job in the aerospace industry but with four children to support he moonlighted as a teacher. He saw opportunity in the real estate market and spent his weekends learning the industry. He did this for several years, patiently setting aside a portion of his paycheck. His goal?

“Make enough money from Real Estate to become a full-time teacher

and attend more Lakers games.”

His first purchase was a 14 unit multi family apartment in Los Angeles. 20 years after that first investment, Jerry Buss bought the Forum, the Los Angeles Kings (hockey) and the Lakers from Jack Kent Cooke, along with a ranch, for $67.5 million.


For many, Real Estate provided the foundation that allowed them to become titans in other areas. "The Terminator", actor and former Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger invested all of his early earnings in real estate. As a result of his successful real estate investments he could be more particular about the roles he selected. Most other burgeoning actors had no choice but to take any role they were given because they needed the money. In many cases the roles they took were less than desirable and negatively impacted their careers. When an opportunity came along to jump start his acting career, Schwarzenegger was able to negotiate a deal taking no salary and a percentage of the profits on the back end. As a result, this was his most financially successful acting job to this day; “Twins”.

Real estate investing has historically provided strong returns and we are currently in a great cycle for both new and seasoned real estate investors to be actively engaging. Fix and Flips, Fix and Rent, Multi Family Investing and ground up construction are all flourishing. If you have not taken the first steps into the real estate pool, now is the perfect time to begin on the road to become a titan of your industry!

Check out our previous blog and review of the book Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss for more great strategies for building a successful business.

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