Home » Magic Johnson joins Taylor Swift and 263 others in the ranks of world’s newest billionaires

Magic Johnson joins Taylor Swift and 263 others in the ranks of world’s newest billionaires

With a net worth of $1.2 billion, Johnson's wealth reflects his astute business acumen cultivated over decades of entrepreneurial endeavors

by Omokolade Ajayi
Magic Johnson

Legendary NBA point guard Magic Johnson has cemented his status as one of the world’s billionaires thanks to his diverse investment portfolio that spans professional sports teams, real estate, and healthcare, according to the recently released 2024 billionaires list. He also joins the ranks of the world’s Black billionaires.

With a net worth of $1.2 billion, Johnson’s wealth reflects his astute business acumen cultivated over decades of entrepreneurial endeavors, he finds himself in the company of icons such as pop superstar Taylor Swift, whose trailblazing Eras Tour shattered records by amassing over $1 billion in revenue across five continents.

Forbes finds 2,781 billionaires worldwide

Forbes identified a record 2,781 billionaires globally this year, with their combined net worth reaching an all-time high of $14.2 trillion. Buoyed by rising markets, the surge in wealth has minted 265 new billionaires over the past year, up from 150 in 2023.

The newcomers’ roster is further enriched by the Schörling sisters, heiresses to the vast fortune of Swedish investing giant Melker Schörling. Each sister boasts a net worth of $5.6 billion.

Meanwhile, Italian financier Andrea Pignataro emerges as the wealthiest debutant, amassing a $27.5-billion fortune through his financial software firm, ION Group, and extensive real estate holdings. Notably, French fashion designer Christian Louboutin also joins this elite group.

Johnson’s path to billionaire status

For Magic Johnson, the path to billionaire status is paved with strategic investments spanning various sectors. Notably, his ownership stakes in multiple Los Angeles-based sports franchises, including the MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers, significantly contribute to his financial prowess.

Yet, Johnson’s financial empire extends far beyond the realm of sports. As the majority owner of EquiTrust, a thriving life insurance company acquired in 2015, he has witnessed exponential growth in his wealth. Additionally, his diversified investment portfolio encompasses interests in movie theaters, Starbucks franchises, Burger King outlets, 24-Hour Fitness centers, and a soda bottling plant on the East Coast, solidifying his stature as a multi-platform media mogul.

Reflections on missed opportunities

Reflecting on his journey to billionaire status, Johnson acknowledges missed opportunities, notably passing on an offer of shares from Nike during his early NBA career. “My family didn’t come from money, that’s one thing that hurt us sometimes,” he lamented during a recent podcast. “So I passed on the stocks. Can you imagine? 45 years, $5 billion that stock would have been worth today.”

As the fourth American athlete to achieve billionaire status, Magic Johnson’s ascent from a humble background to financial magnate exemplifies the transformative power of strategic investments and entrepreneurial vision. His inclusion in the exclusive billionaire club underscores his enduring legacy both on and off the basketball court.

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