JAY-Z’s investment story – how he built a $1 Billion empire

With Jay-Z’s remarkable success in the investment world alongside his popularity amongst the younger generation, we found it fitting to cover his success story. Believe it or not, Jay-Z sat down with Warren Buffet “The Godfather of Investing” in 2010 to discuss their shared passion for education in the investment industry. Jay-Z has used his music success to build a diversified empire of assets, such as his art collection and company ventures. However, Jay-Z’s greatest success (in Current value) has been when he has used his influence as an artist, to push products such as the now infamous $300 Gold “Ace of Spades” Champagne which became extremely popular in the US. This venture generated over $300 million in Networth and exemplifies his power as an influencer.

What are his best investments to date?

  1. Rocawear – In 1999 Jay-Z released a clothing line named Rocawear, which quickly grew to fame in the Hip-hop demographic due to his powerful influence. He reportedly sold Rocawear in 2007 for $207 million USD. However in recent trials, Jay-Z has claimed some ownership back through intelectual property protection. Therefore, adding even more to his current asset wealth.
  2. Roc Nation – Currently valued at $75 million, the diversified entertainment company covers sports and music/production. This enterprise was set up only one year after Rocawear was sold in 2007. It’s music label is host to superstar performers such as Rihanna and Big Sean.
  3. Art Collection –  In many of Jay-Z’s songs, he mentions his passion for art investing. His collection of Basquiat’s work, has multiplied the value ten-fold. His unique investing methods cover both ownership of companies but more interestingly his ownership of high yield assets such of paintings that grow in value year on year. He mentions in some of his songs, that investing in these long term assets when you have the money is what he classifies as “wealth” in comparison to other artists that flaunt their cash in photos and spend above their paycheck on things on current assets not long term investments.
  4. Uber – Jay-Z purchased an estimated $2 million in Uber shares in 2013. The value is estimated at $70 million (according to forbes) midway through 2019. This investment proved a major success as Uber went public in 2019 and has had seen fast global expansion.

Why he is a role model in the process of teaching financial IQ to the younger generation?

His story is quite inspiring, as a young male born in the midst of Brooklyn’s projects (public housing), he lived with a single mother and dropped out of highschool. He was known to be quite talented in academics, however he pursued selling drugs as a means of survival. His lyrical ability made him a local hit, however he was turned down from label after label. Taking that rejection, he transformed it into what we know as “Roc-A-Fella” records, which found extreme success in year’s to come. Coming from a rough beginning, Jay Z is able to resonate with a lot more people that have been through the same situation. Warren Buffet stated “Jay Z is teaching in a much bigger classroom than I ever could” (Forbes). Coming from such a profound investor such as Warren Buffet, it shows the extent of Jay-Z’s influence amongst a wider demographic. Furthermore, his story shows the youth that obtaining financial knowledge is a respectable asset in itself and paints a picture of what success really looks like.

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Written by Tyger Fitzpatrick, Founder of YIG.

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