- Mark Cuban has an estimated net worth of $US4.1 billion, according to Forbes.
- He’s earned his fortune through a lifetime of business deals, including the $US5.7 billion sale of Broadcast.com, his ownership of the Dallas Mavericks, and investments made on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
- He also just revealed he has nearly $US1 billion in Amazon stock alone, according to CNBC.
- Cuban has spent millions on private aeroplanes, a yacht, and a luxurious Dallas home, not to mention $US2 million in fines from the NBA.
- The billionaire investor has also sold majority stakes in his two cable networks – AXS TV and HDNet Movies – to Steve Harvey and Anthem Sports for an undisclosed sum.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Cuban’s journey to becoming a billionaire included living in a “dumpy” apartment, where he stayed up late eating chicken wings and teaching himself to code. His unglamorous life of an aspiring entrepreneur included taking no vacation time for seven years and stealing towels from the Holiday Inn.
The late nights ended up paying off: The businessman and investor earned his fortune with a series of shrewd business deals starting in the 1990s, most notably the sale of his streaming site Broadcast.com for $US5.7 billion in stocks. He continues to make major moves in the industry, most recently through selling a majority stake in his two cable networks, AXS TV and HDNet Movies, to Steve Harvey and Anthem Sports for an undisclosed sum,Deadline reports.
He even has nearly $US1 billion in Amazon stock alone, according to CNBC. The billionaire has previously said that Amazon and Netflix were his biggest holdings, though this is the first time he’s offered specifics.
Read on to see how Cuban earned – and spends – his fortune.
Mark Cuban is worth an estimated $US4.1 billion, according to Forbes. That ranks him among the 500 richest people in America.
Cuban made his fortune over a lifetime of shrewd business deals. He’s the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks …
… he’s the co-founder of 2929 Entertainment, which owns the production companies behind films like “Akeelah and the Bee” and “Good Night and Good Luck” …
… and he’s also a regular on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” in which hopeful entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to a panel of celebrity investors.
But Cuban made his fortune years before any of those ventures. He got his start in the early 1980s selling software for a company called Your Business Software.
In 1982, he started his own company, MicroSolutions, which he sold eight years later for $US6 million. Cuban made $US2 million off the deal.
But Cuban would really make his name with his next business venture: an Internet radio company called Audionet, which eventually became Broadcast.com.
Cuban took control of the company in 1995. The site streamed broadcasts of sports games, political conventions, and other events.
In 1999, Yahoo acquired Broadcast.com for a whopping $US5.7 billion in stock. Cuban netted $US1 billion when he sold his shares.
Around that time, Cuban bought a Gulfstream V business jet for $US40 million. To this day, it holds the Guinness World Record for the biggest purchase ever conducted over the internet.
Source: Guinness World Records
Cuban called the plane one of the smartest purchases he’s ever made. “It’s obviously brutally expensive, but time is the one asset we simply don’t own,” he wrote for Men’s Health. “It saves me hours and hours.”
Source: Men’s Health
Coming off the heels of his billion-dollar payday, Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks for $US285 million in 2000.
He raised his profile by sitting courtside at Mavericks games and drew attention for his animated reactions and media outbursts.
Source: Orange County Register
His frequent criticisms of NBA refs have cost him a small fortune — as of February 2018, the NBA had fined him close to $US2.6 million for his comments and antics over the years.
Source: The New York Times
He’s given to numerous charities over the years, including Autism Speaks, Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Source: Look to the Stars
After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, Cuban lent his private plane to Mavericks point guard and Puerto Rico native J.J. Barea to fly food, water, and supplies to the island.
Source: ESPN via Business Insider
In response to an NBA investigation — prompted by a Sports Illustrated report — that unearthed evidence of the Mavericks organisation having been a discriminatory and toxic workplace for women, Cuban pledged $US10 million to women’s causes and domestic violence awareness.
Today, Forbes estimates the Mavericks are worth $US2.3 billion — $US2 billion more than what Cuban paid for the team 18 years ago.
Cuban has done his fair share of spending. On top of the private plane, in 1999 he paid $US17.6 million for a 24,000-square-foot mansion in Dallas, where he and his family still live.
Source: D Magazine
The 7-acre property reportedly features 10 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, a tennis court, a swimming pool, and a separate guest house in the back.
In 2018, Cuban also bought a $US19 million vacation villa in Laguna Beach’s exclusive Montage Residences community. The modern, six-bedroom home has walls that disappear to open up to the outdoor space and a private pool.
Source: Villa Real Estate
When the Mavericks won the NBA championship in 2011, Cuban reportedly spent $US110,000 on his team’s bar tab that night. “Worth every penny,” he told The New York Post.
Source: The New York Post
The next year, Cuban chipped in $US40,000 to save the local Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade when the group running the annual event ran out of funding. “You just can’t let a Dallas tradition like that die,” Cuban said.
Cuban leveraged his fame into a short-lived 2004 reality series called “The Benefactor,” in which contestants competed to win $US1 million of Cuban’s money. However, the show was panned as a ripoff of “The Apprentice” and was cancelled after six episodes.
Another TV show he’s on, “Shark Tank,” has proven much more successful. The long-running series is now entering its 11th season.
Over the course of his years-long stint on the show, Cuban has made close to 100 deals and has invested millions of dollars in startups and small businesses.
The largest deal he ever offered on the show came in 2015, when he proposed to buy the dating-app company Coffee Meets Bagel outright for $US30 million. The owners rejected the deal.
Source: Business Insider
Cuban recently sold his two long-standing cable networks — AXS TV and HDNet Movies — to Steve Harvey for an undisclosed sum.
Steve Harvey joined Anthem Sports & Entertainment to take over the two networks from Cuban. ASX TV’s programming includes wrestling and MMA fighting, and HDNet Movies shows a variety of films.
Cuban will continue on with the two companies as an equity partner, while Anthem is taking over operational control.
The savvy investor revealed his biggest holdings were in Netflix and Amazon. He has “close to a billion dollars” in Amazon stock alone.
Cuban previously said one of the best purchases he ever made was an unlimited first-class American Airlines ticket for $US250,000 — a promotion that the airline offered from 1981 to 1994. Cuban and 25 other ticket-holders continue to enjoy free airfare for life.
Source: The Hustle
Of course, considering he now owns two private jets and a yacht, first class might actually be a step down for Cuban.
Source: Dallas News
Despite his sometimes lavish spending, Cuban keeps a frugal mentality much of the time. For example, he insists on buying items in bulk, especially items he knows he’ll need such as razors and toothpaste.
And he advocates for people to achieve financial independence by paying off debt and stashing six months’ worth of income in the bank.
It’s a combination of relentless work ethic and financial smarts that have not only made Cuban one of the richest people in America, but kept him that way. As he once said, “Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it all away from you.”