The Canadian investor Kevin O’Leary’s net worth has been the subject of speculation for a long time. As one of the most notorious co-hosts of ABC’s hit show Shark Tank, Kevin O’Leary is often assumed to be a billionaire, if not a multi-billionaire. However, his true net worth is, in fact, likely much lower.
To answer the question “How much is Kevin O’Leary worth”, we decided to compile all the publicly available data. Below, we’ve provided our best estimate as to the Canadian investor and businessman’s net worth.
Note that all estimates of Kevin O’Leary’s net worth are precisely that—estimates. Nonetheless, we compiled all of the publicly available appraisals and estimations to narrow down Mr. O’Leary’s net worth to a range we consider likely for it to fall within.
What Is Kevin O’Leary Net Worth?
By almost all estimates, Kevin O’Leary’s net worth is approximately $400 million USD. Most recently, the South China Morning Post reported that Mr. O’Leary was worth this amount as of May 2021. Although this exact figure might be disputable, the fact remains that virtually all appraisals of his wealth seem to cite the $400 million figure.
In any case, Kevin O’Leary is very likely the second wealthiest host on ABC’s Shark Tank behind Mark Cuban. Mr. O’Leary’s financial success largely emanated from his pre-TV days, when he sold his first software company in the late 1990s and then later founded a successful commercial storage provider in the mid-2000s.
Kevin O’Leary Biography: A Crash Course
Kevin O’Leary was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on July 9, 1954. During his childhood, Kevin’s father passed away and he spent a significant amount of time living nomadically according to his stepfather’s career demands at the United Nations.
Later, Kevin settled in Ontario, Canada, where he went to the University of Waterloo and graduated with a degree in environmental studies in 1977. In 1980, he graduated with an MBA degree from the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey School of Business. For some time after his graduation, he worked in the sports broadcasting industry.
O’Leary’s first venture was Special Event Television (SET) which he co-founded in the 1980s with two of his former MBA classmates. After later selling his shares for $25,000, he made a foray into the personal computer industry by starting a CD-ROM educational software company called Softkey.
Softkey later acquired The Learning Company (TLC) in 1996 for over $600 million. In 1999, toymaker Mattel purchased TLC for a reported $4.2 billion, and O’Leary left the company shortly thereafter after selling his stock. He later opened a commercial storage firm called StorageNow Holdings and started multiple private equity and venture capital projects, took various Board-level executive positions, and became a television personality on CBC’s Dragon’s Den and ABC’s Shark Tank.
How Did Kevin O’Leary Build His Wealth?
The bulk of Kevin O’Leary’s personal wealth likely derives from his sale of TLC to Mattel in 1999. However, what percentage of that $4.2 billion sale ended up in his pocket isn’t publicly available information.
Later, his founding of StorageNow Holdings proved fruitful as it was sold for $110 million in 2007. Kevin’s money-making ventures from that point forward came mostly from media (including books, television, and public speaking) as well as his initiatives in venture capital, mutual fund management, and ETF investing. By 2012, O’Leary’s mutual fund company O’Leary Funds Inc. had a reported $1.2 billion in assets under management.
It’s also worth noting that Kevin O’Leary has authored several bestselling books. Among Kevin’s most notable published books are:
- Cold Hard Truth: On Business, Money & Life (Doubleday Canada, 2011)
- Cold Hard Truth on Men, Women & Money (Doubleday Canada, 2012)
- Cold Hard Truth on Family, Kids and Money (Doubleday Canada, 2013)
- Cold Hard Truth on Family and Money: Part Four: (O’leary Ventures, 2015)
- Digital Pivot or Bust In a Post COVID-19 World: Why Small Businesses Must Re-Think Everything to Survive and Thrive!: (Tax Hive, 2020)
- The Balboa Boys and the Mystery of the Big Gyp: (Wailau Press, 2016)
Kevin O’Leary’s various revenue streams originating from his television contracts, book deals and associated royalties, wealth management services, and company sales have all contributed to his personal wealth.
How Is Kevin O’Leary’s Net Worth Calculated?
In the case of wealthy celebrities such as Kevin O’Leary, many are founders or executives of publicly traded companies. These firms must disclose their financials in compliance with SEC regulations. Public disclosures of share ownership often make up the lion’s share of the celebrity’s wealth, which is then used as a proxy for determining their net worth.
Disclosures are combined with the individual’s publicly-known assets (e.g., their vehicles, homes, secondary properties) and then subtracted by their publicly-known debts to arrive at a rough estimate. This is the general formula used to calculate Kevin O’Leary’s net worth of about $400 million.
Kevin O’Learys Views on Alternative Assets
Kevin O’Leary has publicly stated his support for both Bitcoin and physical gold on numerous occasions. For years, O’Leary has maintained that he holds approximately 5% of his personal wealth in physical gold. For an investor who publicly advocates for investing exclusively in dividend-paying stocks, holding a portion of his wealth in gold is a significant endorsement. O’Leary believes in the diversification benefits of gold investing and stays away from paper-based gold exposure such as mining company equities.
The same is true regarding O’Leary’s stance on Bitcoin. In February 2021, it was reported that O’Leary held about 3% of his portfolio in the digital currency. However, on August 2021, O’Leary announced that he’ll be expanding his allocation in the asset as he’s now even more bullish on decentralized finance. In fact, as of March 2022, O’Leary told CNBC in an interview on their Squawk Box show he held a much higher percentage. O’Leary put the percentage of crypto investments in his portfolio at 20%. Stating his investment portfolio held a variety of cryptocurrencies and blockchain related companies.
In sum, we can conclude that roughly 25% of Kevin O’Leary’s personal wealth is spread between Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) and physical gold metal.
Investing in alternative assets like Kevin O’Leary cannot be done with a simple brokerage account. Diversifying one’s portfolio with physical metals and cryptocurrencies requires a self-directed IRA that allows for a wider variety of asset types. Those interested in opening a self-directed IRA should first check out our reviews of the top gold IRA providers and the best Bitcoin IRA companies, so you can do your due diligence before getting started.
Who Else Invests Like Kevin O’Leary?
Not all investors have the same style. To compare investors like Kevin O’Leary check out these investor profiles:
- Arlene Dickenson
- Bethenny Frankel
- Joel Greenblatt
- Robert Herjavec
- Jamie Siminoff
- Steve Tisch
- Ali Webb
Want to Invest Like Kevin O’Leary?
If you want to build a net worth that rivals Kevin O’Leary’s, you’ve got an uphill battle ahead of you. However, you certainly can start investing aggressively, just as Kevin has his entire life. Your first step is to open a tax-advantaged retirement investing account, so you can build a portfolio that appreciates in value on a tax-free or tax-deferred basis.
To get started, open a self-directed IRA account today. This way, you can invest in a variety of high-upside asset classes unavailable to regular brokerage account investors. These include alternative assets that Kevin O’Leary himself invests in, such as cryptocurrencies, hedge funds, precious metals, annuities, and many more.