Arnold Schwarzenegger Details How He Made Millions Before Acting


Arnold Schwarzenegger may have risen to stratospheric levels of fame in the 1980s thanks to films such as Conan the Barbarian and The Terminator. However, the 76-year-old was already a very wealthy man by the time he became a household name, and he has one woman to thank.

In an interview last month with real estate mogul and entrepreneur Grant Cardone, Schwarzenegger explained how he followed the advice of a real estate investor and used the money he had made from his bodybuilding career to achieve financial independence.

“I was a millionaire before I ever did Conan or Terminator. I became a millionaire because of real estate,” Schwarzenegger said, while speaking at Cardone’s annual 10X Growth Conference back in April.

“There was a real estate woman by the name of Olga. She was from Lebanon and she was Danny DeVito’s height,” the FUBAR star recalled. “And she said to me, ‘Arnold, listen to me, you need income property. When you have a house or when you have a condominium, then you have to pay the mortgage, you have to pay for the expenses. But I find you a six-unit apartment building that has an owner’s unit in front.'”

Schwarzenegger continued, telling the audience that Olga found him an apartment building that was listed for $240,000. “Now, remember this is the ’70s,” he said. “Two years later, I got $400,000 when I sold the building. I put only 27 and a half down. Imagine that profit!”

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This isn’t the first time Schwarzenegger has opened up about how he got rich through real estate. In the 2017 book Tools of Titans, he told author Tim Ferriss that he didn’t want to rely on his movie career to make a living.

“That was my intention, because I saw over the years, the people that worked out in the gym and that I met in the acting classes, they were all very vulnerable because they didn’t have any money, and they had to take anything that was offered to them because that was their living,” he explained at the time via CNBC, adding that he “didn’t want to get into that situation.”

“Buildings that I would buy for $500,000 within the year were $800,000 and I put only maybe $100,000 down, so you made 300 percent on your money,” Schwarzenegger continued. “I quickly developed and traded up my buildings and bought more apartment buildings and office buildings on Main Street down in Santa Monica and so on. I became a millionaire from my real estate investments.”

And sure enough, taking a stroll through the actor’s filmography, there were far more hits than misses; from his early days as an action star in fare such as Red Sonja and Predator to his transition into comedic roles in films like Twins and Kindergarten Cop. Perhaps he owes his immaculate career as well as his early investments to his current $450 million net worth.

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