Celebrities may be widely known for the contributions they make to the entertainment sphere and the pop-cultural landscape. But some celebrities harbor hidden investment talents as well. The four well-known figures below have wisely invested their millions to watch their dollars grow over the long haul.
TUTORIAL: Greatest Investors
4 Top Celebrity Investors
1. Ashton Kutcher
This Hollywood actor, best known for starring in hit sitcoms "Two and a Half Men" and "That '70s Show" has made a string of profitable investments in the tech start-up space, either through direct investments or via his own investment firm called A-Grade Investments.
Some of Kutcher's best-known deals include investments in social magazine app Flipboard, location-based service FourSquare, vacation rentals web service Airbnb, and photo-sharing app Path. Kutcher was also an early investor in Skype, before it was acquired by Microsoft for $8.5 million.
2. Justin Timberlake
Timberlake has slowly and surely nurtured an impressive portfolio of investments, that include positions in clothing brand William Rast and the Mirimichi Golf Course in Memphis, Tennessee. And in a joint venture with Interscope Records, Timberlake founded Tennman Records, a boutique label on which he serves as Chief Executive Officer. This label is mainly a platform for the singer's own records, including the wildly successful "Justified" and "FutureSex/LoveSounds" albums.
Timberlake also invested $2 million in photo start-up Stipple, and he invested an undisclosed sum in Disney-acquired app maker Tapulous.
Interestingly, life seems to have imitated art, as Timberlake portrayed social media investor Sean Parker in the hit Hollywood film "The Social Network," which chronicled the creation of Facebook.
3. Kim Kardashian
While Kardashian may easily be dismissed as a flighty socialite and a vapid reality TV star, she has demonstrated shrewd investment instincts. In 2007, Kardashian and three partners founded ShoeDazzle, an online shoe and accessories website, which currently boasts millions of customers, who pay a monthly fee to access a personalized selection of shoes, jewelry, and handbags.
Kardashian is in good company, given that the website recently landed an impressive $40-million cash infusion from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, which likewise invests in Facebook, Foursquare, Groupon, Skype, and Twitter.
4. Lady Gaga
Pop singer Lady Gaga isn't just a successful recording artist. She is also a sharp businesswoman who has demonstrated a long and impressive history of investing in tech start-up businesses. She notably became a major shareholder in Backplane, a web-based platform that allows music and sports stars to connect with their fans across various social networks. Backplane has raised approximately $1 million from a group of investors led by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, arguably underlining the fact that Gaga's instincts were correct.
The Bottom Line
Celebrities of all types show hidden skills in the finance and investment realm. This isn't necessarily a surprise. After all, it takes a great deal of drive and determination to succeed in their primary fields, so it stands to reason that they possess the discipline it takes to thrive in other areas as well. (For celebrities that failed, read Celebrity Financial Failures.)