7 money lessons you can learn from the way Michael Jordan makes and spends his fortune

Retired basketball star Michael Jordan is a billionaire, but during his highest-paid season, he only earned $33 million.

Now boasting a net worth of approximately $1.9 billion, the six-time NBA championship winner has increased his wealth drastically over the years. His success is pegged to how he makes and spends his money, including a variety of endorsements and investments.

Read more: How Nike’s Jordan Brand used celebrity collaborations to overcome a dip in the rankings and keep its reputation as the most iconic sneaker brand of all time. From the moment it signed Jordan to today, here’s everything you need to know.

In addition to still receiving money from endorsements such as his partnership with Nike, Jordan owns 90% of the Charlotte Hornets, a car dealership, restaurants, and multiple mansions.

Keep reading for tips and money lessons from how Michael Jordan makes and spends his fortune.


Diversifying your income streams can have massive payoff.

While Jordan is best known for playing basketball, his income can be traced back to more than his salary. His endorsements with brands such as Gatorade, Upper Deck and Hanes brought in a substantial amount of money while he was playing. After retiring, Jordan continued to branch out and acquire new revenue sources.

In fact, it wasn’t until 2014, 15 years after he retired, that he achieved billionaire status.


A secondary income source can become more valuable than your primary income source.

Forbes reported that in 2015, Jordan raked in $100 million from his deals with brands such as Nike in a single year. For comparison, that far exceeds the $94 million Jordan collectively made over his 15-year career from his playing salary.


And there’s no reason to limit yourself to just one or two “side hustles.”

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Google Maps

Previous reporting from Business Insider shows that Jordan has a plethora of side projects. He owns multiple restaurants, including one in Florida and two in Chicago. Jordan also owns a North Carolina Nissan dealership. He recently began investing in e-sports.


Real estate as an investment has the potential to backfire.

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The outside of Michael Jordan’s Chicago mansion.
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Luxury Portfolio International

Just consider Michael Jordan’s Chicago house, which has been on the market for over six years.

The house has undergone substantial price cuts since it was first listed in 2012. Originally listed for $29 million, the mansion now has a sticker price of just $14.9 million. Jordan briefly tried to auction the nine-bedroom, 19-bath house in 2013; According to The Real Deal, “The minimum bid of $13 million was never reached.”


If you’re going to invest in luxury real estate, be prepared to front some of the “invisible costs” of owning a mansion, which can easily run into the hundreds of thousands.

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Inside Michael Jordan’s Chicago mansion.
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Luxury Portfolio International

Business Insider’s Katie Warren previously reported that the invisible costs of owning a mansion include much more than the expensive mortgage. Costs include high utility bills, landscaping maintenance, and smart-house systems.

As Business Insider’s Cork Gaines reported, MJ is “still paying more than $100,000 in annual property taxes” along with the salaries of the full-time staff still occupying the property to keep it in pristine condition.

“It is estimated that Jordan has paid more than $680,000 in property taxes since he put the house up for sale,” Gaines wrote.


Pouring too much money into customizing your dream home isn’t always a good decision — especially when you try to put the house on the market.

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The entrance to Michael Jordan’s gated home in Chicago, Illinois.
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Zillow.com

Business Insider has previously reported on a number of celebrity houses that don’t sell. The culprit is usually customization; Business Insider’s Lina Batarags reported that customized houses – like Jordan’s – can be hard to sell, as they include extremely personalized features that do not appeal to every buyer.

Jordan’s Chicago home – which has been on the market for nearly seven years – features a gate and basketball court emblazoned with his name and number.


Big gambles can pay off, big time.

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Charlotte Hornets

As for his biggest side hustle, Jordan is the majority shareholder of the Charlotte Hornets. Jordan purchased the Charlotte Hornets in 2010 for $175 million and spent a few years barely earning money from the franchise. The investment paid off: In February 2018, Forbes valued the team at $1.05 billion.

The now-billion-dollar organization is part of what ultimately gave Jordan the push to reach billionaire status himself.