Schwarzenegger has been investing in companies, stocks, and real estate since before his voice was dubbed in his first film, Hercules in New York. His first business venture was a bricklaying business in Southern California that he started with fellow bodybuilder Franco Columbu in 1968. The two men used the money they made from that business to invest in a mail-order fitness equipment business.
The star of Conan the Barbarian used profits from the mail-order business for his first real estate investment. Schwarzenegger continued to buy and sell real estate and became a real estate millionaire when he was just 25 years old. That was before he appeared as the Terminator in James Cameron’s famous sci-fi thriller.
When Schwarzenegger was elected in 2003 as California’s 38th Governor, his financials were put out for all to see. His financial disclosure statements filed with the Los Angeles County registrar revealed over 100 business ventures that included individual stocks, managed stock accounts, private investment funds, venture funds, bonds, several direct stakes in operating businesses, and even a high-end mutual fund company, the Los Angeles Times reported in 2003.
“Arnold’s one of the greatest instinctive businessmen I’ve ever met,” Paul Wachter, a former investment banker who has known the actor for years, told the Times in 2003.
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