Rich Dudes│How Graham Stephan Made His Millions From Real Estate to YouTube

From earning $20 an hour to commanding million dollar deals in real estate, Graham Stephan is a true rags-to-riches success story.

Updated Jun 19, 2023

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Real Estate


At 32, Graham has made a name for himself as an American businessman, entrepreneur, successful real estate agent, investor, and host of some of the most popular finance YouTube channels.

By September 2022, he was making more than $6 million a year from his YouTube channels.

From selling his first multi-million dollar property at 26 to growing a $125 million real estate empire, Graham's wild success is all thanks to his fearless attitude towards real estate investing, hunting for potential money-making opportunities, and taking calculated risks.

Graham Stephan's net worth at a glance

Net worth

$22 million


April 21, 1990


American born in Santa Monica, California

Became a millionaire

26 years


YouTuber, real estate agent, investor

Sources of wealth

YouTube, online courses, affiliate sponsorships, real estate commissions, rental Income

Asset classes

Real estate, stocks, crypto, angel investments, exotic cars

How Graham Stephan made his money

Born April 21, 1990, in Santa Monica, California, Graham grew up valuing hard work and frugality.

At 13, Graham Stephan got his first job at a marine aquarium, making around $20 an hour. When he got rejected from Pepperdine University, 18-year-old Graham skipped college and got his real estate license. The first property he sold was a Beverly Hills estate worth $3.6 million—and the rest is history.

He quickly went from college reject to selling multi-million dollar properties, raking in cash at every turn. He pocketed hundreds of thousands in commissions and continued to grow his wealth by investing in stocks, mutual funds, and real estate. By the time he reached 26, he was already a self-made millionaire.

In 2019, right before the pandemic started, Graham made over $253,000 from his YouTube channel. In 2021, he branched out into various other income streams, such as sponsorship agreements, public speaking engagements, and partnerships with various companies. And by November of that year, Graham Stephan’s net worth reached approximately $22 million. Talk about starting off with a bang.

By September 2022, his Graham Stephan channel and The Iced Coffee Hour channel on YouTube were making more than $6 million in annual revenue.

His videos cover real estate, personal finance, self-improvement, and saving money. He also has additional sources of income, including endorsements for the Graham Stephan Show and Iced Coffee Hour podcast, public speaking engagements, and partnerships.

How Graham Stephan invests

Graham has amassed millions by investing according to two core principles: diversification and opportunity cost. His current asset allocation is 35% equities, 35% real estate, 22% treasuries, 4% alternative assets, 3% in bitcoin and Ethereum, and 1% in other assets. To further diversify, he also invests small amounts in exotic cars and follows a buy-and-hold strategy to reduce the impact of market volatility.

Real Estate

Graham Stephan invests primarily in real estate, and he hit the ground running at his first job. After working hard and working a lot, he invested before taking a risk on his first single property. Now he owns six rental properties in Los Angeles and San Bernardino County, earning over $8,500 in income each month.

The real estate business has attracted the gamut of investors in recent years—even amid pandemic-related difficulties—with property prices rising 2.6% globally in 2020 and rental incomes staying stable.

Commercial real estate investments have proven to be resilient, too. Looking ahead to 2023, there’s optimism, robust fundamentals, and an increased focus on growth in markets like Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta, and Tampa.

Though higher interest rates have pushed borrowing costs up and asset prices down, Moody's Analytics data shows one-third of commercial mortgage-backed securities are in negative leverage.

But there's a silver lining—alternative lenders account for 32% of loan closures, meaning investors can still find viable investments. If inflation drops, the commercial real estate industry will likely see a new growth cycle, with demand for single-family, multi-family, and built-to-rent properties keeping strong.

Investors looking to take advantage of these opportunities should stay informed on market trends and identify the best opportunities for growth in the real estate world. So talk to a real estate agent and see what’s on the market, or invest in fractional real estate to save up for that down payment.

Stocks, treasuries and equities

Graham has a well-diversified $5.2 million stock portfolio, 80% of which are in the S&P 500 and 20% in international stocks. He also has $1.2 million invested in individual stocks, representing 19% of his total assets.

Remarkably, research conducted by Graham Stephan has revealed that investing in stocks for more than a year is likely to be profitable 73% of the time, and 97% of the time after ten years.

Stocks have seen some impressive gains over the past year—almost 12% Stocks have averaged 9.59% in annual returns since the Great Depression, 10.32% since the Great Recession, and 16% since the 2020 pandemic.

In other words, stocks are likely to be successful investments over the long term. Though investing today could mean facing short-term volatility, it's still a smart  choice if you’re investing for retirement.


By September 2022, Graham had invested $450,000 in Bitcoin and Ethereum, accounting for 2% of his overall portfolio—a 55% drop from 2021. The smoke hasn’t settled from the recent crypto crash, and we may still the market drop even further. To protect your investments, move long-term funds to a secure cold storage system, spread investments across multiple platforms, and only invest what you’re prepared to lose.

Furthermore, look for regulatory frameworks for extra peace of mind. That’s advice from Graham, who invests 3% of his earnings in blue-chip cryptos.

In 2022, crypto nosedived $2 trillion and Bitcoin and Ethereum lost three-quarters of their value. This is why it's best to diversify investments and not go all-in—with the demise of crypto-focused firms demonstrating the innate risks of this asset class.

Despite the challenges and losses, investors still view crypto as a viable hedge against inflation, with growing use cases in NFTs and digital asset trading. Institutional investors still remain bullish on crypto but are staying cautious around the burgeoning asset class.

Graham Stephan investing quotes

At eight figures, Graham Stephan’s net worth is nothing to scoff at. Between being a real estate agent, running YouTube channels, and all the side hustles in between, investors may want to borrow a piece or two of Stephan’s wisdom on investing money.

1. Widen your net

2. Be frugal

3. Think long-term

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