Rich Dudes│The Secret to Magic Johnson’s $620M Net Worth

Explore Magic Johnson's net worth, how he made his fortune, investment strategies, delving into his successful basketball career, diverse portfolio, and contributions to HIV/AIDS awareness.

Updated Jul 20, 2023

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From dominating the NBA as a Los Angeles Lakers basketball team legend to shooting for the stars as a dynamic entrepreneur, Magic Johnson's journey from a professional basketball sensation to a business tycoon is nothing short of mesmerizing. With a staggering net worth of $620 million, Earvin Magic Johnson Jr has proven to be a master of both courts—the hardwood and the boardroom.

In 2012, Johnson joined a group of partners to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers for an astonishing $2 billion.

Despite being diagnosed with HIV in 1991, NBA legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. effortlessly wove through opponents on the basketball court, achieving five NBA championships, Magic Johnson's investment prowess showcases his outstanding ability to navigate complex financial moves while embracing various assets.

Dedicated to raising awareness, education, and prevention, Magic established the Magic Johnson Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to empowering communities affected by HIV/AIDS. Through initiatives like Community Empowerment Centers and mobile HIV testing units, the foundation has significantly improved access to testing, treatment, and knowledge about the disease.

Fasten your seatbelts as we embark on an exciting journey into the affluent world of Magic Johnson—the man who mastered slam-dunking wealth in real estate, stocks, startups, and beyond, all while making a significant impact through the Magic Johnson Foundation and various urban revitalization projects.

Magic Johnson net worth at a glance

Net worth

$620 million


August 14, 1959


American born in Lansing, Michigan

Became a millionaire at



Basketball player and entrepreneur

Sources of wealth

Magic Johnson Enterprises, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Sparks, EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, and aXiomatic eSports

Asset classes

Sports teams, real estate, life insurance, private equity, and startups

How Magic Johnson made his money

Magic Johnson's journey to amassing a staggering net worth of $620 million began with his exceptional basketball career, starting when he played at Michigan State University. Magic caught the attention of the LA Lakers, who subsequently drafted him in 1979.

Magic Johnson's career in NBA history spans 13 seasons playing point guard with the Lakers. He led the team to five NBA championships, earned three NBA MVP Awards, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, and had 12 NBA All-Star selections. After securing an Olympic gold medal, Johnson announced his retirement and remains an influential figure in NBA championship history.

NBA icon Magic Johnson spent 13 seasons with the Lakers on a $25 million contract, winning 5 championships.

After retiring from his NBA career in 1991, Johnson capitalized on his fame and connections to build a thriving business empire through Magic Johnson Enterprises. His diverse ventures spanned real estate development, urban revitalization projects, restaurant franchises, movie theaters under the Magic Johnson Theatres brand, and even an insurance company.

Notable investments include purchasing a 4.5% stake in the Lakers for $10 million in 1994, which he later sold for a reported $50 to $60 million in 2010, investing and selling his Starbucks franchises for $75 million in 2010, and joining the Guggenheim Baseball Management investment group before it acquired the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion in 2012.

Additionally, Johnson gained a controlling interest in EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, which manages $14.5 billion in assets, and invested in aXiomatic eSports, the ownership company of Team Liquid, a leading eSports organization.

How Magic Johnson invests

Magic Johnson, widely recognized for his basketball excellence, has also established himself as a shrewd investor with a talent for diversifying his investment portfolio across various assets, including real estate, stocks, sports franchises, and private equity. 

This investment expertise has contributed to an impressive net worth of $620 million through real estate ventures, sports team ownership, and strategic business investments.

One of the keystones of Johnson's investment approach is his focus on real estate. Across numerous projects, his involvement entails commercial properties and residential buildings, including hotels in prime locations throughout the United States. These real estate ventures have added to Johnson's significant wealth and provided affordable housing for urban communities nationwide.

Magic Johnson Enterprises, founded by the Lakers legend, is a business empire valued at over $1 billion. This conglomerate encompasses an extensive portfolio, including Magic Johnson Theaters, a movie studio, and a promotional marketing company. 

Johnson has made substantial investments in various businesses, such as a 5% stake in the Los Angeles Lakers, selling it in 2010 for a reported $50 to 60 million, and his chain of Starbucks stores, which he sold in 2010 for $75 million.

In 2012, Johnson joined a group of partners to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers for an astonishing $2 billion. In 2015, he acquired a controlling interest in EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, managing $14.5 billion in annuities, life insurance, and other products.

Johnson's investment endeavors continued in 2023 when he joined an investment group to acquire the Washington Commanders of the NFL for an astounding $6.05 billion. He is also an investor in aXiomatic eSports, the company behind Team Liquid.

Magic Johnson's illustrious basketball career has set the stage for creating a diverse and prosperous investment portfolio, which spans real estate, sports teams, life insurance, and eSports companies. His numerous business ventures, entrepreneurship, and investments have played a significant role in achieving his staggering net worth.

Real estate

Magic Johnson's exceptional success as an investor extends into real estate, showcasing his astute ability to make well-informed decisions and invest in properties such as luxury estates, commercial buildings, and urban renewal projects. This diverse real estate portfolio significantly bolsters his net worth, highlighting Johnson's knack for identifying promising investments across different property sectors.

Magic Johnson's real estate holdings feature sprawling residences in highly sought-after locations like Beverly Hills and Dana Point. These upscale properties offer opulent living and consistently appreciate, contributing to Johnson's ever-growing wealth. By acquiring luxurious homes in prestigious neighborhoods, Johnson demonstrates his investment strategy of targeting top-tier real estate with the potential for substantial long-term returns.

Magic Johnson's $11.5 million Moraga Estates mansion was built in 1981 and purchased for $600,000 in 1982 after his first Lakers' NBA title.

Magic Johnson has also ventured into the lucrative commercial real estate segment, acquiring and developing various commercial properties across the United States. His investments in this arena involve office complexes, retail spaces, and other income-generating properties, yielding steady cash flow and the prospect of remarkable appreciation. Incorporating commercial properties into his real estate portfolio enables Johnson to diversify his investments and enhance his overall portfolio value.

In addition to high-end estates and commercial properties, Magic Johnson has made a remarkable impact through his investments in urban revitalization projects. With a focus on providing affordable housing for underserved communities, these endeavors encompass developing and refurbishing residential and commercial properties in numerous urban centers across the United States.

One of the most prominent examples of Johnson's influence on urban revitalization is his partnership with the Canyon-Johnson Investment Fund, a collaboration that has invested nearly $4 billion in projects throughout 85 cities in 21 states. 

Through his partnership with Canyon Capital, he has invested in urban revitalization projects, creating 4.5 million square feet of retail and commercial space. Johnson has played a pivotal role in transforming communities by creating new job opportunities, stimulating local economies, and fostering sustainable living environments.

Magic Johnson's diverse real estate portfolio exemplifies the benefits of diversifying investments across multiple property sectors, resulting in a well-rounded and robust real estate portfolio. By engaging in luxury estates, commercial buildings, and urban revitalization projects, Johnson creates enduring value for his wealth and positively impacts countless communities through development and redevelopment initiatives.

Private equity

Magic Johnson has displayed a keen understanding of the benefits of investing in private companies and startups, targeting high-growth sectors such as insurance and eSports. By adding private equity investments to his portfolio, Johnson has entered dynamic industries that promise growth and diversification. Here, we delve deeper into two of his most notable private equity and startup investments.

Recognizing the potential in the insurance industry, Magic Johnson made a strategic move by acquiring a controlling interest in EquiTrust Life Insurance Company. This investment granted Johnson access to a firm managing an impressive $14.5 billion in assets, focusing on annuities, life insurance, and other related products. 

EquiTrust Life Insurance Company has been a stable and growing investment, adding substantial value to Magic Johnson's diverse investment portfolio. By investing in life insurance, Johnson taps into a relatively stable market that benefits from consumers' long-term financial planning needs.

In a bold move, Magic Johnson ventured into the burgeoning eSports industry by investing in aXiomatic eSports, the leading ownership company behind Team Liquid—a prominent eSports organization. With a growing global audience and enormous market potential, eSports has grown rapidly in recent years and presents a dynamic investment opportunity. 

aXiomatic eSports offers a unique value proposition as an investment since it’s at the intersection of gaming, technology, and entertainment—three highly synergistic sectors experiencing rapid growth. Johnson's investment in aXiomatic eSports has exposed him to the exciting and fast-paced world of professional gaming, which shows no signs of slowing down.

Magic Johnson's private equity and startup investments demonstrate his ability to identify and invest in high-growth sectors, complementing his diverse portfolio of real estate, sports franchises, and stock investments. By adding exposure to dynamic industries like insurance and eSports through companies such as EquiTrust Life Insurance Company and aXiomatic eSports, Johnson fortifies his investment portfolio against volatility while creating additional avenues for capital appreciation.

With an astute eye for emerging market trends and opportunities, Magic Johnson's foray into private equity and startup investments sets an example for other investors interested in exploring new industries with high-growth potential.


Magic Johnson, a former professional basketball player, and successful entrepreneur, has grossed an estimated $680 million through various business deals and investments. In 1995, he established Magic Johnson Enterprises, which has invested in diverse industries, including coffee shops, fast-food restaurants, fitness gyms, and insurance.

Magic Johnson has wisely diversified his portfolio by investing in well-established companies through stock market investments. Although Johnson missed the opportunity to invest in Nike stock, his investment portfolio contains shares in other successful companies like Apple and Microsoft. This exposure allows Johnson to benefit from the overall market performance and provides a hedge against the volatility of his other investments.

One notable investment made by Johnson's business is in Starbucks, with holdings in 125 stores. Additionally, he has invested in 31 Burger King restaurants, 24-Hour Fitness gyms, and EquiTrust Insurance. In 1995, Johnson purchased a 4.5% stake in the Los Angeles Lakers for $10 million, which he sold for $50 million in 2010.

Magic Johnson Enterprises is estimated to have holdings exceeding $1 billion. Johnson's investment portfolio includes real estate, coffee shops, fast-food restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, and insurance.

Magic Johnson's success story began with his basketball career with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he excelled. He faced initial challenges in finding investors for his first business venture but eventually launched Magic Johnson Enterprises. Today, the company operates various businesses in 85 cities across 21 states.

He also partnered with Starbucks to bring their coffee shops to urban America, customizing the stores to cater to the urban consumer. Furthermore, Johnson entered into agreements to develop T.G.I Friday's restaurants in targeted markets.

While Magic Johnson doesn't currently own any Starbucks shares or stores, he did own around 105 Starbucks locations from 1998 to 2010. He eventually sold these properties back to the company, severing his legal ties with Starbucks.

Magic Johnson holds shares in various companies, including tech giants like Apple and Microsoft. The performance of his stock investments is closely tied to the overall market performance. By investing in stocks, he can earn significant returns if the companies perform well.

Sports teams

Magic Johnson's financial success extends to his investments in multiple sports franchises, with a particular focus on the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Washington Commanders of the NFL. These investments have proven lucrative, generating substantial profits and contributing significantly to his net worth.

One of the most prominent examples of Johnson's investment acumen is his 5% share in the Los Angeles Lakers, which he purchased in 1994. This investment offered a return that far exceeded expectations, as Magic Johnson eventually sold his stake in the team in 2010 for a reported $50 to 60 million, reaping a significant profit. This successful investment demonstrated Johnson's intuition for identifying high-value assets and solidified his commitment to basketball on and off the court.

In 2012, Magic Johnson and a group of partners notably acquired the Los Angeles Dodgers for a staggering $2 billion. This partnership has paid off handsomely, with the Dodgers consistently ranking among the top teams in Major League Baseball (MLB) and driving up the franchise's value. Johnson's ownership stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers has yielded substantial returns over time and further diversified his investment portfolio.

Magic Johnson's investment prowess expanded to the realm of football in 2023 when he became a part of an investment group that purchased the Washington Commanders for an impressive $6.05 billion. This investment has exposed Johnson to the highly lucrative and popular National Football League (NFL), expanding his portfolio beyond basketball and baseball.

Basketball icon Magic Johnson, as part of a consortium, acquired the Washington Commanders for a sum of $6.05 billion.

Magic Johnson's strategic investments in sports franchises exemplify his ability to identify high-value assets and generate substantial returns across different sports markets. His stake in the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Washington Commanders highlight the importance of diversification and leveraging strategic partnerships to maximize returns.

Johnson's success in sports investments inspires other investors looking to build wealth by investing in sports teams as alternative financial assets.

Magic Johnson investing quotes

1. Don't quit 

2. Dream big

3. Appreciate what you have 

4. Be motivated and put in work

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