Rich Dudes│How ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli’s Net Worth Reached $70M

Dive into Martin Shkreli's wild rollercoaster of a financial legacy—from Wu-Tang Clan albums to Bitcoin. Find out how this audacious biotech investor turned chaos into millions.

Updated May 12, 2023

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Science & New Tech




Martin Shkreli's net worth story is a financial soap opera, from pharma bad boy to rap aficionado. How did this infamous entrepreneur gain a jaw-dropping $70 million in his tumultuous yet fascinating journey? 

With unconventional investments, brazen business ventures, and an enviable ability to talk shop (and smack), Shkreli's net worth saga is a riveting excursion through the investing world.

Turing Pharmaceuticals skyrocketed to infamy when Shkreli raised the price of the lifesaving drug Daraprim by 5,455%.

As we dissect the various components of Martin's financial odyssey, we'll embark on a wild ride through the world of hedge funds, cryptocurrency, and, yes, even the Wu-Tang Clan. We delve deep into the rollercoaster journey that catapulted Shkreli into the spotlight—for better or worse.

Get ready to be regaled by the audacious investments and unforgettable scandals that turned Martin Shkreli into the financial antihero we love to hate.

Martin Shkreli net worth at a glance

Net worth

$70 million


March 17, 1983


Albanian-American born in Brooklyn, New York, USA

Became a millionaire at



Entrepreneur, investor, hedge fund manager, convicted felon

Sources of wealth

MSMB Capital Management, Turing Pharmaceuticals, DL Software Inc.

Asset classes

Pharmaceuticals, hedge funds, publicly traded stocks, securities, cryptocurrency

How Martin Shkreli made his money

Martin Shkreli is the man whose name is synonymous with pharmaceutical price-gouging and an enviable collection of hip-hop albums. But how did this dropout-turned-mastermind amass a staggering net worth of $70 million? Let's take an adventurous dive into the life and times of Brooklyn's enfant terrible.

Against all odds, our protagonist clawed from a high school dropout to a finance wizard with a business degree from Baruch College. He landed a humble gig as a financial analyst at Cramer Berkowitz, where he began concocting the potions that would eventually transform him into a Wall Street whiz.

In 2009, Shkreli conjured up his hedge fund, MSMB Capital Management, which thrived under his penchant for offbeat investments and meme-worthy antics. Bursting with ambition, he founded Retrophin in 2011, a biotech venture focused on rare disease treatments. Despite its quick growth, Shkreli's sorcery backfired, and his aggressive tactics led to his ousting from the company.

Undeterred, Martin decided to toy with a new cauldron under the banner of Turing Pharmaceuticals in 2015, acquiring undervalued drug firms and generously raising their prices. His spell on Daraprim turned heads nationwide as he morphed its price from a modest $750 per pill. Shkreli's black magic infuriated the public and medical community, casting him as the arch-villain of Big Pharma.

The curtains finally closed on Martin's show in 2017, as federal prosecutors indicted him for securities fraud unrelated to his Daraprim antics. Though he was sentenced to seven years in prison, Shkreli remains unapologetic, vowing to return to the world of finance and tech upon release.

Shkreli's tale serves as a cautionary narrative highlighting the dark underbelly of Wall Street and the pharmaceutical industry. As a symbol of unchecked greed and heartlessness, his infamy shall persist—and perhaps even haunt us—for years to come.

Martin Shkreli’s net worth breakdown

There's no denying that Martin Shkreli's knack for generating wealth is as impressive as it is notorious. Here's a peek behind the curtain at the investment strategies he employed to cement his place in financial lore.

Shkreli's first love? Publicly traded stocks and securities. A maestro of market manipulation, he would bet big on companies he deemed mispriced, then take to social media to influence their stock values—an unusual symphony of wealth generation and mud-slinging.

Shkreli's Turing Pharmaceuticals became his personal plaything in the pharmaceutical industry, where the modus operandi was purchasing and—ahem—reevaluating the prices of struggling drug firms. This ethically grey strategy contributed to the growth of his fortune while also engraving his name on Big Pharma's wall of shame.

Martin dabbled in hedge funds, too, both big and small. A seasoned hedge fund manager, he knew how to play ball with the industry's titans and the little guys making waves in the game.

His latest foray? Cryptocurrency. Shkreli has publicly shared his fondness for Bitcoin and even claimed to possess a hoard of sought-after digital gold.

Martin Shkreli's investment journey can be summed up as boldly unconventional—and occasionally infamous. While his brash decisions and public commentary have earned him both wealth and disdain, we can't deny that the man knows how to make Wall Street dance to his twisted tune.

Stocks – biotech and pharmaceutical industry

From his notorious past in hedge funds and biotech to his current status as persona non grata in finance, Martin Shkreli has consistently courted attention as a stock market maverick. But his stock investment ventures have also garnered him comparisons to rogue traders and raised questions about possible market manipulation.

Shkreli's use of social media to sway investor opinion on companies and provoke sell-offs shares striking similarities to the tactics employed by infamous figures, such as Art Doyle. In doing so, Shkreli has sullied the reputation of several biotech companies and profited from their plummeting stock prices.

It’s unclear what stocks are still in Shkreli’s portfolio, but he’s known to invest mostly in pharma and biotech companies through his hedge fund and personal portfolio. The website TipRanks once documented Shkreli's stock coverage—including that of Horizon Therapeutics, a firm that saw a notable return of 64.9% over a year.

During Shkreli's securities trial, testimonies revealed the murky nature of his investment operations. Timothy Pierotti, a trader at one of Shkreli's hedge funds, stated that he did not witness Shkreli engaging in activities typical of hedge fund managers. This lent credibility to the prosecution's charge that Shkreli had been operating with much less capital than he'd boasted to investors.

Pierotti's testimony also revealed an alleged threat from Shkreli when he refused to return shares he'd purchased for a mere $400. These shares belonged to a shell company that later merged with Retrophin, a drug company Shkreli had founded. The incident added to the long list of scandals and controversies surrounding Shkreli's stock investment endeavors.

Martin Shkreli's history in stock investments blends a concoction of suspicion, humiliation, and alleged manipulation. While he may have generated significant profits along the way, his impact on the financial community leaves a lasting stain—a reminder of the darker side of the stock market and the consequences of crossing ethical boundaries for personal gain.


Martin Shkreli's hunger for investing in startups drew intrigue and played a significant role in swelling his net worth to a staggering $70 million. However, his methods often teetered on the edge of questionable ethics, leaving a trail of controversy in his wake.

One of the key drivers behind Shkreli's fortune was his biotech ventures—including the founding of Retrophin and Turing Pharmaceuticals. While these startups gained significant investor support and experienced rapid growth, Shkreli's aggressive tactics ultimately sowed the seeds of his downfall.

For instance, Turing Pharmaceuticals skyrocketed to infamy when Shkreli raised the price of the lifesaving drug Daraprim by 5,455%. This brought his pharmaceutical company, and himself, not only significant profits but also widespread criticism and condemnation. Such scandals not only marked Shkreli's career but also posed a stark reminder of the darker side of the biotech and pharmaceutical industry.

Furthermore, Shkreli's investments in startups extended beyond biotech, as he dabbled in other industries with an appetite for risk and controversy. Gödel Systems, a software startup where Shkreli served as CEO, became another notch in his entrepreneurial belt.

Shkreli's net worth soared as a result of his startup ventures, but these investments came at a high cost in terms of reputation and the law. His aggressive strategies, penchant for grabbing headlines, and eventual conviction for securities fraud ensure that he remains a cautionary tale for aspiring investors in the world of startups.

Martin Shkreli's investments in startups undoubtedly fueled his net worth and placed him among the most noteworthy figures in the financial world. However, the securities fraud scandal and legal troubles that came along with it cost Martin dearly and tarnished his reputation.

His trial is a constant reminder of the potential pitfalls and perils of unbridled ambition in entrepreneurship and investment. Despite that—or perhaps in spite of that—Shkreli moved on to other ventures. His new company has developed a medical chatbot that uses artificial intelligence and a web3 platform for pharmaceutical drug development and research.


As a financial maverick never shying away from experimenting with different investment classes, it’s no surprise that Martin Shkreli also dipped his toes into the world of cryptocurrencies—a decision that undoubtedly influenced his net worth.

Shkreli's public interest in digital currencies, particularly Bitcoin, has been well-documented. He claimed to own a significant share of Bitcoin, potentially favoring the currency's decentralized and sometimes controversial nature as an investment opportunity.

However, the most recent foray of Shkreli in the crypto realm comes with the launch of his new medical crypto venture called Druglike. This platform aims to democratize drug discovery using blockchain technology and a new cryptocurrency Martin Shkreli Inu (MSI).

By providing resources and software to underfunded communities and projects, Druglike intends to disrupt the traditional drug discovery process in favor of a more accessible and cost-efficient approach.

While the innovative nature of Druglike adds to Shkreli's portfolio and potentially contributes to his net worth, the venture comes with its fair share of controversies. Authorities are already scrutinizing this project, and Shkreli finds himself embroiled in two new investigations just months after his release from prison.

Martin Shkreli's crypto investments have undoubtedly shaped his net worth, showcasing his keen interest in cutting-edge technologies and unconventional financial assets. However, as with many of his ventures, the crypto sphere also presents considerable dilemmas and legal obstacles for Shkreli. Whether he can overcome these hurdles and make a mark in the world of cryptocurrency remains to be seen, but one thing is certain—it won't be a dull affair.


Collectibles and memorabilia can be a fascinating landscape for investors, and Martin Shkreli was no stranger to this alluring market. Though the impact on his net worth might be less pronounced than his other financial ventures, Shkreli's brush with exclusive collectibles has attracted both the public's attention and the eyes of regulatory authorities.

One of Shkreli's most famous collectible investments was his purchase of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for $2 million in 2015. Tucked away in an extravagant box made of nickel silver and cedarwood, this exclusive memorabilia featured a 175-page leather-bound lyric book and a gold-leafed certificate of authenticity. A true one-of-a-kind artifact, no duplicates of the album exist—adding to its immense value and mystique.

The one-of-one copy of ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’ by the Wu-Tang Clan that Martin Shkreli purchased for $2 million was later auctioned for $4 million by the U.S. federal government. 

Although Shkreli had ambitious plans for this collectible treasure, his legal troubles from committing securities fraud led the U.S. government to seize and eventually sell this legendary album for an estimated $4 million.

The album was purchased by a decentralized autonomous organization called PleasrDAO, which vowed to democratize access to the album and abide by the unique terms that forbade making copies of the music itself. The profit from the sale, however, merely served to cover Shkreli's outstanding debts.

While his investment in collectibles and memorabilia, such as the Wu-Tang Clan album, may not have significantly impacted Shkreli’s net worth compared to his other financial pursuits, his involvement in this niche market adds yet another salacious chapter to his complex legacy.

Martin Shkreli investing quotes 

Martin Shkreli’s net worth has benefitted from investing in alternative assets. From the traditional Wall Street hedge fund world, the Pharma Bro certainly ventured off the beaten path. While this ultimately led him to commit securities fraud and serve a prison sentence, Shreli’s net worth didn’t reach eight-figure heights by following a rulebook.

If you’re taking your queues from a Wall Street hedge fund manager turned pharma bro turned felon, here’s what got Martin’s net worth to $70 million.

1. Follow your dreams

2. Stick it to the man

3. Set your priorities 

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