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Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Bob Hope Real Estate Empire Story – the short version

An interview that I saw between Howard Stern and Bob Hope years ago stuck in my mind because of what Hope said about his extraordinary wealth. His brother was the brains behind his real estate empire. With the power of the internet, today I searched for that episode. As it turns out, it was only 40 seconds of the interview in which  Hope explains that it was his brother that got him to be the owner of significant amounts of land. Hope was reported to be one of the top 10 richest men from his Hollywood era crowd (1940s & 50’s).
Here’s the clip:

In 1983, Bob Hope disputed Forbes estimate of his wealth:
After Hope refuted the wealth claim, a reporter named Richard Behar did what appears to be a thorough job in estimating Hope’s wealth at that time. The research was in response to Forbes estimate that Bob Hope’s net worth was $200 million plus, which put Hope on the Forbe’s 400 list. The reporter’s conclusion was that Hope’s wealth was probably closer to $115 million, of which $85 million was in real estate holdings.

A possible flaw in the research:
Many high net worth individuals buy real estate through corporations they own and or put holdings in the names of others.  A link to the Forbes article written by Peter Newcomb appears at the bottom of this article. He uses Behar’s research in the article.
At the time of Hope’s death, the La Times estimated Hopes wealth to be $500,000,000. (Before his death, Hope said: They say I’m worth $500 million. If I was worth that much, I wouldn’t have visited Vietnam, I’d have sent for it.)

74% of Hope’s wealth was in Real Estate:
It’s somewhat less important as to whether Hope’s wealth was $115 or $500 million. Even if Hope’s wealth was $115 million, it was documented that 74% of that number was real estate holdings. Many of Hope’s friends who also had significant earnings from the entertainment field, didn’t invest as aggressively in real estate as Hope did, and most never came close to the accumulation of wealth that Hope achieved. 

What does a billion dollars in donations look like?
Those who have studied Hope’s financials conclude that he gave away about $1,000,000,000.00 (one billion) in donations and charity during his lifetime. See the imdb biography link at the bottom of this article.

One of Hope’s larget donations came from several acres of prime real estate in Rancho Mirage, CA, which was originally bought to build a racetrack. He later decided a medical center was needed in the area instead, so he donated the land to build the Eisenhower Medical Center, which is rated among the top 100 hospitals in America today.

If you google the wealth of current era entertainers, you will find that the top entertainers hover between $200 & $400 million in net worth. Bob Hopes was estimated at around $150 million about 65 years ago. The creation of wealth through real estate is proven throughout history.

You can find example after example of people who created great wealth from their earnings by learning about and investing in real estate.  As any millionaire janitor can tell you, it’s not how much you make, it’s how much you keep and compound!

Forbes Article (after page loads, click continue to site upper right corner): http://www.forbes.com/2003/08/04/cz_pn_0804hopeedit.html

IMBD - Easy Read Biography Link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001362/bio

If you have any questions about this post or marketing strategies, send me an e-mail using my gmail account set-up for this blog as follows: 813marketing@gmail.com 

Feel free to contact me. I’m available to consult with sellers and agents who are in need of advanced marketing strategies. I have interests in Tampa and Sarasota Florida as well as Staten Island and Brooklyn New York.

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