⬅ # 255 Pat Ryan|# 257 Francine von Finck

# 256 James Goodnight 


Real Time Net Worth
as of 4/16/2024

# 256 James Goodnight 


Real Time Net Worth
as of 4/16/2024
OccupationCEO, SAS Institute
Source of WealthSoftware
ResidenceCary, North Carolina
Marital StatusMarried
EducationBS, North Carolina State University; Doctorate, North Carolina State University; MS, North Carolina State University
Age-Adjusted Net Worth$2.28B
James Goodnight
James Goodnight
United States
Net worth: $9.44B

Self-Made Score 

Wealth History

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Early Life

James Howard Goodnight was born on January 6, 1943, in Salisbury, North Carolina, to Albert Goodnight and Dorothy Patterson.
He grew up in Greensboro until the age of 12, after which his family relocated to Wilmington.
Goodnight began his career with computers through a computer course at North Carolina State University, where he also worked on software programs for the agricultural economics department during a summer job.

Education and Early Career

Goodnight earned a master's degree in statistics from North Carolina State University in 1968.
During his early career, he worked on the Apollo program, building electronic equipment for ground stations that communicated with space capsules.
He returned to North Carolina State University to pursue a PhD in statistics and later became a faculty member from 1972 to 1976.

Formation of SAS Institute

While at North Carolina State University, Goodnight collaborated on a project to create a statistical analysis system (SAS) for analyzing agricultural data.
In 1976, Goodnight and three others left the university to form SAS Institute, with Goodnight assuming the role of CEO.
SAS Institute's early success stemmed from its software products designed for analyzing agricultural data.

Career Highlights and Achievements

Under Goodnight's leadership, SAS Institute grew significantly, from $138,000 in its first year to over $3 billion in revenue by 2022.
He is known for maintaining a distinctive corporate culture at SAS, characterized as 'utopian,' with a flat organizational structure and a focus on employee well-being.
Goodnight's leadership style emphasizes empowering employees, sparking creativity among managers, and engaging customers as partners in product development.
He has received numerous accolades for his contributions to business and leadership, including being named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and receiving the Golden Plate Award.

Personal Life and Philanthropy

Goodnight married Ann, whom he met while at North Carolina State University; they have been married for approximately five decades and have three children.
He has a strong interest in education and, along with his wife and business partner John Sall and Sall's wife, founded Cary Academy, an independent prep school.
Goodnight is actively involved in the Cary, North Carolina, community and owns properties such as Prestonwood Country Club and The Umstead Hotel and Spa.

How long would it take you to become as rich as James Goodnight?

If you started with $10,000 and invested an additional $500 each month at a 44.18% CAGR, it would take you 5 years to reach James Goodnight's net worth of $9.44B.

Is this realistic? It depends how closely the VIX-TA-Macro Advanced model performs to its history in the future. Since Grizzly Bulls launched on January 1, 2022, it's returned 36.27% compared to 8.51% for the S&P 500 benchmark.

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James Goodnight is very wealthy, but what's stopping you from reaching that same level of success? As summarized in our five fundamental rules to wealth building, becoming wealthy in a modern capitalist economy is not complicated. There's actually only three variables:

  1. Your starting capital
  2. Your earnings after expenses
  3. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of your savings

Most people start with zero or very little, so if you weren't born into wealth, don't fret! The majority of the fortunate folks listed in our Grizzly Bulls’ Billionaires Index came from middle class or lower backgrounds. The most distinguishing characteristic of the group is their ability to consistently earn a high CAGR on their savings.

Every billionaire has a unique strategy to achieve high CAGR. For James Goodnight, Software is the primary source. Whether you choose to invest your savings in your own businesses or the businesses of others is not as important. The salient piece of the puzzle is ensuring that your hard-earned savings are generating sufficient CAGR to reach your long term goals.

Most people simply invest their money in index funds and call it a day. There's nothing wrong with this approach, but it guarantees relative mediocrity. To achieve greatness, you need to invest your money to earn higher than average returns. In the long run, better investors will always finish ahead of better earners.

Source: Grizzly Bulls reporting

Methodology: Grizzly Bulls' Billionaires Index is a daily ranking of the world's billionaires and richest people. Grizzly Bulls strives to provide the most accurate net worth calculations available. We pull data from public equity markets, SEC filings, public real estate records, and other reputable sources.

The index is dynamic and updates daily at the close of U.S. stock market trading based on changes in the markets, economy, and updates to Grizzly Bulls' proprietary algorithm of personal wealth calculation. Stakes in public companies are tracked daily based on the relevant closing prices of the underlying securities. Additionally, stakes in private companies, cash, real estate, and other less easily valued assets are updated periodically through careful analysis of insider transactions, comparable public company sales / EBITDA multiples, etc.

Edited by: Lee Bailey