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# 439 Michael Milken 


Real Time Net Worth
as of 6/12/2024

# 439 Michael Milken 


Real Time Net Worth
as of 6/12/2024
OccupationChair, Milken Institute
Source of WealthInvestments
ResidenceLos Angeles, California
Marital StatusMarried
EducationBS, University of California, Berkeley; MBA, University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School
Age-Adjusted Net Worth$2.07B
Michael Milken
Michael Milken
United States
Net worth: $6.55B

Self-Made Score 

Wealth History

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Early Life and Education

Michael Robert Milken was born on July 4, 1946, in Encino, California, into a middle-class Jewish family.
He graduated with a B.S. with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley in 1968 and received his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Milken joined what later became investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert in 1969, initially working as director of low-grade bond research.
During his time at Drexel, Milken pioneered the market for high-yield bonds, earning significant income, with compensation exceeding $1 billion over a four-year period in the late 1980s.

Career Highlights

At Drexel, Milken persuaded his boss to start a high-yield bond trading department, which quickly earned substantial returns.
He facilitated the activities of leveraged buyout firms through his network of high-yield bond buyers and his ability to raise large amounts of money quickly.
Milken's influence in the financial world during the 1980s led to him being regarded as one of the most powerful American financiers.
After leaving Drexel, he founded his own firm, International Capital Access Group, which he formed after resigning from Drexel in 1986.
Milken and his brother founded Knowledge Universe in 1996, a venture that included the largest for-profit child care provider in the country.
He invested in education management organizations like K12 Inc., which provides online schooling, particularly to charter school students.
He chaired the Milken Institute think tank, known for the annual Milken Global Conference, often dubbed the Davos of the West Coast.

Scandal and Legal Issues

In 1989, Milken was indicted for racketeering and securities fraud, ultimately pleading guilty to six counts of securities and tax violations in 1990.
He paid fines totaling $600 million, accepted a lifetime ban from the securities industry, and served 22 months in prison.
Milken was accused of insider trading, stock manipulation, fraud, and other misconduct during his tenure at Drexel Burnham Lambert.
His sentencing judge noted that Milken committed crimes designed to enhance his power and wealth, choosing offenses unlikely to be detected.
Milken's sentence was later reduced from ten years to two years for good behavior and cooperation.
In 2020, President Trump granted him a full pardon, though his previous trading license remained void.


Following his release from prison, Milken became a prominent philanthropist, particularly in medical research.
He founded the Prostate Cancer Foundation and has contributed significantly to cancer research.
Milken launched FasterCures, a think tank aiming to improve efficiency in researching serious diseases.
He has made substantial donations to educational institutions, including George Washington University, resulting in the renaming of its public health school to the Milken Institute School of Public Health.

Personal Life

Milken is married to Lori Anne Hackel, whom he had dated in high school, and they have three children.
Reportedly, Milken follows a health-conscious diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and he has co-authored a vegan cookbook.

How long would it take you to become as rich as Michael Milken?

If you started with $10,000 and invested an additional $500 each month at a 43.94% CAGR, it would take you 5 years to reach Michael Milken's net worth of $6.55B.

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 43.45% compared to 12.43% for the S&P 500 benchmark.

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Michael Milken 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 Michael Milken, Investments 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