⬅ # 235 Chris Hohn|# 237 Simon Reuben

# 236 Robert F. Smith 


Real Time Net Worth
as of 6/24/2024

# 236 Robert F. Smith 


Real Time Net Worth
as of 6/24/2024
OccupationFounder, Vista Equity Partners
Source of WealthPrivate Equity
ResidenceAustin, Texas
Marital StatusMarried
EducationMBA, Columbia University; BS, Cornell University
Age-Adjusted Net Worth$8.97B
Robert F. Smith
Robert F. Smith
United States
Net worth: $9.60B

Self-Made Score 

Wealth History

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Early Life and Education

Robert Frederick Smith was born on December 1, 1962, in Denver, Colorado.
His parents, Dr. William Robert Smith and Dr. Sylvia Myrna Smith, both had PhDs in education.
Smith's maternal grandfather worked as a postmaster, and his paternal grandparents were educators and a Pullman Porter.
He attended East High School in Denver and earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University in 1985.
Smith was initiated into Alpha Phi Alpha (AΦA) Fraternity, Incorporated, at Cornell.
During high school, he secured an internship at Bell Labs through persistence, developing a reliability test for semiconductors.

Early Career

After graduating from Cornell, Smith worked at Goodyear Tire, Air Products & Chemicals, and Kraft General Foods as a chemical engineer.
He registered four patents as the principal inventor during his time at Kraft General Foods.
In 1994, Smith earned an MBA from Columbia University, specializing in finance and marketing.
From 1994 to 2000, he worked at Goldman Sachs, initially in New York City and later in Silicon Valley, where he led technology-focused mergers and acquisitions efforts.
He advised on $50 billion in merger and acquisition activities involving companies like Apple, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, eBay, and Yahoo.

Vista Equity Partners

Robert F. Smith founded Vista Equity Partners in 2000, an Austin, Texas-based private equity and venture capital firm.
Vista focuses exclusively on investing in software companies, bringing performance improvements to the businesses it acquires.
As of January 2022, Vista had $86 billion in assets under management.
Smith was named Private Equity International's Game Changer of the Year in 2016 and included in Vanity Fair's New Establishment List in 2018.
Vista Equity Partners received the 2019 PitchBook Private Equity Awards for 'Dealmaker of the Year.'

Philanthropy and Morehouse College

In 2019, during a commencement speech at Morehouse College, Smith pledged to pay off the entire $34 million student loan debt of the 2019 graduating class.
Smith entered into an agreement with the DOJ and IRS in October 2020, agreeing to pay $139 million for his role in a tax evasion scheme.

How long would it take you to become as rich as Robert F. Smith?

If you started with $10,000 and invested an additional $500 each month at a 44.13% CAGR, it would take you 5 years to reach Robert F. Smith's net worth of $9.60B.

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 48.35% compared to 16.28% for the S&P 500 benchmark.

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Robert F. Smith 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 Robert F. Smith, Private Equity 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