Enter subhead content here


Pumping Cash: The Schwarzenegger Way to Riches
by Steve Theunissen

By age 24, Arnold Schwarzenegger was a millionaire. If you think the Austrian Oak’s bodybuilding story is inspiring, wait till you hear about his incarnation as a businessman. Leaving his humble Austrian birthplace at age 18, with nothing but strong will and iron determination, he was able, in just six years, to carve out a financial stake in his adopted country that set him up for life – long before his first big movie role came along. How did he do it? Let’s find out.

By 1971, after two years of saving money from his $300 a week job with the Weider Corporation and his $12,000 salary for Hercules in New York, Arnold had managed to save $28,000. At that time he borrowed an additional $10,000 from his employer Joe Weider and bought a six-unit apartment as his first real estate venture. This was Arnie’s first foray into the world of real estate investment, but by no means his last.

Joe Weider was the one who encouraged Arnold’s interest in real estate. Joe recalls, “He was gonna move to a new place in Santa Monica and I said ‘Why pay rent and end up with a lot of bills owning nothing? Put your money into property. That first investment worked out well and Arnold was soon buying up apartments, condominiums and even office blocks. They started to pay off. One building which he purchased in Santa Monica for $450,000 later sold for a cool $2.3 million. He reputedly made $7 million from selling a Nevada office building which he had picked up for ‘peanuts.’

Arnold understandably became hooked on real estate investment. He would look for opportunities all over America. He now owns vast chunks of the country that he came to in 1968, penniless and unable to speak the language.

Before real estate, though, Arnold began pumping up his bank account with his own mail order business. In 1969, he bought a $3.75 business license and went to work – selling booklets full of body-building advice. The booklets were published under Arnie’s Hercules in New York name of Arnold Strong and were actually written by Muscle Builder magazine editor George Mozee. Joe Weider offered Arnold a full page in each issue of Muscle Builder to promote his booklets – and the profits steadily rolled in.

In 1975, Arnold formed a business partnership with Columbus, Ohio based bodybuilding promoter Jim Lorimer. Between 1975 and 1981, Lorimer and Schwarzenegger co-staged the Mr Olympia several times, in the process raising the prize money from $1,000 to $100,000. By this time, of course, Arnold himself, could command $10,000 per appearance for body-building seminars. The boy from Graz with the big dreams had single handedly built an impressive bank balance to go with his Herculean body.

For additional information, visit

Enter content here

Enter supporting content here