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Shaq started investing like Jeff Bezos: ‘I probably quadrupled what I’m worth’

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Since retiring from his 19-year basketball career in 2011, Shaquille O’Neal has seen just as much success off the court:

He was an early investor in Google and has since accumulated an impressive portfolio, including investments in Apple, 24 Hour Fitness and nightclubs in Las Vegas. He also owns 17 Auntie Anne’s, a Krispy Kreme franchise and a Big Chicken restaurant in Las Vegas.

When it comes to investing, the former NBA star draws inspiration from Amazon’s founder and CEO: “I heard Jeff Bezos say one time [that] he makes his investments based on if it’s going to change people’s lives,” O’Neal told the Wall Street Journal in a recent interview. “Once I started doing that strategy, I think I probably quadrupled what I’m worth.”

It helps him decide what opportunities to jump on and which ones to pass up. “If something comes across my desk and I don’t believe in it, I don’t even look at it,” said O’Neal, even if it looks excellent on paper. In fact, he rarely focuses on the numbers: “Whenever I do business, it’s not about the money.”

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As he told CNBC’s Bob Pisani last year, “I never say, ‘If I invest in this, five years down the line, we could sell it for this.’ Every time I’ve had that model, it’s always been a failure.”

He’s not the only successful investor who sticks with what he knows and trusts. “Make sure you’re investing in things that you believe in, as opposed to investing in things that other people believe in,” PayPal’s senior vice president of international markets, Rohan Mahadevan, tells CNBC Make It. He recommends testing a product or service before investing in it to better understand how the business operates.

O’Neal also prefers to work with companies he personally enjoys. Of all of his investments, Krispy Kreme is his favorite, he told the WSJ, “because I like donuts. … Krispy Kreme is a fabulous donut. I was introduced to it in college and have been in love with it ever since.”

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That said, you don’t necessarily want to invest in something just because you like it. You want to make sure you truly understand the company, too, says legendary investor Warren Buffett: “What an investor needs is the ability to correctly evaluate selected businesses. Note that word ‘selected’: You don’t have to be an expert on every company, or even many. You only have to be able to evaluate companies within your circle of competence.

“The size of that circle is not very important; knowing its boundaries, however, is vital.”

Simply put, when it comes to investing, Buffett says to stick to what you know. “Defining what your game is – where you’re going to have an edge – is enormously important.”

Once you’ve done that, buy and hold, he adds: “If you aren’t willing to own a stock for 10 years, don’t even think about owning it for 10 minutes.”

©CNBC is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news and commentary. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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  • In time for World Population Day, marked every year on July 11 to raise awareness about urgent population issues, 24/7 Tempo identified the top 25 countries with more women than men, using data from the United Nations Population Division.nbsp;1 of 26
  • strong25. Croatia/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 51.79%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 2,126,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 1,979,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 4,105,0002 of 26
  • strong24. Myanmar/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 51.81%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 28,190,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 26,220,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 54,410,0003 of 26
  • strong23. Macao SAR, China/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 51.94%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 337,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 312,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 649,0004 of 26
  • strong22. Sri Lanka/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 52.05%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 11,146,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 10,267,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 21,413,0005 of 26
  • strong21. Republic of Moldova/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 52.11%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 2,102,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 1,932,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 4,034,0006 of 26
  • strong20. Zimbabwe/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 52.28%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 7,771,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 7,092,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 14,863,0007 of 26
  • strong19. Georgia/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 52.34%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 2,088,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 1,901,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 3,989,0008 of 26
  • strong18. Hungary/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 52.40%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 5,062,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 4,598,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 9,660,0009 of 26
  • strong17. United States Virgin Islands/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 52.50%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 55,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 50,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 104,00010 of 26
  • strong16. Aruba/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 52.57%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 56,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 51,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 107,00011 of 26
  • strong15. Puerto Rico/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 52.62%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 1,505,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 1,356,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 2,861,00012 of 26
  • strong14. Estonia/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 52.62%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 698,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 628,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 1,327,00013 of 26
  • 14 of 26
  • strong12. Armenia/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 52.97%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 1,569,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 1,394,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 2,963,00015 of 26
  • strong11. El Salvador/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 53.19%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 3,450,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 3,036,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 6,486,00016 of 26
  • strong10. Belarus/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 53.44%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 5,050,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 4,399,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 9,449,00017 of 26
  • strong9. Russia/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 53.65%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 78,294,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 67,640,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 145,934,00018 of 26
  • strong8. Ukraine/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 53.67%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 23,471,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 20,263,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 43,734,00019 of 26
  • strong7. Lithuania/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 53.72%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 1,462,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 1,260,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 2,722,00020 of 26
  • strong6. Guadeloupe/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 53.88%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 216,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 185,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 400,00021 of 26
  • strong5. Latvia/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 53.91%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 1,017,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 869,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 1,886,00022 of 26
  • strong4. Martinique/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 54.00%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 203,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 173,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 375,00023 of 26
  • strong3. Curaccedil;ao/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 54.01%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 89,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 75,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 164,00024 of 26
  • strong2. Hong Kong SAR, China/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 54.12%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 4,057,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 3,440,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 7,497,00025 of 26
  • strong1. Nepal/strongbr /strongbull; Pct. of total population that are women:/strong 54.19%br /strongbull; Number of women:/strong 15,788,000br /strongbull; Number of men:/strong 13,348,000br /strongbull; Total population: /strong 29,137,00026 of 26

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