How Vivek Ramaswamy Became A Billionaire

Into 00:00
Who is Vivek Ramaswamy 00:25
Midwest Roots 02:05
Fight Against ‘Wokeness’ 02:42
Politics and ROI 04:54
Ramaswamy’s Campaign Style 07:54
Controversies 09:15
What’s Ramaswamy’s Personality 11:56
What People Miss About Ramaswamy 13:44
What’s Next For Ramaswamy 15:00

Standing in a packed New Hampshire restaurant, Vivek Ramaswamy, the fresh-faced Republican shaking up the 2024 presidential race, is making a case for unifying a bitterly divided nation. The secret, he insists, is as American as apple pie: capitalism.

“Democrats and Republicans alike, we tend to be more proud of a country when we’re all making more money in that country,” he tells 100 or so diners enjoying turkey sandwiches and diet Cokes. “We don’t have to flog ourselves for capitalism. Stop apologizing for capitalism. We should embrace capitalism.”

Ramaswamy certainly has. At 38 years old, the biotech investor and “anti-woke” warrior is worth more than $950 million. His net worth was over $1 billion about a week ago, making him one of the 20 youngest billionaires in the country, before a downturn in the market pulled him just under the billion-dollar threshold, according to Forbes’ calculations. Still, he appears to be the second-wealthiest person competing in the Republican presidential primary, behind only Donald Trump (whose net worth Forbes last pegged at $2.5 billion).

Ramawamy’s fortune stems from a drug-development company named Roivant Sciences, which went public in 2021. Its stock is up nearly 40% this year, boosting the value of Ramaswamy’s 10% stake to roughly $600 million. Since founding the company nine years ago, he has sucked over $260 million out of Roivant in the form of salary, bonuses and capital gains. He diversified those proceeds into a pretty standard investment portfolio, roughly 60% stocks and 40% bonds. But he also added some flavor, with a dash of Bitcoin and Ethereum, some shares of YouTube competitor Rumble and a stake in crypto payments firm MoonPay.

Then there are his political interests. In 2021, Ramaswamy stepped down as CEO of Roivant and got into politics, authoring a book called “Woke, Inc.,” which criticized corporate America’s growing focus on social justice issues and the ESG (environmental, social and governance) movement taking over Wall Street. A year later, he founded an “anti-woke” index fund provider—think BlackRock, without all the talk about saving the world—named Strive Asset Management. Investors recently valued Strive at a lofty $300 million or so, according to two individuals familiar with the financing, implying that Ramaswamy’s stake is worth well over $100 million.

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