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Basketball legend-turned-business mogul Shaquille O’Neal told CNBC on Wednesday about the worst investment he ever made.
O’Neal mentioned an unnamed paper company that allegedly promised him fraudulent deals.
A guy who owned this paper company said he had all these deals in all the schools and with the government. … Turned out to be a scam, ” he said on “Power Lunch. “
While the former basketball star has led a successful career as an investor since retiring from the NBA in 2011, he said it wasn’t an easy transition.
O’Neal admitted that when he was younger, he used to invest in businesses that “turned out to be a scam.”
“When I first came into [the business industry], I lost a lot of money in the ‘get rich quick schemes.'” he said.
O’Neal added that “from [age] 19 to 26, anybody could come to my office, tell me the deal and I would take it right away. No research. No due diligence.”
However, after having learned from his past mistakes, the four-time NBA champion said he started “listening to people” and working with “people [who] are much smarter than me.”
He referred to Bill Gates and Roger Enrico, former CEO of Pepsi, as “friends” who talked to him about smart strategies in investing.
“Once I stopped focusing on [money], I became a little bit more successful,” O’Neal told CNBC.
The business magnate has now developed his own principles of investing. The 15-time NBA All-Star said he has to genuinely “like the product” and “understand it” to promote, invest and “really believe in it.”
O’Neal also said, “My method in dealing with businesses is I never worry about the problem. I worry about the solution.”
The former basketball star wants to “make investments on things that just make people happy” and continue to “partner with people that are very smart.”
O’Neal recently partnered with an Atlanta start-up called Steady, which is an app that lists part-time and hourly work opportunities for users.