You may ask yourself, “How in the world do the words Kenny G and shrewd investor find themselves in the same sentence?”. First, let me tell you I love Kenny G. He has provided me years of comedic material. There is nothing better than slipping in a Kenny G CD into the stereo at the beginning of road trip with friends to get everyone laughing. I always follow with “What? You guys don’t like Kenny G?” Or the first date ice breaker when you have the girl over and you play a little Kenny G on the stereo. I say “You don’t like Kenny G? You DO know that he held a note for 45 minutes to set a world record, right? Of course you have to let her know it was a joke or that will officially end most dates.
What you probably don’t know is that Kenny Gorelick aka Kenny G, made one of the best investments of all time. Second only to 50 cent’s investment in vitamin water (he picked up $400 million on that deal), Kenny was one of the first 10 investors in Starbucks. I couldn’t find any data anywhere on how many shares he owns but I did do a little simple math. Kenny was in his prime in the late 80’s early 90’s and had some pretty good cash. He got in before Starbucks went public and was one of the first 10 investors. Lets assume he put in 500K, which is probably not too much of a stretch. The stock opened at an adjusted price of .67 cents with a current price of roughly $18.30. This alone would be a 27 times your money investment but remember he got in way before the IPO. He most likely got in at a tenth of the IPO. This would be a 270 times investment. Not too shabby. I feel comfortable saying that Mr. Gorelick picked up at least $100 million on the deal.
So go ahead and make fun of his hair. He sold 30 million albums and put the money into Starbucks. That, my friend, is not cheesy, its making the cheese.