For some people, the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008 was devastating. Millions of dollars of shareholder wealth vanished nearly overnight, with the total amount estimated at $14 trillion.
For global financial strategist Peter Schiff, though, that crisis was the key to fame and even greater fortune, to the point where Schiff’s net worth is estimated to be $75 million.
It’s a ritzy neighborhood, obviously, and Schiff got there by using his financial acumen to make accurate predictions. When he was CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, he called the crash so accurately he was dubbed “Dr. Doom” by the other talking heads in the financial media.
A quick look at Schiff’s salad days indicate plenty of hard work and study. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Schiff earned a degree from Cal-Berkely in 1987, and he worked as a stockbroker until he and a partner acquired an old brokerage firm and renamed it Euro Pacific Capital.
The company was successful, but Schiff was just getting started. He knew how to use his reputation as a contrarian who often went against the financial grain, and by 2009 the company was managing approximately $1.5 billion for almost 15,000 clients.
Schiff also knew how to capitalize on his newfound fame as a prognosticator, too. He used his radio vehicle, “The Peter Schiff Show,” to make predictions, stir up controversy and develop his brand, and he became something of a quote machine for the likes of Fortune, the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s.
The show also generated a new income stream as a speaker at investment seminars, where he began earning low five figures to share his opinions and expertise. Like most experts, Schiff has his pet peeves and preferences. He’s a huge advocate of gold, to the point where he believes it will eventually go up to $5,000 an ounce.
He believes in gold so strongly that he provide his own financial entity, SchiffGold, to give investors a reliable way to purchase bullion, and the company is now one of the largest gold dealers in the country. Schiff also turned his talents to finance-oriented literary endeavors as well. He’s the author of five books, written between 2007 and 2010, that have earned him money as well as visibility.
His pet peeves are intriguing. Schiff has gone to war on the minimum wage, and he’s on record as thinking it undermines society. After making those comments, he grew enraged when his comments were “taken out of context,” in his opinion, to make him look like a card-carrying one-percenter.
On the other side of the coin, Schiff is much less enthusiastic than many of his financial colleagues when it comes to Bitcoin. He recognizes the viability of Bitcoin as a platform, and he does offer it to his clients who are interested in purchasing cryptocurrency, but he remains skeptical about its long-term future.
Schiff has also been outspoken about the possibility of inflation, which has now come to fruition with supply chain issues driving prices up across the board, so he definitely deserves credit for that prediction. He made it, and it’s coming true.
As controversial as he’s been as a prognosticator, Schiff’s private life seems to have been generic and predictable. He currently lives in Puerto Rico with his wife, Lauren, where he presumably hones his predictions while tanning. The couple has two sons, and while both have classic one-percenter names (Preston and Spencer) their claim to fame is that they seem ideally positioned to inherit well when the time comes.