Here's How Much Phil Mickelson Would Have Made Buying Stocks Instead Of Gambling

Zinger Key Points
  • Phil Mickelson's alleged $100 million gambling losses could have turned into $320 million or more if invested in stocks.
  • Billy Walters' upcoming book reveals Mickelson's extensive gambling habits over three decades.

Last week, Phil Mickelson dominated the headlines after an excerpt from an upcoming book was released, revealing that he allegedly bet nearly $1 billion throughout the last three decades, losing about $100 million.

Billy Walters, one of the most infamous and influential gamblers ever, is releasing his book "Gambler: Secrets From A Life At Risk" later in August, which details some of Mickelson’s alleged gambling habits.

Walters writes that Mickelson’s $100 million in losses is spread throughout the last three decades. According to the book, Mickelson placed more than 40 MLB bets in a single day, losing $143,500. Mickelson also reportedly bet $110,000 to win $100,000 more than 1,000 times. 

Mickelson appears to be the type of gambler that sportsbooks like Draftkings Inc DKNG, PENN Entertainment PENN and others would kill to have as a customer. But, he may have been better off buying those companies’ stocks instead of gambling. 

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If He Bought Stocks: 

With the benefit of hindsight, let's examine what Mickelson's financial situation would be if he had chosen to invest in stocks rather than gambling.

For the purpose of this exercise, we will use the $100 million figure that Mickelson reportedly lost gambling. Starting in 1993, the S&P 500’s average annualized return is about 9.9%. 

If Mickelson made annual investments of around $3.3 million starting in 1993 for 30 years, totaling $100 million, his portfolio would be worth more than $560 million according to an investment calculator from Ameriprise

Now, let’s assume that because Mickelson was a young professional golfer in 1993 that he didn’t have enough money to start investing $3.3 million in 1993. Instead of 30 investment increments starting in 1993, we can do 20 increments of $5 million starting in 2003, when Mickelson had much more money and sponsorship deals.

For the 20 years spanning from 2003-2023, the average annualized return of the S&P 500 (with dividends reinvested) is around 10.2%. Under this more conservative estimate, Mickelson’s investment would be worth around $320 million

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Photo: Shutterstock

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