Graham Stephan: The $23 Million YouTuber?

Just a few years ago, Graham Stephan was on course to reach a staggering $6 million in earnings, after expenses. Approximately 50% of that income derived from YouTube ad revenue while the remainder flew in from affiliate partnerships, sponsorships, and sales of educational courses.

In spite of his enormous success at a young age, Stephan remained financially conservative, advocating for home made coffee versus $5 cups bought from coffee shops. A rare indulgence was his 300+ gallon aquarium that he spent $45,000 on in his Las Vegas home.

Fast forward a couple of years, and fans are wondering what is Graham Stephan’s net worth today?

What Age Did Graham Stephan Become A Millionaire?

Graham Stephan spent his childhood in Santa Monica, California, which is also known as “Silicon Beach.” Like Silicon Valley, Santa Monica is home to a number of cutting–edge startups, and the area plays a critical role in the nation’s creative economy.

That environment may have inspired Stephan’s confidence in his ability to build a non-traditional career – and amass a fortune along the way.

Just after he turned 18, Graham Stephan earned his real estate license, and he launched into sales right away. He got his first commission in 2008, and he was quickly known among actors, entertainers, and the Hollywood elite as a smart, tenacious professional who could always find the right property at the right price. By the age of 26, Graham Stephan was a millionaire.

Some of Stephan’s best-known clients include rappers Wale and Casper, actors Orlando Bloom and Chloe Moretz, model Suki Waterhouse, and football legend LaVar Arrington. To date, Stephan’s lifetime residential real estate sales are valued at more than $130 million.

Graham Stephan didn’t limit his real estate activities to sales. Once he had the capital, he began expanding into investment properties. He now owns six rental properties and oversees their management, which is a lucrative income stream that complements his other activities.

How Much Does Graham Stephan Make Per Month?

By 2020, Graham Stephan claimed his monthly income tops $163,000 – but it’s been a long time since he had to rely on real estate sales to bring in cash.

Fast forward to today and you could confidently predict his monthly income is much higher given that his subscriber count on YouTube has grown by millions since then.

Indeed, Graham reported that with 1 million subscribers he made an astonishing $1,141,231.43 in ad revenue from YouTube alone.

If we do a quick back of the envelope calculation now that he has around 4.5 million subscribers, his monthly income from YouTube ads alone would be $427,961, or $5,135,539 annually.

Of course that doesn’t count his additional revenue streams from courses, affiliates partnerships and sponsorships.

These days, Stephan is still passionate about his work in real estate, but his biggest money makers come from teaching others. Stephan has a steady stream of revenue from YouTube ads, real estate course sales, and affiliate sales.

What Is Graham Stephan Known For?

At first, Graham Stephan was best known for being a real estate wunderkind. After all, millions of people hold real estate licenses in the United States.

Very few achieve Stephan’s level of success, and certainly not before their 30th birthdays. However, Stephan’s achievements in real estate sales didn’t create his international reputation.

Graham rose to internet celebrity through his YouTube channel, which is one of the most popular in the personal finance category. He has more than 4.5 million subscribers, and total channel views exceed 740 million. Expect this extraordinary young YouTube to hit 1 billion views over the next year.

How Did Graham Stephan Get Famous?

Graham Stephan’s journey to YouTube fame was remarkable in that he did everything right. While millions of talented videographers struggle to get eyes on their content, Stephan made building his subscriber base look effortless.

Stephan launched his channel on Christmas Day, 2016, and promised viewers his personal insights into real estate, investing, and personal finance.

He had instant appeal because of his enthusiasm for the topic, his straightforward advice, and his ability to simplify complex financial concepts for those without industry experience. In an ironic twist, it seems Stephan didn’t expect much from the project – a year earlier, he made a Reddit post that said:

I don’t have the personality or the charisma to start my own (YouTube) channel – I am not the type that would do well in front of the camera.

Despite his lack of confidence, Stephan forged ahead and realized success beyond his wildest expectations. He was excited by the opportunity to share his experience with others, and he posted new content frequently. The first day he turned on YouTube’s monetization feature, he brought in seven cents. A month later, that figure was up to about a dollar a day.

Fortunately, Stephan wasn’t relying on YouTube income to get his bills paid – he was bringing in half a million a year in real estate commissions at the time. That gave him the freedom to keep going without financial pressure.

His sheer enjoyment in discussing financial topics continued to be apparent in every video. That’s what truly made him famous, and his channel’s popularity eventually translated into more subscribers, more views, and more money. Now income from YouTube makes up a sizable portion of Stephan’s monthly income.

How Much Does Graham Stephan Make From YouTube?

It isn’t easy to generate meaningful income from YouTube. Quality content is the first step, but even the most engaging and well-crafted videos may not bring in cash. Stephan’s YouTube success came from an instinctive understanding of YouTube’s algorithms.

Like Google and other content search sites, YouTube doesn’t publish the details of its algorithms. However, Stephan quickly realized that the promoted channels and videos had a few things in common: regular additions of new content, engagement with viewers through comments and reactions, and the frequency with which viewers watched more of his videos after seeing one.

In March 2017, Stephan’s YouTube channel earned an average of $16 per day. That figure began to snowball. Soon, it was $120 per day, and then $250.

By the end of 2017, his videos brought in a total of $26,966.69. Of course, that wasn’t an impressive hourly rate considering he dedicated around seven hours per day to the channel. He wasn’t sure whether his returns were worth his investment, but he loved the ability to interact with his viewers so he kept on.

It was worth it.

In 2018, Stephan made a video that went viral, and his subscriber and viewer counts exploded. Almost immediately, the video attracted more than a million views, and before long, that figure rose to three million.

As a result of the viral video, Stephan earned $3,420.74 in a single day. After that, his daily average was around $1,000. He earned a total of $170,945.60 for 2018 – which ballooned to $253,318.02 for the year with the addition of sponsorships, program sales, and affiliate revenue.

Stephan’s 2019 revenue from YouTube totaled $1,904,273.73, and he was delighted. Little did he know that a pandemic was about to boost his income even further. Lockdowns, quarantines, and stay-at-home orders had more people looking for indoor entertainment. As it turned out, many were interested in personal finance. His subscribers and viewers continued to increase. By the end of 2020, his total came in at $5.1 million.

When the economy opened back up, a lot of YouTube influencers experienced lower YouTube ad income. The audience attention simply wasn’t there anymore. But more recently we know that his higher subscriber count from a couple of years ago will have more than offset the dip in earnings.

Indeed, using his own figures of generating $1.1 million in ad revenue alone from 1 million subscribers, we can deduces he’s currently earning approximately $5.1 million annually or $13,900 daily from YouTube alone. Include his other income streams and that figure could easily double to $10 million annually and close to $28,000 daily.

How Rich Is Graham Stephan?

Graham Stephan’s net worth is estimated at around $23 million, but he doesn’t spend like a millionaire. He embraces the Warren Buffett philosophy of frugality – for the most part.

Stephan does have a few expensive hobbies, including a passion for cars and a $45,000 aquarium.

He claims that his expenses total around $7,000 per month, so he uses the rest of his income to fund his projects and increase his investments.

What Does Graham Stephan Invest In?

However, Graham Stephan’s investment philosophy doesn’t look anything like the advice offered through pricey stock picking courses and clubs. In fact, he tends to shy away from picking stocks altogether. Graham Stephan prefers to invest in diversified index funds, as well as real estate and treasuries. He allocates a small portion of his wealth to alternative investments, like bitcoin and ethereum. 

He gives practical advice for investors who lack the time, education, and/or experience to devote hours to their portfolios. He prefers index funds over individual stocks, and he sticks with tried-and-true wealth-building strategies like maximizing employer 401k matches.

Stephan doesn’t suggest that average investors attempt risky maneuvers in the real estate market or the stock market. In a recent Twitter post, he noted that the trend towards using leverage to invest is concerning. In general, his advice reflects traditional rules for financial success, such as paying credit cards in full each month and focusing on savings over investment returns.

Though points like that aren’t revolutionary, they are valuable. Thanks to his wide reach and his skills in YouTube content creation, blogging, and other forms of communication, Stephan is able to influence smart financial habits while inspiring innovation and entrepreneurship along the way.

Though he remains extremely popular among average millennials, Graham Stephan isn’t universally liked. In some of his videos, he called out certain financial gurus by name and told viewers that their high-priced get-rich-quick investment courses were nothing but scams.

Needless to say, that stirred controversy, and it prompted a backlash from the gurus in question and their most loyal clients. The biggest criticism was that Stephan has his own expensive course for sale, though his relates to real estate rather than picking stocks. Detractors said that Stephan’s course and investment advice over-simplify the process of building wealth, which sets false expectations.

On the whole, it appears Stephan is genuinely curious about how to be financially savvy, grow wealth, and be smart in doing so, and he shares his own journey in plain view for his followers to benefit from the lessons he has learned.

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