Take investment advice from Shaq, who 'quadrupled' his worth thanks in part to Charles Barkley and donuts

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Shaquille O'Neal's and Charles Barkley's love of donuts is not a secret. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini for The Greenbrier Resort)
Shaquille O'Neal's and Charles Barkley's love of donuts is not a secret. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini for The Greenbrier Resort)

Shaquille O’Neal is a big man of the people and won big off investments based on the thought process.

O’Neal sat down for an interview with the Wall Street Journal last week and explained how he picks his investments. It has a little to do with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and liking what he endorses and living as a CFO (Chief Fun Officer). He also took a sly shot at “Inside the NBA” studio mate Charles Barkley.

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Shaq takes another shot at Barkley’s donut love

O’Neal has investments in a plethora of companies from restaurants Five Guys and Big Chicken to places such as Carnival Cruise Lines and 24 Hour Fitness. He joined the Papa John’s board of directors earlier this year.

The NBA Hall of Famer told the Wall Street Journal in a 20-minute, four-part video his favorite investment is Krispy Kreme and he owns a few franchises.

“Because I like donuts, and Charles Barkley loves donuts. He’s my biggest customer,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal was introduced to the company in college and has “been in love ever since,” he said. Barkley feels similarly and it’s been a constant aspect of the TNT show.

But O’Neal may actually be losing money from Barkley’s donut obsession. After denying Barkley any of the company’s one million free donuts, O’Neal gifted him a lifetime of free donuts “from the boss” for Barkley’s birthday in February.

O’Neal ‘quadrupled worth’ thanks to Bezos

O’Neal told WSJ he took advice from Bezos when it came to investing.

“I heard Jeff Bezos say one time when he was talking, he makes his investment based on if it’s going to change people’s lives,” O’Neal said. “And once I started doing that strategy [whistles], I think I probably quadrupled what I’m worth now.”

The three-time Finals MVP said part of his success is being at the right place and right time for opportunities. He invested in Google, he said, because he heard some guys talking about it in a hotel where he was staying.

“My skill is if something comes across my desk and I don’t believe in it, I won’t even look at it. At all,” O’Neal said. “It’s just, one, I can’t lie to the people, and two, yeah, it’s a gut feeling.”

Wheaties choice shows Shaq’s tactics

O’Neal has spoken before about turning down Wheaties (twice) and used the example again to explain how he chooses opportunities.

“Frosted Flakes will always be my first option if you wanna talk cereal business with me,” O’Neal told WSJ. “Then Fruit Loops. Then Fruity Pebbles. Period. Ain’t nothing to talk about.

“When I do business it’s never about the monetary aspect. It’s about changing people’s lives.”

Possibly still to come from O’Neal, he told WSJ: being an employed sheriff, going to law school and opening a law firm; and opening a K-12 children’s school.

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