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Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak Isn't Into Money, He Doesn't Invest Either; So What is His Net Worth?

Wozniak gave $10 million worth of his own stock to early Apple employees and says that he deliberately keeps his distance from money.
Cover Image Source: Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images
Cover Image Source: Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images

Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, stands as an icon in Silicon Valley. He may have moved away from the company, but he continues to engage with the industry and often sharing his perspectives. In May this year, his views on AI were in the spotlight and he had also signed a letter seeking a pause in AI tools development in March 2023 alongside Elon Musk.

"AI is so intelligent it's open to the bad players, the ones that want to trick you about who they are," he said. 


Wozniak's views on money also set him apart from others in his field. In a recent interview with Fortune, the tech legend shared his straightforward investment approach: he avoids it altogether and stays away from financial matters. "I don't invest. It's not my thing," Wozniak said.

"I deliberately keep my distance from money because I believe it can influence your values."

Image Source: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
Image Source: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

When Apple became a public company, Wozniak made a decent amount of money. He is now estimated to be worth around $100 million, per CNBC Make It. In comparison, Steve Jobs, his partner at Apple, had a much larger fortune of about $10.2 billion when he passed away in 2011. One reason for this difference in their wealth is that Wozniak did not really care much about money from the beginning.

In 1980, he gave $10 million worth of his own stock to early Apple employees, a gesture that Jobs didn't agree with. Wozniak later said it was the right thing to do.

Image Source: Jesse Grant/Getty Images
Image Source: Jesse Grant/Getty Images

In 1975, Wozniak started crafting the Apple 1 computer. An impressed Jobs then urged him to create a company. Wozniak wanted HP to buy the tech but after they declined, he and Jobs founded their own firm. Jobs sought funding from Atari colleague Ronald Wayne. For 10% ownership, Ronald offered capital, documents, and supervision. However, in a regrettable move, he sold his share back to them for $800 just 12 days later.

In Jobs' room and later garage, Wozniak and Jobs built Apple prototypes. Around 200 Apple 1 units were made, costing $666.66 each. In 1974, Woz led the Apple II series creation, a pioneering success in personal computers. Wozniak's designs sparked the 1970s PC revolution.

Image Source: David Paul Morris/Getty Images
Image Source: David Paul Morris/Getty Images

In 1976, Apple's earnings stood at $175,000. The following year, revenues surged to $2.7 million. By 1980, Apple's sales had reached $117 million, leading to its public offering. This move transformed more than 300 Apple employees into millionaires practically overnight. Both Wozniak and Jobs soon found themselves paper millionaires with their net worth reaching hundreds of millions of dollars. Wozniak often gifted shares to deserving colleagues, resulting in a smaller stake in the company for himself, as per Celebrity Net Worth. 

In 1981, Wozniak survived a nearly fatal plane crash that caused serious brain trauma. He took a break from Apple for a few years, completing his degree under an alias at UC Berkeley. Although he returned to Apple briefly, he left again in 1985. Still listed as an Apple employee, Wozniak received $50 a week as of 2020, per Inc Magazine.

In 2001, Wozniak co-founded Wheels of Zeus (WoZ) to create wireless GPS tech for everyday use. He's also been actively involved in supporting technology programs in local schools through funding and technical help. Additionally, he started Un.U.Son (Unite Us In Song), supporting his educational and charitable projects. Wozniak was honored with induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2000.

Image Source: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Image Source: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

In 2006, Wozniak acquired a 7,500-square-foot Los Gatos, California mansion for $6.9 million. He decided to sell the house in 2012, initially asking $5 million. After three years and multiple price reductions, he eventually settled for $3.8 million in May 2015.