The Net Worth of Wayne Rogers
The late actor was also a noted investor
The late actor Wayne Rogers had a net worth of approximately $75 million by the time he died on December 31, 2015, at age 82, according to estimates from various sources. Best known for his role on the TV show "M*A*S*H," Rogers was an exception to the stereotype that actors and other entertainers are careless with money. His estimated net worth was far in excess of his lifetime earnings as an actor because he built his wealth primarily through endeavors unrelated to the entertainment industry.
Sources of His Wealth
Rogers' principal line of work after his acting career faded in the 1980s was his investment strategy firm, Wayne M. Rogers & Co. The firm, founded in 1971, initially focused on providing business management services to other Hollywood personalities.
Rogers' interest in this type of work began in his early days of acting. While starring in "M*A*S*H," he saw actors losing a lot of money at the hands of poor or dishonest business manager. His friend and roommate, fellow actor Peter Falk, was one of them. Rogers was determined not to let that happen to himself, so he took control of his own finances and began investing. When he had some success, he began helping others, doubling as an actor and investment adviser to Falk and James Caan, among others.
Rogers was a real estate investor as well. While starring in "M*A*S*H," he made a point of getting friendly with Lew Wolff, a successful developer who, at the time, was the head of real estate for 20th Century Fox Studios, where the show was filmed. Since he was adept at learning his lines quickly, Rogers had ample free time between shoots and spent much of it in investment discussions with Wolff. Rogers' subsequent forays into real estate development included residential and commercial projects in California, Arizona, Utah, and Florida.
Later in his life, Rogers was actively involved in the management of the companies in which he invested, with an eye toward improving profitability and unlocking hidden value. He became chairman and CEO of Stop-N-Save, a convenience store chain in the Southeast, and was part of an investor group that bought Kleinfeld Bridal, now one of the world's largest sellers of wedding dresses.
In addition, he sat on various corporate boards, including Vishay Intertechnology, an NYSE-listed corporation. His personal holdings in that company alone were worth about $1.4 million.
Rogers was also a principal owner of a Mississippi River barge company, Delta Pacific Transportation. He eventually sold the company's 25 barges for scrap, earning $2 million.
Rogers regularly appeared as a commentator on the Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network. He also periodically shared his views on the markets, investing, and politics in various financial publications, such as Barron's.
Rogers' philosophy echoed those of conservative, risk-averse investing strategies pursued by Wall Street pros for their portfolios.
In a 2010 interview with Rogers, Geoff Williams of financial blog WalletPop asked for advice about how to invest $500, $5,000, or $10,000. Rogers' answer was conservative:
"Put it in a savings instrument that's very safe, where you're going to make a little money and not speculate. Look, you have to ask yourself, 'Am I trying to preserve capital or make money?' You've got to ask those questions. If you put it in the bank, you'll make a little money. You won't make a lot, but you're not going to lose it."