How Nicolas Cage Wildly Spent a $150 Million Fortune

You won't believe the things he bought.

Think your money troubles are bad? Trying blowing through $150 million, going broke, then owing the IRS $13 million. Yes, we're talking about Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage.

How did Nicolas Cage go broke? Let's find out.

Nicolas Cage made over $150 million acting between 1996 and 2011, including movies like Gone in Sixty Seconds ($20 million), National Treasure ($20 million), Snake Eyes ($16 million) and Windtalkers ($20 million).

Forbes listed him as one of the highest-paid actors of all time. It's said he made $40 million in 2009 alone. That's a lot of money!

Unfortunately, the fun was short-lived. As his income increased, so did his insane buying habits.

By the time he reached his mid-forties (he's now 53), Nicolas Cage spent so much cash that he put the King of Arabia to shame. While he blamed his money manager for sending him "down a path toward financial ruin," others say it was his crazy personal spending.

In 2009, the IRS slapped the actor with a $6.2 million tax lien and Nicolas Cage ended up suing his money manager for fraud and negligence.

Where did all the money go?

1. Dinosaur skulls

A self-proclaimed history buff, Cage allegedly outbid Leonardo DiCaprio for a 67-million-year-old Tarbosaurus skull valued at over $300,000. He also apparently had other dinosaur skulls.

2. Two albino king cobras

Allegedly Cage used the cobras for protection. Some others say he used it for sexual activities.

3. Two Bahamian Islands

Cage bought a 40-acre, $7 million island south of Nassau for his private use.

4. The Shah of Iran's Lamborghini

Cage purchased a rare $450,000 Lamborghini Miura SVJ from the late Shah of Iran in 1997.

5. Exotic cars and motorcycles

He also spent millions on other dozens of specialty and vintage vehicles. In June 2004, he supposedly owned up to 30 motorcycles and 50 cars.

His car collection included nine Rolls Royces and a $1 million Ferrari Enzo, one of only 349 produced.

6. Luxury yachts

He bought four yachts, one of which he named Sarita. It cost $20 million and had 12 master bedrooms.

7. A famous haunted house

Cage bought this famed New Orleans house in 2006 for $3.45 million. Supposedly the house belonged to a socialite serial killer named Madame LaLaurie, who was the inspiration for the character of Kathy Bates in American Horror Story: Coven.

In the house that Madame LaLaurie would kill and torture slaves in the 1800s. Legend says it's haunted.

8. Shrunken Pymgy heads

According to visitors, Cage had a collection of heads in his house for unknown reasons.

9. A pyramid tombstone

Located in New Orleans, this 9 foot tall pyramid tombstone is engraved with "Omni Ab Uno", Latin for "Everything From One." Cage bought it.

10. The first Superman comic

Cage had a collection of comic books that included Action Comics #1 (the first appearance of Superman) and Detective Comics 38 (the first appearance of Robin, Batman's sidekick).

11. A crocodile

Cage had one. Because every American family should.

12. A shark

Again, standard pets for Cage.

"I shall name you Smiley." Image credit

13. An octopus

Supposedly Cage's house was like a zoo.

14. A private Gulfstream jet

15. Fifteen Estate homes around the world

He bought another multi-million dollar mansion in New Orleans, a $10 million Malibu beach home, a private getaway home on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, a $17.5 million palace in Bel Air, a mansion in Las Vegas, and a 24,000 square foot home in Rhode Island.

Other properties included a chalet in Aspen, Colorado and homes in San Francisco, New York, Newport Beach, and Venice Beach.

His Bel Air Mansion. Image credit

16. Two European castles

He bought a $8 million castle in Bath, England and spent millions on remodeling it.

Then he bought an 11th-century Bavarian castle in Etzelwang, Germany.

17. Rare art

Cage had almost 50 extremely expensive works of art.

This isn't from his collection but it should be. Image credit

18. High end jewelry

In addition to taking the women in his life on lavish vacations, he also bought them massive amounts of jewelry including diamonds and gems.

Also not from his collection but it should be. Image credit

So where is Nicolas Cage now?

He was forced to foreclose on several properties. His money manager countersued him and though the lawsuits have been settled, Cage is still struggling to fix his finances and unload assets.

Fortunately in the past several years he's starred in big budget films.

He also sold his prized Action Comics #1 for $2.16 million, a record setting amount.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Don't be materialistic: It's tempting to "keep up with the Joneses" with expensive cars, fancy fashion and larger homes. But getting caught up with the finer things in life can be devastating if your bank account can't support it. Compulsive buying is an addiction.
  2. Learn about money: Financial literacy is understanding how to make money, invest money, and preserve money. When you find success, you must educate yourself to make the right decisions. Be organized. Never rely solely on accountants, financial advisors, attorneys or insurance agents.
  3. Don't assume success lasts forever: Every day is a hustle. Many people - from celebrities to Wall Street traders - fall victim to thinking their success will be long and everlasting. Always plan with emergency funds and saving at least 15% of your income.

What would you spend a fortune on? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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