One of the most charismatic and entertaining automotive YouTubers in my subscription feed at the moment is a guy who goes by the name of “thestradman”. James (his real name) is bit hyper and not easy to watch when I’m in a chill mood, but it’s always fun to check in on him when I feel the need to be entertained and inspired. Why inspired? Well, thestradman’s net worth is nothing short of impressive and it pushes the limits of what I can only hope to achieve one day for myself.
For those who don’t feel like reading, I calculate thestradman’s net worth to be $3.25 million. There’s a lot more to it than that though, and I recommend reading futher to full understand (and appreciate) how big of an achievement this is for James.
The step-by-step process of how I calculated the net worth of thestradman
Just as I’ve done in my net worth analysis for Doug Demuro, Tyler Hoover, TJ Hunt, and Adam LZ, I’m going to start out by listing James’s annual revenue. Then I’m going to list his assets. Finally, I’m going to subtract all of his liabilities (the things he owns money on).
It’s not an entirely accurate way of calculating how much he’s worth, since I can only go by the things he reveals on his YouTube channel. But it’s definitely in the ballpark.
And just so you know, I’ve been a faithful and loyal subscriber of thestradman since 2016, and I’ve seen nearly every video that he’s ever uploaded. I’m very familiar with his story and all the things he’s got going on his life (at least what he shows on video and social media). All of the following information is based on what I’ve seen in his videos.
First, let’s have a look at the stradman’s annual income:
- $800,000: YouTube ad revenue. With an average of 385,000 views a day, I calculate his annual earnings from YouTube to be roughly $$800,000. This is likely a conservative estimate based on the typical volatility of YouTube, though I did use this article as a basis for my calculation.
- $100,000: brand deals and sponsorships. Again, this is just a rough estimate based on the things that I see him promoting in his videos (as well as the frequency of those promotions). James is smart in that he is willing to promote pretty much anything – I’ve seen him advertise car insurance as well as video games, so he’s definitely taking advantage of his massive reach in order to grow his net worth as much as possible. He also has some kind of a partnership with Makes & Models (an exotic car dealership in Salt Lake City), though from what I can tell he’s getting paid mostly in free service and support and is not being paid in cash.
Now, let’s list out his significance assets:
- $1.5 million: YouTube channel. This is (by far) the biggest and most valuable asset that James has. With over 1 million subscribers at the time of this writing, he’s currently getting 385,000 views a day from both subscribers and non-subscribers. Not only that, his channel is growing by 2,000 subscribers every single day. Impressive! In terms of overall value as an asset, the best way to calculate that is to estimate what it would cost a company (or another person) to purchase it from him. With his kind of reach and the number of views he gets per video, $1.5 million is likely a conservative number. How so? Think of how much money big brands spend on advertising to reach an audience his size. Its easily millions of dollars (on a annual basis). There are many large companies that would pay big money for a YouTube channel with that kind of reach. However, as valuable as the YouTube channel is, there’s a lot more to thestradman’s net worth than that.
- $1,350,000: cars. At the time of this writing, thestradman brand consists of a fleet of cars which I estimate to be a significant portion of his net worth. The cars that he owns changes on a regular basis, but at the time of this writing, his Bugatti Veyron is worth the most at nearly $900,000.
- $400,000: land. James bought a pieces of land in Park City, Utah for the purpose of building a massive house on, and as we all know – land in Park City isn’t cheap. I’m assuming James paid for this outright and owns it in full.
Finally, let’s subtract his liabilities (the things he owes money on):
This is the really impressive part of thestradman’s net worth. Why? He doesn’t owe money on anything! He owns all of his cars outright, and he rents a room in his friend’s house. In other words, he isn’t tied down with anything (like a house) that has a big mortgage on it. There are a couple things he is spending money every month on though:
- He has to pay property tax on the piece of land he owns in Park City. How significant could that be though? Maybe $500/mo?
- He is renting a warehouse to store most of his cars. Based on it’s size, and the going rate of commercial real estate in the Salt Lake City area, I’d estimate he’s paying $2,500/mo for it.
For those that don’t know, James used to be an accountant, so he’s got a pretty good idea of how to handle money. And it really shows with the way that he’s running his brand.
Everything is purchased in cash, and he takes on as a little debt as possible. This will give him a ton of flexibility if and when things get tight, and he’s able to make quick changes when needed because he’s not tied down to long-term financial commitments. It’s basically the opposite approach that Matt Farah has taken with his net worth. In Matt’s case, he’s highly leveraged – but it helps to grow his brand.
Based on the above data, I calculate thestradman’s net worth to be $3.25 million
I think I’m becoming numb to very high net worth values of automotive YouTubers. I was a lot more excited after calculating the net worth of TJ hunt, but doing it now for thestradman isn’t so shocking for me. As a matter of fact, I had a suspicion it was going to be this high even before giving it any thought.
Still, $3.25 million is amazing (not as amazing as Salomondrin’s net worth, but still). As a matter of fact, Doug DeMuro is worth a whole heck of a lot less than that. And he’s arguably the most watched car guy on YouTube!
Anyway, good for James. The guy is thouroughly obsessed with exotic cars – and it really shows in every video. He’s living his dream, and I can only envy him for taking big chances in life to get where he is today.
Three things we can learn from James about building a high net worth
First time viewers of thestradman YouTube channel might be put off by his super high-energy personality. But as you’ve already read, James is an incredibly smart guy and he knows exactly what he’s doing.
He’s built an incredibly successful brand over the past 4 years, and he seems to be on a trajectory which is going to take him very far in life. The best part about all this is that any one of us could replicate it with enough drive and determination. How so? Well, here are three very realistic (and doable) things you can do to replicate that kind of success for yourself:
- You’ve got a risk it all to do what you really want. Back when James first started his YouTube channel, he was just an inexperienced kid with an intense love of supercars. He built up a subscriber base over 20,000 within a relatively short period of time, and decided to quit his job and go full time making videos. It was a big risk, and…he lost. Five months later, he was back working full-time as an accountant. However, his persistence never died and he once again attempted to go full-time with YouTube when he was laid off from that same job several years later. The rest is history. By the way, I’m a huge fan of taking big risks and forging a life of my own. I quit my full-time corporate job to be a full-time blogger this time last year, and I don’t regret it at all. No, my net worth is nowhere near as high as thestradman (yet) but I wouldn’t change anything.
- Don’t go into debt trying to build your dreams. I have already mentioned, James was an accountant in a past life and he knows the dangers of taking on too much debt. That’s exactly why he owns all of his cars outright, and won’t purchase anything that he can’t pay for in cash. This is really smart because he’s in a fortunate situation where he could sell off assets (as necessary) if he ever finds himself in a difficult financial position.
- Know your limits. One of the things that I really like about James and his brand is the fact that he isn’t pretending to be something that is not. He wears cheap clothes and eats cheap food. He has no shame in admitting that he lives in a small bedroom in his friends house. Spending all of his money on cars (and not much else) is how James built success with his “thestradman” brand, and it’s obvious that his audience loves him the way he is.
Four things thestradman needs to do to protect his net worth
James may hold a degree in accounting (and has several years of professional experience to go with it), but I’m about 15 years older than he is with a lot more life experience. I’ve made my fair share of financial blunders over the years, and sometimes it takes getting burned and learning things the hard way to thrive and grow. Here is my advice to James for protecting the net worth of thestradman brand:
- He needs to keep spending a significant amount of his income on cars. This is probably the worst financial advice to give to most people, but it’s working well for James. Personally, I enjoy watching him agonizing about stretching himself really thin to be able to afford his next car. It’s what makes his channel exciting for me, and it’s definitely one of the reasons why I keep coming back.
- He needs to purchase more appreciating assets. Yes, spending big money on cars is vital to his channel growth, but the net worth of “thestradman” is being held back by the fact that he owns very few assets that are appreciating in value. Whether it be a house or a warehouse for his cars, diverting some of his income into something which will only increase in value is going to protect him over the long term. For example, what if YouTube ad revenue earnings suddenly decline and he’s not making much money from that anymore? His appreciating assets will keep his net worth growing. If anything, he needs to have a deeper look at Shmee150’s net worth to figure out how to diversify a bit.
- He needs to reignite his merchandise business. One of the things I can really appreciate about TJ Hunt is the fact that he pours so much time and energy into his merch business. As a matter of fact, it’s now a significant part of his own net worth, and he’s well-protected against potentially large drops in YouTube earnings. James doesn’t promote his own merchandise much anymore, which is not a good thing IMHO.
- He needs to chill out and relax. As I mentioned earlier, it’s hard for me to sit down and watch a video from James sometimes. He’s incredibly hyperactive, over exaggerates everything, and whips the camera around in a way which gives me motion sickness. It worries me that thestradman’s net worth is being built around this kind of over-active on-screen persona, because he’s getting older and it’s not going to last forever. James is in his 30’s now (something most people don’t know), and as a guy in my 40’s, let me tell you: that kind of energy doesn’t last. He needs to relax, focus on being himself, and not worry about appealing to a young teen audience.
What is the stradman’s net worth going to be 15 years from now?
I’m going to make a very bold prediction: as long as he continues to take on as little debt as possible, I’m of the opinion that James will have a net worth well over $10 million within 15 years. He’s growing real fast, and is certainly on the right track to do so. As long as he doesn’t make any blunders along the way, he’ll get there.
I’m confident he’ll be able to adapt to anything. For example, if YouTube earnings decline year over year due to competition from other (more popular) YouTubers and declining ad rates, he still has other methods of generating income (product endorsements, merchandise sales, etc). His brand is extremely powerful, and he has the leverage to adjust his business model to earn revenue in various ways as things change naturally over time.
And finally, if there’s one huge take away from the calculation of thestradman’s net worth (and something that we can all learn from) it’s this: don’t underestimate the power of having zero debt. It’s incredibly empowering, and the financial leverage that can be gained from that is immeasurable.