Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 405 Joe Ricketts $6.02B

Random fact: Son, Pete Ricketts, became Governor of Nebraska in 2015.


Ricketts was the founder and largest shareholder of TD Ameritrade, the Omaha-based brokerage acquired by Charles Schwab in 2020 for $22 billion. The billionaire purchased most of Major League baseball's Chicago Cubs in 2009. His family retains control of the club and it was valued at more than $4 billion in 2022.

As of :
Last change +$25.0M ( +0.4%)
YTD change +$100M ( +1.7%)
Biggest asset Chicago Cubs
Country / Region United States
Age 81
Industry Finance
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Joe Ricketts's net worth of $6.02B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Ricketts's fortune is derived from his family's control of the Chicago Cubs, a Major League baseball franchise.

Ricketts purchased almost all the Cubs in 2009 for $845 million. He and his family are calculated to own 75% of the team in this analysis based on reports that Ricketts was planning to sell about 20% to minority shareholders around 2014.

The Chicago Cubs are valued at $4.4 billion including $610 million for team-related businesses and real estate, according to an August 2022 report from valuation consultants Sportico.

Ricketts was previously the largest shareholder of brokerage TD Ameritrade with 9% of the publicly traded business, including shares he owned with his wife, according to a 2020 regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. TD Ameritrade was acquired by rival broker Charles Schwab in the same year for about $22 billion.

Cash holdings are valued based on an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, taxes and market performance.

Alfred Levitt, a spokesman for Ricketts, didn't respond to a request for comment on the net worth calculation.


Family: Married, 4 children

Joe Ricketts was born in Nebraska City, Nebraska in 1941, the oldest of four children. His first job was in the third grade, cleaning stools at the county courthouse. While attending Creighton University, a Jesuit university in Omaha, Ricketts worked as a janitor and hospital orderly to pay his tuition.

He married Marlene Volkmer in 1963 at age 22, after the couple first met at St. Bernard's Academy in Nebraska City. The couple's first child, Pete, was born in 1964, and as bills piled up, Ricketts cut his academic hours and became a part-time student, eventually finding work as a credit analyst at Dun & Bradstreet and later a stockbroker at Dean Witter.

Ricketts graduated from Creighton University in 1969 with a degree in Economics. After the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission deregulated broker commissions in 1975, Ricketts co-founded First Omaha Securities with three partners. First Omaha became an early pioneer of discount brokerages, and was the first such brokerage to execute trades using a touch-tone phone.

Ricketts bought out his partners and became majority owner in 1983, and changed the name to Ameritrade Clearing. The company went public in 1997, and by 1999, Ricketts himself had accumulated a net worth of $2 billion, according to a Sept. 21, 2012 Fortune Magazine profile .

During the dotcom crash, Ameritrade's stock fell 94% between 1999 to 2001, leading the company to merge with TD Waterhouse and costing Ricketts his controlling stake, leaving him as the largest individual shareholder of TD Ameritrade.

Ricketts started High Plains Bison, a bison-meat company, in 2004. A year later he founded the Educational Opportunity Foundation to invest in schools across the developing world. Between 2008 and 2009, Ricketts built hyperlocal media website and American Film, and bought the Chicago Cubs baseball team, which placed into a trust for his family.

Ameritrade acquired TD Waterhouse in 2006 for almost $3 billion. The resultant company, TD Ameritrade, was itself acquired 14 years later. Charles Schwab paid about $22 billion for TD Ameritrade.

Joe Ricketts lives in Wyoming with his wife. They have four children.

  • 1941 Joe Ricketts is born in Nebraska City, Nebraska.
  • 1968 Graduates from Creighton University with an economics degree.
  • 1975 Starts First Omaha Securities with three partners.
  • 2006 Ameritrade acquires TD Waterhouse.
  • 2006 Buys property in Time Warner Center's North Tower for $29.2 million.
  • 2009 Buys the Chicago Cubs through a trust.
  • 2020 Charles Schwab acquires TD Ameritrade.