Tulsi Gabbard made a name for herself as a U.S. Army veteran and Hawaiian representative, but she made her fortune as a part-time real estate investor. Today, Forbes believes that Gabbard, 38, worth $500,000.
In the depths of the recession, Gabbard purchased a modest home 100 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, according to local property records. We don’t know what Gabbard was doing in Oklahoma. But the property was seized and Gabbard paid $39,000 for it. In 2012, she sold it for $110,000, earning $71,000.
Two years later, she used a veterans program to take out a $612,000 loan to buy a $600,000 home in Washington, D.C. She’s rented the place since 2017, raising at least $20,000 a year, according to financial disclosures. During that time, the home’s value soared to $865,000. That leaves Gabbard, who presumably paid off the mortgage, with an estimated $300,000 equity in the property. Add in a federal pension worth an estimated $200,000 — the result of more than six years on Capitol Hill — and you’ve got a half-millionaire.
Born in the US territory of American Samoa and raised in Hawaii, Gabbard was educated in business. His parents, Mike and Carol, homeschooled the children and ran a few small businesses, including an organic food restaurant and a confectionery business. Gabbard eventually majored in business at Hawaii Pacific University.
Her life took a turn in 2002, when she ran for office at just 21 years old and became the youngest person ever elected to the Hawaii State Legislature. Around the same time, his father, an anti-gay activist, was elected to the Honolulu City Council. Gabbard’s mother also joined the Hawaii Board of Education.
Public service led to military service. Gabbard enlisted in the Army National Guard and in 2004 deployed as part of a field medical unit in Iraq. She returned to the Middle East for a second tour in 2009.
Between deployments, Gabbard worked as a legislative aide to Hawaiian Senator Daniel Akaka. In 2010, Gabbard was elected to the Honolulu City Council. By then, her father had reversed roles with her and was serving in the Hawaii State Legislature. In 2012, Gabbard ran in Hawaii’s second congressional district, won the seat, and returned to Washington.
As part of his rise to the House of Representatives, Gabbard had to file a financial disclosure report, listing his assets and liabilities. She revealed at least $2,000 worth of shares in Oracle, AT&T, Microsoft and Cisco. She sold all of those shares in 2012.
In 2015, Gabbard married her second husband, Abraham Williams, who describes himself as a “director of photography, steadicam operator and camera operator” on his professional website. Because Gabbard did not release his tax returns, details of Williams’ total income remain unknown. But at least some of his money comes from Gabbard’s campaign coffers. Williams, who has worked on at least one of Gabbard’s past campaign ads, has raised $7,700 from his campaign committees since 2017, according to documents filed by the Federal Election Commission.
Although Gabbard made money in real estate, it’s unclear if she had the same success investing in cryptocurrency. In a financial disclosure filed in August 2018, Gabbard said she purchased between $2,000 and $30,000 in Litecoin and Ethereum on December 12, 2017, just before the January 2018 cryptocurrency market crash. On the financial disclosure she filed in July to run for president, Gabbard reported the value of those two assets as $0.