How Walt Disney Used Life Insurance to Fund his Dream

by: Lem Lomeda

Walt Disney was, and still is, a large part of everyone’s lives. His creative output produced all of the best memories we hold dear in our childhood, from beloved cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse, his feature-length animated movies, to family-themed parks all around the world.

However, all of these had the danger of not coming to fruition at one point in Disney’s life.

He was at a crossroads. All of his previous financial endeavors crashed and burned, and then he was forced to declare bankruptcy. He needed money to bring his vision of a crafty cartoon mouse and his friends into reality, but no banks at this time were willing to let him borrow money from them.

There is a famous quote attributed to him that said: “I could never convince the financers that Disneyland was feasible because dreams offer too little collateral.”

In other words, his dreams were too big and grand for left-brained money men to appreciate and take part in.

So in 1953, he borrowed from his life insurance and funded his earlier projects, one of them was to become Disneyland. He was able to amass $200,000 for his initial efforts, and soon some investors came to revalue his plans and also invested.

And in 1955, the first Disneyland opened in Los Angeles, California, and entertained more than three million people in the first year. It was an extraordinary success and further cemented Disney’s legacy in our collective hearts.

Bank on Yourself method

Walt Disney used the Bank on Yourself method to finance his empire (know more about it by clicking the link).

In short, he used his equity to get through his financial setbacks. It stresses the importance of whole life policy loans, which aided millions of people in saving their homes and businesses from financial disasters.

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