Have you ever been tempted to dabble in the world of reality TV? Many people who dream of being in the spotlight are drawn to it because it can be an interesting way to connect with millions of people and show them what you have to offer.
However, you need to have a larger-than-life personality to be chosen to be a reality TV star. It’s also necessary to have an interesting life that people want to tune in to watch and feel part of.
That’s how Vicki Gunvalson made her fortune…
So, let’s take a closer look at Vicki Gunvalson net worth and discover how the celebrity made a name for herself.
Victoria Gunvalson was born in 1962 in a Northwest suburb of Chicago. Her father was the owner of a large construction company and instilled a strong work ethic in her during her formative years. Moreover, he taught her the values of striving to do her best in all parts of life and living within her means.
With this work ethic firmly in mind, she studied business and finance and founded her own company. She is a Certified Financial Fiduciary and has received an A+ Rating from the Better Business Bureau. She is also a Member of the National Ethics Bureau, as well as the American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance.
Fast forward to today…
Through her hard work and determination, she made her business a success. As a result, she was invited to become a Member of the Million Dollar Round Table. She was also honored with the prestigious Orange County Five Star Wealth Manager award.
Vicki Gunvalson is one of the original cast members of the reality television show The Real Housewives of Orange County on Bravo. She first appeared in season one of the show back in 2005. At the time, the working title was Behind the Gates, and the concept was a documentary-style format.
Why that name?
The original plan for the show was that it would be set in a gated community located in Coto de Caza, California. It was inspired by hit American soap operas like Desperate Housewives and Peyton Place. And it was intended to reveal the actual glamorous lifestyles of the women who live in this exclusive community.
The show was renamed The Real Housewives of Orange County in January of 2006.
And it didn’t take long for it to take off…
The show premiered in March of 2006 and also starred Jo De La Rosa, Kimberly Bryant, Jeana Keough, and Lauri Peterson. This reality TV saga proved to be an overnight hit and made the main characters instant celebrities. In addition to the glitz and glamour of these wealthy ladies, the show focused on the loves, losses, and epic fights.
Vicki Gunvalson appeared as one of the main cast members in seasons one to thirteen of the show and then appeared as a guest. And although she left the series in 2020, she has appeared in a number of spinoff shows. In total, she has appeared in 246 episodes and is one of the longest-serving cast members of the Real Housewives franchise.
Other TV Appearances
For many people, appearing in a reality TV series can lead to a range of other opportunities. And as one of the best-known faces of The Real Housewives of Orange County, the celebrity has received numerous offers. She even appeared on a 2009 episode of Dr. Phil and was asked to talk about issues that came up on the show. The following year, she appeared on the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire as a Celebrity Question Presenter.
Other notable TV appearances include:
- 2008 – A-List Awards (presenter)
- 2011 – Messiest Home
- 2013 – Tamra’s OC Wedding Episodes
- 2015 – The Doctors
- 2022 to 2023 – The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip
- 2022 – Of the Devil
- 2023 – What’s Up Now
Directly after being fired from The Real Housewives of Orange County in 2020, Vicki Gunvalson launched her own podcast. Whoop It Up with Vicki discusses the show, provides behind-the-scenes details, and discusses her identity. She also uses the platform to provide inspiring tales about life, love, relationships, and financial freedom.
The podcast is her opportunity to set the record straight and give her input on stories from the show. Many episodes of the podcast feature A-list guests like Dr. Drew and Patti Stranger. She also invites former reality show cast mates to share their opinions and settle grievances. To date, there have been 27 episodes of the podcast, and it is streamed on a number of platforms.
The reality TV star is also the president and founder of this insurance and financial services company. She began her career in insurance back in 1991 and started working out of her home. And this 6,000-square-foot Coto de Caza mansion was extensively featured in The Real Housewives of Orange County.
In fact, during the reality TV show, she was featured meeting with clients and offering financial advice. As a result, an insurance veteran saw her work and decided to get in touch. This led to a wide range of opportunities, such as educational seminars.
And there’s a lot of money in insurance brokering…
Throughout 2015 she was booked for between two and four seminars every month. During the seminars, she provided advice to retirement-age people on the best insurance policies. This helped her to secure more than six thousand clients and enjoy an annual revenue of over $15 million. The following year, she set herself the target of making $20 million.
As her client base grew, she decided to establish her own company to help serve clients. Coto Insurance and Financial Services consists of five other experienced and talented advisors. However, she still meets with clients herself and plays an active role in the company.
Products that the company offers include:
- Life insurance
- Health insurance
- Travel insurance
- Car insurance
- Home insurance
- Financial expense insurance
- Retirement income planning
- Asset protection
- Estate planning
- Charitable giving
The celebrity has penned and published three books on her life behind and in front of the camera. Her first book, More Than a Housewife, covers her life on the reality TV show. It became an instant hit when millions of people bought it to discover the hot gossip. She followed up on this success with the book Internet Life Insurance Selling Made Easy.
But perhaps the most successful of the three…
Her last book, Let’s Talk Money: Women’s Guide to a Lifetime of Wealth, became an online best-seller overnight. She co-authored this book with financial specialist Dennis M. Postema. The book was published in 2014 and made it to the number-one spot of hot new releases on Amazon. It was also featured in the most wished-for category.
The celebrity still lives in the Coto De Caza mansion that was featured in The Real Housewives of Orange County. This 5,400-square-foot, five-bedroom, six-bathroom mansion is set on one acre of land. It boasts an oversized balcony with views of the Coto De Caza hills and is valued at more than $3 million.
In April 2021, the celebrity purchased a smaller home in the same area for $1,035,000. Then, after spending a little time giving the home a makeover, she listed it for sale. The home quickly sold for a reported $1.6 million, netting her a nice little profit.
Vicki Gunvalson Net Worth and Salary
The celebrity has amassed a fortune of $13 million over the years. During her time on The Real Housewives of Orange County, she received $500,000 per season. However, the majority of her fortune has come from Coto Insurance and Financial Services.
But because she lives in the state of California, her income has placed her in a high tax bracket of 48%. So, it is estimated that she has paid around $6.2 million dollars in taxes during her career. That still leaves her with earnings of around $6.7 million.
But this number has fluctuated…
After divorcing Michael J. Wolfsmith in 1991, she received an estimated $3 million in child and spousal support. However, she had to pay spousal support to Donn Gunvalson when the couple divorced in 2014. And it is estimated that the divorce set her back around $1 million.
The celebrity is a smart businesswoman and has made around $3 million in various investments. Due to the state out of which she operates, it’s believed that she has paid around $1.5 million in business costs. So this brings her current net worth and disposable income to around $8 million.
Vicki Gunvalson married her first husband, Michael J. Wolfsmith, when she was 21 years old. The couple had two children together; Michael Wolfsmith and Briana Culberson. After they divorced eight years later, she began working part-time at her father’s construction company.
After her father died from Alzheimer’s disease, she decided to join the health insurance business. She married Donn Gunvalson in 1994 and obtained her insurance license in California the same year. She then founded and headed Coto Insurance and Financial Services, which became a success.
But in relationships, she has experienced less success…
She divorced Donn Gunvalson in 2014 and later started dating Steve Lodge. He is the brother of actor Roger Lodge, and the pair met at a star-studded party. She got engaged to Steve Lodge in April of 2019 before breaking off the engagement in September 2021.
She then began dating Brooks Ayers during the filming of the tenth season of The Real Housewives of Orange County. And throughout the season, one of the prevalent storylines was that Ayers had cancer. However, it was later proved that the claim was untrue, and a series of false documents were produced.
And if you didn’t already know…
Vicki Gunvalson was blamed for the fake claim and was ultimately fired from the TV series. However, she claims that she genuinely believed that Ayers had cancer and has filed a lawsuit against him. In a weird twist of fate, in November of 2021, she revealed that she had been battling with her own cancer.
More on RHOC?
If you love this series and are inspired by these powerful women’s stories, then why not take a look at our in-depth guides to Lydia Stirling McLaughlin Net Worth, Lizzie Rovsek Net Worth, and Lauri Waring Peterson Net Worth? As well as Jo de la Rosa Net Worth, Brooks Ayers Net Worth, Tamra Barney Net Worth, and many more!
Does Their Wealth Get Your Blood Flowing?
Well then, why not read more about What Percentage of Americans Are Millionaires, as well as our comprehensive guide to the Richest Neighborhoods in America? Learn just How Big is a Mansion, and then take a quick tour through Gunvalson’s state of residence in our latest guide to the Richest Cities in California!
Wanna join them?
OK, back to…
If you are a fan of reality TV, you are sure to be familiar with Vicki Gunvalson. The celebrity is best known for starring on The Real Housewives of Orange County. But while this show helped her to make a name for herself, this is not the main source of her fortune.
She was already a millionaire by the time she was chosen to star in the reality TV show. And the majority of her wealth comes from her insurance and financial services company. However, her strong personality and the ability to capitalize on opportunities have helped her fame and wealth grow considerably.
Here’s to Vicky!
What led to Vicki Gunvalson’s split from her first husband, Michael Wolfsmith?
Vicki filed for divorce in 1991, claiming the primary reason being that Michael was physically abusive. She testified that he had hit her repeatedly and had threatened her life multiple times.
How did Vicki and Donn Gunvalson meet?
The couple met during Vicki’s insurance career when she was looking for a caterer for her company’s Christmas party. Donn’s company had contacted her and the two hit it off immediately.
Was Vicki Gunvalson ever diagnosed with cancer?
In 2015, Vicki’s statement of being diagnosed with cancer created controversy, and the validity of her illness was questioned in the media. Though she was later diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, she was not truthful in the initial statement.
What is Vicki Gunvalson famous for?
Vicki Gunvalson is famous for her appearance on the reality show “The Real Housewives of Orange County” and for being a successful entrepreneur.
Has Vicki Gunvalson retired?
As of 2021, Vicki Gunvalson has not retired from the entertainment industry, although she is not a regular cast member on “The Real Housewives of Orange County” show.
What is the name of Vicki Gunvalson’s insurance company?
Vicki Gunvalson’s insurance company is called Coto Insurance & Financial Services.
How long was Vicki Gunvalson on The Real Housewives of Orange County?
Vicki Gunvalson has been a cast member on “The Real Housewives of Orange County” since the show debuted in 2006.
Does Vicki Gunvalson have children?
Yes, Vicki Gunvalson has two children. Her son, Michael Wolfsmith, and her daughter, Briana Culberson.
Does Vicki Gunvalson still own her Coto de Caza mansion?
As of 2021, it is unclear whether Vicki still owns her Coto de Caza mansion. The home was listed for sale in 2020.
What book did Vicki Gunvalson write?
Vicki Gunvalson wrote the book “More Than a Housewife.”
How much is Vicki Gunvalson worth today?
As of 2021, Vicki Gunvalson’s net worth is estimated to be $7 million.
Did Vicki Gunvalson ever win an Emmy award?
No, Vicki Gunvalson has never won an Emmy award.
What philanthropic activities has Vicki Gunvalson supported?
Vicki Gunvalson has supported several charitable organizations, including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
How many episodes of The Real Housewives of Orange County did Vicki Gunvalson appear in?
Vicki Gunvalson appeared in 228 episodes of “The Real Housewives of Orange County.”
Did Vicki Gunvalson have plastic surgery?
Yes, Vicki Gunvalson has undergone plastic surgery, including a facelift and a breast augmentation.
What is the title of Vicki Gunvalson’s memoir?
Vicki Gunvalson’s memoir is called “More Than a Housewife.”
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