A reader asked me a question (thanks, Uma!) about how Edward and the rest of the Cullens make their money. I thought others might be interested in the answer, so here it is.
Edward’s money comes largely from investments suggested by Alice. His starter funds were from his father’s huge inheritance, which has multiplied about twenty times since Alice showed up in the ’40s. (She considers it an insult when Edward suggests that maybe using foreknowledge in the stock market is a bit unfair for other investors.) He also owns some real estate, including his father’s beautiful downtown Chicago home. (See pictures here.)
Alice herself is making a nice pot of money and a name for herself via her company AliceRoi Designs. (You can Google her. The woman pictured is Alice’s front person, a talented designer in her own right.) Alice also owns lots of real estate acquired over the years, as does Esme.
In addition to rehabbing old houses, Esme (along with Carlisle) owns a private corporation undertaking construction projects all over the world. Much of their work these days is more philanthropic than income-generating as they spread Carlisle’s wealth around: building bridges, roads, water-purification and sewage systems in developing nations and improving community infrastructures for impoverished citizens in the US.
Jasper makes most of his money gambling–poker, at which he is extremely skilled, and sports betting–and in the stock market. Emmett also makes his money mostly by gambling. He does a lot of sports betting and is good at it, but without the aid of Alice’s foresight, which he refuses on principle as bad sportsmanship, he’ll never be as rich as Jasper. However, he has invested quite a lot of money in staging championship boxing matches and earns television advertising revenue from that. Rosalie is a partner in AliceRoi Designs, taking a salary and also a percentage of sales for her personal design work.
Carlisle never thinks about money anymore, as he invested in Chicago real estate in the 1700s. He owns blocks and blocks of high-rent-district properties, all managed by a real-estate company so he can spend his time doing what he loves most–doctoring and research. He owns several patents for well-known medicines and, in fact, invested in the development of penicillin. He continues to invent and patent improvements in surgical equipment and tools.
So there’s a brief synopsis of the Cullens’ income-generating activities. Of course, they have changed over the decades (Jasper was originally a horse trader before meeting Alice, for example), but each of the Cullens has had so long to acquire and build their fortunes that money isn’t ever much of a concern. Most of the management is done through agents and most of the agents are monitored through J. Jenks and his network of cronies in major cities across the US.