At age 19, Beal became a real estate investor, where he bought a house in Lansing for $6,500 and started leasing it for $119 per month. Beal became known for buying properties, renovating them and selling them. In 1976, he attended an auction of federal properties in Washington, DC and bid on an apartment building in Waco, TX. His winning bid was $217,500. Three years later he sold the building for more than $1 million. Also in 1976, he enrolled at Baylor University in Waco, TX, but left school to focus on Business endeavors.
In 1981, Beal and a partner bought two housing project buildings in disrepair, the Brick Towers in Newark, New Jersey, for $25,000. Two years later they sold the repaired buildings for $3.2 million to a private investor.
In 1988, Beal opened a bank in Dallas, and in 2004 another in Las Vegas. Since then, the banks have purchased financial assets and held them as the market improved. The Banks’ purchases have included:
Beal is self-taught in number theory in mathematics. In 1993, he publicly stated a new mathematical hypothesis that implies Fermat's Last Theorem as a corollary. His hypothesis has become known as the Beal Conjecture. No counterexample has been found to the conjecture.
Beal has been married twice. He has two children with his first wife. In 1996, he married Estonian immigrant Simona Beal. They have four children. Simona filed for divorce in 2010.
In 1997, as part of a space privatization trend encouraged by the federal government, Beal started an aerospace company to build rockets with the goal of placing communications satellites in orbit. Operating with more than 200 employees from a 163,000-square-foot space in Frisco, Texas, Beal Aerospace focused on a three-stage, 200-foot-tall rocket. Powered by hydrogen peroxide and Kerosene, the engine eliminated the need for a separate ignition system because, as the hydrogen peroxide oxidized, it ignited the Kerosene.
Facing competition from new NASA-funded group initiatives, Beal closed the company and ceased operations on Oct. 23, 2000, citing the difficulty private companies face when competing with the governmental subsidies of NASA.
While the games outlined in Craig's book ended in 2004, Beal returned to Las Vegas from February 1–5, 2006 to again take on "The Corporation" in a $50,000/100,000 Limit Hold 'Em match at the Wynn Las Vegas Casino. Opponents included Todd Brunson, Jennifer Harman, Ted Forrest, and others.
Through Beal Bank, Beal also donated $1 million to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, which opened in December 2012. Beal’s companies donated more than 200 computers to the Dallas Independent School District for student use.
Beal endorsed Donald Trump for President of the United States in 2016. Beal serves as one of the top economic advisers to Trump's campaign. Beal donated $2 million to a Trump super PAC in September 2016, and another $1 million for the inaugural festivities according to Forbes.
As of November 2017, the Beal Conjecture prize remains unclaimed.
Based on the Uniform Bank Performance Report from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, Beal Bank’s return on assets (ROA) was 8.1 in 2008, several times in excess of its peer group (insured savings banks with assets greater than $1 billion). From 2009-2012 Beal Bank generally exceeded its peer group.