"One may smile and be a villain." Wm.Shakes.
Apparently the Bard of Avon was a shrewd business type, profiting from grain hoarding and evading taxes.
A team of researchers from Wales' Aberystwyth University--( Is this just the revenge of the Welsh??)-- says this:
"Over a 15-year period (Shakespeare) purchased and stored grain, malt and barley for resale at inflated prices to his neighbors and local tradesmen," they wrote, adding that Shakespeare "pursued those who could not (or would not) pay him in full for these staples and used the profits to further his own money-lending activities."
He was pursued by the authorities for tax evasion, and in 1598 was prosecuted for hoarding grain during a time of shortage."