I don't have a million dollars.
But I remember watching a mini-documentary of a famous comedian. It was right after his big breakthrough. He'd gone from being a "starving artist." Not-famous comedians don't often get paid very well.
But then he'd blown up. Gotten his HBO special or whatever it was.
And now he was a millionaire. How many millions, I don't know. But more than he'd ever seen in his life.
The documentary was the day-in-the-life-of sort of thing. And he was busy moving into his new huge huge luxury pimptastic apartment. With all the expensivest furniture and... stuff.
My question is... if he had an entrepreneurial, business or investing background... would he have spent that money the way he spent it?
If you took any average person and handed them a million dollars, assuming they had no previous entrepreneurial experience, or investing experience, or even thinking-a-lot-about-money experience... what would they do?
They would default to the behavior they have been taught by society that rich people do. They would automatically do what they think that people with a million dollars do.
Buy a big house. And a fast car. And probably another fast car.
If you gave them 50 million instead of a million, it's the same deal. Except a bigger house and more and faster cars. And a yacht.
All those things are, from an investment point of view, terrible investments.
Now, I may buy a house one day. I understand it's a terrible investment. I could take the down payment I would have spent on the house and started a business instead, and gotten infinity times better returns on my money. But if I buy a sandwich at the store I don't do it because sandwiches are a good investment, I would buy a sandwich because I want a friggin sandwich. I'd buy a house cuz I want a house.
Anyway. I digress.
I don't think super rich people buy huge houses because that's what rich people do. Some, yes. But those who have a really good understanding of business and money? Hm.
I think in a lot of cases, they just don't have anything else to spend the money on.
If you have ten million, you can put it somewhere where you can make 5% interest -- and those places exist -- and you can live off the interest forever. That's $40,000 per month. You can live almost any kind of spectacular lifestyle off of that.
So what would you do if you had 100 million?
I have no idea what I'd do. I'd probably invest it in businesses, for fun.
It's amazing that no one teaches us, as children, how to think about money. Everyone is clueless. I'm not surprised that a lot of overnight-superstars end up in all sorts of trouble. I'd freak out too if I went from $40k a year to $40k a day.
Warren Buffet said that he drives an old, used car because of the opportunity cost of buying a new car. If he spent $50k on a new car, he'd lose $50k. Whereas if he invested it, that money would turn into a hundred million in 40 years. So the car doesn't cost $50k, it costs $100mm.
Most people don't think like that. I don't think like that.
If I want to be a billionaire, should I think like that? I don't know.
I think a lot about this kind of stuff, but really it's pointless. It doesn't help me to figure out what I'd do with a hundred million if I don't know what I'm going to do in the next ten seconds.
But we're all human. And most of what humans do is sort of pointless anyway.
Life's a big amusement part, and you can go on whichever ride you want. The poverty ride. The billionaire ride. The happiness ride. The LSD ride. Whatever you want.
Anyway. This is a weird sort of thinking-out-loud post. Hopefully it made you think a little too.
Have a nice wednesday.