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mod (Andy) note: "Blast from the past - Best of Eddie" - This one is originally from November 2010. If there's an old post from Eddie you'd like to see up again shoot me a message.

When I was in my teens and early 20's, all I could think about was being rich. I didn't care what I had to do to make the money, I just knew that I wanted to be rich. Not just wealthy, either. I wanted the private jets, the boats, the mansions, the proverbial "fuck you" money. What I didn't spend any time thinking about was what would happen if I made that kind of money and then lost it.

I was reminded of this when I read the story of the Martin family of Paso Robles, California. This is the story of a husband and wife with three kids who made $10 million after taxes from the sale of his father's company in 1998. Today all the money is gone, along with their sprawling estate, his Aston Martin, and her horses - one of which cost $173,000. He went from jet-setting and dinners at the "21" club to teaching at a community college in Kansas in just over 10 years. And it got me thinking about which was worse: to be rich and lose everything, or to have never been rich and not know what you're missing?

I never ended up making "fuck you" money, but I did pretty well for myself early on. For a lower middle-class mailman's kid, I threw up some pretty respectable numbers and quickly got used to the good life. When money is an issue for you your whole life and then suddenly it isn't really, you can either react responsibly and act like you've been in the end zone before, or you can act like a jackass and get flagged for excessive celebration in the Super Bowl of life.

You can probably guess which route I took. I'm still pulling the occasional yellow flag out of my ass from those days.

The money only amplified an already pretty ugly aspect of my personality and, through a series of self-destructive decisions and actions, I lost everything and basically had to spend a year of my life on the run in Mexico and the Far East. The details are unimportant at this point, but what is important is how brutal it was to have had a little dough and then lost it.

The fortunate thing for me was that this happened early in life, and I was able to recover from it. Not only was I able to bounce back, I made even more money the next time. And then I lost that, too. As long as you keep learning from your mistakes, making the money back gets easier each time.

But I'm forced to wonder what life would have been like if I had taken my dad's advice and become a vehicle maintenance officer for the Post Office. Would pulling down $40,000 a year (or whatever they make, I have no idea), loading up the station wagon for a vacation to Disneyland once a year, and living in a 1,300 sq ft 3-bedroom place in the burbs have been preferable to the wealth roller coaster I've ridden for most of my adult life?

I think not. We only go through life once, and I think experiences are the only real currency in this existence. Trying to keep things stable and steady kinda defeats the purpose in my view. Being rich teaches you that money can't buy everything (and that's a lesson you have to learn for yourself to ever really believe it) and being poor teaches you to be resourceful in ways only those who've been there can appreciate. There is great value in both experiences, but I'll grant you that being rich is better than being poor.

What do you think? What do you suppose the Martins think? It has to be especially difficult for their kids to have had everything and then lost it and have to move to where the "poor" people live.

Is it better to have been rich and lost it, or to have never been rich at all?

Comments (59)

  • tireds's picture

    Better to never have been rich at all. Not even a close decision. On the human utility curves losses always hurt significantly more than gains. Also there's one thing desiring a life you never had. Remembering a life you had and lost is so much worse.

  • Midas Mulligan Magoo's picture

    We're on the same wavelength bro, this is exactly what I was going to write about today. SB4U.

    Instead of saying what's better and what's worse, I will say that it's great that Mr. Martin went and got himself a job, no welfare, no unemployment bennies, no crying to the local news...this is life, very often we do what we can, not what we want. I know the popular saying goes the other way, but this story is a great reminder of how it is when you leave fantasy land. Word to the wise...

  • Bisu's picture

    As of right now, have to agree with tireds.

    I'm only a college kid right now (like a lot of this board), so I've never really experienced anything remotely related to the good life, being from a very middle class background.

    I can definitely see it as remembering some great moments in the past, but for some weird reason, it just seems as though when it comes to money, it just seems strange to remember it like it was something great.

    I think part of the fun of not being rich is how everything seems more extravagant when you do decide to drop a little coin for it.

  • eyelikecheese's picture

    No one ever found happiness through money. Wealth is not measured by the amount of things one can afford, but the amount of things one can afford to give up. Why live a life in pursuit of monetary gains and material possessions, for that is the life that literally billions of people have lived previously. People do no dare to be different, to take the road less travelled, and will one day realize that they gave up the best years of their life, years they will never get back, in pursuit of something they cannot even show for. A life of wealth is truly meaningless and leaves one still hungry and thirsty. Those that pursue nothing but money, will slowly become morally corrupt, and lose any sense of independence and original thought. They are so busy with keeping up with the Jonses to buy an entry level BMW or take 3-5 vacations a year, that they are slaves to work because they have to support their mortgage, car payments, extravagent lifestyle. People are too busy adapting to the person society has made the to be, than living to be the person they were born to be.

    Henry David Thoreau said it best " Luxury items are not only not indespensisble, but a positive hindrance to the elevation of mankind"

  • HerSerendipity's picture

    Great post, Eddie! It almost reads like a male Carrie Bradshaw (because clearly, that's what you were going for...). I especially like your posts relating to personal life experiences.

  • SLO89's picture

    This is one of the best and most thought provoking posts I have read to date on this site.... bravo.

  • In reply to tireds
    Ben Shalom Bernanke's picture

    tireds:
    Better to never have been rich at all. Not even a close decision. On the human utility curves losses always hurt significantly more than gains. Also there's one thing desiring a life you never had. Remembering a life you had and lost is so much worse.

    Agreed. Once you get used to that lifestyle, to go back is not the same.

  • tyrets's picture

    My two cents says it's better to be rich and lose it. The reason being, if you actually earned the money, instead of inheriting it, you know how to make it back. Not that I'm some super rich asshole, but I earned everything I had and if it went away this afternoon I would be pissed to no end, but I would just clamp down and make it back. It's kind of our M.O. in the finance world. We know a lot of this shit is paper sometimes and not wealth and if disaster strikes we double down our efforts and make it back. And often times, more than we lost.

    I know plenty of people that got fucked hard in the "credit crisis" and lost proportionally as much as the average Joes. The difference b/w their losses? My friends said "fuck this" and worked to make it back. We eat what we kill and go get what we want versus sitting back and being reactionary.

    That's my rant for the day.

  • CharmWithSubstance's picture

    Great post!

    Better to have been rich and lost it. I think the more you see and the more exposed you are to various things you life, the better off. To go from poor to rich lets you experience new places, new social circles, etc that you may never otherwise. One could argue these events could do more harm than good but for me the worst is when you never had an opportunity.

  • George87's picture

    Thanks for the post Eddie. Really makes you think and maybe put things in perspective. I would have to say that having had money and lost it all is worse. The reason being that once you get accustomed to the so-called "good life" making significant life changes once you lose that wealth it will have an impact on a day-in day-out basis: what food you buy, where you go out to eat, where you travel for vacations, whether or not you can afford to take vacations, what presents you buy for yourself or loved ones, what car you drive, where you live etc. You get the idea.

    I also think that chasing money is not the best option, although I am guilty of doing it myself. It seems as if in the beginning of one's career, the more you chase it the more it seeps through your fingers, at some point I would hope that it will accumulate at a faster rate than I can spend it. It's hard not to get caught up with buying everything that everyone else owns or wants to own, but as long as you stay as true to yourself as you possibly can, I believe that you can make money and live a decent enough life to actually enjoy it.

  • eyelikecheese's picture

    They say slavery was done away with in the year 1863. I say it paved the way for slavery to become instutionalized. Whether you choose to believe it or not, everyone who "has" to work is a slave, and will never be able to enjoy what the world has to offer.

    Haven't you guys ever asked why?

    Why do I wake up each day to slave over a job that I hate. Is the purpose of every finite day you live on the planet just to make more money than the previous?

  • CompBanker's picture

    I'm up in the air on this one. I was fortunate enough to be born into a pretty wealthy family (7 figure annual income), so I've always had everything I've ever needed -- minus a trust fund. As a result, I've never really "desired" excessive money. I obviously make a boatload now given my finance job, but every year I simply bank my bonus and the money chills in the stock market.
    Meanwhile, my "newly wealthy" peers have really let the money go to their head. They weren't always this way, the money changed them. They measure their self worth by their paycheck and are sometimes unwilling to interact with the common folk. It's really quite depressing to watch. If they were to lose it all, they would not fair so well.
    Conclusion: A lot of it depends on the individual. Some people are morphed by money and are destined to live a less fulfilling life if they were to lose it.

    CompBanker

  • rfxm3's picture

    Even though I am still in University I have had a fairly interesting ride so far and feel I can comment on this.

    I was brought up in a moderately wealthy family but was never really given a lot of cash to 'play' with. School fees were paid for but if I wanted a new TV, Playstation and so on it was either christmas or birthday. As such I started a few small businesses over the years, it always meant I had more cash than most of my peers, but not significantly more.

    However, during my second year of university at 20 years old I struck gold with a manufacturing business I decided to start-up ($3000 loan from my dad @ 10%) and within about 8 months I was personally making over $20,000 per week - $1m USD per year.

    As such I was catapaulted into wealth very rapidly, I rented the nicest apartment in town, bought a new M3, ate out every meal and all that crap - even had nights out which cost over $1000 in a place where drinks in a club are $2-3 and a year ago I would have spent maybe $20. It was a hell of an experience.

    However, that stuff all now seems normal and I don't really do it anymore as it is no longer exciting and new - and wasting money gets pretty boring pretty fucking quick! When you attain something it is not better, it becomes the norm, and what you had before just seems worse.

    The business itself was extremely volatile & very high-stress work but it was fucking exciting and the money was awesome. However, given that I could get by on $15k a year very comfortably the money soon lost meaning, instead the numbers became personal targets that I would work against and attempt to beat. If pushed I would probably say the ups-and-downs of making the money far outweighed the actual 'having' it or even spending it.

    I guess what I learnt from it all, as I am just now closing the business as it is no longer viable, is that no matter how much cash you have it will always just seem the norm, and more will always be better, just as less is always worse. When you get it it is initially fun, when you lose it it is intially shit. Soon enough though that new level becomes the norm.

    For me i'd sure as hell prefer that mega-exciting roller coaster ride through life, so for me having it and losing it will always beat that flat risk free curve of never having it at all.

  • SAC's picture

    I agree with Tireds. Once you're used to that lifestyle, its hard to go back to slumming it with the common folk. I've never been the type to spend excessively on cars, apartments, clothes etc, but I don't want to have to penny-pinch when it comes to other stuff either (eating out, partying, traveling) i.e. stuff you can only enjoy when you're in your 20's.

  • monkeysama's picture

    You only live once. I would be rich and lose it all, even if it would be truly painful, because I would have tasted more of the spectrum of human experience.

  • monkeysama's picture

    Then again, the best way to be rich is to live frugally. People who are poor and come into a lot of money suddenly (lottery winners are a famous example) and don't have the monetary discipline to budget never end up faring well.

  • GoodBread's picture

    Gotta side with you Edmundo. If people are going to start talking utility curves, my boredom curve means a lot more to me than the money one so the ups and downs of wealth, while painful, would be better than a boring, slow and steady job.

  • down on the upside's picture

    gotta side with Edmundo on this one as well, looking back ony my very short life, it is the experiences and moments that made life interesting/worth living for. Money doesn't buy happiness but it does buy a refined lifestyle that makes me appreciate when I was working a shitty job/studying fulltime. Plus its always nice to be have a 5 star suite to crash in after a long day of partying versus a friends couch. Even if you did become rich and then lost it all, that lifestyle is something experienced that you can see as an achievable goal (if I got there before I can get there again). the only way to deal with failure is to pickup the pieces, stop bitching, ignore the haters and make a new empire.

  • In reply to eyelikecheese
    down on the upside's picture

    eyelikecheese:
    They say slavery was done away with in the year 1863. I say it paved the way for slavery to become instutionalized. Whether you choose to believe it or not, everyone who "has" to work is a slave, and will never be able to enjoy what the world has to offer.

    Haven't you guys ever asked why?

    Why do I wake up each day to slave over a job that I hate. Is the purpose of every finite day you live on the planet just to make more money than the previous?

    where did this come from? everyone has to work because, contrary to what most parents tell children, shit isn't free. just because you have to earn you dough doesn't mean you can't enjoy what the world has to offer. its called taking a vacation and booking a destination. Or quitting your day job and doing something you truly love. nobody's asking you to work a job you dont like, you can always quit.

  • eyelikecheese's picture

    Haha. I don't mean slavery as the traditional definition, nor do I wish to incite a riot. The point I meant to make is that once humans put material wealth or the attainment of money above anything else is life, you become a slave. Argue all you want, but the opposition to that is at best unfounded optimism, and at worse, inexcusably naive. I like money, who doesn't? Just when you make the accumulation of wealth your number one goal is life, which is what most bankers do, why else would you slave away your life at the prospect of better opportunities down the road, you become morally corrupt. Thus a slave to creditors for owing them money. A slave to your peers for constantly trying to impress them, and a slave to the government by "needing" to support the corporations that own them

    It takes a train of independent thought meshed with an open mind to truly understand my point

  • In reply to eyelikecheese
    LIBOR's picture

    eyelikecheese:
    Haha. I don't mean slavery as the traditional definition, nor do I wish to incite a riot. The point I meant to make is that once humans put material wealth or the attainment of money above anything else is life, you become a slave. Argue all you want, but the opposition to that is at best unfounded optimism, and at worse, inexcusably naive. I like money, who doesn't? Just when you make the accumulation of wealth your number one goal is life, which is what most bankers do, why else would you slave away your life at the prospect of better opportunities down the road, you become morally corrupt. Thus a slave to creditors for owing them money. A slave to your peers for constantly trying to impress them, and a slave to the government by "needing" to support the corporations that own them

    It takes a train of independent thought meshed with an open mind to truly understand my point

    Plato's got your back on this one. Check out book 8 of The Republic (Sorry this is like the eight time that I brought up The Republic recently I don't mean to sound like an ass but its pretty relevant to a lot of discussions on WSO).

  • In reply to Ben Shalom Bernanke
    IlliniProgrammer's picture

    Ben Shalom Bernanke:
    Agreed. Once you get used to that lifestyle, to go back is not the same.

    Tell me about it. I grabbed lunch at taco bell last week, and it just wasn't the same as when I was working as a lifeguard earning $8/hour. The food tasted weird and seemed unhealthy relative to the Qdoba I normally eat at.

    That's why it's so good to keep your lifestyle under control once you graduate. I still think grabbing a six pack of Yuengling and drinking at home with my roommate is almost as much fun as going out clubbing.

    However, I have become a sucker for higher-end fast food restaurants. $6 for dinner at Subway doesn't cut it anymore. Today it's $8.50 for dinner at Panera.

    The easiest way to make money is to not need to spend it in the first place.

    Haha. I don't mean slavery as the traditional definition, nor do I wish to incite a riot. The point I meant to make is that once humans put material wealth or the attainment of money above anything else is life, you become a slave. Argue all you want, but the opposition to that is at best unfounded optimism, and at worse, inexcusably naive. I like money, who doesn't? Just when you make the accumulation of wealth your number one goal is life, which is what most bankers do, why else would you slave away your life at the prospect of better opportunities down the road, you become morally corrupt.

    +1. Money is nice to have, but when you make it life's #1 priority, you're not really living.

    I'm not going to try and tell folks what the top five priorities in life are- that's not my job on a secular forum. But I do know that money isn't on it. It might not even be on the top ten list.

  • In reply to IlliniProgrammer
    GoodBread's picture

    IlliniProgrammer:
    However, I have become a sucker for higher-end fast food restaurants. $6 for dinner at Subway doesn't cut it anymore. Today it's $8.50 for dinner at Panera.

    Whoa dude. $5 footlong spicy italian subs walks all over anything at Panera except for cinnamon crunch bagels with honey walnut (lightly toasted). And that's a desert, not a meal. Did you get my PM, btw?

  • In reply to rfxm3
    econ's picture

    rfxm3:
    I guess what I learnt from it all, as I am just now closing the business as it is no longer viable, is that no matter how much cash you have it will always just seem the norm, and more will always be better, just as less is always worse. When you get it it is initially fun, when you lose it it is intially shit. Soon enough though that new level becomes the norm.

    The hedonic treadmill, at it's finest. Supposedly, paraplegics and lottery winners are equally happy one year afterwards.

  • Dingleberry's picture

    Id easily chose to have the money and lose it. Im a person who would rather learn by trial and error.

    If i earned a million dollars and blew it all, atleast id have something to show for it; experience. Of course it hurt.
    You give me a 35k a year job for the next 40 years... the experience would be mind numbing.

    Id rather blame myself for being foolish than blame myself for never having it.
    Give me my 15 minutes of fame followed by 10-20 years of regret before 20 years of mediocrity.

    ...

  • IlliniProgrammer's picture

    @GoodBread

    Yes, but I'm hardly an expert on the field you're asking about.

  • kingtut's picture

    Look at Donald Trump. He's been bankrupt at least two or three times. Every time he comes back stronger and has an even hotter piece hanging off his arm. Chances are that if you were gifted the money and squandered it you probably are not going to have the means to earn it back as is such with the aforementioned story.

  • In reply to econ
    IlliniProgrammer's picture

    econ:

    The hedonic treadmill at it's finest. Supposedly, paraplegics and lottery winners are equally happy one year afterwards.

    The main difference is free time, though. People with free time tend to be happier than those without it.

  • happypantsmcgee's picture

    We should subpoena MC Hammer as an expert witness

    If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

  • FinanceTherapist.'s picture

    It's much better to have not have had it all rather than to have had it and lost it all. See, if you have had it and lost it, you are most probably going to end up in a long really bad depression. While if you are less likey to be depressed if you have never had it at all since you will be happy with sort of gained value. In sort if you had it all and lost it then you 30% likey to develope bi-polar disorder, and 70% more likey to fall in to depression.

  • eyelikecheese's picture

    I've been reading a few books totally unrelated to finance as of lately. I've poured through the same finance books that everyone reads and the information is all the same, purely entertaining, with no ethereal value. I was recommended "Siddhartha" and "Walden" by guys from this board, and the impact has been profound.

    For you money hungry chums, I recommend the book "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau. It will open your eyes and put questions in your mind. If you choose to, you will find the answer to these questions you have wondered your whole life.

    Siddhartha should speak for itself.

  • In reply to kingtut
    down on the upside's picture

    kingtut:
    Look at Donald Trump. He's been bankrupt at least two or three times. Every time he comes back stronger and has an even hotter piece hanging off his arm. Chances are that if you were gifted the money and squandered it you probably are not going to have the means to earn it back as is such with the aforementioned story.

    it also helps that he comes from a fantastically rich/successful family that he can run to whenever his casino/hotel business sours. Don't really think much of the guy, he merely sells his brand these days, his actual businesses are general failures. He may have a hotter piece hanging of his arm, but that dead animal on his head matches whats in it.

  • In reply to IlliniProgrammer
    Ben Shalom Bernanke's picture

    IlliniProgrammer:
    Ben Shalom Bernanke:
    Agreed. Once you get used to that lifestyle, to go back is not the same.

    Tell me about it. I grabbed lunch at taco bell last week, and it just wasn't the same as when I was working as a lifeguard earning $8/hour. The food tasted weird and seemed unhealthy relative to the Qdoba I normally eat at.

    That's why it's so good to keep your lifestyle under control once you graduate. I still think grabbing a six pack of Yuengling and drinking at home with my roommate is almost as much fun as going out clubbing.

    However, I have become a sucker for higher-end fast food restaurants. $6 for dinner at Subway doesn't cut it anymore. Today it's $8.50 for dinner at Panera.

    The easiest way to make money is to not need to spend it in the first place.

    Haha. I don't mean slavery as the traditional definition, nor do I wish to incite a riot. The point I meant to make is that once humans put material wealth or the attainment of money above anything else is life, you become a slave. Argue all you want, but the opposition to that is at best unfounded optimism, and at worse, inexcusably naive. I like money, who doesn't? Just when you make the accumulation of wealth your number one goal is life, which is what most bankers do, why else would you slave away your life at the prospect of better opportunities down the road, you become morally corrupt.

    +1. Money is nice to have, but when you make it life's #1 priority, you're not really living.

    I'm not going to try and tell folks what the top five priorities in life are- that's not my job on a secular forum. But I do know that money isn't on it. It might not even be on the top ten list.

    Gotta love the Yuengling. I hope your lack of Chipotle consumption is because there are none around.
    Chipotle > Qdoba

  • GutShot's picture

    I'd rather be a has been, than a would have been.

  • zoov's picture

    Being rich is definitely nice, whether or not it is lost.

    It's the classic saying, "It is better to have loved and lost then to never have loved at all".

  • tireds's picture

    on the being able to make money back, thats to a large extent alot of bullshit.

    So much of getting rly rich is due to sheer luck, so just because you have done it once doesn't mean you can recreate that kind of success

  • In reply to tireds
    happypantsmcgee's picture

    tireds:
    on the being able to make money back, thats to a large extent alot of bullshit.

    So much of getting rly rich is due to sheer luck, so just because you have done it once doesn't mean you can recreate that kind of success

    Not sure I agree with your last statement. It would depend on your definition of 'rly' rich. I would rather have never been rich than to have lost it all. I can't imagine knowing what that life is like and then having to go back to mediocrity. Not that mediocrity is bad but I wouldn't want to see how the other half lives then be on the outside again. That's just me though.

    If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

  • In reply to tireds
    Edmundo Braverman's picture

    tireds:
    on the being able to make money back, thats to a large extent alot of bullshit.

    So much of getting rly rich is due to sheer luck, so just because you have done it once doesn't mean you can recreate that kind of success

    What you might be discounting is the mindset you develop when you've attained wealth. There's no doubt that there is a component of luck in wealth accumulation, and to a greater degree the more wealth that is involved.

    However, the average person deals with life from a mindset of scarcity (meaning, I need X dollars to survive, I can't take a chance on XYZ because I might lose what little I have, etc...) where someone who has accumulated wealth at one point deals with life from a mindset of abundance. Despite negative circumstances, a formerly wealthy person can see a path back to wealth that someone who has never been there is unable to visualize.

    From personal experience, it is much easier to accumulate wealth the second time around (and exponentially easier the third time around) than it was the first time.

  • In reply to Edmundo Braverman
    tireds's picture

    Edmundo Braverman:
    tireds:
    on the being able to make money back, thats to a large extent alot of bullshit.

    So much of getting rly rich is due to sheer luck, so just because you have done it once doesn't mean you can recreate that kind of success

    What you might be discounting is the mindset you develop when you've attained wealth. There's no doubt that there is a component of luck in wealth accumulation, and to a greater degree the more wealth that is involved.

    However, the average person deals with life from a mindset of scarcity (meaning, I need X dollars to survive, I can't take a chance on XYZ because I might lose what little I have, etc...) where someone who has accumulated wealth at one point deals with life from a mindset of abundance. Despite negative circumstances, a formerly wealthy person can see a path back to wealth that someone who has never been there is unable to visualize.

    From personal experience, it is much easier to accumulate wealth the second time around (and exponentially easier the third time around) than it was the first time.


    that's a good point.

    When saying "rly rich" I meant 100m+ :p now in that there's a massive component of variance

  • In The Flesh's picture

    I know this sounds like a copout, but it depends on the person really. No one ever found true happiness by wealth alone; that's what Bud Fox found out. He discovered what was really important to him, and as much as he wanted to be Gordon Gekko, he was still Bud Fox. Of course, not everybody gets the shot at redemption that he had.

    For me personally, I guess I'm kind of ambivalent. Either way would be rewarding somehow.

    @eyelikecheese: It's all in how you view your job; you can't always control circumstances, but you can control how you react to them. If you're seriously going to wake up every morning with the mentality that you're a victim of the system and a slave to the rat race, then it's obvious that you're probably not going to happy with your job. It's only a rat race if you consider yourself a rat and act like one. You can view work that way if you want, but it's probably more productive to think of it as going to the office and kicking some ass.

    Of course, what do I know? I'm only a college senior. I get it's difficult out there in the real world.

    Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

  • eyelikecheese's picture

    There are truly two worlds in which we live. One where there is truth and those apart of the resistance, and those in which people either willingly, but mostly unwillingly choose to live in. There are two pills to take in life, the red pill and the blue pill. You've all seen the matrix. I'm just encouraging everyone to think a little, that is all.

    Plato's "The allegory of the cave". Check it out, it will give you some perspective on the life you live, as well as those around you.

    For more, will have to read my book

  • D M's picture

    My family's always been well-off, but never straight up rich. I guess being from that background money isn't AS big a deal to me as many others. I mean, I wish I had more (I just do odd jobs to pay the bills, maybe get about $10-15k/yr), but having this little doesn't matter much. I'm pretty sure if I held a lottery ticket in my hand for $5 million and had none of it next year I probably wouldn't care too much. I'm more about the people I'm with then the things I have.

    "You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
    "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

  • cphbravo96's picture

    Any can be poor and/or underachieving. I would rather be rich and lose it and take it as a lesson in humility than to never have been there in the first place. Like some folks have mentioned already, life is about experiences and you get to have a much larger variety when you are wealthy as opposed to poor or middle class. I came from a lower middle class-to-regular middle class family and I've compared my "vacations" to those of my friends who have come from families that had a larger income or few kids or both and going to Europe and Alaska and South America, etc is way more fun than driving to the same fucking mountain year after year.

    Now, I don't think I would trade my upbringing for anything but the selfishness inside often wonders what my life would have been like as just one of 2 kids and not one of a million (my parents were foster parents for many years). It is important to point out just how much my upbringing shaped who I am today. Our family time consisted of throwing the football in the back yard, going to parks, talking walks around the neighborhood, essentially things that are cheap, if not free, but place an emphasis on quality time. Sadly I my last gf placed more importance on doing things that cost money which were no doubt fun, but focused on the experience doing the event/trip as opposed to ones that were less costly and placed an emphasis on quality time spent with each other...which is what I've always seen my parents do. For me that simply means I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to be with the person I love just to earn more money, but that isn't going to stop me from trying in the mean time.

    Truthfully, it's an odd place for me to stand somewhere between not needing money to be happy but wanting to gain wealth as a point of pride and achievement...to be able to give my future family everything I always wanted but never had. I think the hard part will be raising a family with money but trying to teach them to be humble and appreciate the small stuff in life. That's my $0.02...don't spend it all in one place.

    Regards

    "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
    - Ronald Reagan

  • K3's picture

    This post actually touches on my life EXACTLY!

    I am originally from overseas, Dubai, but born in the U.S. Dubai is full of a bunch of rich brats that just find stuff to buy, and I was on the other side, not so rich, and actually living by myself because my family had moved to another country and I needed to complete school in the high school I attended, in senior year. Since i was poor, and all my friends were rich, I had to find a way to even out the buck drops on clubbing and parties.... so I found a way to incorporate the two. I became a DJ... hauling in about 100 bucks a night with my personal dj equipment bought years prior with speakers first that i borrowed cash from my dad to buy. As my rep grew, I began hosting events all over the place, all for only a 100 bucks. Then I started getting other DJs on board to go to parties and DJ instead of me, and I would tell them that they would have to prove themselves with two parties, where there took no fee for. The profitable thing was, is that there were about 26 DJs on my calling list, which meant 52 events of just CASH. (I only used about 6 DJs instead of myself after 2 months of having the list because of quality control).

    Now how I got filthy rich in high-school: as a senior in high-school, and more or less a professional DJ at a big club in Dubai, Trilogy Night Club, I was jacking in about 600 bucks a night just for my 4 hour performance, not including all the other hundreds my minions were making me the same night. Now, I began the real profitability. I found DJ kits at a wholesaler in Dubai Free Zone who sold large party speakers for 5% of retail price!!!! I then began brain washing all the DJs on my call list to "upgrade their kits" so that their performances can be better. Buying total kits at 300 bucks and selling them to my DJs for 2000!! I sold about 16 kits in my first month. Then I had randos requesting kits, which meant online shopping was now my channel. I began posting kits online, a variety depending on the DJ, and people began ordering and lets just say I made the wholesaler really happy with all the business, especially since we weren't paying taxes for our business exchanges (Dubai Free Zone rules). At this point, I also jacked up my party performance from $100 to $400 a party, still sending out other DJs to do my work. I then broke into another market, Clubbing after parties, which meant filthy rich princes who needed a good DJ for their sex orgy after the club night out. I would charge about 1000 bucks for those, and I would even send my call list djs out for it too! The funny thing is, I would pay my call list DJs about 200 bucks for those from 4am to 8am, and they would call me up and tell me about how awesome it was, while in the back of my mind I was thinking about which Gucci loafers, belt, sunglasses I was going to buy with that 800 bucks.

    jacking in about 30,000 bucks a month (my best month) and about 10,000 on my worst month, My Dad came in to Dubai to visit me, stared at all the DJ equipment, party galore equipment, and cash all over my apartment and assumed the worst.... he said: "Your a drug dealer aren't you....?" My Dad forced me out of Dubai to the United States two days after graduation. He called up some university and got me in with his Geo-physics petroleum background.

    During that time, I managed to save about 15,000 in total and liquidated everything I owned, settling for about 33,000 in a bank account wired to me in the States from all my business proceeds.

    I lived the life, spent more then 2000 bucks on a Friday night on my friends and doing whatever the fuck we wanted.... woke up on a Saturday, rented a Yacht and went para sailing and hit up the prestigious Plastik Pool party Day club in the Mirage starting at 5pm, rented out Ferraris for fun (or sometimes just allowed to drive some of the prince of dubai's cars, mainly Lambos) and now, I have drive a shitty American car with a fake 300 hp sticker label. whata piece of shit.

    The other summer I interned at a Big4 firm, I think I made less money in the entire summer then I used to spend in a week in Dubai as a senior in high-school... true moral of the story, IT WAS FUCKIN AWESOME and its best to experience it to have a standard of life. Mine is high, and one day I hope to get back up there. Girls, money, good friends, sexy toys, and an incredible career.

    Too bad electronic distribution and competition is so effin high here, its impossible to replicate that business.

    .

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  • notamonkey's picture

    All I care about in life is accumulating bananas

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