Rich ppl, what does it feel like? What’s the best and worst thing about being wealthy ?

What do you worry about? What stresses you out? What do you drive? Do you have a maid? Do you have a lot of friends? Do you sleep good at night? Do people seem fake to you because of your money? Did money solve a lot of your problems?

But seriously, it just seems like most of my aggravations in life could be easily fixed with money, and people say money doesn't buy happiness. Just curious what it's like when you don't have to worry about money.

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Comments (156)

Nov 12, 2021 - 2:51pm

mo money mo problems

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 8
  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
Nov 12, 2021 - 3:25pm

I would look at it the other way. What problems do you have? And how would money solve it? Do you think you wouldn't let your lifestyle creep?

I think certain stress goes away (what happens if I get fired? Can I afford my life? Etc), but you still have stress about work (if you care about it), life, etc. 

I generally agree that at a certain point, the key stressors go away and the incremental happiness from living in a $5mm place vs $500k (or $1mm in nyc) doesn't add all that much

  • Economist in Risk Mnmgt
Nov 12, 2021 - 3:30pm

I'll share a few thoughts. Not rich, well off for the most part.

Too old for a flashy car, I drive a 2018 Ford.

I have a house cleaner who comes by every 3 weeks or so. Having a clean organized house cuts down on the chaos.

One of the bigger nicer houses on the block. Get plenty of praise, and I appreciate it, but it's a little bittersweet. Don't like looking like, "that guy" to the commoners who live down the road.

I have an i8 bed and sleep well.

As far as money and problems/happiness. It's true, money can't buy happiness. Things, toys, and even trips will buy pleasure, not joy. We are insatiable people and economics even tells us we have limited means for unlimited wants. You'll never be happy chasing what the paper can buy. Plus, you have a mark on your back. You are only as good as your next success. Mess up a few times at work and you could be losing your job for some whippersnapper who'll work twice as hard for half the pay.

I have been broke, like making ends meet broke working a graveyard shift at a local gas station on top of a regular job to get by in a crappy shared apartment. Having more money has alleviated that stress. But other stresses have come in which are just different.

Even when I was broke, I wasn't unhappy. I had fewer obligations and fears about my employment. I worked hard and played hard, just cheaply. I couldn't drink top shelve so I'd sneak alcohol in a flask to save a few. I'd splurge on occasion and truly enjoy it as I knew how hard I had to work.

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Nov 13, 2021 - 6:06pm

GoLiftSomeWeightsBro

house cleaner who comes by every 3 weeks or so.

Having a clean organised house. 

how tf does that work out? my place is a dump if I don't have it cleaned at least once a week 

You still organize and clean up daily/weekly. Then you have a cleaner that does the whole house in one day, making it spotless again

  • Economist in Risk Mnmgt
Nov 12, 2021 - 3:32pm

Not rich enough to have the entourage of people hanging with me for my money. I make friends organically. I have a fair manageable share of close friends. Nothing impressive.

William Shatner recently opened up about loneliness in Hollywood. He said he never truly knew If people loved him or simply wanted to be close for a future business purpose.

Nov 12, 2021 - 3:41pm

I'm not rich - I rent an apartment with a roommate and drive a basic sedan. However, I have a large amount of money for someone in their early 20's. Anyone working in finance who was able to graduate without any student debt will have a lot compared to the average American.

I can eat out at restaurants and not worry about how much I spend, but that's because I don't really go to expensive places. I really don't do much other than go to work, lift weights (have access to multiple gyms for free), and play video games. I'll go out every now and then and try to keep total costs under $200 (this is reasonable in my area).

I have no financial concerns, but I'm also conservative when it comes to spending. It's nice to know I have a safety net I can fall back on if anything happened, but it's not like I can go buy a Lambo if I want.

The biggest thing is perspective - I live a modest lifestyle, and while I'd love to make it rain 24/7, I can't afford to and that's fine with me for now.

Money does not buy you happiness, but it does afford you a sense of comfort that makes it easier to focus on things that could bring you happiness. Some of the happiest people I know are poor people in 3rd world countries - they will never learn what a stock market is, but they are 1000x happier than the average American.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 13, 2021 - 12:09pm

I'm really into working out and playing video games as well and man does it feel good to look at my investments every few months and see how much I've managed to save largely because of my inexpensive hobbies.

Nov 12, 2021 - 4:14pm

I mean I'm going to have close to a $600k net worth if all things go according to plan next month, and I'm in my mid to late 20's. For some people, it may not be a lot, but I grew up piss poor and had $0 in my account about 5 years ago, so I consider it a lot. For me,  I don't live lavishly, but I do travel and go on vacations a shit ton. I like my job and get paid well  and have job security (like $200k+), and will probably not quit and do the whole FIRE thing people on Reddit are obsessed about. But having $600k DEFINITELY gives me peace of mind and comfort and no anxiety, and I wouldn't trade it for anything else. I remember I had so much anxiety about finding a good finance job when I was in college (Interviewing, networking FUCKING sucks), but seeing where I'm now, it lowers my heart rate

Nov 12, 2021 - 5:21pm

People like Phil Falcone had tax issues if I remember correctly.

-
 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Nov 12, 2021 - 5:55pm

Not well off just yet, but will break 100k in savings targeted in roughly a year-ish if I play my cards right.  Mid 30s working professional in medical/bio space.  When I started to take finances seriously, I was ashamed at how little I saved, but I know that many people do not have the same opportunity I have right now (including job/opportunity).  I am quite humbled.  When I was offered a FT role with the company I am at (originally PT), I told myself I'd bust my butt off and did whatever I can do to succeed.  

For those who are not well off, or just starting to get there.  Check out thebrofessor 's post about 'What to do about money' postings here.  I have met plenty of bankers/lawyers/doctors who make incredible amounts of money, but spend it as it comes in.  Save whenever you can, and be wise about it.  

Nov 14, 2021 - 8:18pm

Pizz

Just curious, do you have a SO with savings? Then you're definitely   more better off savings off 

Sorry for the wait for reply. No, single but considering snagging one of those models overseas as a wife. I know a few that wants to live/work here, others rather move to Germany/Europe or Canada.

It's quite interesting. I noticed American women typically do not like Asian men (I am Asian), and so the dating scene here is a little lackluster. Although I will say this, dressing well/appearance improvements does help breaking the ice talking to women. Though, I even know Asian women here in the US would not marry Asian men (regardless of how successful we are).

What has your experience been? I feel the wife overseas would appreciate the opportunity to come and work here, and would have better stability (children and such).

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 12, 2021 - 6:32pm

Grew up very very wealthy 100m+ net worth around people very wealthy. Some observations:

  • Many wealthy kids are more likely than average to suffer from depression, suicide etc. especially girls. Why? I think it has to do with expectations/ pressure and a lack of a support network. Daddy issues are real. There are many wealthy people who have/had parents that simply didn't spend time with them. As a result, their entire life is built on a foundation that lacks love and acceptance. Just because your parents were able to afford you private tennis lessons doesn't mean they act like they love you. In fact, many of the kids I knew grew up with borderline absent parents some even having live-in maids/ baby sitters that raised them rather than their own parents. Additionally, divorce rates are high and violent when money is involved. If your parents are both poor it's unlikely one was trying to use the other for money-not the case with rich peoples parents and you see a ton of brutal divorces.
  • The wealthiest people aren't wealthy because they wanted to be rich, they are that way because they love what they do or they are disgustingly competitive. Comparison is the thief of joy. I understand you think money will solve your problems, but many wealthy people struggle with being not as wealthy as they would like. The only way to be truly wealthy is to live below your means and not get caught up comparing yourself to others. Very few people do this. Some of the most miserable people I know are other private equity professionals who are making less than a market rate or lower than they would like. Many people's happiness is based on relative measures rather than absolute ones and the goalposts move as people age.
  • Managing Director in PE - Other
Nov 13, 2021 - 4:58pm

SB'd. Waiting on carry for 6+ years is also depressing 

Funniest
Nov 12, 2021 - 6:32pm

A whole lot of people that aren't rich or wealthy commenting on this thread.

Array

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Nov 12, 2021 - 7:38pm

I mean dude let's just say you own 3 houses. They have to be cleaned regularly so you need a cleaning staff. If you rent them out you need a property manager. So now you're head of 3 managers and a cleaning staff across three states? It is what it is.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in IB - ECM
Nov 12, 2021 - 8:08pm

Young, so not 'super rich', but with a trust fund / from a wealthy family.

What do I worry about / what stresses me out?

  • Work.  Investment banking is stressful, and there are lots of things, small and large, to worry about.  This is where most of my everyday stress comes from.
  • My health.  I need to take better care of it / often let work get in the way.
  • My friends.  Some of them are struggling in various ways (money, relationships, health, family).
  • My future.  I'm currently single.  I worry about finding someone I love and eventually having a family and kids.
  • The future of the world.  Climate change anxiety is real.  There is an overarching sense of dread that my 50s/60s/70s could be a terrifying time in my life.

What do I drive:

  • Currently: an electric scooter.  I live in New York City, and rarely need anything else.  When I do, I Uber or rent a car.
  • Over the pandemic: A somewhat older, expensive German sports car.  I wanted something fun, and I got a great deal on it in March 2020 (before car prices went crazy).
  • In college / initially out of school: A Subaru.  I went to school in the northeast, and they are incredibly practical cars.

Do I have a maid:

  • Not at this point, but I really should.  I have an irrational issue with spending money for something that isn't that hard for me to deal with myself, even though I know it's worth the time savings.

Do I have a lot of friends:

  • Yes and no.  I've traveled very extensively, and had a lot of 'chapters' in my life (part of growing up the way I did).  I have 2-3+ core friends from every chapter that I'm still in touch with, back 20+ years.  Hypothetically, I have ~25 people who, if we all lived in the same place, would hang out regularly.  As it is, I text all of them routinely / we see each other whenever we can - everyone is scattered to the winds, so I have a place to stay basically anywhere in the western world (and plenty of places not in the western world), but only 3-4 core friends in NYC that I actually can hang out with most of the time.  I have a decent number of acquaintances as well, am an introvert, and spend most of my time working, so this is more than fine by me. 

Do I sleep well at night?

  • Generally yes.  I don't have anything currently that keeps me up at night on an ongoing basis.  Sometimes I have too much caffeine on a stressful day, and then sleep less well.

Do people seem fake to me because of my money?

  • Rarely.  I don't wear flashy expensive things.  My expensive watches sit in the drawer 360+ days a year - I don't like things on my wrists.  My shoes are expensive, but I don't buy name brands, and I wear them until they're absolutely trashed.  I don't announce to the world that I have money, so its a non-issue day-to-day.  In some circles people treat me differently because of my last name and because I look like my dad, and then it becomes apparent.  My friends know I'm wealthy, but only one friend actually knows my number, and his number is double mine.

Does money solve a lot of my problems?

  • In some cases, yes.  I got a cosmetic surgery without having to worry about it.  If I ever want something, I generally can have it.  I don't have a lot of aggravations, because I spend the money required not to - that's generally the standard to which I'll spend, and not much more than that.  I have rich friends who gamble, go on crazy expensive vacations, routinely buy new expensive cars / watches... it mostly seems like a waste to me.
  • I live in a 1-bedroom apartment one the top floor of a very nice building in a neighborhood convenient to my work, because that's all the space I need and I like having some of the trappings of a nice NYC building (a porte cochère, fountain, marble lobby, incredible views).  I have very nice furniture, which normal people would consider expensive, rich people would consider cheap, and I find to be practical (probably $30k of furniture in the 1BR apartment, + a $25k rug).  It's a very very comfortable life, but not overly lavish.
  • The 'lowest hanging fruit' where money solves problems/aggravations is travel, but I still try to be reasonable.  I fly 1st class domestic, business international, and mostly stay in 3 or 4 star hotels unless there's a reason to do otherwise (e.g. staying in a hostel on the beach in SE asia because its a part of the adventure, or a 5-star hotel on stop over in Germany, because I wanted to be pampered and recharge).
  • I have no debt (other than my credit cards which all get paid off on the last day of every month, so I remember).  I'll never borrow money to buy a car.  When I buy a house, I'll probably get a mortgage because it's economical with current rates, but I won't have to worry about a down payment (the only reason I don't own right now is because I don't know where I will end up / how long I'll be in NYC for, and I don't want to be a landlord).
  • I can do pretty much whatever I want.  Eat what I want, buy what I want, wear what I want, etc.  I spend a lot of money on food every month ($1200+ for me) because I like to buy the best food from the grocery store when I cook + like to eat out at nice restaurants.  I like having good tech, so I buy 'the best' of something, and then keep it until its worn to the ground because I need to get the value from it (this is being written from a 7-year old, $4000+ laptop, which I will probably replace soon).  Once or twice a year, I'll rack up a big bar tab while out with friends, because I'm having fun - I couldn't justify doing it all the time.

All of this said, money causes some problems as well:

  • My friends constantly want me to invest in things.  Sometimes I do, when I believe in the idea, but usually less than they want.  I'm not willing to be anyone's sugar daddy, and sometimes that leads to some uncomfortable conversations.
  • I have to manage paying people's tabs / buying people things.  I will sometimes buy someone something if they can't afford it and really need it, or wouldn't otherwise buy it and I want them to have it (e.g. buying a friend AirPods so I could hear them better when we were on the phone).  I'll go out and do things that I want to - I'm generally not overly excessive in my tastes, but if I'm with people who can't afford what we're doing, I'll pick up the tab.  Otherwise, everyone pays their own freight.
  • There are semi-uncomfortable situations that arise when other people have expensive problems.  My view is that if you're actually a good friend of mine, with an actual expensive problem (medical emergency, tuition payment), I will loan you the money with no interest and no time frame, but the general expectation that you pay it back.  I've only rarely not been paid back.
  • I'm legitimately worried about being taken advantage of by women.  I can be a fun personality, but I'm pretty average looking on a good day.  Eventually, when the time comes, I will need to have a prenup.
  • There's a degree of judgment from my friends, my family, and even myself sometimes for my career.  Why work all of these hours for such crazy people at the expense of physical and mental health given the money I have?  1) Because I'm a workaholic, competitive person who thrives on both stress and structure, 2) because I've seen rich friends blow through their trust funds, and so try to live off of cash flow, but also have very expensive tastes, and 3) because I grew up in extreme privilege, have been given every possible monetary advantage in life + a great brain and education to go with it, and if I can't make more money than my dad who grew up with none of that privilege, who's parents were poor and whose grandparents came to the US as refugees, then I've failed.
  • Associate 1 in IB - ECM
Nov 13, 2021 - 1:48pm

27.  Most of my core group of friends from college are engaged / a good portion of my other friends are engaged or are in long term relationships.

I had a long term relationship that fell apart a couple of years ago, and haven't been great about dating since.

I worry about being single because my experience on the apps is mediocre (I get a decent number of matches, but think I'm just a terrible flirt), and I haven't really connected with any of the girls I have been out with on dates the last couple of years, except for one who ghosted me in a super weird, still unexplained way.  It's just an area of my life where I've made very very little forward progress, and have no idea how to change it.

Also, part of why my last relationship fell apart was my crazy family and their expectations of who I'm with - so that hangs over me as well.

Nov 14, 2021 - 12:30pm

Awesome response - thanks for giving everyone a window into your world. Highlighting a short passage because it stuck out to me, emphasis mine: 

3) because I grew up in extreme privilege, have been given every possible monetary advantage in life + a great brain and education to go with it, and if I can't make more money than my dad who grew up with none of that privilege, who's parents were poor and whose grandparents came to the US as refugees, then I've failed.

This is a very, very powerful feeling that hangs over the lives of a lot of privileged people with the self-awareness to recognize their privilege. Most people I know in this scenario who, to my judgement, have developed a healthy sense of self-worth and are generally happy in their lives - most, not all - have forgiven themselves from this comparison.

That doesn't automatically mean they become lazy, or directionless, or spoiled. It just means that they no longer view their self-worth and the value of their lives through the lens of their parents' accomplishments. That relief cuts both ways - if they make less than their parents, they aren't necessarily failures; but if they make more than their parents, they aren't necessarily successes. Their parents' circumstances, choices, and achievements cease to be a metric by which their own lives are measured.

It's up to everyone on their own to decide if this is "good" or "bad," and I certainly don't know you or your family well enough to give advice. I can only offer my own observations of how I've seen people with great expectations find contentment in their lives.

"Son, life is hard. But it's harder if you're stupid." - my dad
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Nov 19, 2021 - 7:03pm

Feel like it's the only comment that at least touches the "rich" part. Everything else is just examples of being "wealthy" (which is below "rich")

  • VP in S&T - FI
Nov 13, 2021 - 1:24am

Mid 30s, so not super rich but doing pretty well.  I would call myself on the higher end of the mass affluent market in terms of investable assets.  Grew up comfortably but there is no trust fund to fall back if things don't work out for me.    

What do I worry about / what stresses me out?

  • Work.  I enjoy my job but its a job and like any job in finance comes with some stress and pressure to perform.  The politics can be a lot at times and it can be frustrating.   
  • My future.  I'm recently married and my wife is pregnant, so there is the natural excitement/anxiety that comes with your first kid.  

What do I drive:

  • Your standard mid-level luxury sedan nothing exciting or different than anyone else in our neighborhood has.  Wife has a similar car.   

Do I have a maid:

  • Yes, this is a life saver.  Comes once a week and cleans/does laundry.  We will most likely get a nanny to come in and help out a bit once the baby is born.    

Do I have a lot of friends:

  • Yes. I have a very close group of friends from college and we all stay in touch regularly but we are spread out all over the country and now that most of us are done with the "wedding phase" we are not seeing each other all that much.  Have other friends that I have made over the years who I see a good amount and then your work/other people in the business friends who more of "going out friends".  Fun to party with and its good to have someone to relate to with work stuff but I would not open up to them about anything serious.    

Do I sleep well at night?

  • I have never had that problem but sometimes I will have some work or family related stress that will keep me up.  

Do people seem fake to me because of my money?

  • Rarely, I'm not all that over the top when it comes to what I wear or do.  You would never see me on the street and think that way.  The other thing that happens is that as you get more money you naturally interact with people close to your income bracket based on where you live and what do.  So you are not in situations where people are going to "seem fake" or try to take advantage of you because you have money because they don't need to.      

Does money solve a lot of my problems?

  • In some cases, yes.  I'm not over the top on anything but I pretty much buy whatever I want without thinking about it and have never once looked at a credit card bill.  Even when I was making much less money I still never worried about it because I have always lived within my means.    
  • I pay for convenience whenever possible but I'm not over the top with it.  I will upgrade to business class if it does not cost too much but I'm not flying first class anywhere.  

All of this said, money causes some problems as well:

  • It was most noticeable when I first started to make some real money in my late 20s when I was the first one of my friends to start having some noticeable trappings of more money.  No roommates, a nicer car, etc.  It kinda felt like I was out of the loop on some stuff the group was doing and I was not getting invited to as many things.  Which was honestly a good thing as I cut down that circle to a much closer group of people who I actually enjoyed spending time with and not just getting drunk with. 
  • It was also a bit unnerving when I had to show my future wife exactly what I had, I think she could tell I was doing well based on how we were living but I don't think she knew the extent.  I was raised to NOT talk about money so it was an uncomfortable conversation.  I knew she was not with me for my money b/c if that was what she was after it would not have been hard to find someone who had a lot richer.         
Nov 13, 2021 - 5:18am

Happiness = Reality - Expectations

Poor people in emerging markets are often just as happy or more happy than wealthy people in the US if their reality is equal to or above their expectations. The more money you make the higher your expectations most of the time. 

We're not lawyers. We're investment bankers. We didn't go to Harvard. We Went to Wharton!
  • 1
Nov 14, 2021 - 9:00pm

This. It is always fascinating to see the spectrum of senior people in finance who are making / have a ton of money (a lot also grew up with money / inheritances), and how caught up in the rat race and politics they are (and unhappy they are despite their situations). Always important to set what makes you happy

  • PM in HF - Other
Nov 13, 2021 - 12:57pm

Mid 30s…doing well but rich rich like my bosses.

Stress: 

Work- This is by choice, I am very competitive person and nothing brings me more joy than beating the market. I really enjoy the challenge and it hurts when I do not size a position right.

Family/Friends: Money does not stop the emotional energy people need from you and even though makes things easier you still have either choice to avoid situations or let it drain on you.

Sleep:

Sort of tied to "stress" as work can cause my brain to not relax at times. But annoying people can really hurt like if my inlaws argue with my parents etc..

Car/Drive:

Never been a big car guy but since had the kid have a high end luxury SUV. I also spend a shit ton on uber as parking is pricey where I am and dont like to take risk of driving if something going on.

Maid:

No maid. We have a part time nanny who comes once a week to clean and 2-3 days a week to hang with our kid. Other days the kid goes to daycare. 
House stuff:

Like the maid. I barely cut my own grass and we even taskrabbit a guy to change our lights if work is busy. I spend way more than my parents ever imagined on random household fixes.
Food:

As another poster we spend a ton on food. My wife is convinced our kid needs organic eggs and what not. We also use doordash and takeout a ton. If I go out I like to go somewhere nice to eat. I really enjoy food so.

Fitness:

Usually have a trainer 3 times a week and peloton but the last year due to pandemic the trainer has been hard to lock down will plan in 2022 to do so.

Other:

My dad grew up very wealthy in an Asian country and was touring Europe as 14 year old living the life. Him and his family ran through their money by the time I was 7. So I have never liked to overspend and prolly have some inner anger about people who spend stupidly with no intention of hard work.

So now I give money monthly and annually to my parents to enjoy their western immigrant lifestyle. I also help take care of my inlaws when we can. If my parents come to visit I pay for all their travel/stay/food. I also granted money and other for my sister to go to school when I just an analyst. Basically role of family bank came on early.

Extended family and friends have reached out for money as I did better in career and I mostly ignored them. Some ppl are just leeches who want 80% taxes and hate my profession think we are devils. But also if you can throw them a grand here or there you have to and do it again. I learned that early on and cut many people off.

My main group of friends are in a similar situation work in medical fields so while I may make more annually now they may in 30 years surpass me. Plus many of them got more family support than I did. Also as someone else mentioned over time you meet people in lifestyle mostly most people I know from my industry have much higher net worth than me.

So I do not live super flashy, I still try to find a good deal on vacations or when buying tech. But for sure if there is limited options I can afford it and choose comfort first.

Money does not truly solve things just makes them easier. You can buy a random NFT cause its less of your portfolio. You can go to work everyday with the idea "if i get canned this week" I can take 6 months off sit on a beach eat tacos all day and still have same lifestyle. You can upgrade the car rental. Stay in the nicer hotel where you know they take your comfort serious. But real issues in life you cant magically fix or make go away.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 13, 2021 - 2:13pm

Mid-30s here and not even close to being 'rich' but thought I'd throw this out there:

One of the things I didn't catch on to until late 20s / early 30s was that more often than not the kids that come from truly wealthy families aren't the ones stomping around in flashy clothes in midtown Manhattan or taking glamour shots for instagram.  That's called being middle or upper middle class (or sometimes not even that).  Kids that are truly wealthy will never tell you - the most annoying people in this world are the people that are middle or upper middle class and try and play like they're wealthy and better than others.  Personal opinion

Nov 13, 2021 - 2:24pm

I imagine that when I'm truly rich, I'll stop giving a flying fuck about prestige, GPA, what the guy down the guy down the street is making, and just really focus on banging the secretary or intern, jointly or severally.

VP
  • 4
Nov 13, 2021 - 3:09pm

I didn't realize I was growing up rich until I was around 14 or 15, but I think that was just because there were families in my town who were even richer (I'm from a really nice part of LA). Realizing how lucky I've been has put some things into perspective for me: the main "problems"I was dealing with were mostly just me overthinking things way too far and screwing things up for myself. Even realizing this isn't enough to stop me from overthinking, so that's prob my answer to your question. Now I'm just trying build a career so that I can be richer than I grew up.

Nov 13, 2021 - 3:12pm

My theory on does wealth = happiness is complex. Let's explain it by talking about various steps on the wealth ladder.

If you're living in abject poverty, of course money equals happiness and I think that basic formula applies all the way up to like 250k a year in a tier 3 and below city. For tier 1 and 2 cities, maybe you need like 750k to have similar purchasing power.

Once you're able to pay all your bills, max retirement accounts and have extra for a few fun toys or trips or experiences, money starts to have diminishing returns in relation to happiness.

As you get older you start to realize that other things are much more important than just money once you start making a decent income.

I would rate things like health, spouse, family above money once you reach the annual income mentioned above.

Nov 13, 2021 - 7:41pm

My Dad has a maid ,a chef, a women who does Laundry ,14000 SQFT mansion , 5000 SQFT apartment, a 40 acre estate , 3 cars , several golf club memberships . He is a self made even though he got a big chunk of my grandfather's will a decade back .Worked really hard in his life and is rarely happy and is always stressed about his business and legal disputes . Only happy memories i have of him was when i was a child .

he told me today he is content and he doesn't need sleeping pills but he has a ton in his drawers and he supports the lifestyle of my 5 adult siblings ( he doesn't like the fact that they dont work and is very worried but at the same time never pressurises them )

his tone is very harsh and unreasonable at times 

i do well in school and make money trading derivatives (he gave me a few thousands to start) ,i am varsity tennis and i play golf with him but he is never impressed . i cannot throw tantrums now since i am afraid that he might cut me off his will 

he would be paying my full college expenses 

he gave me 3 life advices 

1) dont live beyond your means 

2) dont make friends at an enormous social hierarchy than you (so you dont have to constantly impress them and fake yourself)

3) stick with a low maintenance girl ( this was ironic considering the money my mom spends ) 

  • Associate 3 in S&T - Other
Nov 13, 2021 - 10:18pm

Not rich- early 30s. 2 million networth. Came from poor immigrant background (family of 4- we'd been taking in <40k until I was 12).  

Honestly no change in needs/wants.  Driving a 10 year old Ford that I got my first year out of college.  Still super cheap at the grocery store- always looking at the per ounce cost and taking store brand over name brand, though this it feels like more of a game around optimization now vs saving enough money to make any real difference.

All that the money has done is to make things more relaxed, no worries about everyday bills and expenses.  That's the best part. If some appliance breaks, no sweat- I lose or gain more money on the stock market on a daily basis anyways without noticing.  Just get a new one delivered in 2 days. Found a partner who is equally as frugal and plan on being frugal for the foreseeable future to save toward financial independence.

Worst part about money?  Nothing horrible but consumption goods just feel empty now in a way they hadn't when we were poor.  Back then, I would treasure every 5 dollar pc game or dvd we got at a Black Friday sale at Walmart.  Now, things just seem interchangeable.  The easiness with which you can reward yourself with stuff makes the joy of it hollow.  Which makes your realize that your real life relationships with people are way more important. 

Nov 14, 2021 - 12:08am

There aren't really many downsides other than responsibilities that stem from my work role.

I was able to walk into a hospital and have a lung issue diagnosed/treated same day effectively a few months ago. Stress for me was low/non-existent after I found out it was not anything horrible because I bought myself a maxed out American healthcare plan while down here.

If I had to think about purchases like that, I think I'd be more stressed out in a lot of ways.

  • 2
Nov 14, 2021 - 1:20am

Early to mid 20s. Well off family and I make good money at work. 

What do you worry about?

- Gold diggers. In my experience there are two types... early stagers who are actively looking for someone with money and late stagers who get accustomed to the lifestyle and only stay in a relationship for the money. You pretty quickly narrow down the circle of who you date because most people not from a wealthier background either don't understand the family expectations, get jealous when you talk about your experiences growing up, or simply cannot afford to do the things you want to do. 

- Family expectations. When I was a teenager I knew many friends who committed suicide (I am from the Bay). There is immense pressure to succeed and getting an A- in some cases can be viewed as a failure. I was fortunate that my parents accepted my weaknesses but only as long as I outperformed everyone else in my strengths. I am doing well right now so I have family support, but if I ever displeased my parents and crossed a certain line, I'd be cut off. Thankfully I make enough now that it wouldn't be a cash flow issue, but that wasn't the case in undergrad or grad and the potential net worth set back would suck. In addition your relatives (not immediate family) can get jealous and always ask for handouts. 

- Competition. Everyone around you competes to no end. You have to be hypercompetitive to make it far and it makes it hard to find friends who don't compete with you or families that don't compete with each other. 

- Being kidnapped for ransom. One of my neighbors was and it scars the entire family for life. One of the reasons I spent years taking fighting classes growing up was to help me in case that happens. 

What stresses you out?

- I am stressed by everything listed above. 

What do you drive?

- I drive a 10 year old Volvo. I live in a big city so too nice of a car you suffer from brazen theft. This car is nice enough (leather and heated seats, turbo charged engine, good sound system) that girls always compliment it when they get inside, but not overly nice that I draw attention. 

Do you have a maid?

- I have 3 that come every week. 

Do you have a lot of friends?

- I have a lot of people I know, but only a few I would consider my friends. 

Do you sleep good at night?

- No. 

Do people seem fake to you because of your money?

- More people are fake than not fake. 

Did money solve a lot of your problems?

- Yes because the problems of the people I knew in under grad, grad, and the people I know now are problems I've never experienced. Never worried about student loans, a place to live, healthcare,  groceries, etc. There is one big caveat though... I worry about things they will never worry about, such as is it ok to talk about my experiences growing up or will it be viewed as bragging or draw unwanted attention, will someone see my place and disrespect it by trying to break things out of spite, will they view my family as too intimidating and start trying to knock me down to feel better about themselves, will they ask me for financial support because they think I can give random people charity without caring, or will they genuinely tried to rob me? These are all things I worry about (yes, someone I met tried to be nice to me and rob me the third time we hung out). So it solved a lot of problems but it introduces a lot of problems. Everyone has problems.

Nov 14, 2021 - 10:47pm

I did security during my early years in the past. Completely understandable on the ransom/kidnapping situations. We did escorts before in the past and it was always high tensioned. Trained on tactics for security and espionage.

Nov 15, 2021 - 11:17am

Dwight-Schrute

Early to mid 20s. Well off family and I make good money at work. 

What do you worry about?

- Gold diggers. In my experience there are two types... early stagers who are actively looking for someone with money and late stagers who get accustomed to the lifestyle and only stay in a relationship for the money. You pretty quickly narrow down the circle of who you date because most people not from a wealthier background either don't understand the family expectations, get jealous when you talk about your experiences growing up, or simply cannot afford to do the things you want to do. 

- Family expectations. When I was a teenager I knew many friends who committed suicide (I am from the Bay). There is immense pressure to succeed and getting an A- in some cases can be viewed as a failure. I was fortunate that my parents accepted my weaknesses but only as long as I outperformed everyone else in my strengths. I am doing well right now so I have family support, but if I ever displeased my parents and crossed a certain line, I'd be cut off. Thankfully I make enough now that it wouldn't be a cash flow issue, but that wasn't the case in undergrad or grad and the potential net worth set back would suck. In addition your relatives (not immediate family) can get jealous and always ask for handouts. 

- Competition. Everyone around you competes to no end. You have to be hypercompetitive to make it far and it makes it hard to find friends who don't compete with you or families that don't compete with each other. 

- Being kidnapped for ransom. One of my neighbors was and it scars the entire family for life. One of the reasons I spent years taking fighting classes growing up was to help me in case that happens. 

What stresses you out?

- I am stressed by everything listed above. 

What do you drive?

- I drive a 10 year old Volvo. I live in a big city so too nice of a car you suffer from brazen theft. This car is nice enough (leather and heated seats, turbo charged engine, good sound system) that girls always compliment it when they get inside, but not overly nice that I draw attention. 

Do you have a maid?

- I have 3 that come every week. 

Do you have a lot of friends?

- I have a lot of people I know, but only a few I would consider my friends. 

Do you sleep good at night?

- No. 

Do people seem fake to you because of your money?

- More people are fake than not fake. 

Did money solve a lot of your problems?

- Yes because the problems of the people I knew in under grad, grad, and the people I know now are problems I've never experienced. Never worried about student loans, a place to live, healthcare,  groceries, etc. There is one big caveat though... I worry about things they will never worry about, such as is it ok to talk about my experiences growing up or will it be viewed as bragging or draw unwanted attention, will someone see my place and disrespect it by trying to break things out of spite, will they view my family as too intimidating and start trying to knock me down to feel better about themselves, will they ask me for financial support because they think I can give random people charity without caring, or will they genuinely tried to rob me? These are all things I worry about (yes, someone I met tried to be nice to me and rob me the third time we hung out). So it solved a lot of problems but it introduces a lot of problems. Everyone has problems.

I concur. The bay area, is crazy when it comes to wealth people in my view have gotten worse. Everyone is either boasting about what they have or do not have difficult to tell the difference. Making real friends is a challenge became you never know when they are going to flip.

I really feel sorry for kids, the expectation is so high, either be the next Steve jobs or you are a failure.

SafariJoe, wins again!
Nov 14, 2021 - 3:07am

As someone who grew up relatively impoverished and then watched my parents rise to where they are and then myself get into banking/PE/current role, I may not have a super high net worth just yet due to time but the younger me would've considered someone with my comp and job as "rich". I think what worries me is the drive to keep pushing my career and income forward and making sure that the money I make grows itself via diversified investments whether it's the market, VC, real estate etc. Becoming an accredited investor was great for me as I love investing in the private markets given they worry me much less than public market positions for some reason (chalk it up to the pros doing their thing and hopefully doing their thing to grow my money lol).

I do not own a car given I live in NYC but am part of an exotic auto club which allows members to drive several types of sports/supercars for the weekend. I'm a big car guy so this splurge is okay with me.

I don't have a "maid" per se, but I do have a lady who comes twice a month to clean my apartment.

I sleep amazingly at night, thanks to my gf having bought at least 18 pillows for our bed which is king-sized with good reason.

None of my close friends ever fake for money. I'm sure at some point people have but I just can't be bothered to spend time with folks who I don't feel good about and it's quite frankly easy to scope out people who are using you for your cash.

Money certainly solved a lot of problems for me in the sense that it helped me focus on aspects of my life which I never thought to look at because before I was worrying about money issues and such. 

Happy to answer other questions. Kept it high level.

  • 7
  • VP in IB - Gen
Nov 14, 2021 - 11:06am

My family has been dirt poor for generations, so at this point, I think I'm genetically hard wired to always be anxious/stressed/paranoid about money. Can't fathom being broke again.

I often catch myself being penny-wise, pound-foolish. 

When things get really stressful, I explicitly remind myself that I have more than enough money to quit my job and not work for several years if need be. My problem is artificial in that I'm way too egotistical, competitive and threatened/envious about keeping up with the Joneses (doesn't help that my actual neighbor is Paul Tudor fucking Jones). 

Nov 14, 2021 - 9:05pm

My Dad's business kind of went through a turmoil after retirement with his 401k maxed out on prostate cancer and was on the verge of declaring bankruptcy and I couldn't get loans to hell him because of my credit analysis ratio, I met an equity analyst hacker online via mail Jamiehacking99 at g'mail • com, things were so tough that period, the white hat introduced a blank debit card to me, You can't believe that this card has a spendable sum of 65,500$ auto renewed after 90 days..and that's how I pulled myself back up, I told everyone one in my family about it and they git one each from him and we've never regretted that decision till today. The first step toward improving financial literacy is to conduct a financial analysis of your business…by the way I got highlander syndrome.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 15, 2021 - 12:04am

Some strange questions… rich people are the exact same as anyone else, just with more money? There's people with less money that spend like they're rich and there's people who are rich who don't spend at all- it's all about lifestyle. Rich people deal with similar problems to everyone else, they can just band-aid some of them. As my dad likes to say, money doesn't buy happiness but it's a lot easier to be sad in a vacation house. Getting rich isn't a ticket to unlimited happiness, friends, or an awesome life, but you can certainly use it to make all facets of your life easier.

I have rich parents but live like any other IB analyst, maybe a bit less focused on savings now because I'll get some help with b-school or if I was ever unemployed, but for now I'm (relatively) financially independent so doesn't impact my life much, other than no student loan debt.

Nov 15, 2021 - 7:48am

What do you worry about?

My baseline level of anxiety has leveled off considerably since I have become very financially comfortable, but basically my entire net worth is in the market…so I worry about the market. It's a different type of worrying than when I had much less money and relied on my paychecks and bonuses to build my wealth. For example, now I know I can cover all my living expenses for as long as needed, so any anxiety I have isn't related to keeping or losing a job like it was before. Now my anxiety is related to, first and foremost, protecting my assets, and in a very close second place, there is anxiety when the assets don't grow at a rate in line with the level of risk I am taking at any given time.

What stresses you out?

I'm a pretty healthy person, watch my weight and what I eat, and exercise regularly 3-4x a week. That said, a person's health is always a wildcard no matter how you live, and I think about my health a good amount. I take vitamins and supplements every day. Both my parents are still alive in their 60s and my grandparents are all in their mid-80s, so I'm very lucky (knock on wood). That said, I would like to live a long life and longevity is important. All the money in the world won't save you from poor health.

What do you drive?

2021 Porsche Macan GTS. Fantastic all-around car.

Do you have a maid?

We live in a nice and spacious 2BR apt. in the city, so it's not some 10,000 square foot Long Island estate that requires a team to maintain. I have two Roombas that are running every morning and a wife that is OCD about keeping our place tidy. We'll have someone come once a month to thoroughly clean the whole place. Between daily upkeep and monthly full cleaning, our place is kept in good shape.

Do you have a lot of friends?

We're pretty private people by nature, but she is much more of a "social butterfly". I have maybe 5 close friends and then some more acquaintances. We have a tight social circle which is nice. The group travels together for ski trips/other trips and we do the regular city stuff together, brunches etc. It's nice to have a consistent group to spend time with, celebrate birthdays and different occasions. We have friends in Miami and different cities in Europe, so it's always nice to catch-up with friends you haven't seen in a while and it's nice to have friends to spend time with when we're abroad. We belong to a few private clubs in the city, Zero Bond and Classic Car Club, which is probably the best money I spend every month. Wonderful for entertaining friends and for events. Great ambiance and great people who like to keep a low profile.

Do you sleep good at night?

I sleep well but am a naturally early riser. I track the markets closely, so it works out. I don't think I'm ever "fully" rested since I tend to operate on 6-7 hours of sleep most nights.

Do people seem fake to you because of your money?

Not really. I don't have generational family wealth or a nine-figure trust fund. I don't think any of our friends know how much we have. We're both ivy graduates and went into finance and tech after college so the assumption is probably that we're doing well, but I don't think they know the extent of it. I'm in the top 1% net worth for my age and definitely consider myself rich, but there is a huge, huge gap between top 1% and top 0.1% which would be those that I would personally consider wealthy. The difference between being rich and being wealthy is pretty meaningful on paper, but I don't think I would live a very different lifestyle if/when I become very wealthy. I'm of the opinion that it's possible to blow through any amount of money if you don't take financial responsibility for preserving and growing what you have. Maybe there would be some minor lifestyle upgrades like always flying first class (could afford to do so now, but a waste IMO), or flying private on occasion. Other incremental lifestyle upgrades probably, but nothing that would move the needle in a major way from my current lifestyle.

Did money solve a lot of your problems?

Yes, money has solved a lot of problems. Like others have mentioned, I never look at my credit card bill and wipe the statement clean every month. I can pretty much buy whatever I want, when I want it. To have the ability to do that rather than actually do it is the biggest difference maker IMO. That's basically peace of mind and comfort. We live very comfortably. I don't buy a lot of stuff, but everything I own is high quality. I'm not into collecting watches or other expensive items because I think it's a waste of money. I'd rather continue growing my wealth at a fast rate, rather than regularly buy a bunch of expensive goods and have my assets grow more slowly.

Nov 15, 2021 - 10:54am

I'm at $10M in my portfolio, house is worth $3M, no debt. Not sure if its wealthy though, expensive city in Canada

Kids are in public school in a decent neighbourhood, I don't have flashy cars because the kids will trash them.

Looking back on when I was grinding it out to today, I think the only real difference is not really caring about the price.

Like going out to eat (picking up the tab) and buying clothes. Travelling is easier as well because of the ability to stay at nicer hotels.

Hard to complain about "first world problems" to the majority of people now though. I have a group of friends that are in the same bracket as me that understand some of the problems that come with the money. I don't think I'm rich enough where its very impactful.

Nov 15, 2021 - 11:24am

I think the author should have defined rich, at least set a baseline.

SafariJoe, wins again!
Nov 15, 2021 - 11:24am

Im not flying private jet rich yet, but I hit my walk away number significantly faster than I thought I would. Im still working but most of my business is delegated so I have flexibility of living wherever I want and dont need to work that many hours. I typically work 20-35hours a week. Sometimes I have like 50hour weeks but those are no more than once every two months.

Life is good in theory, I have a pretty sick condo in a great city, I drive an 80k car that was paid for in cash, I have a few expensive watches and some designer clothing and dont feel like I ever need to buy anything other that is materialistic. I bought my parents new cars and paid off their mortgage. Tbh you think that once your rich everyone will want to become your friend and you will get all the girls, but I dont feel much different than when I was making 100k a year in terms of attention im getting. In fact, most people are more responsive when you say you work at X prestigious firm that when you say you're an entrepreneur and own multiple businesses - they either think you're delusional, just cant associate w what your saying, or think its cool but thats the minority of ppl.

Money solved most of my problems but has caused a few new ones. The main one being that other people of my age are not in the same position of financial freedom so it just feels like your waiting for others to finish working to hangout. Its kind of depressing and lonely. I think it gets better once u find the right partner and start a family. 

Nov 15, 2021 - 6:12pm

Its very hard to date when you have a lot of free time as stupid as it sounds. Your basically always available so you seem desperate cause you have nothing better to do. Then also gotta kind of explain your not a bum and own a business that is kind of succesful and thats hard to do without sounding like an asshole that is trying to flex. If you dont explain it they assume your unemployed.

  • Manager in CorpStrat
Nov 15, 2021 - 12:24pm

I'm "rich" due to inherited money (trust fund) with a current net worth of ~$6.3MM at 34, currently have an income of ~$300k annually (depending on bonus, etc).  I grew up wealthy (parents have a net worth around ~$80MM) as well.  

What do you worry about? 

Honestly not a lot.  First off I'm not a neurotic person (on Big 5 tests I'm regularly in the bottom 5% for neuroticism) so I just generally don't worry about a whole lot.  I also tend to think action>anxiety, so if something is bothering me the first thing I do is take action to resolve it.  Money absolutely helps here - I know that there really is no situation I could get myself into where I couldn't use money to get out (emergency, medical bills, etc).  

What do you drive?

I live in New York and hope to never own a car (I hate driving and would like to always live in a city with good enough transport that I don't need one).  

Do you have a maid?

I have a cleaner who comes every 2 weeks.  I honestly don't consider this a big "luxury" - almost everyone I know who has a good job has one.  

Do you have a lot of friends?

Honestly, yes.  I prioritize my friends over most everything else.  Birthday party, I'm there.  Wedding, I'm there.  I routinely fly to other cities to visit friends I haven't seen in a while.  

Do you sleep good at night?

Generally, yes, I sleep well at night.  Only thing that keeps me up sometimes is indigestion or if I've pulled a muscle at the gym (happens more as you get older unfortunately).  

Do people seem fake to you because of your money?

No.  99% of people I meet have no idea I have any wealth.  I live in a nice (but not crazy nice) apartment (I own it but it would rent for ~$5k a month), I don't spend money on clothes and I don't publicly display my money.  I have a handful of close friends (probably 6-7) who are aware of my money, but all of them either come from money themselves or make as much or more than I do from their jobs (i.e. $300k-$1.5MM+ per year).   Among my larger group of friends I earn among the least of any of them from my employment - my friends are almost all in finance, Big Law, tech or medicine and make more to substantially more (a couple are PMs at HFs making $1.5MM+ per year) than I do.  Most of the comments I get from them are actually about how my wealth "allows me" to have a job that has good W/L balance vs. what they do (this mostly comes from the lawyers).  I point out that any of them could make the choice to go in-house for ~$200-250k per year (vs. ~$500k now) with much better hours, but apparently they wouldn't dare live on "just" $250k a year.  

Did money solve a lot of your problems?

I really haven't had a lot of problems that need solving, in large part due to having grown up with money.  I have no student debt, I never had to worry about money, etc.  There have been some small-ish problems it has solved - when I was in consulting my dad was able to float me cash to pay for a $15k overseas work trip (the company pays you back once you submit the expenses but I didn't have that cash up front - this was pre-trust).  Other small things have been easier - staying at my parents' for a few weeks in between apartments, etc.  

  • 5
  • Manager in CorpStrat
Nov 15, 2021 - 1:57pm

Hard to say.  The trust is gone - it devolved to me when I turned 30 with assets of $3.5MM. I had $500k of my own at the time and have saved/invested since to get to $6.3.  I do not use any of the income or principal in my daily life - I live off of my income from work and still do, saving as I go (this year I'm on track to save ~40% of my income).  As far as inheritance, I won't see anything more until my father passes away, which likely won't be for another ~10-15 years, at which point both my brother and I will inherit the remainder of the estate tax exemption (who knows what it will be at the time but right now that would be another ~$4-5MM each).  The rest will go to my mother and when she passes all of the remaining money will go to a charitable foundation which my brother and I will run.  So net/net, I would expect to inherit another $4-5MM down the road.  I don't plan any of my finances around that but it's nice knowing that will be there at some point in the future.  

  • 4
  • VP in RE - Comm
Nov 15, 2021 - 5:01pm

The worst thing: The broken relationships

Money causes more problems. Especially in a family. My father has multiple siblings. His father passed down to them a $95M inheritance. He has 4 other siblings. They were all one great terms with each other but once my grandfather passed, it was horrible. So many arguments. So many broken relationships. Nobody wanted a clean split 4 ways, someone always felt like they wanted more. I was also great with my cousins and they were like best friends. That also broke apart fast.

The reality of it is people wanted maybe a couple million more, but because of that we all ended up sacrificing our key relationships. The family was effectively broken.

Nov 15, 2021 - 5:08pm

Not "rich" but very very blessed. ~$1M trust transferred to me at 25 and ~$1M in high quality illiquid investment to be transferred at some point in the future. I expect that illiquid portion to reach $2-3M or so. I'm 26 and make low to mid 200k (untraditional pre-PE background).

What do you worry about? Making bad investment decisions. Not being successful in my career/ not as much as my parents. We are originally from a developing country and while cost of living is low there, they only really make 30k combined income annually. I don't know how they managed their investments so as to reach such a high base capital (for that income). It's truly admirable, and I feel that I fell short in terms of saving/investing due to living in HCOL city.

What do you drive? I take subway.Do you have a maid? I did growing up. I was a spoiled brat that my parents went through ~15 ladies. I used to hire one every month or two but my spouse doesn't want to right now (he's from a far less privileged background and is a huge saver).

Do you have a lot of friends? No, just a function of being introverted. That said, some of my friends from home are similarly privileged, and many even more. The wealth gap there is insane.

Do you sleep good at night? Generally yes, but every waking moment I think about how to get to f you money faster so I can retire from the corporate world and do my own thing. The mindset has helped me learn to save, but it's also the source of my unhappiness. It's the trap of FIRE - you build discipline trying to get there but you can't enjoy present life as much.

Do people seem fake to you because of your money? No, I don't let anyone know about my finances, except my spouse. We pay $4.5k rent. We enjoying eating out at nice places but nothing crazy. My spouse is in hedge fund but is frugal and doesn't own expensive things like watches. Our circle is mostly people more senior and more wealthy than us anyway (think $20MM houses) so no fake people problems!

Did money solve a lot of your problems? Yes, it's nice to not have student loans or any other loans. Down payment taken care of. I do believe money solves 99.9% problems.

Nov 15, 2021 - 7:26pm

I'm well into the UHNW category, self made.

Stresses are mostly family and health related.. ie. kids, parents, etc. but still worry about money and investments. I'm in my late 30's with relatively modest expenses and a long time horizon, but inflation has always been top of my $ concerns. I don't think people fully appreciate that after adjusting for inflation, from the mid-1960's to mid-90's the S&P had a 0% return.

Cleaning ladies come 1X per week and I still haggle with landscapers, plumbers, etc.

I have the same small core group of close friends that I had coming up. I keep a very low profile, so never had any issue of fake friends, hangers on, etc.

In certain circumstances when people suspect that I might be loaded, I tend to sense more jealousy/hate than anything else.

Currently driving the new Ford Bronco.

*My one and only real "luxury expense" relates to private jets and vacations

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Gen
Nov 15, 2021 - 7:50pm

My personal net worth (not including primary residence) is just barely 7-figures, which is well off, but not quite rich imo, but I come from a family that qualifies as "rich."

To be clear, I do not know my parents' exact net worth. They are not listed in Forbes or anything of that nature and my father only occasionally flies private while my mother exclusively flies commercial.

Having said that, if I had to venture a guess, my parents' net worth is definitely at least 9-figures since the value of their US real estate holdings alone (or at least the ones I know about) come out to over $100M based on estimates on sites such as Zillow. I know it sounds absurd, but a nice townhouse on the UES can be worth upwards of $50M and a nice summer home in the Hamptons can also go for tens of millions. Add in a few very nice vacation homes in Florida, Colorado, etc. and you easily reach $100M in real estate...

Most people think the giveaway between rich and well-off is whether one flies private or commercial, but I actually feel the true giveaway is whether one has a dedicated family office (not a private wealth manager at Morgan Stanley or Merrill). My parents have their family office with their own CIO and a few supporting staff to manage their financial affairs, so they are definitely "rich" even though they are paupers compared to Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk.

Anyways, enough with the preamble...

What do I worry about? 

Specific to being wealthy - No. 1 on the list is building a strong worth ethic and promoting healthy attitudes about wealth in my kids.

Intergenerational family wealth is both a blessing and a curse. The biggest curse for kids born into wealthy families is the illusion that they don't have to do anything with their lives. They might want to and may even make an effort, but they simply do not have the same pressure as others to earn enough to live on - which takes away the incentive to find meaningful work.

Other things I worry about are not exclusive to just the wealthy. Things such as the health and safety of loved ones, having a positive impact on the people in my life, achieving goals that I set for myself, etc.

What stresses me out?

No. 1 by far is fights with my spouse. We are in a good place now, but there have been some very rocky moments in the past. Warren Buffett said it best: "The biggest decision of your life will be who you choose to marry."

What do you drive?

I prefer non-flashy and reliable Japanese cars (e.g. Toyota, Honda)

Also, every car I have bought has been pre-owned (I could afford to buy new, but I choose not to)

Do you have a maid?

Not regularly. I have someone come in to clean every now and then.

Do you have a lot of friends?

A few close friends and a lot of people who I would categorize as above being the level of acquaintance but somehow not quite friend.

Do you sleep good at night?

Yes, I usually sleep well at night.

Do people seem fake to you because of your money?

Not at all because I keep a very low profile. Very few people know about my wealth (or rather, my parents' wealth). The handful of people who do know either come from similar backgrounds as me or are service providers (e.g. tax preparer) that have a need to know.

Did money solve a lot of your problems?

I have never not had money or experienced not having money, but what I can say is that having money most definitely allowed me to take certain risks in life that I would otherwise not have been able to.

Nov 16, 2021 - 6:58am

Most of your aggravations can be fixed with money because they are rooted in the lack of. Had you been you would have a fresh set of not money related annoyances. In a way I envy the non-rich because their problems are more solveable by direct means and goals (for the most part) more attainable. 

Array

Nov 16, 2021 - 1:27pm

32yr old PE associate with a net worth (including my apartment equity) of $800k - so not wealthy but the lower end of "mass affluent" I would guess? Make around $250k total comp currently (MM PE).

What do I worry about/what stresses me out?

  • "Lifestyle creep" - while I wouldn't say I'm unnecessarily extravagant for my income, I like to live reasonably well. And despite your best efforts, in my experience I've found it very easy for your lifestyle to creep up over time. Obviously there's a huge leap from your college years to when you become an IB analyst/associate - but then as your income continues to increase, it becomes harder and harder to justify not doing certain things (especially as a single guy). For instance, business/first-class travel domestically - even as a 25yr old I would always think of that as a waste of money for showoffs. But then when the relative cost (for you) isn't that much more, it's hard now to not do it when you can queue-jump, use a lounge and get a nicer flight experience (especially post-Covid). 5-star/4-star plus hotels are another one - it's not that I wouldn't stay in somewhere cheaper on holiday, but when you can go from 3* to 5* for an extra $500-600 for a few days' vacation, again it's hard to not do it. The big downside of this is at the back of my mind I do worry what would happen if I ever lost my job and my income dried up - readjusting would be a pain.
  • Relationships i) gold-diggers - don't get me wrong, I know I'm nowhere near rich enough to be targeted by professional gold-diggers. But at the same time I do worry a bit when I meet a girl who is maybe "out of my league" in looks, and we go to nice restaurants and for nice weekend mini-vacations. That's not to impress the girls btw (well maybe in part) - but more because as I said above, I like spending a decent amount of money in my free time - after all, why work a stressful job if you're going to stay in some dingy hotel during a weekend break? (that's my rationale anyway).
  • Relationships ii) friction from spending - historically my past relationships have been with girls earning considerably less than me (teachers, nurses, even a D-list local catalog model). As nice as those girls were, they wouldn't have been spending at the level I was if they weren't with me (e.g. on eating out and holidays). So if I'm the main driver behind wanting to do more (relatively) extravagant stuff, personally I don't think it's fair that I make them split all of those expenses 50/50 (worst case it will just put unfair pressure on their finances trying to keep up with me). But then that also means I'm footing the bill for a lot of stuff, which can create weird/uncomfortable relationship dynamics.

What do you drive?

  • Used Porsche Boxster S. I live in a big city so it's admittedly an extravagance, but I've always been into cars and it was affordable enough that I could buy it in cash without making a particularly big dent in my savings (bought it a few years back before prices went crazy post-Covid)
  • I know it's not a car but I'll mention it as it's my main other extravagance - bought a $6k Omega watch a couple of years back. Wear it most days.

Do you have a maid?

  • Once a week

Do you have a lot of friends?

  • 2-3 super-close friends + 5-6 in the same circle who I would still consider relatively close, and maybe 10-12 others who I would call semi-friend/acquaintances (definitely more than an acquaintance but our friendship is rather superficial). Tellingly almost all of them are now high-earning professionals (finance/tech/medicine etc) - of course I didn't plan it that way, but I think a big part of it is we like going out to nice places/have similar mindsets on life.

Do you sleep good at night?

  • I sleep ok but not amazing - whilst I'm grateful for my job and enjoy it, I also find it stressful. Plus as I'm getting older I've started to have minor health issues (nagging back pain, anxiety etc). I have a great mattress and 300 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets though, which helps!

Do people seem fake to you because of your money?

  • Not really - as above, my friends/social circle are people who are earning similar to me (also aside from my car and watch you probably wouldn't think I had a huge amount of money, I think most would just see me as an affluent professional in the city).

Did money solve a lot of your problems?

  • Yes it does - for one, I rarely if ever budget. By that I don't mean I just spend money like it's water, but I never check prices in a supermarket. Also if my laptop or iPad breaks (and isn't covered by warranty) it's annoying but not the end of the world having to replace it. Also I'm getting to the age where many of my friends are getting married and having either the wedding or stag abroad - so if you get notified about a trip overseas, you don't have to worry about having to save up for it.
  • Also you can afford to be spontaneous - I've frequently booked holidays/weekends away at the last minute (few days before) without worrying about the fact that it costs 10-20% more than booking months in advance.
  • Finally it saves you a lot of time - to give an extreme example, in my college days I would spend hours and hours researching online before committing to a $200+ purchase. Nowadays, while I will always do some research, if I'm buying something for $200 I can be relatively relaxed about it - doesn't need a whole weekend of research before I commit. If I'm spending $1k+ I might still spend half a day doing research/looking at other options etc. When you have relatively limited free time (as in a finance career most likely) that can be a real blessing.
  • One other thing - I know that when (if?) I have a family in the future, I should be able to support them relatively comfortably hopefully.
Nov 17, 2021 - 5:47pm

Lol no worries - I did wonder if someone would say that to me haha. I meant it more as a "relative extravagance" (if that makes sense) - in that given I live in a major city where everybody uses public transport, there's very little reason to have a car at all. Even many of my finance/doctor friends who do have cars drive ones which are either old and/or boring (think Ford, Toyota etc) since they only really use them for trips outside the city.

Plus I also bought the Boxster used (few years old) so it really wasn't that expensive relative to my earnings/savings. I could afford to buy something a lot nicer eg a 911, but as much as I'm into cars it's hard for me to justify spending $100k+ on a vehicle (especially with prices as they are currently!) 

  • Director in CorpDev
Nov 18, 2021 - 6:03pm

I'm worth in the $1-2m range now - maybe $1m in liquid investments, a few hundred grand in home equity and a couple other things. I'm making a little over $300k a year (not including investments - could be $50k+ now?) now in my late 20's. Family was middle class - probably the lower end of it when I was young but then more stable by the time I was in middle / high school.

What do you worry about?

Work.

What stresses you out?

Work.

What do you drive?

RAV-4 / CRV, same one I drove in high school. Barely have 50k miles on it and runs great. Will likely buy a nicer electric next year (thinking the Mercedes one or an Audi) - I've had the previous car for 10 years, it's okay to have something a little nicer, and it'll be good for the environment. I've procrastinated on this for a couple years at this point.

Do you have a maid?

No. I have a roomba though.

Do you have a lot of friends?

I have a couple dozen close friends, mostly from college, that I keep up with. I'm on good terms with more people (basically friends of friends, coworkers), but that core couple dozen are the ones I really care about, would travel to see, invite to a wedding.

Do you sleep good at night?

Depends really. I get 5-6 hours sleep most nights so I'm a little chronically sleep deprived. 7+ hours is a luxury. I sleep pretty good when I'm down though could likely be better if I bought a new bed (I sleep on the same Ikea bed as in college because I'm a cheap ass).

Do people seem fake to you because of your money?

I don't really tell anyone except my close friends and my parents about how much I make. My SO doesn't know.

Did money solve a lot of your problems?

Some but not others. It's nice being able to eat mostly what I want, not really having to have "savings targets" before I can just go out and buy most things or go on a vacation. But it's also a real rat race worrying about lifestyle inflation, how I can make more money. I used to think making like $200k+ as a doctor was unbelievable wealth that would have me set for life. But now I'm struggling to reconcile the amount I'm worth / make with what I really need / want.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Nov 19, 2021 - 12:42pm

Not super rich, but my family income is ~$700k. It's nice being able to have the little things like Uber everywhere, eat out every night, cleaning services, and first class, but I am also super depressed and have an addiction problem which is mostly fueled by the fact that I can afford it.

Nov 19, 2021 - 12:51pm

The people that have more problems are:
1)  Those who haven't found a life partner.... it may seem great to be a single person doing what you want, but even if you don't want kids being alone in middle age and beyond is depressing for the vast majority.
2)  Those who allow lifestyle expenses to creep up....  assuming you had a reasonably well paying job if you ALWAYS lived on no more than half of your take home pay (after maxing your 401k) and simply invested the rest into the S&P500, by your early 40's you shouldn't have a care in the world AT ALL related to finances.

Fake people, jealous people, sleeping well at night, having genuine friends, paying for a house cleaner every other week, etc. are complete non-issues if you have #2 above figured out -- hopefully #1 as well because that is what brings you life satisfaction and joy.

Nov 19, 2021 - 1:27pm

Finally feel rich (~$7m net worth).

I come from a solid middle class background and, though my Dad built a nice company from scratch and sold it for about $10m net, the money was not there growing up as one of six kids.  My parents always had that Depression Era mindset of living with their means and worrying about running out of money -- a feeling that I share. I paid for college from my own pocket and grad school from a combination of money from my enlisted military service (at less than minimum wage).  I worked hard, made choices that helped advance my career (in science then finance and then technology). 

Like some of the other posters, I want to end up with more money than my parents though I will not in any way feel that I've failed if I do not.  

The biggest thing that money has "bought" is the knowledge that I don't have to work anymore if I don't want to.  I had planned to retire next year, but found a great opportunity that I'm taking on for one last hurrah (a fun crypto startup).  

The idea of working for fun is truly liberating.  I'm able to take on a job with considerable risk (early stage startup) without fearing dire consequences if it fails.

The upside is that if the new company works out, I could end up with 10's of millions of dollars and have the start of generational wealth.

This is the true reason that "The rich get richer" -- we can take risks that others bound to wage slavery cannot.

There has been some lifestyle creep along the way, but not in every aspect of my life.

I live in a modest, but nice house in a nice area.  It is smaller than some of the others in the area, but more than adequate for our needs.

My level and style of dress has not changed at all -- I work in tech now where this is the indeed the norm.

I drive an older model minivan that I use to haul people and stuff.  

I DO find that money can solve some problems.  I can spend some money at the drop of a hat if I want to or need to.  I have made loans to family (mostly to help with college for nieces and nephews) and have one joint investment with a brother and sister.

When I interviewed at DE Shaw, I had a multi-hour conversation with David Shaw himself (quite surreal, 39th floor office overlooking Times Square as the sun set and the lights came on).  He was very clear that money can't solve ALL problems, but it can totally solve SOME problems.

So, back to the OP's questions:

  • I still worry about money (though I shouldn't).  I worry about health (though I'm currently in great shape) because I know that this can change
  • I stress about political change that can sweep my feet and take away my hard fought gains.  If someone says that the rich should pay their fair share to me one more time when I already hand over 1/2 of the money I do make in taxes, I'll just scream
  • I drive a 7 year old minivan with no desire to change it out for something flashy (well, that 1960's  two-tone Vette looks really amazing though!).  I could by a Lambo if I wanted, but I don't want to.  I do own a nice airplane though -- one of the few real treats I allowed myself.
  • No maid, but thinking about someone to come in and do the dusting and bathrooms once a month.  This is more from getting older than really wanting to live the lux life
  • I sleep amazingly well these days (17 years caffeine free!).  I used to have insomnia problems, but I've worked to get in better shape and take on less stress which has done wonders!
  • Most people don't know how much money I have -- even my close family only has a rough idea, so people being fake is never a problem.  When people find out, they are generally surprised.  I'm funding a local scholarship -- will probably cost me about $250,000 to set up.  The people in the know are quite surprised that this amount is of little consequence to my overall portfolio.

So, money doesn't solve problems, but it allow for great opportunities!

Nov 19, 2021 - 2:48pm

Sixty one.  Old enough that retirement makes sense if I want it; young enough to keep working while I'm enjoying it.

My new crypto job is remote, so I'm planning on traveling while working.  When I get bored or tired of that, I'll retire into consulting and advising (already doing some of that).

I also do a lot of mentoring work which I find rewarding.

Nov 19, 2021 - 1:37pm

I come from a recently (within my 30 year lifetime) affluent construction family; think $50-100M net worth.  I started my career in IB but, as the family biz grew, was lured back to help with general operations and internal M&A.  I make a very comfortable living (especially for the rural Midwest), have some personal investments that have worked out nicely and, have a lot of inheritance to fall back on someday.

With that being said, I do not have a lot of personal financial problems but, I struggle with most of the same problems that everyone else deals with.  At the end of the day money is really only useful when you don't have any.  I worry about my family's health, keeping my marriage on track, staying in shape, etc.  The real dichotomy of wealth and worry comes from two factors: the additional stress of having responsibility for the fortunes of my family and employees, and the additional complications that come from stewarding wealth. 

1st point, when I worked in IB, I figured if I fucked up and got fired, oh well, get a new job.  That certainly isn't the case anymore.  If I make a huge error or oversite, I have to watch as my family looses digits from their bank statements, people lose their jobs, and I become the devil incarnate.  This keeps me up at night.  

2nd point, there is also a lot more complication in life that comes with overseeing wealth.  I have to stay on top of all the attorneys and accountants we employ to protect the nest egg.  I have to keep abreast of nuanced tax accounting, convoluted trust and corporate structures, real estate law, and all the business risks/considerations of where we park our liquid net worth on top of running the core business.  A lot of people make the mistake of thinking this oversight can be delegated and forgotten about but, if you don't take a very active roll in coordinating the professionals, you can find yourself in a world of shit (think Don King and the fighters he represents).  This doesn't cause many sleepless nights but, it can make for some grueling days.

As for how many problems the excess money has solved, for me, not many.  I naturally abhor ostentation.  I live in a 1200 sqft. house on a dumpy inland lake.  I drive a 2018 work trim pickup truck, my wife drives a Toyota Camry.  I have an old Iphone, don't wear a watch or fancy cloths.  My wife and I do all the housework, and I mean all of it.  I do all of the maintenance on the place from plumbing to electrical (not because I'm cheap, I was raised to think less of men who can't).  I also buy most of my toys (boats, snowmobiles, atvs) used. 

This all plays into the friendships.  I have a pretty tight circle of close friends and a decent sized group of acquaintances that I enjoy hanging out with.  I definitely do not have an entourage or any hangers on.  I try very hard to keep my family's wealth on the DL.  My friends know that we have some money but no clue about the extent of it.  I intentionally keep my lifestyle at a level that won't tip off friends or neighbors.  The last thing I want is to be inundated with "business ideas" and schemes or, have them think differently of me.  Hence, I have been able to avoid most fakeness.  

The areas where I do benefit from wealth are probably vacations and diet (I love cooking fancy shit).  I spearfish in the Bahamas once a year, go on hunting trips on property I own, traveled all over South America and Oceana in my single years.  Stuff like that is very nice and would be difficult (but not impossible) without money.

At the end of the day, money doesn't buy much of the stuff that fulfills me.  I will be the first to agree that if you don't have any money, life is tough but, if you've got enough to meet your basic needs and be able to fund some recreation with good friends, you're not missing out on much that can't be achieved with a tradesman's wage.  Obviously if you're into expensive clothes, nice cars, and exclusive clubs, money may bring you more happiness than it does me.

Final thought: I know people wonder, "Great Ape Jake, why not sell the operating business and ride off into the sunset to live the life of a trust fund kid?"  The serious answer is: because I don't want to die of boredom and, I believe it is my duty to be a good steward of the assets I've been blessed with.                   

  • 8
Nov 19, 2021 - 4:04pm

Best extravagance is buying time with money. Small examples in different parts of life:

1. Skipping lines at the club, in the airport, and basically anywhere else you can buy your way out of a line

2. Paying someone else to do something you'd otherwise do: maid (2x a month), in-home chef 3X a week, dog walker etc....

... definitely lots more that I'm blanking on but you get the idea.

Nov 19, 2021 - 5:07pm

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Nov 19, 2021 - 7:05pm

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Nov 27, 2021 - 8:05pm

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