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The richest person you have personally known
Old 09-19-2018, 12:32 AM   #1
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The richest person you have personally known

Who is the richest person you have known? How did they build their wealth?

The first person who comes to mind is a peer of mine from my early twenties. I may have known wealthier people over the years, but considering his age I'd say he wins. He didn't flaunt his wealth but was obviously a millionaire many times over by his early twenties and earned all of it. You couldn't fake his level of living through consumer debt. I once attended a party at his mansion in Chicago, and I remember a lot of spoiled rich wives at the party. He sort of politely laughed at his wife's teacher salary, and hoped she would one day get a real job. This guy was a professional futures trader. He worked for large companies who entrusted large sums of money to his care, and he made it grow by investing in commodities all day long. He had done it since his teens and obviously loved it. Having toyed with trading commodity options already, I once asked him how a person learns to be a successful trader. He replied that yes a person can learn, but really shouldn't try it until he can afford to lose about $100k. I was probably making $6k/year at the time, so we may as well have been discussing how large is the sun. He retired at maybe 26 and now is a philanthropist. Good guy, solidly nice and trustworthy all the way. His age and skill level, and what he did with it, left an impression--of what I *should* be doing with my life.

I also have a few extended family who became financially independent through direct real estate investing--one who retired at 35 from a general labor position, another who does RE plus God knows how many side businesses and runs a megachurch in a large city...has his fingers in many pots, so to speak. I've also known a billionaire heiress (who was insane)--granddaughter of the founder of what is now a major public company. And an ex brother in law who owned two Seven Elevens and was a tinkerer--an early adopter of online P2P lending, wouldn't surprise me if he got into bitcoin; he was very interested in lots of different things, and would try them (including an "embarrassing" amount of direct real estate), but his initial money came from the 7-11 business which he took on some risk & debt to get into. I've also seen one of my dad's friends go extremely far with the same business my dad and I are both in. He is a model for business success, although oddly enough the execution of product is something I do better despite his large staff. He's part of the Chicago yacht club and goes into the office about one afternoon per week, and from what I gather spends a fair amount of time giving speeches and accepting awards--while most of the people I know in the industry are mcmansion level street hustler workaholics.

So, business and real estate.
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Old 09-19-2018, 05:16 AM   #2
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Probably the owner of one of my former customers.
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:10 AM   #3
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Dealt with many very wealthy hedge fund individuals.
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:43 AM   #4
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My wife's uncle would fall in rich category. Real estate and hospitality business all the way.
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:23 AM   #5
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I knew some "old money" people in Cincinnati. The generation that was contemporaneous to mine was the result of a merging of 3 family names that you would recognize as nationally prominent. Their names all reflected this. I was distantly related by marriage i.e. none of that wealth would ever spill over to me, but I was invited to weddings, parties, etc.
They definitely did not flaunt it. They lived in nice neighborhoods, but not ostentatiously at all. They drove Volvos.

Through my association with that family I met some other very wealthy families, who lived n large estates overlooking the Ohio River, and threw big bashes, but I didn't really know them, other than being an invited tag-along to their 4th of July party, or whatnot.

I was young, had no money of my own, was probably more envious than I should have been. I was trying to figure out how to make enough money to live a decent life, and these folks would never have to lift a finger and be set for life in a manner to which I'd never become accustomed. However, looking back on it, those feelings of envy no longer exist. Family circumstances changed over the years and my contact with those people evaporated, but I'd hear stories that indicated to me that all of that money did not shield them from drug problems, alcohol problems, divorce, etc etc...the things that make you happy or miserable in your lifetime. Many of the stories made me quite sad.

I guess I've come to the conclusion at my ripe old age of 65, that the mind, the psyche, is like a muscle, in that some challenge, some stress handled well, is needed to properly develop. Having too much handed to you, to soon, too easily is not a recipe for peace and contentment.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:42 AM   #6
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I can't say. Don't know (and really don't want to know) the financial details. Some folks look really rich (nice cars, big houses) but carry a lot of debt. I rich is rich lifestyle, that's one thing. But if rich is net worth, then I can't say.
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:39 AM   #7
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I've never actually known anyone I'd call rich, but we used to live not far from a very wealthy neighborhood. I would sometimes see a guy driving a Rolls-Royce who was very well known locally. He owned two of them and always drove himself, no chauffeur. I thought that was great. He was also a very generous philanthropist, always behind the scenes without publicity. When he died he was worth a couple billion.
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:40 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I can't say. Don't know (and really don't want to know) the financial details. Some folks look really rich (nice cars, big houses) but carry a lot of debt. I rich is rich lifestyle, that's one thing. But if rich is net worth, then I can't say.
I hear ya. I have a BIL who is always going on about how much this person or that person has. He's always been obsessed with other's means. It really doesn't interest me. I worked as hard as I was willing to work, saved what I was willing to save, to provide myself and my family with what I felt I needed.

That's why playing the lottery never interested me much. I just don't need to, nor do I desire to spend much time fantasizing over what I don't have. I have enough. Probably will turn out to be more than enough.

Although, my neighbor has a pretty sweet boat. I wonder how he afforded that thing. I hate that guy.
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:43 AM   #9
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Define rich please ?
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:46 AM   #10
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I know two when they were nobody, now you can google them. They were my coworkers. Both at one time had expressed interest in me. But even with their wealth now, I’m still glad I’m
married to my husband.
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:56 AM   #11
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Friend of my Dad's who lived in the same retirement home for a while. They guy and I had dinner a number of times and he knew my name.

~$800M. Was on the beach in Normandy on D-Day. Former CEO of an Idaho-based Fortune 500 company, smart businessman, successful individual stock investor. Ended up buying or starting Princess Cruise Lines and had some sort of hand in the "Love Boat" TV show.

Really nice guy. Drank two buck Chuck (from RiteAid or Walgreens) at dinner; I think he commented when the price went up to $3.

...

There's also J.R. Simplot, who I met a few times in a smaller setting. I would say I knew him personally, but being famous he met a lot of people and certainly would not remember me for any reason. He was also a really nice guy. Horrendously patriotic and optimistic. According to his Wiki article he was worth $3.6B.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:02 AM   #12
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Met a billionaire.
Met a rumoured billionaire.
Know very well a couple multi millionaires.
All work in finance. None will ever retire willingly.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:05 AM   #13
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I also never knew anyone I would consider insanely rich, money-wise. I do have some friends that own a good bit of land. A couple of them own more than 1000 acres. To me...that is my idea of being rich. They have comfortable lives. I feel rich sometimes, because of the great friends I have and life is on an even keel and not having to work anymore.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:05 AM   #14
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Define rich please ?
Oh yeah.... And me. Even while at the lower end of net worth of this esteemed community i still consider myself rich.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:09 AM   #15
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The richest person I know is my wife's uncle. He had a long career as a financial advisor in a wealthy California enclave but it seems like he did well in real estate as well. But really I am not sure what he is actually worth.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:10 AM   #16
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Oh yeah.... And me. Even while at the lower end of net worth of this esteemed community i still consider myself rich.
A yuuuge +1 here!

Married to a wonderful woman for 41 years, having two upstanding sons with families of their own and 4 beautiful grandchildren makes me the richest person I have personally known.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:26 AM   #17
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Define rich please ?
Rich life, full of love and friendship :-)
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:34 AM   #18
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I've known more than a few from business and personal lives. Some lived lavishly, some modestly. There didn't seem to be a correlation with wealth.

Some were incredibly nice people, some were the opposite. No matter how much you have, people are people.

One thing learned from those I respected: most didn't accept "great idea but it can't be done/it isn't feasible" as a valid answer. They thought anything was possible. They just needed to find the path. I saw a couple of true fortunes built on ideas that would have been head scratchers to anyone looking to invest.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:41 AM   #19
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Just know some millionaires based on where I live. One $100+ million got his start with inherited wealth and has continued to grow his RE holdings. Made most additional money as an importer of Italian shoes.

Second built his own business and cashed out when acquired with $45 million. He enjoys the new-found wealth.

Third a lumber broker. Just under $20 million. Only extravagance was a Ferrari.

All enjoyed nice homes, nice cars and various expensive hobbies. But otherwise pretty regular guys. Their wives were more aware of their wealth in everyday life.

Except for their cars, we have no trouble keeping up with their lifestyles. Not that we try.

We sublet our penthouse when we snowbird for $4000+/mo. One tenant drove a Bentley! Another had 7 collector cars. As I said, aside from the cars, we live much like they do.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:50 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by HighOnLife View Post
Who is the richest person you have known? How did they build their wealth?

The first person who comes to mind is a peer of mine from my early twenties. I may have known wealthier people over the years, but considering his age I'd say he wins. He didn't flaunt his wealth but was obviously a millionaire many times over by his early twenties and earned all of it. You couldn't fake his level of living through consumer debt. I once attended a party at his mansion in Chicago, and I remember a lot of spoiled rich wives at the party. He sort of politely laughed at his wife's teacher salary, and hoped she would one day get a real job. ... Good guy, solidly nice and trustworthy all the way. His age and skill level, and what he did with it, left an impression--of what I *should* be doing with my life.
Maybe I'm perceiving the story wrong, but anyone who laughs at his wife for being a teacher isn't someone I'd model my life after.
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