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What motivates the ultra-rich to keep pursuing more?
Old 12-06-2018, 07:12 AM   #1
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What motivates the ultra-rich to keep pursuing more?

"As the number of millionaires and billionaires in the world climbs ever higher, there are a growing number of people who possess more money than they could ever reasonably spend on even the lushest goods.

But at a certain level of wealth, the next million isn’t going to suddenly revolutionize their lifestyle. What drives people, once they’ve reached that point, to keep pursuing more?"

Rest of article here:
https://www.theatlantic.com/family/a...-money/577231/

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Old 12-06-2018, 07:39 AM   #2
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Getting the next million IS their lifestyle. They enjoy what they do.
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:42 AM   #3
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They enjoy what they do, and they're usually hyper competitive and more hard working than regular folks. Their drive doesn't come from having enough money to live comfortably, it's having more money (and power) than others - "winning."

People from all socio-economic levels are guilty of the same, just in varying degrees - known as "keeping up with the Joneses." What appears excessive depends on your station in life...
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:08 AM   #4
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I read in an interview with a hedge fund manager that it's not about the money, it's about keeping score.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:21 AM   #5
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I thought about this, albeit at a lesser scale, when considering when to FIRE. If I worked another year, we could fly first class vs. coach on a vacation or two a year. Or, I could have an extra $1,000/mo to spend. But, at some point, you have to consider what you really want out of life and prioritize accordingly. FOR ME, the extra year of freedom was worth the trade-off. For others? Perhaps their work IS the source of enjoyment in their life...
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:27 AM   #6
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There are a bunch of factors, money the least of it.

Power, fame, influence, social circle - a lot of that goes once you no longer have an active title. "Former"-CEO doesn't have the same ring to it, doesn't get you the box seats, or the invite to the right party in Palm Beach.

Then there are some as well who just can't consider not working because that's what they do, especially the generation raised by Depression-era parents.

The ultra rich aren't debating first class vs. coach. They are debating which private jet they prefer.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:07 AM   #7
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They enjoy what they do, and they're usually hyper competitive and more hard working than regular folks. Their drive doesn't come from having enough money to live comfortably, it's having more money (and power) than others - "winning."
+1
It's 'what they do'.
It's fun, challenging, exciting and a game.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:12 AM   #8
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... People from all socio-economic levels are guilty of the same, just in varying degrees - known as "keeping up with the Joneses." What appears excessive depends on your station in life...
+1

Just go look at the "Blow dough" thread.

It's not that I am not guilty of the same, except that I care less about things now, and just want to see my pile of stocks getting bigger. A guy's got to have some endeavors in life, that's all.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:14 AM   #9
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:16 AM   #10
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A guy's got to have some endeavors in life, that's all.
I used to work with a guy who had two (yes two) Gulfstreams.

Why? "In case one of them wasn't ready!"
He thought nothing of skiing all day in Utah and then flying to San Francisco for dinner.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:28 AM   #11
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But at a certain level of wealth, the next million isn’t going to suddenly revolutionize their lifestyle. What drives people, once they’ve reached that point, to keep pursuing more?"
Many people on this board have reached that point: a million doesn't really have that much purchasing power these days, and an extra one or two would not significantly change our lifestyles.

Having years ago exceeded my 'number', I no longer work but continue to LBYM and invest the balance. Rationally the latter makes little sense, but it is difficult to change the habits of a lifetime. I would expect that the same holds true of billionaires.

And as NW-Bound says, seeing the little numbers increase on monthly statements does yield a sense of achievement. Pathetic really, but there it is.

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Old 12-06-2018, 11:38 AM   #12
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Sex, money and power are the three driving forces in this world for most people. Seems like some folks can never can have enough of all three. Having one of the forces usually means you can "get" the others, to varying degrees. Personally, I've never cared that much about power and I have more than enough money, but.....................
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:51 AM   #13
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Getting the next million IS their lifestyle. They enjoy what they do.
+1 I think it's a variation on the well known "hoarding instinct" that some people have. Instead of hoarding possessions or trash, they hoard money.

Squirrels hoarding nuts for the winter have nothing on humans, when it comes to extreme hoarding instincts. Or at least that is my opinion.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:51 AM   #14
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Just another way to keep score for those whom to it matters.

I could win the Powerball and I'd still know that didn't make me "better" than anyone else.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:57 AM   #15
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+1 I think it's a variation on the well known "hoarding instinct" that some people have. Instead of hoarding possessions or trash, they hoard money.
I don't know if it's hoarding or not, but I've always valued having money over having things. Having money means I can buy things if I want to, I'd rather have that - than the things! Makes me think twice about spending too, but when we really want something, we just buy it without pause.

Only loosely related but reading The Millionaire Next Door is still a good insight IMO. Some people who appear wealthy, aren't. And some who live a modest lifestyle, are actually surprisingly wealthy. That was a revelation to me when I first read TMND years ago. I'd rather be rich, than look rich...

Look at Warren Buffett, Sam Walton, etc. You would never know just observing their lifestyles.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:01 PM   #16
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Sex, money and power are the three driving forces in this world for most people. Seems like some folks can never can have enough of all three. Having one of the forces usually means you can "get" the others, to varying degrees. Personally, I've never cared that much about power and I have more than enough money, but.....................
I would replace power with freedom. I have no desire to be powerful, just safe and free!
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:05 PM   #17
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I think it is a score-keeping thing... to some extent they measure themselves and their self-worth in $$$ against their peers... in both annual income and net worth.

I guess I am not at all wired that way... while I enjoyed the "game" I was happy to stop playing... I never understood why others kept playing but if that made them happy then so be it.

Notice that many of the world's richest who are of a retirement age and could retire are still working (albeit arguably at their own pace)... I'm not familiar with all the names on the list below but to my knowledge Bill Gates is the only one who is retired (though I am sure his philanthropic activities keeps him busy).
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:09 PM   #18
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I have been around people making $3M+ annually for the last 10 years. They have more than enough and keep working. From the ones I worked very closely with, they just enjoyed being in charge. Running the show. Some did it well (servant leadership) and some did not (dictators). But they all enjoyed being the HMFIC.

From a pure money standpoint, all of them knew they had enough. A few of them wanted more. One of them wanted it all. My last boss was a billionaire and drove a 12 year old BMW.

I'm in the same boat, but not that kind of comp. I like running a company. I like helping people grow. I like being in the "chair". It is addicting.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:42 PM   #19
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Perhaps the belief that "more is more" instead of "less is more".
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:40 PM   #20
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I have been around people making $3M+ annually for the last 10 years. They have more than enough and keep working. From the ones I worked very closely with, they just enjoyed being in charge. Running the show. Some did it well (servant leadership) and some did not (dictators). But they all enjoyed being the HMFIC.
I know some people here find it incredulous, but some people would rather work than have endless free time, and it has nothing to do with money.


Had lunch with a buddy who sold his company, but stayed on, and he's beyond FI. I asked him yesterday when he's actually going to retire, and he said "I don't know what I'd do all day, what do you do?" He said he took two days off, nearly went crazy, and begged the new owners of his former company to let him work PT. He's happy as a clam.


And that's fine for him, despite what some here are quick to say about how others choose to live their lives.
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