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Why Do Billionaires Want More?
Old 03-11-2018, 02:43 PM   #1
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Why Do Billionaires Want More?

While researching an upcoming book, I'm finding that many billionaires go to great lengths (legal and illegal) to increase their wealth.

Why is that? What can you do with two billion that you can't do with one billion?

My guess is that it's just an insatiable and irrational desire to get more money—like collectors who go to extremes.

Your thoughts?
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:02 PM   #2
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Why do athletes try to get the Olympic gold medals? Why do people risk their life to climb Mt. Everest?

Billionaires look at making money as a challenge, not because they need to get more to spend. Actors and sport players make money to spend, and spend they do.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:06 PM   #3
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To run up the score. Personally I'm in a prevent defense. Hope it works better than in the NFL.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:06 PM   #4
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I think money is the way they measure themselves, and others.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
While researching an upcoming book, I'm finding that many billionaires go to great lengths (legal and illegal) to increase their wealth.

Why is that? What can you do with two billion that you can't do with one billion?

My guess is that it's just an insatiable and irrational desire to get more money—like collectors who go to extremes.

Your thoughts?
I don't personally know any billionaires. Since there are only about 550 billionaires in the US, it's likely that nobody here personally knows any billionaires, so folks are just guessing at their motivations. I know many millionaires. I'm guessing you could ask exactly the same question about millionaires.

I think we each individually decide what is enough and what is not. For some, having more than [the others] is what constitutes "enough". For others, having a few dollars to let them get by while living off the grid and retiring at 30 is "enough". For some, having funds so that their children can eat is "enough".

In much of the world, almost all of us would be accused of having "an insatiable and irrational desire to get more money" as well.

Enough is always in the eye of the beholder.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:13 PM   #6
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I always figured it was a form of 'hoarding disorder', where people use stuff to fill a personal void. Some people hoard pets or stuff they think they or someone else might use again. Some people hoard money.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:30 PM   #7
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Billionaires are no different than the rest of us. They want "more", as do we all. Its the whole reason we have the 10th Commandment.

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Old 03-11-2018, 03:46 PM   #8
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I think money is the way they measure themselves, and others.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:47 PM   #9
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If people want more, and are willing to work within the legal and ethical framework to make more money, I don't think their action is any different than any other human endeavor.

I recall an interview of Bartiromo with Soros. When asked why he still worked, Soros said that it was to prove to himself (and perhaps to others too) that his view of the world was correct.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:53 PM   #10
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Because they feel insecure .. or they unconsciously want to suffer because of the insatiable desire of wanting more.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:55 PM   #11
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If people want more, and are willing to work within the legal and ethical framework to make more money, I don't think their action is any different than any other human endeavor.

I recall an interview of Bartiromo with Soros. When asked why he still worked, Soros said that it was to prove to himself (and perhaps to others too) that his view of the world was correct.
And think about that, people always have the desire to show that they are better or smarter than the next guy. For billionaires, money is the way to keep score. Bezos can now say that he knows about retailing and distribution more than any other businessman. Who can refute that? Steve Jobs said he knew what gadgets the public did not even know they wanted until he showed them.

Down at our pedestrian level, people enter into endless discussion about the best way to invest. And it involves other people's money, not even our own. Why, the desire to be smarter is with everybody.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:58 PM   #12
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Lot of billionaires are into their 70s or even in their 80s.

They continue to work.

Certainly goes against the ethos of ER. Not even sure if it's about leaving a huge inheritance. Some of them have committed to giving large portions of their wealth.

The robber barons founded universities and endowments. I'm sure there will be many hospital wings and university buildings named after them.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:58 PM   #13
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I think money is the way they measure themselves, and others.
I have no way of knowing, but my guess is that it's not about the money. Maybe up to a point, but I believe they are driven by whatever their passion is. Especially after a certain level is reached.

Another alternative my be the fear of losing it all if they don't keep going. They keep doing what got them to the party and while they may not be after more money, they want to stay at the party and the money becomes secondary.

Personally, I've never seen or read a billionaire say that they do it for the money. They typically talk about their passion. Maybe that's just PR bull crap, but I don't think so. I think they genuinely are passionate about what they are doing.
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:08 PM   #14
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Another reason is that billionaires must continuously strife for success and growth as a mechanism that provides meaning to life. Without growth and success, life is boring or meaningless (to them). However, they fail to recognize that wanting more than you ever need is the root of suffering - how ironic!
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:13 PM   #15
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I've met the founder of EPIC Systems (not that I really know her) and she recently got onto the Forbes Billionaire list. (so I guess I met a billionaire) Seemed like a nice but driven person. She apparently loves building the company and that is her passion. She lives in a house that many of us here could afford, so I guess it's not the money.
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:20 PM   #16
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Personally, I've never seen or read a billionaire say that they do it for the money. They typically talk about their passion. Maybe that's just PR bull crap, but I don't think so. I think they genuinely are passionate about what they are doing.
It's highly plausible that they truly have a passion of creating products and services that benefit society and continuously building their business.
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:36 PM   #17
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Billionaires are no different than the rest of us. They want "more", as do we all. Its the whole reason we have the 10th Commandment.
Don't know about the 10th commandment (had to look that up) but agree with Gumby. I want more and if you don't want yours, I'll take it!
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:46 PM   #18
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I used to work for a billionaire in a family company with a very long history in business. He is in his 80's now. I believe that his desire is for the business to continue to be very successful in order to preserve the legacy of the company and provide for future generations of his family to be able to continue to run the company in this tradition.
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:47 PM   #19
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The richest people i know are still working on their late 60, 70, and the richest is in his 80s.
It's their lives, what else would they do?
And at least some of them measure themselves by their net worth.

Me? I got out as soon as I figured I could. Now I'll never be a billionaire.
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:56 PM   #20
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I always figured it was a form of 'hoarding disorder', where people use stuff to fill a personal void. Some people hoard pets or stuff they think they or someone else might use again. Some people hoard money.
This is exactly what I think. Best answer, from my point of view anyway.
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