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Old 09-19-2018, 09:55 AM   #21
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I was one of the original employees of a Fortune 500 company (top 25). I was part of management so I routinely toured my facility with the founder of the company. We were on a first name basis but strictly on a business level. His net worth is rated at about $3 billion according to Forbes.

Mad respect for this person. I learned so much. He was tough on standards but easy on people.
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:55 AM   #22
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I don't personally know anybody who is rich, which to me means someone with $50M and above.

One of the principal investors in a startup company, of which I was a founding member, had perhaps $100M - just my guess. I didn't know him personally, so it does not count. The company went defunct. I hope we did not cost him too much.

This was 25 years ago. Some years ago, out of curiosity I looked him up on the Web to see how he was doing. Could not find out much, but it looked like other ventures of his disappeared too. I believe he was fairly diversified, and if he just bought Apple and/or Amazon, the money that he lost on us would be small potatoes.
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:59 AM   #23
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My top two are currently relaxing in a "Federally sponsored gated community"; not so much living high through consumer debt as outright fraud.

Third on my list, even though we only spoke once on the phone, we cannot name due to an NDA signed when we rented her home in Hawaii for a month several years ago. All dealings were with a secretary but she actually called personally to see how we liked the place. Nice touch.

My grandfather would likely come in fourth (high eight figures); mostly inherited wealth from his grandfather. Grandpa furthered the cause when he married grandma in 1921 who's family owned a large shoe manufacturing company at the time.

Side note: my boss took me aside one day and asked "how much do you think is 'a lot of money'?". I answered something like $50MM. Seems that his ex-father in law recently died and left $300MM. My boss always knew the old man was 'comfortable' but no one--not even his own children--assumed that level of wealth. They lived well but not $300MM well. You never know.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:05 AM   #24
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Another one I am on a first name basis is a local guy who bought options on land in my area before the boom. He lined up tenants before he even exersized. Then exersized the options on the dirt and built the offices.

He owns a small hobby farm with horses so his daily driver is a beat up 20 year old Ford pickup. Wranglers and a beat up barn coat. You would never have a clue he was wealthy. Super down to earth.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:16 AM   #25
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Whatever rich is I don't know but I think back to a client who controlled our meetings like I had never seen as I was used to controlling the meetings. I was not involved with his assets directly so do not know his exact net worth but I would guess $750m+/- based on information I did have. He was a triple crown horse owning kind of guy. 100% self-made. Asked questions about my bills or had his staff lawyer do it. Diversified asset holdings. Among all else he struck me as the kind of guy I would want to hang out with. Not because of his wealth but just the way he carried himself and the stories he likely had to tell. Plus he seemed fun from my limited dealings with him.

Beyond him have had many clients in the $10-100m range. Most are pretty much regular people but they own a vacation home or two, travel the world more than most, and have an air of not being worried about money. Most of these people drive regular cars, live in nice but not castle like houses, pay cash for most things in life, and you would not know their wealth other than to think they are likely doing well in life.

Lastly I know a ton of people who act rich - leased cars, mortgaged houses, fancy clothes. As my first guy above would say "all hat no cattle." They may make $500k but spend $600k.
Hoping to get out around September 1, 2022... I hope, I hope, I hope. Until then off to work I go....
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:28 AM   #26
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I'm not aware fo ever knowing anyone super rich. I'm sure my orthopedic surgeon is rich but I don't know if I would say I really know him. I consider my aunt who has nearly no savings but a large Illinois pension plus SS to be the richest person I actually know.
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:08 AM   #27
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I dated the daughter of a former Forbes 400 family- big family, old Pittsburgh money. No idea net worth. I have some second cousins that are in the $100mm+ category- old money scattered all over the country.

I am definitely the poor cousin but I have no issues with wealth envy. I have a good friend who came into $25mm self made at 45 recently.

There is some top brass from Bridgewater the largest hedge fund at my club who I have bumped into, and the Blue Buffalo dog food company family is also a member who also started Sobie- definitely $100mm+. One of the Hedgies made $70mm in one year according to Forbes...
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:19 AM   #28
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The founders of the small startup I worked for became extremely wealthy when the company went public 15 years later. I knew each of them very well personally.
Retired since summer 1999.
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:19 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
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.

this thread is like a gawkers convention for lifestyles of the rich and famous.
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:30 AM   #30
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Nobody particularly well. I'm sure I know some through friends of friends, or if I do know them, they don't flaunt it.

I don't exactly hangout at the yacht club or the club house though.
AA (Stock/Bond/Cash ): 97.5/0/2.5% MIX (Small/Mid/Large): 25/25/50% BLEND(US/Foreign): 100/0%, REIT (Real Estate Equity): ~50% of Assets

FIRE in 2031 @ 50yrs old (+/- 2yrs) w/ a hypothetical $2.5mil portfolio, 3 appreciated homes worth $1.0mil and rental income to fund my gap years until RMD. Assets will go to an inherited IRA where I plan on watching the investments grow until I die or the trust gets executed.
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:02 PM   #31
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I'll infer you don't mean necessarily rich in the Thurston Howell III sense. Just the wealthiest person nominally.

Unless someone else springs to mind later it would be my uncle. He started as a GS-1 right after the War but ended up as a GS-15. His boss was a 3 star general. The whole time he worked though, he and his brother-in-law owned and operated a tailor shop and dry cleaner as a side biz. And he was still working there on the side his whole way up to GS-15. Yes. Immigrant. Left the old country when Mussolini started tipping his hand and got to the USA as a boy in 1928 just in time for all the fun. Also, according to family family lore, he was investing in mutual funds of some kind beginning in the late 1940's/early '50's. He always had the nicest cars and house.
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:04 PM   #32
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I met Estee, Ron, and Leonard Lauder in the 90s in a professional capacity. Leonard and Ms. Lauder were really, really wonderful people, asking about my coworker and my lives. Ron Lauder was the stereotypical rich prick who ignored us little people unless he deigned to order us around. (I don't think I need to explain how they made their money....)

You definitely knew they were rich. She traveled with her driver, her maid, and her cook. But she was still as nice and down to earth as I suppose you can be living like that.
-Looking to FIRE in the mid-2020s, which would be our mid-50s.
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:11 PM   #33
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Friend of the family who inherited dad's (or grandad's) business.

Business was in bad shape, he turned it around, big time.

Later sold to the Chinese for over a billion dollars.

I'm sure they're personally worth over $100 million.

Great businessman, but considering how he treated my dad, a **** in real life.
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:13 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by GravitySucks View Post
Oh yeah.... And me. Even while at the lower end of net worth of this esteemed community i still consider myself rich.
That would be me too. I am an "off-the-rails rich guy" compared to everyone else I actually know right now and talk to in real life. And it's going to get worse next year when I get SS.
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:54 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
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.
I'm north of you (northeast part of Cincy) and live near the location I believe you're referring to. Carl, in IH. His house was on my typical commute for over 20 years. Use to see him driving the other way about once a month or so as our commutes crossed. One time I ran into Skyline near my house to grab a bite. Lo and behold, there's a Rolls in the lot with Edith waiting for Carl who was picking up an order of Coneys to go. About as down to earth as you can get, and for someone with a net worth of 10 figures I'd guess not many like him. (For those not from around here, Skyline is a local chili/fast food place. Coneys are a hot dog on a bun with chili and cheese, maybe onions and mustard.)

Started working at a company while private. Good news, got some stock! But it was too late to make the big $$. However, most importantly, it taught me the potential of investing as I made some great returns on my modest purchase price and saw many others like me become 7-8 figure, with a couple making it to 9. Adopted the high savings rate/investing and LBYM mentality that has gotten us comfortably to where we are today.
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:05 PM   #36
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The owner of the private company I retired from was worth 9 figures, over $120M that I know of, but beyond that can't be specific. He and two other guys started a company from scratch, and built it up into a firm that did about $600M/yr in sales. One owner sold/dropped out after a few years, leaving two owners. Both of them passed all their wealth on to immediate family, some still execs with the company.

As for friends, I have one who I'd estimate to have a net worth around $10M. He's an orthopedic surgeon, co-founder of a regional surgical center, and he is married to an anesthesiologist. They're both in the early to mid 60's and they've been raking it in for 40 years.

You didn't ask but I've known rich and modest wealth folks who are the nicest people you'd ever want to meet. And I've known modest and rich folks who are mean spirited, self absorbed asshats. I'm not sure there is any correlation between wealth and what kind of human being you are.

And as everyone knows from reading The Millionaire Next Door you can't tell by the trappings folks surround themselves with. I know people who live large but spend everything they have, and others who live very modest lives well below what society would say they could afford.
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:58 PM   #37
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The family of a kid I went to public school and public university with owned their own island. They owned a private company so I had no idea what they were worth at the time. I was admiring some vacation pictures on the wall at their house while there for a party, and found out it was their island.

I just looked up the company, which my college friend is now part owner, along with a couple of other relatives and it was estimated to be worth $200M. I had no idea until just now. I grew up in a blue collar town and while there was a rich part of town where this kid lived, he was friendly, usually dressed in overalls (the style back then) and had friends like me from blue collar families.
Even clouds seem bright and breezy, 'Cause the livin' is free and easy, See the rat race in a new way, Like you're wakin' up to a new day (Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether lyrics, Alan Parsons Project, based on an EA Poe story)
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Old 09-19-2018, 02:50 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by hesperus View Post

this thread is like a gawkers convention for lifestyles of the rich and famous.
I was thinking more learning how people became financially well off. For the people I've known, it seems like it has been running their own individual businesses. And real estate investing. Surprisingly, very few who have grown their wealth through stock investing, which is my chosen path.

But feel free to give this post whatever spin you like! Some interesting stories here...
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Old 09-19-2018, 03:01 PM   #39
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I have had the privilege to know a few truly wealthy people. However most of the really wealthy often have well known names, and I'd rather not do any name dropping.

My college roommate had a famous industrialist grandfather, and his mother and father never had a job. They lived in one of the larger antebellum homes in the South with twelve 45' fluted wooden columns 45 feet tall in front The front yard was 150 manicured acres and the back yard was 450 acres--with miles of white wood fences. Knock on the front door, and the butler answered it. His mother only cooked one meal in her life, so she had a full time cook. They threw two parties per year, one of which was in a circus tent behind the Big House.

I had another friend in a large city, and his father had his hands in many, many businesses. He owned a business magazine, a huge power plant construction company, a company that designed interstate highway projects, a company that dug up gasoline tanks in the U.S. and Europe, a company that did the engineering for the Chunnel under the English Channel, a industrial cabinet company and 6 incenderators that could clean up Love Canal. His city home is 39,000 square feet on 120 acres and his country home is a palatial mansion on 10,000 acres. He also has a home at The Coast. This gentleman has a helipad at home, and flies a Jet Ranger helicopter to work. When he has to drive, it's a Rolls Royce.
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Old 09-19-2018, 03:07 PM   #40
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This thread prompted me to check on an old high school semi-friend (we had the same circle of friends, and saw each other often, but were not close). He went to the same college as me, and I knew he started a company, it was doing well, and had even donated enough to the college to be recognized in the news letter.

Well... the company went public, so I could search pretty easily. He is still CEO, is paid $3 million per year, and owns about $270 million worth of the stock. He was a nice guy, and I am glad for him. As far as I can tell, he started the company on a wing and a prayer, and worked his tail off.
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