After learning almost everything I could on Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, and reading the Millionaire Next Door (great book, listened to it via audiobook), I am not surprised to find another modest billionaire. Although the rest of the article does detail that he is more lavish in certain other areas of his life, I find it interesting that there are so many millionaires and billionaires who drive cheap cars and eat fast food (or just ordinary food) when they can afford better food. To them, I guess it is “better food” because it tastes better. As I explained in previous articles, people like Warren remark on how more expensive food tastes worse to them anyways. (Again, read Millionaire Next Door to find out all the misconceptions about the rich). I do think that there are in fact many rich people who spend lavishly as well. But probably a lot less of the pie than you think. Also, I do think that people who are really not that rich (less than 1 million net worth) tend to spend lavishly in order to impress others, boost their ego, or pretend to be really rich to others. You see it all the time if you go around the right parts of our country. Below is an except from this Forbes article of billionaire T. Denny Sanford: http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2007/1008/232.html
Despite the jet, Sanford’s tastes tend toward the modest. He’s never patronized an art museum or the symphony nor tended a vineyard in France. He prefers to dine on fast food and drove a beat-up Dodge Caravan for years before his embarrassed underlings persuaded him to buy an Audi.
As well, he’s a fun boss. Beacom says he and other execs have many of their meetings in Phoenix at Sanford’s winter home, where the boss cooks them breakfast in his underwear. After a day of budgeting they ride bikes. At night they either play cards or go out drinking and dancing. “We don’t dance with each other,” Sanford clarifies. On his golf shoes he’s inscribed a nickname: Wolt–for “World’s Oldest Living Teenager.” Sanford is a downhill skier. Before he left Minnesota he raced sailboats on Lake Minnetonka. A second, shorter marriage, protected by a prenup, ended in 2002.