Don’t let money rule your world


If your net worth had nine zeroes in it, not including the two after the decimal, what type of billionaire would you be?  Would you be the reclusive boring kind, avoiding the media, hiding away on your private island, sipping your Henri IV cognac while puffing your pipe by the fire?  Or would you be more of a Tony Starks, Bruce Wayne type of billionaire, driving exotic cars filled with exotic women, buying up buildings and then jumping off of them, living like a superstar while flying by the seat of your billion-dollar super-pants?  Aside from fighting crime, the following three gentlemen share many things in common with these comic book icons and real life.  Giving people incredible loans then surprising them by demanding they pay you back with a pound of their flesh. They are billionaires and they know it and they aren’t afraid to show it.  And while they may not be able to fire repulsor rays from their palms or defeat entire households of ninjas, they use their brains and their wealth to help the greater good, and they’re having a blast while doing it.

Warren Buffet

Age: 77
Occupation: Investor, businessman, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
Net worth: $62.0 billion

When Berkshire Hathaway’s shares climbed 25%, the self made billionaire Warren Buffet blew past Bill Gates and took the lead as the world’s richest man.  Considered one of the wisest investors in history, this year he’s been flying around the world, speaking to the media and offering advice to anyone willing to listen during these turbulent economic times.  Many books have been written about him, he’s appeared in a CNBC documentary entitled The Billionaire Next Door, and he made significant contributions to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, helping him earn the nickname the “Oracle of Obama.”

Extra curricular billionaire activities:

-While he may not “party like a rockstar,” at 77 years old he’s been caught playing one-on-one hoops with Lebron James.
-Rather than spending his fortunes on himself, the philanthropist made the largest charitable donation his history when he gave $30.7 billion dollars worth of Berkshire Hathaway shares to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Sir Richard Branson

Age: 58
Occupation: Chairman of Virgin Group
Net worth: $4.4 billion

In 1970, Richard Branson founded Virgin as a mail order record retailer, and opened his first record shop in Oxford Street, London.  Less than forty years later he became the first non-Canadian to receive the ‘Recognition of Achievement Award’ by the National Quality Institute in Canada, for succeeding to build the Virgin Group into an international conglomerate of 350 companies in over 30 countries around the world.  His businesses have expanded from music into travel, tourism, leisure, TV, radio, broadband, mobile, finance, health, and they’ve helped him fun charitable projects raising close to $200 million dollars.  He has also become extremely interested and financially invested in developing renewable alternatives to carbon fuels.  Another Branson baby is Virgin Galactic, a company dedicated to space travel and spaceship development.

Extra curricular billionaire activities:

-Has guest starred, almost always as himself, on television shows like Friends, Baywatch, Birds of a Feather, Only Fools and Horses, The Simpsons, and many more.
-Has made cameo appearances in films like Around the World in 80 Days, Superman Returns, and Casino Royale.
-Water fighting with television hosts like Stephen Colbert.
-Created and starred in a reality television called The Rebel Billionaire.

Mark Cuban

Occupation: Owner of Dallas Mavericks, co-owner of 2929 Entertainment, and Chairman of HDNet
Net Worth: $2.8 billion

During a recent Simpsons episode, Mark Cuban encourages Mr. Burns to live like a billionaire should.  Hoping to become more popular he follows in Cuban’s footsteps and buys himself a basketball team.  In true Simpson’s fashion the whole plan goes awry when Africanized killer bees swarm the stadium, stinging everyone and spoiling Burnsie’s investment.  Why am I bringing this up? Not really sure.  Perhaps to illustrate how the young billionaire Mark Cuban shows up everywhere, especially now with the allegations surrounding him for insider trading.

Fresh out of Indiana University Mark founded MicroSolutions, a computer systems integration company.  He became a young millionaire when he sold the business at the age 31.  He would then go on to co-found, a leading provider of streaming media on the internet.  When he sold the company to Yahoo for $5.9 billion in 1999, he became one of the world’s youngest self made billionaires.

The title for this clip on Youtube was Kym Johnson and Mark Cuban – Confessionals, which I found to be misleading, because I couldn’t find Mark anywhere.

His path towards celebrity status truly began when he purchased the Dallas Mavericks in 2000.  His passion for the basketball team would put him in the stands at every game, and would put his money where his mouth is as he would go on to earn $1.7 million in fines to the NBA for arguing with officials.  He once told a ref that he “wouldn’t hire him to manage a Dairy Queen” which gave him the largest individual fine in league history ($500,000) and led to his accepting an invitation to spend a day working behind the counter of a local DQ.

The Onion has written articles about the b-ball over-enthusiast, with headings such as “Mark Cuban Buys Sports” and “Mark Cuban To New Maverick Jason Kidd: ‘I’m Open’,” and even comedian/reality television host/MMA commentator Joe Rogan calls Cuban a “Bad mofo.”

Extra curricular billionaire activities:

-Competing on the reality television show Dancing With the Stars.
-Warming up with the Dallas Mavericks before games.
-Was the referee during a Harlem Globetrotter game.
-Offering advice to cartoon billionaire Monty Burns.

An honorable mention goes out to Howard Hughes (1905-1976), who’s net worth in 1958 according to Forbes was $12.8 billion.  His accomplishments as a film producer, industrialist, engineer, aviator, inventor, and playboy have yet to be matched by any of today’s billionaires.


One Response to “Financial Superstars from the Billionaires Club”

  1. Florida Banker’s Society » Blog Archive » Financial Superstars from the Billionaires Club Says:

    […] Club Author: admin December 13, 2008 Financial Superstars from the Billionaires Club view story — If your net worth had nine zeroes in it, not including the two after the […]

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