The Homeless Billionaire

Meet Nicholas Berggruen, a homeless billionaire. You read that right. Nicholas is worth billions but doesn't even own a home (he stays in hotels) because he's lost all interest in acquiring things:

After making his billions, Mr. Berggruen, 46, lost interest in acquiring things: They didn’t satisfy him, and in fact had become something of a burden. So he started paring down his material life, selling off his condo in New York, his mansion in Florida and his only car. He hatched plans to leave his fortune to charity and his art collection to a new museum in Berlin.

For him, wealth is about lasting impact, not stuff.

“Everybody is different and I think that we live in a material world,” he told me. “But for me, possessing things is not that interesting. Living in a grand environment to show myself and others that I have wealth has zero appeal. Whatever I own is temporary, since we’re only here for a short period of time. It’s what we do and produce, it’s our actions, that will last forever. That’s real value.”

When I pressed him on why he no longer got much enjoyment from acquiring more “things,” he said this: “First, I don’t need it. Secondly, maybe in a bizarre kind of way, I don’t want to be dependent on it or have the responsibility. I don’t get that much enjoyment out of saying ‘I own it.’ ”

More at Robert Frank's The Wealth Report blog: Link


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I totally agree with Mr. Berggruen on this! Personally, I desire the freedom that can come from being wealthy, to travel with my family and enjoy our short time here, together. But I seriously don't care about owning a home, nor vehicles, or any other material thing. I will have some nice momento's of my life here, for now.

But I truly want ALL of my actions to have a much longer lasting positive and loving affect and change in improving the lives of everyone God so chooses, much longer after I'd dead!
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Some very disturbing comments. But I still want to add my reaction to the original article. I'm studying Buddhism, and am in the process of getting rid of things, even things I truly love, such as my books. I choose to celebrate what this man is doing, rather than criticize him for not embracing total poverty. In case you haven't seen poverty up close and personal, I can tell you that for most, it's a world of pain.
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