This weeks question on Quora which peeked my interest was the following…
What is it like to be discreetly wealthy?
This is what I’ve been dressing like since 1991…
and I’m worth about €11M.
I live in Europe and have been able to keep a nice low profile. The only thing of real value that I own is my house (1,5 M) and my Gibson les Paul (25k). I bought my house for 300k and had it “re-done” on the inside. On the outside it still looks like a 300k house.
The only people who know what I’m worth are my parents, my wife and my childhood best friend. I built my own mini empire in the foods branch and was able to build a brand that was bought by one of the “BIG BOYS” in the foods industry. So I wasn’t born rich.
Friends have the idea that we are high middle-class and we prefer it that way. I don’t feel like I’m lying. I don’t ask them what their income is and I keep mine to myself
When my wife found out my worth (back then she was still my girlfriend) she nearly left me for lying to her. She’s the only one who asked me what my motives were for keeping it quiet. It was really hard to explain that I’m not keeping it quiet. Where we live in Europe it is considered “not done” to ask someone their income or worth. So I just never told.
I have no need to flaunt it. I do not need a Porsche or Lamborghini to feel good about myself. I never thought about becoming rich… it kind of happened.
I never gave a F*** about money. The only reason I wanted it was because it would buy me freedom.
GUESS WHAT….IT HAS! I am now free of the rat race. I need not go into the office to make a buck and pay next month’s rent. As I said I am not hiding my wealth and at the same time I’m aware of what would happen should everyone find out. I fear that I would be sucked into that old race again. I am afraid I would have to say goodbye to my freedom.
Edit– Just one day after posting this I got a call from a friend who screamed down the phone: “I KNEW IT, I KNEW IT” apparently at least one of the people that recognise my car and my figure are on Quora. lol
I’ve been asked what I do now and what I do with the money.
Well last year we finished building a third school and we pay for the education of about 200 children up to the age of 17 in third world countries.
My wife runs a micro loans for women charity which loans out our money to buy things like sewing machines so women can work from homes and make some money.
I invest from time to time in start ups in the food industry.
Apart from that my children keep me busy. My 19 year old is a bartender in the weekends and my 12 year old has a paper route.
And I take a Sh** load of holidays 🙂
Edit nr3– please read Paula O’Reilly-Green‘s comment. She has added a link to an education charity.