How Much Money You Need To Realistically Recreate The Scrooge McDuck ‘Gold Coin Swim’

After executing smart mortgage derivatives and diversifying high yield stocks, cash should start flowing freely, leaving the smart investor with even more questions, like “how do I protect my municipal bonds?” and, “should I invest in a C-Share or blend fund?” and, “how much money do I need to create giant floes of gold in a private vault and dive into it like Scrooge McDuck?”

In most money circles (insider tip: “money circles” is a term used by only the most elite investors), wealth is measured exclusively by how closely one can recreate this famed animation. It has come to represent success in America and anything less than doing the backstroke amongst a sea of Earth’s rarest metal should be considered an abject failure. A main problem of this measure, however, is that there is no agreed-upon Scrooge McDuck quantity of gold. In order to give the young investor a goal to shoot for, and to clear up this age-old question once and for all, the following is a precise judgment of exactly how money you need to be successful. 

Looking at some of the best pictorial evidence of the McDuck vault, it is evident that this large pile of gold on the left appears to be five feet tall. This is deduced under the assumption that the average duck 14 inches tall, which is then used comparatively to quantify the pile (5 ft = 4.3 duck heights). With a little calculus and graph-work, the rough integral can pinpointed to y=-x2-1x+5.  This equation puts every “x” and every “y” value at exactly one inch, as seen below.

When the area under the curve is calculated (from x=-3 to x=5), it yields roughly 46 square inches. The assumption will be made here that one cubic inch is roughly one ounce of gold. To convert that into a dome shape the value is simply cubed, which becomes 97,366 ounces. Given that 1 ounce of gold is roughly $5.00, it can extrapolated that each large pile of gold in the vault is worth $486,830.

However, Scrooge McDuck was first drawn in 1947, therefore inflation must be adjusted for which totals a whopping 5.2 billion dollars per pile. In the picture, there are two smaller piles which roughly equal the larger doubling the total to 10.4 billion. However, the shadows in the corner suggest that the room is a least three times as large as it is. Therefore, Scrooge was privy to a cool 31.2 billion dollars.

This means that only the six richest people in the world could afford to pull off the Scrooge swim.

Swimming in gold truly is a marker for success, but for the world’s big wigs, there are goals beyond even this. Another famous picture of Scrooge McDuck skiing down a mountain of money is even more alluring still.

Calculating his velocity (roughly 5 m/s2) suggests that this mountain (of which we cannot see the summit) has a slope of 35 degrees, putting a rough estimate of the entire hill at 73.5 billion. Is it possible that McDuck pushed together his wealth to make this monstrosity? In theory, yes, but the eye line of McDuck (fixed at 8 degrees above the horizon relative to the slope) suggests that there are at least two other such mounds, putting his total wealth at over 210 billion, and well beyond the meager 70 billion of richest man in the world Carlos Slim Helu. It’s also heartening to see cash in this picture, as a diverse portfolio is always a successful one.

If you follow the rules of global trends, equity markets, and grizzled anthropomorphic birds, you will be well on your way to a swan (or shall we say “duck”) dive into nearly limitless gold.


Matt Powers is in his early twenties-ish. He is also good at making up fake math.



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