Tom Perkins Makes a TV Appearance

Tom Perkins talked with Emily Chang on "Bloomberg West" last night, explaining his position that the rich have been threatened by calls by the poor and middle class for a more equal society. He also said the watch he was wearing was worth a "six-pack of Rolexes." You can see more clips at Bloomberg TV.

What It’s Like to Be a Personal Assistant for the Rich and Famous, Part II

Last month we talked to Amy, a longtime personal assistant who currently works for, among others, a Very Famous Writer.

No More Line-Skipping for Disabled People at Disneyland Due to Abuse

Back in May, the New York Post reported that some wealthy families in Manhattan were hiring disabled people as "black market Disney guides" to pose as family members so that their kids could jump to the front of ride lines.

Even the Rich Won’t Live Forever (Maybe)

There are some people who want to live forever. Some of these people are very rich like Larry Ellison, venture capitalist Paul F. Glenn, Russian multimillionaire Dmitry Itskov, PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, and Google's Sergey Brin—and they're throwing some of their money to fund research on how to do it. Itskov, for example, believes that it may be possible one day to transfer our personalities onto a nonbiological carrier, and Ellison's biographer has said that Ellison sees death as "just another kind of corporate opponent he can outfox."

Managing the Houses of the Super-rich

Davidson's goal was to be hired by a rich person to manage their home and get paid six figures, which is typically what estate managers earn.

“A Currency for Paid Friends”

I don't know what to make of this at all. It's like an alternate universe to me. I'm just going to leave this here.

Another Rich Person Tries to Live on Food Stamps, Finds It Hard

Kind of hard to believe this isn’t a game show yet.

Rich and Horribly Neglected

Sabrina Rubin Erdely's Rolling Stone story about two kids who are part of the Duke family fortune (Duke, as in the tobacco tycoons who established Duke University) and were horribly neglected and abused is pretty jaw-dropping. The kids were often locked in basements and forced to fend for themselves while their parents were binging on drugs, and despite numerous visits by the police and complaints by former nannies who were fired for complaining about the abuse, were never placed in protective custody.

What It Feels Like to Have Lots of Money

My feelings of safety and immortality quickly gave way to scarcity. After all, I thought, if I could make 10 million dollars then it must be too easy. In fact, I honestly thought, everyone else had probably already made 11 million dollars. So then I felt poor again. I now needed 100 million dollars to be happy. I drove in a car with a friend of mine and his wife. I said, “everyone has 10 million dollars now.” She quickly said, “not everyone.” — James Altucher

There’s a fascinating thread on Quora asking, “What does it feel like to be financially rich?” The responses are revealing. Take author and investor James Altucher, who explains why a rich person with $10 million would feel poor, and how he had to be reminded that he’s not actually poor. (Live the life you want to live and stop comparing yourself to others or you’ll never be happy.)

Here’s another excerpt of an interesting response by Mona Nomura, who works in the tech industry:

When my parents finally divorced, she left my brother and me with our dad and succeeded career wise. So much so, she retired in her early 40s. After she attained what she thought was success, she was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. She spent the days up until her death regretting almost all the choices she made and beat herself up day after day. One of her last journal entries included reflections on how unappreciative she was with the things in front of her, and finally realizing happiness does not lie within superficial matters a little too late.

More responses can be found in the thread. [Thanks to Katie for the link pointing me to this.]

Photo of James Altucher: Wikimedia Commons

Someday My Ultra-High Net Worth Individual Will Come

“Credit Suisse estimates that worldwide there are 98,700 ‘ultra-high net worth individuals,’ or people worth $50 million or more. Almost half of them live in the United States.” 100,000 is a lot of ultra high net worth individuals! And half of them are here! 50,000! I mean that just seems like a lot. It seems like I could run into one of them. Maybe tonight. They could be anywhere. They could be reading this right now. Hi.

The Mansions in the Hamptons

In the Times, Jim Rutenberg has a profile of Joe Farrell, the largest real estate developer in the Hamptons who builds mansions and is described as being like Donald Trump, but “without the history of debt, the lush hair or the insults”. Farrell owns a 17,000-square-foot mansion called the Sandcastle that has two bowling lanes, a skate ramp, and a regularly stocked ATM machine with $20,000 in it “just for fun.” Jay Z and Beyoncé rented his house for $500,000 last summer—for two weeks.

The ‘Getaway’ Apartment

The Times's real estate section this weekend had a story that could have been straight out of Rich People Magazine: Buying a "getaway apartment" in your own building. Y'know, another apartment you need just in case you feel like the river views in your apartment is way too distracting to do some work, and can't just go into another room and not look at the river.