Homeless Billionaire Nicolas Berggruen Prefers the Simple Life

Ran across a refreshing story today about Nicolas Berggruen, a billionaire who sold off his homes, car and many possessions years ago and lives a simpler life than most people with a fraction of his net worth. Granted, it does appear that he isn’t slumming it by any means, preferring to live in 5 star hotels instead of his own homes, but his comments are insightful:

“Everybody is different and I think that we live in a material world. 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.”

On why he doesn’t get that much enjoyment from owning things:

“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.’ “

One comment

  1. I think you’ll like “Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich” by Robert Frank. There are lots of “most can’t imagine how complex a simple problem can become when you have a ton of money” stories.

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