At one point or another, I’m sure you’ve envied the ultra-rich (I know I have). I’m talking about the billionaires of the world — the Bill Gates, Warren Buffetts and Mark Zuckerbergs.
Imagine what it would be like to have the very best of everything…the best house, the best car, and the best clothes. While it’s true that money can’t buy happiness, it can certainly buy you comfort and prestige.
But is prestige really worth forking out for? According to Mark Ford, the answer is no.
Below, Mark explains how you can live as well as a billionaire — without actually being one. In fact, Mark believes you can live as well as a billionaire on as little as US$100,000 a year…
Living Rich: How to Live As Good As a Billionaire
By Mark Ford
When you think about the rich — the really rich — you may find yourself marvelling at their…well…their money. Take Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. If you think $10 million is a fortune, then consider this: He has over 8,000 of them. If he put his money in $1,000 bills, he’d have more than 80 million of them! His wealth is so great that the interest on it makes him $60 million richer every month.
But how much better does he live?
Sure, he’s got a huge house. And a yacht. He’s probably got a jet, too. But who needs all that?
If you make at least $100,000 a year ($150,000 if you are attached to a family), you can live as well as Bill Gates does, and I’ll prove it to you. If you aren’t yet making that much, you’ll have to put aside today’s message until you are. If you’re following my advice, it shouldn’t take you very long.
Let’s start by identifying some of life’s basic experiences:
Now, the purpose of becoming rich — you would think — would be to make each of these experiences as rewarding as possible. The more money you have, the more choices you have in terms of these experiences.
Take sleeping. What does a billionaire want out of his sleep? I’d say the same thing you would: blissful, uninterrupted unconsciousness. And what will give you that? (Besides peace of mind, which you can’t buy.)
Answer: A great mattress.
And how much does the world’s best mattress cost? About $3,000. That means you can buy yourself million-dollar sleep on a billion-dollar mattress for no more than $3,000. If you are making $100,000 a year, you can afford it.
So get rid of that lumpy thing you are sleeping on and find yourself the absolute best mattress you have ever lain on. Buy it and go to sleep content that Bill Gates can have it no better.
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Buying yourself the best: Live like a billionaire when you’re not even a measly millionaire
You can pay almost any price for anything. But, after a certain price point, you are no longer paying for quality — you are paying for prestige.
Take steak. Ask someone who knows about beef and you will be told that the quality of steak is entirely a matter of the meat you buy. (Let’s face it — there’s no great skill in cooking a flank of beef.)
Buy a New York sirloin at Ruth’s Chris and, for around $30, you are eating one of the best steaks money can buy. Eat the same piece of meat at Le Cirque and you’ll pay $75. What’s the difference?
Yes — just prestige.
The same thing is true when it comes to your clothing. Beautiful, comfortable clothes are not cheap, but they don’t have to cost a fortune. You can buy the world’s best pair of slacks for $150 or you can spend 10 times that amount. The difference will be the label on the waistband.
Champagne, anyone? Consumer Reports had some wine experts test a variety of champagnes and found that out of the five best, four cost less than $40. Dom Perignon, listed fifth, will set you back $115. A better champagne can be had for only $28.
And so it goes on. The point is this: The best material things in life are affordable. They are not cheap — quality never is — but, if you buy them selectively and use them with care, you can enjoy a life as materially rich as Bill Gates on an income that wouldn’t get him through lunch.
So let me tell you some of the ways I’ve learned you can live rich, starting today…
Your dream house
I have lived in a three-room mud house in Africa and a 5,000-square-foot mansion — and I can tell you this: The quality of a home has very little — or nothing — to do with how much it costs or how big it is.
Think about the houses you most admire. They are probably NOT huge and flashy. One of my favourites is a modest, three-bedroom house, which has been transformed by the lady who owns it into a lush, luxurious museum of her love of travel, dance and learning. Every room is a gem. I am completely comfortable and endlessly amused in this rich and interesting house.
Its value? As great as Bill Gates’ 40,000-square-foot monstrosity in Seattle — only that this one has a market value of about $150,000.
I have a friend — a wealthy friend — who loves cars, especially sports cars. He drives a Camaro. Why would he? Because he says it is as good as a Corvette, a Porsche, or even a Ferrari. Instead of forking out $150,000-plus…he gets his thrills in a car that costs one-sixth that price.
What about prestige? Well, that’s what you have to pay more for. But if you are willing to go the classic route — and buy a car whose design doesn’t change every year or so — you can buy yourself prestige at affordable rates.
For example, I drive a mint-condition NSX that you couldn’t tell from a brand-new one. My car is worth about $30,000. You’d have to pay almost three times that amount for a new one. The same holds true for older Mercedes’, BMWs and Lexus’.
In fact, in terms of ‘living rich’, you should never buy a new car. You’ll save a bundle by purchasing a late model vehicle with low mileage. If you shop around, you can find a five- or 10-year-old car that will cost 25% or 30% of the new car price, but will be just as good.
Thanks, Mark. You’ve certainly changed my perception about big homes and expensive cars! Maybe I should stop salivating over waterside mansions and BMW convertibles…
Next week, Mark will identify even more ways to live like a billionaire — without the eye-watering price tag. Be sure to tune in!
For Markets & Money/Money Morning
Editor’s Note: Mark has spent more than three decades dispensing wisdom like this…and now he’s compiled it into the most comprehensive wealth-building program in existence…
It’s called the Wealth Builders Club. It includes everything from extra income blueprints (which have the potential to generate thousands of dollars per month) to investment strategies outside the stock market, plus several of Mark’s bestselling books, including Living Rich. Click here to learn more.