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Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

If you were super rich, would you do this?

Asked by Earthbound_Misfit (13177points) August 28th, 2016

I was watching one of those reality shows about the super rich. It had some guy in it talking about drinking a glass (not a bottle, a glass) of cognac that costs $5000. Or another talking about owning a watch that was worth GBP400,000. Or a set of four watches for GBP5,000,000.

If you had sufficient money to spend on things of this type, would you? If you would, how would you justify such extravagance in a world where there is such need?

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32 Answers

Mimishu1995's avatar

No. I don’t see any point in paying for such expensive things that can easily be replaced by something with the same function and much cheaper price. I know the people don’t just pay for the things themselves, they pay for the brand that will scream “I’m rich”. Well, that mentality isn’t for me.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit no but I would start my own science foundation. Have unlimited food and donate to pbs.

jca's avatar

I think, or I should say I’d like to think that I’m more practical than that but it’s hard to say as I can’t imagine being so so very rich and so I am not quite sure how I would act if I were so rich.

Maybe I’d like to own such a fine watch or other luxury good because I’d really appreciate the quality and workmanship. Maybe I’d want to own one because others in my social circle owned one and so I wanted to be just like them or be able to say I own one too. As for the cognac, I’m not sure but maybe just to say I’ve tasted it. I am not sure, just thinking hypothetically.

zenvelo's avatar

No, I wouldn’t, because I learned long ago that a $1,000 watch (let alone $400,000) can’t tell time any better than a $99 Timex. I would pay 500 or 600’for a watch, maybe, but that is tops.

And I would not spend more than $150,000 on a car, and certainly not 5 grand on a cognac (even if I still drank.)

There is a principle in economics regarding utility of satisfaction as part of how people price things. I get little extra utility from ridiculously priced objects.

funkdaddy's avatar

The cognac, no. I just can’t see something like that for one time use. Maybe as a shared experience? But still, it would probably be a regret.

The watches though, maybe. Watches aren’t really my thing but I look at things like that as either

a) art – I’d probably buy a lot of art that makes me feel a certain way or get into a certain mindset. If I was crazy rich, and the art I wanted was expensive, the price probably wouldn’t stop me.

b) collector’s items – there’s a certain similar feeling that I think can bring joy from a collection

So, for watches specifically, I wouldn’t buy them. But there would be something along those lines that I would probably pay a lot of money for. I tend to sit and stare at sculpture and machinery for way too long, if I had lots of disposable income I’m sure some would find its way into my house.

edit to add: How would I justify it? I hope I’d be helping quite a few folks well before I got to this point on my “list of wants”, but I’d justify it just like I do a new couch or a larger than absolutely needed living space. It makes life more enjoyable or meaningful for myself and those I love.

zenvelo's avatar

Along the lines of what @funkdaddy said, if I were very wealthy, I would buy art by artists that move me. I saw a work in an exhibit in San Francisco that is owned by a private collector and has only been reproduced for the exhibit catalog. That piece moved me so much, I would have stolen it if I could. There are pieces of art like that if I could buy I would.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I can’t relate to this at all. I don’t think you have to spend five grand for a drinkable glass of cognac. Even if it was from Napoleon’s private cellar—which I think the last was woofed down in the ‘60s by guys just like you describe—I don’t think I’d pay that much. It might be fun to secretly watch the server’s face when I leave them a five grand tip on a six buck shot of Remi Martin, though. But that would be about as extravagant as I could get.

I don’t think it’s about watches and cognac when people spend like this. Something else is going on with these people and I suspect that it isn’t very healthy..

This kind of money could do a lot of good out there and would provide me with a fun full time gig while I do that good. I have some projects in mind and some people that I’d like to hook up with to get these things done. And I think a five million dollar watch might be just a bit out of place while I’m doing the things I want to do.

With this kind of money, I would by two very nice places to live that I’ve been looking at for years. I would get a sport Bently for tooling around and a high end Range Rover for everything else. I’m a sailor so I’d probably get myself a completely tricked out Pearson 50 motor sailer. In other words, I wouldn’t be dressing in sack cloth. But with the money you/ve described, this would hardly put a dent in the change I leave on the dresser at night. For example, I certainly wouldn’t be after Jay Leno’s car collection. And I might just make it a point to wear a $35 Timex. They really do keep on ticking.

Maybe it’s because I wasn’t born wealthy. I really can’t relate to the kind of spending you’ve described. Seems a waste.

Jaxk's avatar

I’m a fairly cheap person but when I decide I want something and I can afford it, I like the best. I could see myself owning several cars and all of them very fast. A watch, not so much. An expensive watch is purchased as a piece of jewelry rather than a watch. The cognac, yeah I might try that. Expensive liqueurs and wines really do taste better than 2 buck Chuck. It would give me something to do while lounging in my 50,000 sq.ft. vacation cottage.

Jeruba's avatar

I’m sure I would not because those things don’t interest me at all. However, I would probably spend a sum on things someone else thought was ridiculous, such as a very old book or a work of art. I know I’d give some away just because that’s what I feel like doing when I have a lot of anything.

Zaku's avatar

No I wouldn’t. I’d be more into buying up wildlife habitat and forming a foundation to keep it out of the hands of human abuse, or something.

Seek's avatar

I dunno… There’s a $465,000 bottle of 64 year old MacAllan’s Scotch with my name on it. My name and that of a few select friends.

We have a pact: the first one to become a billionaire buys that Scotch.

It must be the dew that forms on angels’ wings.

rojo's avatar

Naw. Too practical. I would look at how many of something else I could purchase.

Sneki95's avatar

Knowing myself, I would probably say “Of course not, I would use that money to help people in need, spending so much on one drink is ridiculous!”

But then again, knowing myself, I would probably spend all that money on even stupider shit than a glass of drink.

I am very quick to spend money. I am also a hypocrite.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think I would be less susceptible to extravagant adventures in throwing away money. It’s difficult for me to explain, but I learned some valuable and sobering lessons about having more money than you reasonably require. It’s a creepy thing to be possessed of a frivolous personality, and find yourself confronting serious things within your power to change. I actually never got over the spooky feeling that I was being taught a lesson, and it frightened me. There’s an awful responsibility that comes with excess money.

canidmajor's avatar

There’s a difference between suddenly acquiring great wealth and already having it. Most super-rich have a lot of money in charitable foundations (granted, mostly for tax reasons) and anyone that can afford a half-million-dollar watch and the $5000 shot of cognac is not going to be stretching to do it.
And remember, that’s money sent out into the economy.
What we might think of as a ridiculous indulgence because we can’t conceive of such a thing, is really no more to the billionaire than the extravagance (to me) of flying to a friend’s child’s wedding on the opposite coast (and all the extra expenses that go with that).
It would be worse, IMO, to hoard those funds.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I wouldn’t, but it is not for me to say what other people should do with their money.

Of course, I have opinions, but in the end, it’s their money and if it gives them some satisfaction, who am I to say whether it is right or wrong?

Mariah's avatar

Hell nah. That has no appeal to me. If I had that much money to toss around I’d be donating it to good causes.

CWOTUS's avatar

If I had that kind of disposable income, I’d put in a bid for the Maltese Falcon.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s really hard to tell. My cousin won $90 million (57 take home) in the lottery a couple of years ago. Her kids are grown and gone, but she is now building this big house on a lake. It wouldn’t be my preferred location because you have neighbors just a stone’s throw a way.

I honestly don’t know what I’d do with that kind of money, besides the obvious (get me, and my kids, out of debt.)

Cruiser's avatar

My goal for when I will be super rich is to give/donate 20% of my pre-tax earnings every year to my favorites causes. And if after all that I can still afford a $400,000 watch, but since I do not wear watches, I like @Jaxk would be much more inclined to buy some really high performance cars instead. But not before I build my dream half million dollar sound/recordning studio in the basement first.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

In my former days I would have been all over that, I even said if I obtained a grip as big as 50 T-rexes I would have a solid gold toilet just to show contempt of what I thought gold was, good enough to crap into. Now, if I should be blessed with such a bounty I would get the Lamborghini, but only because I can do Kingdom business while enjoying it. However, my home would be small, so it would look weird with a Lambo in the driveway (when it is not in the garage). I would spend half a mil for that, I cannot see spending that much for watches, shoes, jackets, etc. that being said, those who can afford it, I can’t blast for doing it, why have the money and not enjoy the fruit of your labor? If one believes this is just the world with one pass through, then they should try to get all they can, when they can, however they can, because it is all they will ever have.

Coloma's avatar

No, this is just egoic posturing. I enjoy good food, I like art and decorating and travel. I am not into expensive drinks, jewelry or cars. If I was obscenely rich I would own an amazing ranch property in the mountains somewhere on hundreds, if not thousands, of acres and amuse myself around my property, locking the world out. lol

Kardamom's avatar

No. My dream vacation is to take an RV across the country, staying at campgrounds in National Parks, going to thrift stores and garage sales along the way, and finding the best vegetarian cuisine each area has to offer, especially at little Mom and Pop places.

I do not have extravagant tastes. Probably the most extravagant thing I want to do is to spend a night or two at the Ahwanee Hotel in Yosemite.

Jeruba's avatar

@Kardamom, why in the world did they change the name?

Kardamom's avatar

@Jeruba Oh my goodness, I guess I didn’t look that closely at the info on the link. I had no idea that they had changed the name! I can’t imagine why they would do that. Does anybody know?

funkdaddy's avatar

@KardamomContractor had trademarked the names but didn’t get the new contract. Now they’re in court.

Jeruba's avatar

So many damned things are done badly out of nothing but greed.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What was it called before?

Jeruba's avatar

The Ahwahnee. I stayed elsewhere at Yosemite but had brunch at the Ahwahnee once. Beautiful place. It has another name now.

zenvelo's avatar

The Ahwanee Hotel is now “The Majestic”. I am staying there in November. Other names got changed too: Camp Curry and Curry Village are now Half Dome Camp and Half Dome Village.

The lawsuit should be settled by early next year allowing the Park Service to use the old names again in the Park.

Jeruba's avatar

Well, the Curry Company used to run it. They changed some names when they came in. I can see not keeping those names. I’ve been at another location managed by Delaware North and heard some rumbles of dissatisfaction with the company. It’s a shame that a place like Yosemite should be at the mercy of commercial interests.

Kardamom's avatar

@zenvelo How wonderful that you will be staying there (whatever it’s called). I thought they had closed Camp Curry do to rockslides. Or was that Housekeeping Camp? I’ve always wanted to do a month in Yosemite and stay at the hotel, tent camp, and stay at one of those cabin camps. All three.

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