6 Outrageous Billionaire Purchases

AAA

It's easy to make fun of the uber-rich. Partially because we're a wee bit jealous but, often, because they just make it ever so easy. When the billionaires of the world are out dropping huge amounts of money on things like a racing pigeon, we really do think we could handle the money better than they do.

1. The $200,000 Pigeon

Pigeon racing may not be on your list of the top ten rising sports, but in Asia it's kind of a big thing. And while most of the fans and participants aren't of the billionaire class, a few are. Consider one Chinese buyer who paid $200,000 for a single racing pigeon; a highly pedigreed pigeon, of course, but the non-billionaires among us can't forget we're talking about a pigeon.

2. The $11M Watch

Time is money, we're told. And maybe if we had the billions of dollars that these purchasers do, we'd understand how important it is to keep track of time with a really, really expensive watch. This watch was designed and built by Patek Philippe, and took eight years to complete. In 1999, a wealthy and apparently time-conscious purchaser paid $100 million for it. Worth it? Only time will tell...

3. The $1B Home

That's B as in Billion; for India's richest man, purchasing the world's "most expensive home" cost him $1 billion dollars. Apparently he thought it was worth the investment, with 9 elevators, a 50-seat theater, a two-story recreation center, and not one, not two, but three helipads on the roof. You know, for those times when you really need to be able to have three helicopters landing simultaneously.

4. The $18M Car

Cars - fancy, fast, expensive cars - have long been a luxury of the rich, and one of the items most of us can relate to spending a large sum of money to own - at least a little. Some people don't kid around about the "large sum" part of the equation, as in the 2010 purchase of a Ferrari 250 GTO from the 1960s by British radio host Chris Evans. Evans reportedly paid 12 million pounds for the car, which equals about $19 million dollars.

-Photo courtesy of Podknox

5. The $6M Divorce Settlement

Of course, not everything the rich spend money on is pleasure spending. They have to pay taxes, bills, and, oh yes, divorce settlements. In the case of the 2005 divorce of billionaire Charles Brandes and Linda Brandes, the original settlement came to around $150,000 per month. That wasn't quite enough for Ms. Brandes. Mr. Brandes, apparently, concurred and increased the pay-out to $6 million per year, or $500,000 per month.

6. The $390,000 Reward

No matter the income level, there's probably not a parent alive who can claim (truthfully) to never have bribed or rewarded a child to get good behavior. But in the case of the very rich, the rewards come in numbers that are mind-boggling. Consider the recent purchase of a limousine by Sean "Diddy" Combs. This particular limousine cost $390,000 and was a reward for Combs' 17-year-old son Justin, who made the honor roll. Certainly education is important, but at this rate, getting Justin to earn those A's all through college could become quite costly.

Conclusion

Of course, excessive purchases tend to make the news. There are many billionaires who have earned their money through financial smarts and continue to make purchases that, at least on some level, make sense. For the rest of us, at least we get free entertainment from the not-so-frugal billionaires.
Related Articles
  1. Savings

    Best Places to Exchange Currency in Chicago

    Whether you're leaving the Windy City or arriving with a stack of foreign cash, these are your best bets for currency exchange.
  2. Investing

    4 Things Millennials Can't Live Without

    Millennial investors are different from those in previous generations. Here are four Gen Y needs which are instrumental to understanding them.
  3. Credit & Loans

    Travel Tips: Avoid Exchange Rate Headaches

    How to avoid the most common issues and hassles raised by exchange rates while traveling abroad.
  4. Investing

    Top Tips for Picking a Wealth Management Firm

    The advisor managing your assets has the potential to change your retirement fate. Here are some tips to get you started on finding the right one.
  5. Entrepreneurship

    Bill Gates Success Story: Net Worth, Education & Top Quotes

    Learn about billionaire Bill Gates, and how the computer genius forged his own path from an early life and eventually changed the world with his innovation.
  6. Entrepreneurship

    Donald Trump Success Story: Net Worth, Education & Top Quotes

    Discover more about Donald Trump the man. Learn about his history and back story, path to success and current political aspirations.
  7. Professionals

    Wealthy Clients are Thirsty for Better Advice

    New research uncovers the ultra-weathy's fast-growing demand for better, in-depth investment advice.
  8. Professionals

    Robo-Advisors, the Ultra Rich’s New Best Friend

    Explore the services offered by robo-advisers, and learn how their substantially lower fees can represent significant savings for the ultra rich.
  9. Savings

    Best Banks to Stash Your Million Dollars

    Get the richest perks and red carpet treatment for you and your money from these financial institutions.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    How Private Equity and Hedge Funds are Taxed

    Private equity and hedge funds offer an appealing tax structure for those who can afford to invest in them. Here's why.

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!