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 $400,000 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 $400,000 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, a 1943 Patek Philippe ref. 1518 perpetual calendar chronograph, was designed and built by Patek Philippe and took eight years to complete. The watch sold for a cool $11 million at a Phillips auction in Geneva in 2016. 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 $38M 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 2014 purchase of a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO at the Pebble Beach private auction in California. The car reportedly sold for $38.1 million.

-Photo courtesy of Podknox

5. The $2.5B 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 1999 divorce of billionaire Alec and Jocelyn Wildenstein, the original settlement came to around $2.5 billion, not including the $100 million checks Jocelyn received annually for the next thirteen years.

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 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.

  1. No results found.
Related Articles
  1. Financial Advisor

    Wealth Management: How the Billionaires Do It

    A new report on the world's billionaires gives insight into how they work, save and plan on distributing their wealth.
  2. Managing Wealth

    Where the World's Billionaires Got Their Money

    A recent study looks at the origins of global billionaires' wealth – both in terms of geography and in terms of how they made their fortunes.
  3. Managing Wealth

    What's Your Billionaire Age?

    Find out how much and for how long one would have to save to become a billionaire, and whether it's possible for anyone.
  4. Financial Advisor

    $2 Trillion in Wealth Will Transfer Over Next 20 Years

    A new report reveals that 460 billionaires will transfer over $2 trillion of assets to their heirs during the next 20 years.
  5. Managing Wealth

    6 Spending Tips From Frugal Billionaires

    You don't get to be a billionaire by spending a lot of money.
  6. Managing Wealth

    4 Unlikely Billionaires

    In an age when billion has become the new million, which unexpected folks have joined the ranks of the billionaire club?
  7. Insights

    What Education Do Billionaires Have?

    Forbes’ 2015 list of billionaires included 1,826, up from 1,645 in 2014. What kind of education do billionaires have? You might be surprised.
  8. Managing Wealth

    The New Rich: How Much Money Does It Take?

    It used to be that if you had a million dollars, you were wildly wealthy. Find out how much money you need to be considered rich by today's standards.
  9. Managing Wealth

    Billionaires: Can They Solve The World's Problems?

    If Buffett and Gates did convince other billionaires to give away their fortunes, what could be paid for?
  10. Insights

    Top 5 Billionaires Living in London

    Understand where the most billionaires reside and how many of them have chosen to live there. Learn about the top billionaires who live in London.
Hot Definitions
  1. Agency Theory

    A supposition that explains the relationship between principals and agents in business. Agency theory is concerned with resolving ...
  2. Treasury Bill - T-Bill

    A short-term debt obligation backed by the U.S. government with a maturity of less than one year. T-bills are sold in denominations ...
  3. Index

    A statistical measure of change in an economy or a securities market. In the case of financial markets, an index is a hypothetical ...
  4. Return on Market Value of Equity - ROME

    Return on market value of equity (ROME) is a comparative measure typically used by analysts to identify companies that generate ...
  5. Majority Shareholder

    A person or entity that owns more than 50% of a company's outstanding shares. The majority shareholder is often the founder ...
  6. Competitive Advantage

    An advantage that a firm has over its competitors, allowing it to generate greater sales or margins and/or retain more customers ...
Trading Center