OK, you've got more money than you know what to do with, and you've already bought all the basics: the Lamborghini, the Boeing Business Jet 2 (aka the Flying Hotel), the yacht docking space on St. Barts. Your art collection is in good shape. Now, if you really want to impress people, you’ll need to find some more original investments. How about one of these?
Master of the Game
Why merely rent a sky box every season, when you can own the team? Buy the New York Yankees, valued at $2.5 billion in July 2014, from the Steinbrenner family. Or make Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones an offer; his team is worth an estimated $2.3 billion. If you don’t have quite that much cash to spare, consider the New England Patriots, valued at a mere $1.8 billion; the Washington Redskins, valued at $1.7 billion; or the New York Giants, valued at $1.55 billion.
The Gold Standard
What’s the fun of having more money than you can use in your lifetime if you aren’t ostentatious once in a while? Skip lame status symbols like Lambos and Rolexes and get something with totally superfluous gold on it. Thanks to designer Stuart Hughes, you can own a limited-edition canopy bed made of solid chestnut and ash wood and 107 kilograms of solid, 24-carat gold; a platinum Gucci belt with 30 carats of perfect diamonds; or some 24-carat gold and diamond Bang and Olufsen speakers. While you’re at it, treat yourself to a gold-plated iPad for £5 million (around $7.9 million). If none of those options is showy enough, there's always that $12.2 billion gold house in Switzerland? Yes, it really exists.
Of course, one can always add precious metals and gemstones to one's portfolio (see Does It Still Pay To Invest In Gold?), but it's so much more fun to flaunt it.
Don’t feel like having a private chef hanging around your kitchen? Buy a restaurant! You’ll get “free” meals for life. Actually, owning an eatery doesn’t require you to be ultra wealthy; you could meet the franchisee requirements to open a fast food place with a net worth of a mere $1.5 million and $750,000 in liquid assets.
If you’re as rich as Jay Z, though, why not aim a little higher than a Taco Bell branch and open a high-end sports bar, lounge and restaurant with an innovative theme? That’s what the famous multimillionaire rapper did with his 40/40 Club in New York City. It’s named for a rare achievement in professional baseball: hitting 40 home runs and stealing 40 bases in a single season (only Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Jose Canseco and Alfonso Soriano have done it so far).
At this venue, patrons can savor gourmet dishes such as grilled lobster and crab cakes or bone-in dry aged ribeye with cognac sauce. Recently renovated, the décor features an 18-foot champagne tower, leather-upholstered walls and marble seating area. The club offers party packages for events ranging from birthdays to fight nights. And since long lines are so draining, you can also purchase a membership (starting at $1,500 annually), which affords bypass-the-velvet-rope access and other privileges, like VIP seating and invitations to special events. In short, when you can afford to invent the place, you can choose all its features and every item on the menu; you don’t have to follow anyone else’s rules (except the health department’s).
Want to one-up Jay Z? Outdo the collection of more than 30 55-inch televisions flanking his club with the C SEED 201-inch outdoor screen from Porsche Design Studio. This baby rises majestically from a hidden, underground storage case when you press a button on a remote control. Within 40 seconds, it’s fully expanded and ready to present you with an unparalleled viewing experience. Next year’s Super Bowl party? That’ll be in your backyard.
All That Glitters
Colored diamonds have been growing in popularity as an “investment of passion” for the financial elite, according to the 2015 Wealth Report by Knight Frank, a global, independent real estate consultancy. Over the last 10 years, blue diamonds have increased in value by 360%, pink by 161% and yellow by 56%. Last year, a 9.75-carat blue diamond set a record when it sold for $32.6 million at auction, and American luxury jeweler Harry Winston bought a 13.22-carat blue diamond for 21.4 million Swiss francs ( around $23.2 million).
The Bottom Line
There is no shortage of toys for the ultra wealthy. Even though they make up a small percentage of the population – Knight Frank says that just 13 Americans per 100,000 are considered ultra high net worth individuals and just 172,850 individuals fell into this category worldwide in 2014 – this group has a lot of purchasing power. You’ll only need a billion and change to buy everything listed here (excepting a sports team or the gold house), possibly using some premium plastic to do so (see Top Credit Cards For The Ultra Rich). But remember: If you have to ask how much it costs, you probably can’t afford it.