They say money can't buy happiness. But it can give you access to things many of us have no clue are even on the market.
Some time ago, a now-deleted Reddit user asked everyone on the platform "What do the rich buy that the poor don't even know is available for purchase?" And apparently, the shopping list of the elite is exactly what we're interested in; the post has received a whopping 16.5K comments.
However, while pet cloning and celebrity rentals sound appealing, let's not forget that over the last 50 years, the poverty rate in the U.S. has barely budged: in 1970, about 12% of the U.S. population was considered poor. In 2019, around 11% was. It's crazy to think that some splash hundreds of thousands of dollars on these luxuries while others don't have even the essentials.
All that c**p you do - commuting, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning your house, waiting on hold, paying bills - all those chunks of your life that are eaten up by minutiae - rich people buy out of all that routine garbage.
Time is all you really get in your life. Rich people buy it back.
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#2You can rent celebrities for your private events. Not just musicians, but bona fide actors & actresses.
Super rich guy in Bel Air used to host his kid's birthday party in late October, so they went all out for a Halloween themed party.
Everyone at the kid's school was invited, plus their own friends.
Each year they'd hire some fantastic athlete to appear at the event; 1 year it was Tony Hawk, another year it was some Olympic gold medal gymnastic winners.
The one that threw me was when they hired Demi Moore, Anthony Kedis & Benecio de Toro to be "guests" at the party, to hang out and pretend they were friends with the kid.
Mind you this was a KID'S Halloween party, set outside in a huge, massive garden, spread out over tennis courts & lawns, with games, buffets, dessert tables, taco stands, omelette stands, bbq, pizza, burgers, etc... no booze, no one allowed inside. All the event staff were dressed in halloween costumes, it was VERY cool.
But it was sad to see Kedis & de Toro sitting together commiserating.... you could see the 'f**k, the things we do for a paycheck' look on their faces. They were at a KID'S party ffs.
Demi was very nice, she brought her little doggies.
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#3Pet cloning. Ex boss was getting his dog cloned for $100k
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#4Luxury ice cubes.
Gläce Luxury Ice Co produces perfectly square ice blocks for “minimum dilution and maximum cooling”.
Hand-carved and completely clear, these cubes are sold in bags of 50 and each bag costs $325.
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#6I had a buddy who hired a driver, got him to get a chauffeur's license, and then made sure his jaguar was long enough to meet criteria as a limo, and then he could legally drink in the backseat.
When I traveled with him internationally, someone met us at the door when we were dropped off, and they walked us to our plane. None of that customs/security stuff occurred.
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My neighbor used to get “tutored” at home by our school teachers and head of departments. Want me to believe they never leaked exams?
University is a whole different story from admissions to grades.
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#8My dad barely qualifies as a millionaire in the loosest sense. He has told me that there is a certain threshold of wealth where you can just become reliably wealthier and wealthier without a big limit. It goes like this:
He has a friend from Berkeley who worked on Wall Street in the 80s and left with about $1000000 in his bank account by age 35
He used half of that money to start his own business which solar product that was greatly needed by other businesses in the area.
After about 4 years of that, he bought an apartment complex for some side income.
After 7 years the apartment complex has paid for itself, and he spends the profit that year on becoming a majority shareholder in another small business in the area.
After making money on that, he start another small business this time only loosely run by him with a separate CEO to run the company.
Using previously accumulated money he buys a golf course and now he is technically unemployed, but the dude makes between 3 and 4 million a year off of his passive income.
He called me a little while ago saying that his son is a bit of a s**t and that he wants to send him to the military school where I went. I wouldn't be surprised if his son never sees him.
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#9For most people, a car is a depreciating asset - from the moment you buy it, it starts to go down in value. For ultra wealthy car collectors, they are able to access limited edition cars that go up in value immediately. For example, McLaren only made 375 'P1's that they sold for $1-1.5M...they are now worth easily over $3M.
The challenge is it takes more than just money to get one of these - with only a few hundred models to allocate, and with them immediately earning their owners a profit, the manufacturer will look at a number of criteria to decide who gets one. Including how many models of their 'regular' cars you have purchased. If are offered a Ferrari La Ferrari Aperta for $2.2M, you probably own 5+ other Ferrari's and you just bought a pair of matching Portofino's for your twins who are going off to college.
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#10Actual smart homes. The Alexa/Google Home market is bringing it more mainstream, but for decades the wealthy elite have had smart home functionality through companies like Crestron. The controls go far beyond controlling your lights and thermostat, and integrate with more technologies.
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#11A while back some guy on here was talking about his experience working as a sort of personnel manager for a billionaire and how things are just wildly different for them.
The specific example he used was how things work when these people want to go on a trip, and give any notice at all to their employees.
What happens is that an advanced team gets sent ahead by a few days to scope out the rented/bought location and report back exact dimensions for closet space, drawer space, etc. People back at the home go through the clothing, jewelry, etc, and draw up a priority list which is sent to the advanced team. The advanced team then spends the next two days purchasing the list of items. Entire wardrobes, jewelry sets, makeup kits, bathing supplies, etc. Anything they cannot get (not enough time, or is one-of-a-kind like the family heirloom watch the rich dude wears every now and then) is relayed to the house-team. The family's schedule is arranged such that the moment the family leaves the house on the day of travel, a whole team of people rushes through and packs up all the remaining items (only after the family leaves, you wouldn't want to deny them access to their items for even a few seconds) which are then sent ahead to the airport while the family has a lunch or something somewhere. Upon landing, their luggage takes one route (direct) and the family takes a similarly indirect route (unless otherwise directed) such that by the time they get to the location all of their items are not just unpacked but in their proper organized locations and ready for use without any of the advanced team ever being visible to the family.
What happens when the family leaves the location? The same situation in reverse, but quite frequently all of the repurchased items are just disposed of in some method. It's just easier, if not cheaper, to rebuy them each time the family goes somewhere if they aren't travelling to too many different locations in quick succession.
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#12Unique items. Occasionally you see in the news stuff like “hat used in some popular movie auctioned for $80,000” or “5000 year old Egyptian statue auctioned for $2,000,000” and I think “what kind of auction do you even go to buy that kind of thing”.
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#13A person to go to jail for you in your stead.
This is a known phenomenon in Latin America but I imagine it happens in other places as well.
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#14Private performances with big name artists. I was on a yacht in the Virgin Islands and some mega yacht owner pretty close to us had Christina Aguilera flown in to perform for his guest on the mega yacht.
We were close enough to see the performance - not close enough to pretend to be part of the party.
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#15Entire floors of hotels or multiple floors. Entire restaurants. Chefs from literally any restaurant in the world to cook for them, wherever they are.
I saw all of those things done by a Prince Of Saudi Arabia: We estimated it cost him $50,000 just for the one private meal in our restaurant, given that he:
1. Had the top four floors of our hotel booked (for the hundreds of staff to take care of him, his wife and his two kids; plus likely some concubines, if I'm being honest). As someone in this part of the world, being rich= the number of people who work for you.
2. He paid $30k just to close our restaurant for one meal.
3. Flew his favorite chef from New York to Orlando to cook for him, on his private jet; and then back again. Of course, it was likely the OTHER private jet he had just for his staff, not for himself or his family.
4. Make food our entire staff, all the kitchen staff, all the federal, state and local security and him, his wife and his two kids.
I have posted the entire story somewhere else in the past, but I couldn't find it easily.
I had a buddy who taught ski lessons to another Saudi Prince's little kid and had some nearly unbelievable and yet similar details during his interactions with them. That kid had an entire team around him or probably ten staff, plus vehicles, snowmobiles, a helicopter, and so on.
I later met a guy who worked on an ultra-luxury 300-foot yacht and served Bill Gates and his wife, among other super-rich people. Their primary job was to operate without interacting with them, or at least as little as possible.
This shows you, in some sense, that having people around you doing stuff you need to be done but doing it invisibly is another perk of being rich.
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#16Everyone knows about mega yachts, but the very rich also enjoy their own trains, or at the very least private super luxurious train cars. With their budgets it isn't expensive to rent space on freight lines and an engine, assuming they don't own their own. Sometimes a group of friends will hook their private cars together and motor around a continent having a big party.
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#17I don't see it on here, but the vast majority of financial products are out-of-reach for all but the rich. One reason the rich get richer is that they have access to investments that we've never heard of. Ever seen "The Big Short" why do you think Goldman Sachs took a week to correctly price Dr. Michael Burry's housing-short position? Because they were securing that position for themselves and their clients. Those financial instruments are so complicated and the regulation on them so byzantine that it wouldn't surprise me if Goldman actually didn't do anything illegal, like they're allowed, at their discretion, to misprice an asset for a certain period of time. Probably under the guise of the assets being complicated to price, but really it's just a buffer for them to get an edge that regular people couldn't believe.
Imagine going to a horse race an being able to bet on the horses near the end of the race. Rich people get that.
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#18Private boarding gate at certain airports. Complete with showers, a spa, full bar, lounge, food, a bed, gym, sauna etc. Total privacy. Your luggage is scanned and taken through security by a concierge, and you're driven to the plane in a BMW 8 series.
LAX has them now.
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#19Landing 747s in small airports.
I grew up around Lexington, KY. The region is huge on horses, particularly Thoroughbred horses. The entire city is surrounded by horse farms, and these farms breed some of the best racing horses in the world. The rich and famous will often come here to buy Thoroughbreds to add to their breeding stock.
One such person is a shiek from Dubai (i think?) who owns his own private 747. Now the local airport isn't rated for 747s, and it's not legal to land one there unless it's a emergency. The shiek doesn't care though and lands his 747 there anyways. The airport fines him every time he does this, which he is totally fine with paying. I've been told that many of the upgrades to the airport over the years where almost entirely funded with money from those fines.
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#20Dinosaurs and artifacts that have not been discovered by Science. A huge problem with Paleontology in general is that most new discoveries are locked up in private collections with noone being able to study them.
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#21Private jet timeshares. For those not quite rich enough for their own private jet, or those rich people wanting to be a bit frugal.
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#22You can buy houses "ready to move in only with a suitcase". These house are more than fully equipped. Everything is already there like the whole furniture, glasses, knifes, forks, spoons, tissues and toilette paper, towels, toys and games for the children etc.
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#23If you are rich you can have a leg up when it comes to organ transplants. I believe there are flight services where you pay a subscription fee every month or year and if/when an organ is available it will fly you out right way. Also Steve Jobs gamed the system because he was able to get to different transplant hospitals over the country quickly because of his money so he was able to be on multiple waiting lists. He was on liver transplant lists in California and Tennessee, and I believe the later had a shorter waiting list and because of his severity he was able to rise up the list and get a liver faster than if he was only on the list in California. This practice is not technically against the rules but many view it as unethical.
Basically if you need an organ you better be rich.
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#24Private banks. Rich people use banks like Chase, but they don't bank through regular branches, instead they use Chase Private Banking. They never wait on hold for a banker to pick up the phone, they get same day access to their deposits, lines of credit, etc.. Deposit $3 million into your checking account and you'll get a call from your Bank's private banking group.
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#25Citizenship to countries that provide some benefit (tax shelter/international travel advantages/etc.)
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I once worked at an Olympic horse ranch in Colorado, and the owner was from Seattle and was friends with someone that played guitar w Kurt Cobain. Then talking to one of the riders, they had been to a party over the weekend that March Zuckerberg was at. That’s when it hit me - when you’re rich, you just know everyone, or knows someone that knows them.
Six degrees of separation is only for the masses. The elites is closer to two or one.
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#27Specialized household staff. When someone is truly mega-rich, running their household takes the same complexity as running a small to mid-size company, and management is skilled and compensated accordingly. Don't think "butler" - think "head of operations at a luxury hotel."
The staff that household managers oversee can be really specialized as well. For example, Larry Ellison has his own personal curator to oversee his collection of Asian art. They do things like:
* advise on the purchase and sale of art in his collection
* oversee storage and display of art housed on his property
* oversee process of lending art for storage and display at museums
The curator will often have their own staff to conduct actual conservation work, art transport, art installation, etc. So if you've already got an in-house crew of 7 people focused on your art collection alone, imagine how big your entire household staff is! That's why you've got a household manager.
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#28If you're willing to fork out $35,000 for the player and $500 per showing, you can watch films that are currently in theaters in your own private home-theater.
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#29Something they do that most people don’t know about is buy entire libraries at once.
My sister used to work at a bookstore, and told me someone came in and wanted to furnish their library with a library size purchase of books. They just wanted cherry picked best sellers left to the discretion of the people working there. It sounded wild.
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#30I used to work in the photo department at Saks Firth Ave. Some days, I would shoot an entire rack of clothing worth around half a million dollars. There was a Alexander McQueen leather jacket that was around $40,000. So I imagine a lot of that sort of nonsense.
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#31Some wealthy people buy books as decoration, with no intent of reading most of them. They buy books from wholesalers by the linear foot, specifying how the books look on the shelves (size, color, material of spine, etc.) without any regard for what the books actually are. They just need to fill wall space in library/office rooms in their homes.
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