There is money and then there is MONEY. I was with a friend who was worth about $15 million and we were at a party with people worth over $100 million. He turned to me and said, “I am the poorest man here.”
There are levels of wealth, and as people work themselves up the different tiers, meaning as they get richer, one’s life changes dramatically. You go from getting a room at The Peninsula to getting a suite. You go from traveling business class to first class to flying private. Then the size of your jet comes into play – and that is only a sliver of one’s life.
A dear friend of mine comes from a very wealthy old money family. Her Upper East Side NYC house is under construction, so she has been living at The Peninsula for the past year. She has her hair and makeup done every morning at a salon. Someone who knows NY society will probably know who I am talking about. She has no concept of how much things cost and never asks. Never. Everything is billed to her office, she doesn’t carry a credit card or cash. I’ll get back to that in a moment….

Above you will see the wealth distribution – as part of one’s SES or Socioeconomic Status Socioeconomic status – Wikipedia . Wealth is only a part of one’s SES, there is also education and occupation.
Multi-Billionaire’s Club
This is the top 1%, and although the above chart is in the United States, I want to jump to the Middle East. 7 Of The Richest Sheikhs In The World – let’s say you are on this list. Presto! You are worth a couple billion dollars, you are making money even when you are sleeping. Anything you want to do, anything, you can. You have people around you who make it happen. However, the people you have around you should be looking out for you and trying to save you money. How do I say this…you live your life and as you go from moment to moment, the world around you changes to accommodate your life.
You carry no cash, you go through life with a money man staying to the side (not by your side, but at the corner of the restaurant or the store) and they pay everything as you leave. They follow you around, drive their own separate car, etc. You do not touch, sign, or see anything to do with money or spending.
Going on a trip? Again, your world follows you, your staff, even your cars. You may or may not drive them, but they are there for you (see below, taken at the Beverly Regent Hotel in Beverly Hills).
Flying? You have a fleet of 14 types of aircraft Qatar Amiri Flight – Wikipedia. Really incredible.
Billionaire’s club
Let’s go down a notch – let’s do Oprah money. Oprah has a team of accountants, lawyers, etc. keeping track of her kingdom. She signs any check over $100,000 as she stated to Piers Morgan (it used to be $3000 as she stated on The Oprah Show the last sesson). She wants to know what things cost, and for other US billionaires, most want to know what things cost. Outside of the US, this would be an anomaly, culturally, one would never ask for the price. At this level you have an extensive portfolio of multiple residences, artwork, and of course, cash and stocks.
I will break it down further and generalize (this is just my opinion, NOT taken from anywhere):
$500MM – $999MM
I am going to go back to my friend, living at The Peninsula NY while her NY home on the Upper East Side is being renovated. It costs her millions of dollars a month to cover all her expenses – the private travel, the homes all over the world, the staff to take care of the homes and all the other “stuff” that goes with living this type of life.
The famous story of the Thyssen widow who flew on her private plane to Switzerland crying to the trustees of the Thyssen fortune that the $50+ million a month “allowance” wasn’t enough to pay for her expenses. Profile: The incombustible Carmen Cervera Thyssen
$100MM – $499MM
Most have seen the famous Michael Jackson interview where he is in an art gallery picking the pieces he wants, not even asking the price….
$50MM – $99MM
This arena, you fly privately, you have a couple of really awesome residences and live a comfortable nice life.
“Merely Rich” Upper Middle Class $4M -$20M
THIS is the area where your question comes into play. I read other’s posts about driving a Bentley for the price of a Honda. It’s in this level where they actually know what a Honda costs.
$1M -$3M Upper Lower Class
If you ever read or heard the book “The Millionaire Next Door” – there are more people in this category than one would think. They own their house, have a small portfolio, cash in the bank, other investments. Those add up quickly.
The Answer to Your Question:
“If you ask the price of something, you are not really rich to afford it”
I love this article, it’s very accurate: Who Said “If You Have to Ask the Price, You Can’t Afford It”?
In the article it states how some US billionaires ask for – and expect – discounts, whereas outside of the US, the more expensive something is, the better. I work with one of the top mills in the world, Dormeuil. They have developed a fabric that has jade woven in it for the Chinese market…jade. You’re looking at a suit costing over $30,000! None of this fabric has been sold in the US but it has done very well in China. Jade – Fabric range – Dormeuil
So, finally to answer your question, I don’t believe this quote. The way some of the very wealthy got to where they are is because they were smart with their money.

George Zaharoff

What's your take?

Taken at the Beverly Regent hotel

Your world follows you even your cars

One man two cars

You may or you may not drive them

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