How to be rich 101

I designed another marketing piece that’s intended for a high net worth/ultra high net worth audience. It’s a conference invitation. The speakers include representatives from a company called The Institute for Preparing Heirs and another from The Wealth Legacy Group. They do exactly what their names imply; train heirs on how to handle the wealth they’re in line to inherit.

Does that blow your mind just a little bit, as it does mine? That there are companies whose sole purpose it is to train people how to be rich? Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s a fantastic idea. Without proper guidance, an heir could piss away the wealth that previous generations built up on stupid shit like $600 shoes and $150,000 automobiles. But it’s a concept that’s so foreign to me and so far out of my ken, that learning of their existence was a shock. The feeling is no different than if I had just found out there are support groups for space aliens who are stranded on earth.

I spent a goodly chunk of my life worrying about money. (Still do, although less so.) I didn’t grow up dirt poor but we always seemed to be broke. I’m pretty sure my dad died penniless, although I don’t know for certain. [He left when I was 16 and I never heard from him again. Believe me, I was better off for it.] After my mother passed away and her estate settled, there was about $63 left.

Can you imagine gliding through life never, ever worrying about money? Yeah, yeah, money doesn’t buy happiness. I know. It took me years to learn that hard lesson. I had to meet a series of wealthy, miserable New Yorkers to be finally be convinced of it. But it sure can sure ward off a lot angst, don’t you think?

* * *

This is as close as I ever want to get to a stroke. Wings is about to open at the Second Stage Theater. In it, a woman awakens from a stroke. The first half of the play is seen through her addled, broken mind. It’s a visual and auditory hallucination. Although the audience can understand her clear, rational thoughts, her medical team cannot. Their dialog, in turn, is babbled nonsense. The script must have been murder to memorize.

It’s a contrivance that could have gone horribly wrong but it holds together remarkably well. Broadway veteran Jan Maxwell is on stage the entire time and produces real tears when the script calls for it. That’s not easy, folks! The running time is a swift :65 minutes and that’s fine with me. It’s a pretty dark stuff but a compelling night out.

Actress Patricia Clarkson sat a few seats down from me. I try to play it cool but, all these years later, I still like spotting the celebs.


15 thoughts on “How to be rich 101

  1. although i won’t be leaving my children enough cash to need that sort of training, i expect that if i died my son would soon have his own tv show “how i blew my mom’s insurance money on hookers and weed”.i’ve always been impressed with those who cry on demand. i learned the trick of pulling a nosehair if you need to cry on stage. members of my extended family, however, just need to have an audience, preferably in a hospital waiting room…

  2. i bear no malice against the rich, but nothing associated with the 1% of our society that controls close to 35% of the wealth of the country, except on rare occasions, surprises me any longer.the play sounds astounding! and patrica clarkson just down the row from you even better! ;~) xoxoxo

  3. Pat: It was interesting AND creepy. In the good way. Daisy: The image of you standing on stage in front of a paying audience, reaching up and yanking a nose hair is something I’ll carry around all day long.SF: The people who say it can’t buy happiness haven’t been without it for long enough.Savannah: The wealth is becoming so concentrated amongst such a small group that the sales guys where I work are starting to panic. Their pool of potential clients is shrinking by the day.

  4. I suspect people who have that much money actually think more about it, not less.My parents have the stated goal of spending everything they have before they die, and I’m good with that. Besides, the only possession they had that I wanted was a naugahyde couch, and they threw it out fifteen years ago without telling anyone. (To be fair, I don’t think they thought that anyone would want it…)

  5. In order to set yourself up as an heir trainer do you have to have experience in inheriting vast sums, or is it all theory based, I wonder?The play sounds really interesting.

  6. TB: Well, I don’t have much money and I think about it pretty much all the time. If I was aced out of a naugahyde couch, I’d be pretty pissed. Did you forgive them? And welcome.Eryl: Hell, *I* could teach a class on how to handle wealth! All you need do is apply common sense and know that success isn’t measured in dollars/pounds.

  7. What a shame though that the children of the extremely wealthy are taught how to keep the money in the family. I can understand keeping the money growing but to even think of buying $150,000 cars is too far out there for my puny brain.

  8. Dinah: Well…what’s your trick for producing tears on demand? Is it something guys can do or just the gals?HIF: How hard can it be, right? Keep your head on straight. Okay? That’ll be $700 please.TB: I’d like to think that if I had been born into extraordinary wealth I would have handled it well but you never know. I might have pissed it all away on expensive, rare books.Nurse: How about hair preparation? Can you speak with any authority about on that?

  9. Well, that’s just fucked up. Although I did hear on the radio the other day that even rich people worry about money. The problems, apparently, are different.It’s the ones that got rich robbing the rest of us that piss me off, though. That’s when the saying, “God may have made men, but Samuel Colt made them equal.” applies.

  10. Ummm, it’s not a new concept. I worked as private secretary to a seriously rich woman many years ago; and that kinda thing was available then. [One of her kids was responsible…one would have put it all up his nose, if he could have.]The first Rockefeller generation did a good job with their kids … most of whom didn’t know they were rich. [and it wasn’t just John D’s penny-pinching]

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