November 29, 2012

You”€™re going to have millions of people wanting something from you and at least half won”€™t care how they get it. Many will be the sort you see in magazines, and in this we must defer to one Tupac Shakur for some surprisingly insightful guidance.

Your life could soon devolve into nonstop revelry, so figure out how you”€™re going to live with yourself before you begin living it up with anyone else. Enjoy it all, but with both eyes open and one hand on your pocketbook.

Beware obnoxious new tastes in your mouth. “€œIf you have to ask, you can”€™t afford it”€ may be true, but if you don”€™t ask you won”€™t be able to afford “€œit”€ for very long.

Likewise, some things are meant to be enjoyed but in are in no way “€œinvestments.”€ Before buying collectible plastic dolls, rare “€œauthentic reproductions,”€ or unique historical artifacts, take a short breath and a long step back. If you want a solid-gold pencil from Cartier at least make sure it doubles as a writing instrument. Buying your dream car is fine, but only if you intend to drive it. Amassing useless items with enormous preservation costs is idiotic. You”€™ll end by ruining what you profess to esteem.

Wanting to protect relations and future generations is admirable, but please just buy them an annuity or a heap of bonds.

I don”€™t envy what you”€™re about to go through, though hopefully this handful of hints can help you navigate the first few weeks at least. When everything else fails, always remember the best way to live on a million dollars is to behave as if you didn’t have a dime.

It is often remarked that money changes people. This is a canard. Rather, money merely augments their natural tendencies. In nearly every case of sudden wealth, whether earned or unearned, the result is to make the good better and the bad worse.

Although you may not heed these words, there are still quite a few things money cannot buy. Even when you have great wealth it is more impermanent than most imagine and by no coincidence are the vast majority of families rarely moneyed beyond two generations. Lucre and life are both fleeting and you ought never forget it, lottery winner or no.

By virtue of the Fates you have been made different from your fellow man; it will be left to your own virtues to prove you are worthy of the distinction.

 


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