Does Bill Gates (Or Any of the Top U.S. Billionaires) Do Anything Extravagant?

I was looking at the Forbes list of the world’s richest people and it struck me that I never heard of any of the top U.S. billionaires doing much extravagant at all. Bill Gates is the one I am most interested in as the worlds richest man. I know he has a pretty nice house but that’s about it. Personal security? Personal staff?

I already know that Warren Buffet lives a staunchly unassuming life in Omaha, Nebraska as the world’s 2nd richest man. Others in the top 10 are mostly in the Walton family and they are known for living the Wal-Mart lifestyle to a tee.

Does Bill Gates or any of those listed do anything that the average multi-millionaire doesn’t do? How far down the list do you have to go before you find a self-made person that will actually spend money like a sailor on shore leave?

Gates’ house is valued at over 100 million dollars. That’s something your average millionaire can’t boast.

Not too far down the list. Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft) owns the Trail Blazers and the Seahawks. And according to Wikipedia:

Bill Gates lives in one of the most expensive homes in the country and owns some of Da’Vinci’s notebooks, so he’s not exactly living in the gutter.

When I was on a cruise and Paul Allen’s yacht was docked nearby. That was an absolutely huge boat. Not as big as the cruise ship but maybe a 1/4 of the length.

Paul Allen does a lot of things with his money local to Seattle. Besides building the Experience Music Project, he’s also bought roughly the top quarter of downtown to redevelop.

One extravagant thing that Bill Gates did was that when he got married, he did so on an island and rented every single room and helicopter anywhere nearby so that he didn’t have to worry about the media popping up all over the place and ruining the day.

Dennis Kozlowski.

Here is the invitation to that B-day party.

Of course, he’s not doing any of that type of stuff currently.

An island in Hawaii, no less.

I think I see what the OP is asking. Buying a huge house or yacht or a sports team is big - but it’s not billionaire big. We’re looking for a Sultan of Brunei kind of lifestyle - or at least a Hugh Hefner.

Larry Ellison is 12th on the worldwide list, and has a notably extravagant lifestyle:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Ellison#Lifestyle

You can only live in one room at a time, so for me the house deal is overrated.

For extravagance I think jets and yachts are unbeatable.

I’ve only tasted at the periphery of the truly wealthy lifestyle, but travel by corporate jet is unbeatable–and expensive. I’ve had the chance to take a few G-5 junkets. No security. Plane leaves when you get there. Goes to the landing strip and limo near your destination, which is anywhere you want anytime you want for Bill G. Two or three on the plane with a flight attendant and gourmet meals.

This single extravangance beats all others.

Yachts are in the same category, IMHO.

Also, having people who completely eliminate hassles is pretty nice. Saw an interview w/ Bill and he was asked what he carries in his wallet.
Answer: he doesn’t carry one. No need.

Richard Branson is pretty extragavant (RTW balloon trips, Virgin Galactic, etc), but alas, is not a US billionaire.

You can only live in one room at a time, so for me the house deal is overrated.

For extravagance I think jets and yachts are unbeatable.

I’ve only tasted at the periphery of the truly wealthy lifestyle, but travel by corporate jet is unbeatable–and expensive. I’ve had the chance to take a few G-5 junkets. No security. Plane leaves when you get there. Goes to the landing strip and limo near your destination, which is anywhere you want anytime you want for Bill G. Two or three on the plane with a flight attendant and gourmet meals. You need to have more than a few million to have the best jets at your personal 24/7 beck and call.

This single extravangance beats all others.

Yachts are in the same category, IMHO.

Also, having people who completely eliminate hassles is pretty nice. Saw an interview w/ Bill and he was asked what he carries in his wallet.
Answer: he doesn’t carry one. No need.

At the other end of being rich and not living the lifestyle are folks like Sam Walton and Warren Buffet.

On a daily basis, after a 100 million or so, I’m not sure you can get much more for your money. You can own more but I don’t know what else you could personally consume.

Gates has been known to blow $2 billion at a time on things like providing clean water and health care for the desperately poor.

And then he exposed us to Vista…

Steve Fossett breaks two aviation records before breakfast, but don’t think he is Billionaire.

Brian

According to Wikipedia, Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, and one of the ten richest persons on Earth, personally owns two Boeing 757 aircraft. One of them is for his own personal use; the other is used to transport his professional sports teams from place to place.

Right, at least two families with over $100,000,000 were at my wedding and are among the people closest to me. One are American and one is French. My parents were surprised to open Fortune magazine two months after my wedding and see the people sitting at the same table are mega-rich. My stepfather asked me about it and I confirmed that it is true but that means nothing to me and it means very little to them also because my parents are also admirably successful in their own fields. All of the mega-rich that I know don’t do very much that is extravagant either. One of them, at 56 years old, spends her time doing hard physical labor with me on the weekends restoring my property for free and they all have nice houses from Cambridge, MA to Paris but is as just as much as they need.

How did Bill Gates spend $100 million on a house? Boston has some extremely exclusive castle-like properties but they top out at about $30 million. I have never heard he spent so much on his house or why he would ever do so.

Perhaps this is because their spending habits aren’t something that would be accessible to the general public?

Valued at ≠ spent. At that level, it’s easy to be off by a significant % in any valuation, too. But maybe he spends a lot on patching security holes in the software that runs the place. :slight_smile:

Extravagant in this sense of the OP I take to mean wasteful, thrifty spending. The water and health care for the poor isn’t exactly extravagant. I wouldn’t include Da’Vinci’s notebooks as extravagant either. 100 million dollar house certainly is extravagant though.

I think what the OP is asking, does Bill Gates have his balls washed by 20 beautiful women? Does he have 20 body guards? Does he own 30 cars? Is he conspicuous in his spending? Things like that.