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The latest news on Billionaires from Business Insider

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    safeway paper bag

    Renowned dealmaker Richard Rainwater, who is known for helping turn around Disney in the 1980s, has been diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP)-- a fatal, fast-moving, degenerative brain disease.

    As a tribute to Rainwater, CNBC's "Squawk Box"'s guest lineup this morning featured several of his mentees who are some of the financial industry's biggest players.

    David Bonderman, the founding partner of private equity firm Texas Pacific Group, said Rainwater is such a character and has a great sense of humor.  Rainwater, who has an estimated netwoth of $2.3 billion, once used a paper bag for a suitcase.

    "....Richard is a world class character in addition to being a great investor.  I remember they had just done the Disney deal....maybe the best deal done by anybody. Right after that Richard is going San Diego to meet with the head of the then nascent computer company which he thought about making an investment in. He didn't own a suitcase, so he took all his clothes in a paper bag. And he tells this guy who is the CEO of some computer company he's going to meet at baggage claim and he'll be the guy carrying a paper bag. So Richard shows up to negotiate this multimillion dollar deal, which is a lot of money in those days, carrying his toothpaste and socks and underwear in a paper bag which he got from the Safeway," Bonderman told CNBC.

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    Kevin Rose Businessweek

    In the summer of 2006 Kevin Rose was plastered on the cover of Businessweek with the headline: "How This Kid Made $60 Million In 18 Months."

    The subtitle read, "'s Kevin Rose leads a new brat pack of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs."

    Sarah Lacy, now of PandoDaily, wrote that Rose was one of a handful of youngsters that made up "the new geek elite."

    And it was true. Rose and the new geek elite had achieved rock star status. Their success was a lightening rod for a new wave of Web-based sites -- at the time "Web 2.0" companies. These were new consumer and media sites built with do-it-yourself social media and crowdsourced data.

    A lot has changed in the last six years, so we decided to take a look at who was featured in the story and where they ended up.

    Kevin Rose is now at Google

    Digg faded from the scene. Kevin Rose started a new company, called Milk. Milk didn't gain much traction, and Rose sold it to Google. Google kept Rose on the payroll but shut down Milk's app Oink.

    Joshua Schachter bounced from Yahoo to Google and is on his own again

    Joshua Schachter sold bookmarking site to Yahoo for about $31 million, landing him a job at Yahoo. In 2008, he was among a mass exodus of execs from Yahoo. A year later he landed at Google, but that job would only last a year because he "felt like doing something new."

    Today he is CEO of a tech incubator Tasty Labs (Get it? The Delicious founder named his incubator Tasty). So far, Tasty has launched two startups: Jig a site where you say what you need and it connects you to people who can help you;, launched a few days ago. It lets you add tags to peeps in your social network.

    Dennis "Thresh" Fong: Still playing around

    Gaming whiz kid Dennis Fong is also known by his alias, Thresh. Before 2006, Fong was famous as a retired celebrity pro gamer. He became a "geek elite" when his gaming company, Xfire, sold to Viacom for $102 million. This was just one of a string of startups he and his brother launched. sold to Ziff Davis in 2001.  Lithium, run by his bro Lyle Fong, is still around and kicking.

    Today Fong is CEO of Raptr, a social network for gamers that he founded in 2007.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    kevin roose

    Dealbook's Kevin Roose got the Times to pay for him to live like a billionaire for a day. He has lots of fun traveling by Rolls Royce and private jet to chi-chi locations from Manhattan to Sea Island, Ga.

    But this part of being a billionaire seemed rather annoying:

    One thing I’ve noticed so far is that when you’re a billionaire, you’re never alone. All day, your life is supervised by a coterie of handlers and attendants catering to your whims. In the locker room alone after my workout, I feel unsettled. Where’s my bodyguard? Where’s my chauffeur? Why is nobody offering me an amuse-bouche while I shampoo my hair?

    Read the whole thing at Dealbook >

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    karl wlaschek

    It's never too late in life to fall in love.

    At least, that's 94-year-old Austrian billionaire Karl Wlaschek's view on life. Wlaschek plans to marry for the fifth time this week, according to The Vienna Times.

    Wlaschek, already a father of four, joked he wants more children.

    His bride-to-be Rikki Schenk, refused to reveal her age, but did divulge that she "wasn't young anymore" and that kids were not likely in the picture. Wlaschek and Schenk were both widowed on the same day from previous spouses.

    Wlaschek is the fourth-oldest billionaire in the world and the second richest man in Austria.

    Wlaschek, who made his money through the Austrian retail chain "Billa" is worth approximately $4.7 billion, according to Forbes.

    We're not saying she's a gold digger...

    DON'T MISS: The Richest People On Earth >

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    Billionaire Boys Club: 5 Hoteliers Who Make Bank

    This post originally appeared on

    Fantasizing about luxurious hotels and faraway resorts is one thing, but fantasizing about owning them is an entirely different concept altogether.

    Real estate is a high-stakes game that costs big, but, when done right, earns even bigger. And because we are constantly investigating the latest hotels around the globe, we couldn’t help but wonder who was the proverbial Oz behind the curtain at some of our favorite spots.

    Check out five men that are serious players on the hotel scene right now — and just how fat their wallets are.

    Ty Warner

    Net Worth: $4.4 Billion

    Properties Owned: Las Ventanas; Los Cabos, Mexico; Four Seasons Hotel New York; Rancho San Marcos; Santa Barbara, CA

    He may have made his initial millions from his trendy, plush Beanie Babies, but Ty Warner transformed his self-named Ty Inc. corporation into a financial juggernaut with a hotel and resort empire that boasts bi-coastal properties in the US and in Mexico. Despite his rich-boy status, Warner likes to keep things low-key and rarely grants any public interviews — especially ironic since his original career aspiration was to be an actor.

    Sheldon Adelson

    Net Worth: $24.9 Billion

    Properties Owned: The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino; Las Vegas

    As the oldest on the list, 78-year-old Sheldon Adleson also happens to be the wealthiest. According to Forbes magazine, he is the 16th richest person in the world! His fortune can be attributed to the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, his resort development company that opens properties across the globe. What’s scary, though, is how often Adleson gets his hotels right: In the past three years, he’s accumulated $21 billion alone. Errr, call us?

    Donald Trump

    Net Worth: $2.9 Billion

    Properties Owned: Trump International Hotel and Tower Las Vegas; Trump SoHo, and Trump Taj Mahal – Atlantic City, are just some examples.

    When he’s not debating a run for president – or running his mouth about the President — Donald Trump spreads his billions all over the worlds of real estate and entertainment. In between filing for bankruptcy and a few high-profile divorces, The Donald and his Trump Organization operate hotels and resort casinos across the world, with the Trump Toronto just opening and an outpost in Scotland on the pipeline. And just because, “ya fired!”

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Dustin Moskovitz

    The first thing you notice when you talk to billionaire Dustin Moskovitz and his business partner Justin Rosenstein is how different they are.

    Rosenstein is chatty and articulate. Moskovitz is more reserved and thoughtful.

    But they share a passion in their startup, Asana. Moskovitz is, of course, famous for being the co-founder of Facebook. Rosenstein is known as the programming wiz who did Facebook's "Like" button, among other projects.

    Asana is a project management Web app that has become uber popular, particularly among tech startups in the Valley.

    Like Moskovitz, the app is focused -- it is a group to-do/project management tool. Like Rosenstein it is social. Teams communicate with it instead of e-mail.

    It's been around for about six months now and earlier this week, Asana announced its first commercial version. That was a perfect time to chat with Moskovitz, Rosenstein and Asana marketing dude Kenny Van Zant.

    Their plan for Asana is nothing less than world domination -- in a feel good, change-the-world kind of way.

    • The goal is to grow Asana into a huge company. They literally want every worker in the world to use it, much like everyone today uses e-mail.

    • They think of Asana as the next-generation of e-mail.

    • They believe this software will change the word because it will boost human productivity that much.

    • Asana has surprised them with how quickly it became popular. It is now being used by tens of thousands of teams, though Asana hasn't released specific user numbers.

    • The target customer is the enterprise. Asana will remain free for teams of less than 30 people.

    • The sales tactic is to sell directly to the teams. Once enough teams adopt, IT will be motivated to come negotiate for the premium version (which includes more features).

    • They see this as the new sales model for enterprise software -- with teams picking their own tools, rather than IT buying tools for them.

    Here's an edited version of the transcript.

    So you launched about six months ago. How has Asana been received so far?

    Justin: Things have been been going really well. We're seeing a ton of momentum, more than I expected so soon to the game. We started Asana because we're really passionate about helping other groups of people work together to accomplish their goals.

    Justin RosensteinWe are already seeing teams across different industries and especially our own industry adopt Asana. Companies like Airbnb, who are helping to revolutionize travel. Or a company like Foursquare that's connecting millions of people. To see that we're already providing the backbone of their organizations is really exciting.

    We're excited about this because the opportunity to really improve the world is just enormous. This is a fundamental problem that every every company faces. Every group of people, every organization. Once you have a group of talented people trying to work on something, the overhead of coordination really slows you down. It cramps the scope of the ideas you take on. You're not even willing to entertain complex, ambition goals because there's so many moving pieces you couldn't even imagine coordinating them all.

    How many users do you have?

    Kenny: We launched in November. At that time we had hundreds of teams using the product. Today we have tens of thousands of teams using the product. It's been big growth.

    Justin: Maybe more exciting is that of people who do adopt, 75% of them are retained. Over 25% of our weekly active users use the product every single day, Monday through Friday. Both that 25% number and that 75% number are pretty unheard of. In terms of things that people keep open all day, there's pretty much only e-mail and calendar. Then there's a CRM tool that maybe sales will keep open all day. But to have a tool that's horizontal that people are using day in/day out for communication -- Asana is becoming the home page of their work.

    What is your bigger plan with Asana? Do you dream of selling it? Are you hoping to build a giant business with this?

    Justin: The goal is to help every single organization on the planet be able to coordinate their collective action more easily.

    So you won't be happy until every single organization on the planet is using Asana?

    Kenny Van ZantJustin: It's very similar to how Facebook wants to connect everyone in the world and that's a long-term ambition. And similarly, Microsoft wanted to put a PC on every desk. So yeah, our ambition is in that category.

    We think every organization, every person who does work with groups can benefit from this software, just like email has become, in a short period of time, this ubiquitous platform for people to communicate.

    That's not only a huge opportunity to benefit the world, but an enormous business opportunity. So we're not looking at this from the perspective of selling. We're looking at building a long term, built-to-last, very successful business that solves a really important problem that also has a lot of monetary value associated with it.

    The idea that we can improve the efficiency of every team by 1% let alone double it or 10X is just an enormous opportunity to advance human progress.

    So, on Tuesday, you launched a commercial version, tell me about that.

    Justin: There's some premium functionality that also goes with that. Now we're going to be making revenue but I think the more exciting news is that there's a bunch of things that has gone into that in terms of scaling the product and making it more usable for bigger teams. We've piloted with Foursquare with 150 people on it. Before Asana was helping fairly small teams. As of yesterday we opened it up to much larger teams, a much larger scale to coordinate. We're prepared for companies of any size to come and sign up.

    We launched, in four business days, five new features: the API, user photos ( you can see the person's face), a new user [training tool] when they first come onboard. We launched the premium version and also project-level permissions which comes with upgrading.

    Dustin: We're in a special early time where we are gaining our stride in product improvements. In spite of releasing a bunch of improvements that we've been working on a really long time, we have a bunch more on deck that will be released in the next couple of months. The product will be improving rapidly.

    How do you plan to sell the premium version?

    With our distribution model, we don't expect the IT head for a giant company to come and sign up.

    We're thinking about this from a bottoms-up perspective -- and this is behavior we have seen already. You have a big company where maybe a few different teams, at a size of maybe 20 [users], each adopts Asana, sometimes not even knowing about each other. Then the news will trickle up to the IT team and they'll say they just want to roll Asana out to the entire company.

    That kind of bottoms up model is just starting to happen in the enterprise world. I think we're really pushing the envelope on that new distribution model.

    Well, I don't know that rogue software coming in -- or in this case, rogue services -- is a new distribution model. But it becoming more common. So are you guys going to get an enterprise sales force together?

    Kenny: We do have a sales team, but we don't plan on bringing on an "enterprise" sales team. An enterprise sales force is typically using e-mails and contacts and relationships to do benefits-based selling into a group that's not even using the product at all.

    Our sales organization is about making teams be successful and then turning those successful teams into ones that are big enough to pay for the product. So it's a different type of sales motion.

    Justin: It's very important to us that the IT team not feel like their hands are tied and they are being forced into a sale. The product will remain free for teams under 30. It's more that we're providing enough value for upgrading the whole company or much larger teams so the IT departments say, "Hey, we're really excited to see this upgrade."

    I would describe Asana as project management kind-of tool for people that wouldn't necessarily adopt the formal tools like Microsoft Project. Is that how you see it?

    Justin: Yes, it bears a lot of resemblance to some project management tools but the way that people use it is very different. People have been printing memos in offices for ages. E-mail didn't make memos faster, e-mail changed how business works today. But e-mail has hit a wall with the complexity of projects we can organize with e-mail.

    Dustin: The salient difference between Asana and the software that's come before is that all of the individual contributors use it. It's the place where you have conversations with your coworkers.

    Justin: Let me give me an anecdote. We have one customer called Emerald Therapeutics. Their mission is to end disease. They were started by two top bio scientists and have a lab of other top scientists. The founders had gotten to the point where the overhead of managing the lab was consuming 100% of time. They stopped doing science altogether. They adopted Asana and now 75% of time has gone back to doing science and and only 25% is doing management.

    When Business Insider first reviewed the program when it launched, we found it to be a confusing design. Can you talk to me about the design choices you made?

    Justin: In general, we hear the opposite. That it's simple to use. It's important to point out that this is a tricky balance to strike. Asana is also a powerful tool, there is lots of things you can do with it. So trying to marry that kind of power with the simplicity of how to get up and running is a really hard problem. But in the last six months, we made improvements in the UI. Now a new user, rather than greeted with a blank page, is walked through a tour.

    Kenny: The proof around how easy it is to use is how broadly the tool has been adopted in a number of different industries. We have tech teams using it but also retail, the management of an NFL team, law firms, construction companies, a very diverse set of industries. We hear that people spend less than five minutes learning the tool.

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    tisch bothers andrew jim john

    Tisch School of the Arts, Tisch Hospital... in New York City, the Tisch name is everywhere. The family owns holding company Lowes corporation, and recent estimates put their wealth at $21 billion.

    That, dear readers, makes them a very wealthy, powerful American family.

    But unlike some of the families we've written about before (The Astors or Vanderbilts), their wealth can't be traced back to the 1800s. Theirs is the story of two Brooklyn brothers who started out with one hotel, then added to their empire as America was booming after World War II.

    And they just kept adding.

    The family wealth started with Brooklyn brothers Laurence and Preston Tisch

    Preston Robert "Bob" Tisch  was born on April 29, 1926 and his brother Laurence Alan "Larry" Tisch was born on March 5, 1923.

    The brothers come from the Bensonhurst neighborhood and their parents were Russian immigrants.

    "My parents were middle class and like everybody else in Brooklyn at the time, they worked hard and tried to move up the scale," Mr. Tisch said in an interview with Newsday in 1991.

    Source: The Jewish Week, NYT

    Larry made his first investment after graduating from NYU and Wharton. It was a winter resort.

    He bought the place for $125,000 with seed money from his parents. Bob joined him in the business 2 years later after a stint in the Army and graduating from the University of Michigan.

    Source: The NY Observer

    After that, the brothers started buying up hotels like crazy.

    After buying properties in New Jersey and New York, the Tisch brothers solidified their place in the American hotel business by building the $17 million Americana Hotel in Bal Harbour, Florida. They paid for it in cash and it was sold to Sheraton in the 1970s.

    After that deal, they acquired big name hotels like the Mark Hopkins, the Drake, the Belmont Plaza, and the Regency.

    Speaking of The Regency, Rob Tisch is crediting with coining the term "power breakfast" for his early morning meetings there.

    Source:, NYT


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    flamingo casino

    A few weeks ago Warren Buffett shared some advice with MBA students at the Richard Ivey School of Business. We looked over a copy of the meeting notes from Market Folly.

    Here's the moment when Buffett realized he could get rich:

    • On my honeymoon I traveled out west. When I visited the casino and saw all these smart well-dressed people participating in a game with the odds against them, it was then that I realized I won’t have a problem getting rich!

    He said there are plenty of opportunities today:

    • Nowadays there are even more opportunities, we are living in a wealthier society, just think of the great development we had the last couple of decades.
    • The luckiest person in the world is the baby born in US today, than any other time.
    • The internet is a magnificent resource and it’s free. I love my personal jet, but I would give it up first before I gave away access to internet.
    • Think and measure your life versus the life your parents had. The world is no way a zero-sum game.
    • There is a lot more opportunities today than it was many years ago, and young people today will have a lot more opportunities than young people yesterday.

    Buffett also told the students why he would never live in New York City.

    Don't miss: 18 brilliant investing insights from Warren Buffett >

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    warren buffett

    The third richest man in the world thinks New York City is too expensive.

    Here are the notes on comments he made to MBA students a few weeks ago via Market Folly:

    I decided to live in Omaha because I like the city, the community and it’s where I call home. It’s all about what you really want to do. Living in Manhattan is expensive and you need to be rich. There is a lack of sense of community and life style, thus lack of the enjoyment of life.

    You may need to do fifty things a day in New York, but I’d rather to do some reading in my office and do 1 to 2 things a day and do them well.

    I didn’t have a real plan when I returned to Omaha, there was no master-plan when I left New York.

    It is very important to find a balance between life and work as well. Follow your heart and do something you love.

    Buffett also told the MBA students that getting rich is easy.

    The legendary investor still lives in the home he bought for $31,500 over 50 years ago, making him one of the ultimate frugal billionaires.

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    Nick Hanauer

    As the war over income inequality wages on, super-rich Seattle entrepreneur Nick Hanauer has been raising the hackles of his fellow 1-percenters, espousing the contrarian argument that rich people don't actually create jobs. 

    The position is controversial — so much so that TED is refusing to post a talk that Hanauer gave on the subject. 

    National Journal reports today that TED officials decided not to put Hanauer's March 1 speech up online after deeming his remarks "too politically controversial" for the site. 

    In an email obtained by the National Journal, TED curator Chris Anderson told his colleagues that Hanauer's speech “probably ranks as one of the most politically controversial talks we've ever run, and we need to be really careful when” to post it. He added: “Next week ain't right. Confidentially, we already have Melinda Gates on contraception going out. Sorry for the mixed messages on this.”

    TED regularly posts speeches about sensitive political issues, including global warming and contraception, so it's not clear why Hanauer's talk would be singled out for censorship. 

    We've emailed Hanauer to see what he thinks, but in the meantime, here's an excerpt for you to judge for yourself: 

    I can say with confidence that rich people don't create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small. What does lead to more employment is a "circle of life" like feedback loop between customers and businesses. And only consumers can set in motion this virtuous cycle of increasing demand and hiring. In this sense, an ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than a capitalist like me. 

    So when businesspeople take credit for creating jobs, it's a little like squirrels taking credit for creating evolution. In fact, it's the other way around.

    Anyone who's ever run a business knows that hiring more people is a capitalists course of last resort, something we do only when increasing customer demand requires it.  In this sense, calling ourselves job creators isn't just inaccurate, it's disingenuous.

    That's why our current policies are so upside down. When you have a tax system in which most of the exemptions and the lowest rates benefit the richest, all in the name of job creation, all that happens is that the rich get richer.

    Now click here to see the whole presentation >

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    sheryl sandberg

    Facebook made a lot of people millionaires but it made 10 people billionaires.

    The stock opened today at $38 per share.

    Using that price, Bloomberg calculated the net worth of Facebook's richest employees and investors. They're now worth ten or eleven figures.

    Chris Hughes, cofounder of Facebook, is now worth $935 million

    Who he is: Cofounder of Facebook, college classmate of Mark Zuckerberg's.

    Value of Facebook stake at $38/share: $835 million

    Net worth: $935 million

    Sheryl Sandberg is Facebook's COO. She's now worth $1 billion.

    Who she is: Facebook's COO, former Googler.

    Value of Facebook stake at $38/share: $1 billion

    Net worth: $1 billion

    Yuri Milner is now worth $1.1 billion

    Who he is: Milner is the founder of DST, which made a big investment in Facebook.  He owns ~ 12.5% of DST's Facebook shares.

    Value of Facebook stake at $38/share: $400 million

    Net worth: $1.1 billion

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Camilla Webster, personal finance

    Excerpt with permission from The Seven Pearls of Financial Wisdom.

    There are millions of articles on the Webencouraging investors to buy the same stocks as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, or Carlos Slim, the world’s wealthiest billionaires.

    This advice seems at best confusing and at worst irrelevant, since most people don’t have the same amount of money that these mega investors have.

    However, there is one thing that many of the world’s billionaires, including Oprah, do have: a private company that is staffed by people who do nothing but select and watch after their boss’s investments. This company is called a family office.

    We believe that you can learn to think like a billionaire’s family office, and that this is the best approach to take with your money. A family office offers the Rolls Royce of wealth- management services— integrated advice on investment management, tax planning, estate planning, philanthropy, and financial education for future generations.

    According to the 2010 Multifamily Office Study, conducted by the Family Wealth Alliance14the top seventy- two multifamily offices currently manage a staggering $357.3 billion in the United States; the average amount of assets under management for each client is $49.6 million.

    Carol has been running a family office in behalf of a number of clients for the last ten years; prior to that she worked for the Rockefeller family office.Carol is hired by billionaires to create family offices for them, so she is an expert in this area.

    DNUDevelop an Investment Philosophy
    One of the principal jobs of a family office is to help families develop an investment philosophy. The vast majority of families working with the firms surveyed by the Family Wealth Alliance use the family office to create an asset allocation, to select and monitor investment managers, and to select alternative investments, such as hedge funds or private- equity investments.

    We all know that the financial markets fluctuate every day, often to an alarming degree. Turn on any financial news program, and you can hear how much the Dow is up or down for the day, hear about the latest interest- rate move, or about the trading patterns of the day’s hot stock. There is tons of information out there but very little useful guidance— and almost no sense of long- term strategy. Family offices receive the same conflicting information, but are savvy in the ways of WallStreet and the brokerage community.

    They know that a broker selling you products is a salesperson and cannot deliver completely objective advice. Investors working with brokers are expected to look out for their own interests, according to the standards set by the SEC.

    Registered InvestmentAdvisers are held to a higher standard, but that does not necessarily completely protect your money. That is why family offices develop an investment philosophy and write an investment policy statement for their clients before they begin investing.

    One assumption that underlies all family-office investment philosophies is long- term thinking. Family offices consider investments in light of generations, not weeks or months or even a year. Ofcourse, the family office makes sure that a family’s short- term cashneeds are met and that there is always sufficient money available to meet expenses. But long- term thinking is critical to investment success, and can be practiced by everyone.

    For example, it is much better to start saving for achild’s college education when she is born rather than when she becomes a teenager; the power of compound interest means that you can start with a smaller initial investment than you would otherwise.

    Thinking for the long term can also mean having the patience to wait for the right time to sell an investment. For example, waiting to sell a valuable piece of art until its style is popular again, even it if means waiting a couple of years, might be a better decision than selling it at a fire sale price today.

    Like a family office, you need to develop an investment philosophy and policy before you approach the markets. Some elements of your investment philosophy are going to be universal— good practices that all investors should follow, regardless of their personal preferences— and some are going to be unique to your own situation. We’ll explore the universal elements first.

    Adopt the Universal Keys to Good Investing
    The first key to investing is to realize that the only reason to make an investment is to achieve a return on it. The fact that you like the broker, like to attend events sponsored by a particular bank, or that your friends are making the same investment are not good reasons toinvest your money.

    The only reason to invest is that you think you will receive all your money back, plus an appropriate return. So the first universal principle of your investment philosophy should be, “I am going to invest my money only where I think I can make a return; that is, I have conviction when I invest.”

    The second key to investing relates to the question, why do you believe that this particular investment will give you a return? This is one of the principles followed by Warren Buffett. He is famous for investing only in companies and businesses that he understands. Certainly, in the post- Madoff world, this is an important tenet. Not understanding how an investment proposes to give you a return is a big mistake. So the second key is, “I invest only where I have an understanding of how it will make money for me.”

    This leads us to the third universal key: It is critical to have the information necessary to monitor investments so that you can determine whether your original conviction and understanding prove to be correct. Unless you get detailed monthly information, you can’t tell how the investment is doing. You should choose only investments that give very detailed disclosure of how they are performing and how fees are being charged. So the third universal key is, “I invest only where there is transparency on an investment’s performance and fees.”

    We now have the first three universal keys of our investment philosophy: conviction, understanding, and transparency— or CUT. With these, we can “cut” through a great deal of hype and focus in on only the most suitable investments. Any investments that don’t pass muster, that don’t meet the criteria of these first three keys, won’t make the “cut”!

    Customize Your Philosophy to Reflect Your Preferences
    After you adopt the universal principles of good investing, you need to take your own fundamental inclinations and preferences into account. If you like bargains and hate to overpay, you are probably going to be happier following the value-investing path. If you love looking for the next great success, then growth investing will be more appealing to you.

    The good news is that growth investments sometimes outperform value investments, and value investments sometimes outperform growth investments, so your natural inclination will be most successful at least some of the time.

    Understanding whether you are a growth or a value investor by preference is critical to investment happiness. It is impossible to get a value investor excited about high- priced, high- growth investments, just as it is impossible to get a growth investor excited about a company that to her looks half dead but to a value investor reveals hidden potential. The key is to adopt the principle, “I invest primarily in my favorite style.”

    How much risk are you really comfortable taking? How did you feel when your portfolio swooned during the crisis? Understand that this could happen again in your lifetime, and invest accordingly. Be honest with yourself about how well you handle market volatility. The principle here is, “I accept only an appropriate level of risk.”

    Your financial adviser should spend a great deal of time with you to make sure that he or she understands your risk tolerance, and it is crucial that you are honest about this subject. Don’t let an adviser talk you into taking more risk than you are comfortable assuming.

    How much time do you have to devote to understanding the markets and participating in them? For example, Carol no longer trades stocks, because she doesn’t have enough time to watch the market closely every day. It is part of her investment philosophy that if she can’t devote the amount of attention required for trading individual stocks, and then she would rather invest in well- managed funds. Here the tenet is, “I invest in a way that makes sense given the amount of time I have to devote to it.”

    How strongly do you feel about funding guns, tobacco, or alcohol? For some investors this is a big problem, and they will be happier if they avoid making money on these types of investments. How strongly do you feel about funding community banks, alternative energy, ororganic farming? There are investments that fall in the “socially responsible” or “sustainable” categories that will help you fund the things that are important to you.

    If you want to make these kinds of investments, you should seek out experts who are familiar with the growing number of options in these areas—many traditional advisers simply don’t know where to find the best socially responsible or sustainable funds. The tenet here is, “I invest in a way that comfortably reflects my values.”

    In summary, your investment philosophy should reflect three universal investment best practices— conviction, understanding, and transparency—which will help you “cut” through the noise in the market. You should then consider your style, risk tolerance, time commitments, and values as you decide where to focus your energy.

    Armed with this personalized investment philosophy, you can now map out a strategy. You can even write up a simple document to share with your financial adviser that reflects your investment principles. Th is will be the beginning of your investment policy statement.

    Develop an Asset Allocation for Each Portfolio
    The first step in turning your investmentphilosophy into a smoothly functioning portfolio is to develop an asset allocation for each pool of money. Your financial adviser will help you with this task. An asset allocation is the mix of cash, stocks, bonds, and other investments that you choose to have in your portfolio.

    The appropriate mix will depend on the amount of time you have available for investing, your risk tolerance, and the purpose to which you want to put each pool of money. You may have one particular asset allocation for your long- term retirement plan and quite a different asset allocation for investments that will eventually be used to buy a home.

    Before you start picking funds or individual investments, make sure that you and your adviser have crafted the correct asset allocation first. You might like to see what the world’s wealthiest individuals are doing in terms of asset allocation by consulting the World Wealth Report, published each year by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and Cap gemini, and available for download on the Internet.

    The 2010 report stated that wealthy individuals around the world kept 17 percent of their assets in cash and 41 percent in fixed- income securities— a much more conservative asset allocation than is normally promoted by many financial advisers.15 Don’t be afraid to insist upon the level of cash and fixed- income securities that will make you feel comfortable.

    Insist on Quality Guidelines for Selecting Investments
    It is not enough to create an asset allocation, however; you should also create quality guidelines for your financial adviser and make sure they are adhered to. In all cases, you want to have the highest- quality investments, managed by the most experienced team possible.

    If you are considering funds or portfolios, you want to see the longest track record possible, with good performance during difficult markets. Although all financial investments come with the disclaimer that “past performance is no guarantee of future results,” the truth is that a fund with good pastperformance is a safer bet than a fund with no past performance to evaluate.

    Each type of investment has its own particular set of criteria— for example, investors judge corporate bonds differently from high- yield bonds, small- capitalization stocks differently from large- capitalization stocks. If this is new territory, ask your adviser to help you develop a set of criteria to judge the quality of your investments.

    Use Online Tools to Assess Mutual Fund Quality
    When selecting investments, it is helpful to use ratings agencies to help you assess the quality of any mutual funds you are considering. Most online brokerage websites will give you mutual fund ratings from a company called Morningstar. If you are investing in mutual funds, you can set minimum standards by insisting on funds that are highly rated by Morningstar. There is very little reason to invest in a mutual fund with fewer than three stars.

    Another good rule of thumb is to look for investment management teams with at least ten years of experience working together. You can also assess the track record of a fund by comparing its performance to that of its corresponding investment index.

    Your adviser can provide this information for you. You can also look up mutual fund performance information on free websites like Yahoo! Finance, which offers a great deal of detail on mutual funds. You can also set up an online tracker for your funds so you can see their performance every day.

    It is also important to look at the size of the fund. Beware of mutual funds or ETFs (exchange- traded funds) below $200 million in size— they are just too small to operate efficiently. Don’t let your adviser put you into a brand- new fund with no track record— many brokers get paid higher commissions for selling new funds. This helps them, not you!

    Separately Managed Accounts
    If you have a large amount of cash to invest, your financial adviser may suggest that he or she set up separately managedaccounts for your money rather than mutual funds. Separately managed accounts, which are created for you and have a personal portfolio manager, offer the advantage of allowing the portfolio manager to more carefully manage the realized gains and losses in your portfolio by deciding when to buy and sell securities.

    It is very important to investigate the track record of any adviser who is proposing a separately managed account. If the account is going to hold different types of assets— for example, stocks and bonds in the same account— ask the manager to create subaccounts for each asset class. The manager should also give you performance information for each asset class separately, as well as for the account as a whole.

    There should be a ratings number for the performance of bonds as compared to the appropriate bond index, and a number for the stocks compared to the appropriate stock index. Otherwise, it is very difficult to judge whether the account is performing well for you.

    Pay Attention to Cash and Liquidity
    There are two key tenets to consider whenconstructing your portfolios: the amount of liquidity, or cash, in the portfolio, and the degree of liquidity of the securities in your portfolio. The need for liquidity— or, more simply stated, the need to have cash— was painfully brought home during the crash of 2008 and 2009. Investors who had enough cash to feel comfortable were not so likely to panic and sell at thebottom. The degree of liquidity of your securities refers to how long it takes to sell an investment and receive your return in cash.

    On one end of the spectrum, most mutual funds and ETFs have daily liquidity. On the other end, private- equity- fund investments cannot usually be sold for ten to fifteenyears, making them highly illiquid.

    Although there may be a secondary marketfor illiquid investments— that is, someone willing to buy them from you— you typically receive only 10 to 30 percent of the amount you invested back, so they are a very poor choice and a last resort when you absolutely must get some cash.

    Make Sure to Diversify
    It is critical that you specify to your adviser that you don’t want to take too much risk by concentrating investments in just a few stocks or bonds. Most mutual funds hold more thanthirty stocks, the minimum considered necessary to diversify a fund appropriately.

    Make sure that if you have a separately managed account, themanager is limited to the size of the positions he can take, which means that there should be a limit on the percentage of the total portfolio invested in any one stock or bond.

    A good rule of thumb is that there should be no morethan 5 percent of the total value of the portfolio invested in any one fund,and within a fund or portfolio, there should be no more than 2 to 3 percentinvested in any one stock or bond.

    This rule does not apply to smaller accounts, with a value of, say, five thousand dollars or less— in cases like this, you may have to invest in just one or two funds until your assets grow.

    If You Are Considered a Sophisticated Investor
    Depending on your income and net worth, you may be classified by the SEC and your brokerage firm as a sophisticated investor. A sophisticated investor must have either a net worth of $2.5 million or haveearned more than $250,000 in the past two years to qualify.

    Once you are classified this way, you can be shown investments that have a higher risk, or less detailed financial disclosure, than investments shown to non- sophisticated investors.

    The assumption is that you can afford to lose 100 percent of the investment, that you have a high degree of knowledge of markets, and you can make decisions about complex investment products. All these assumptions may be false, however, even if you have the required net worth and income.

    Do not invest in products for which you are not given enough information to thoroughly understand the risks you are taking. Don’t rely on the fact that the investment carries the name brand of a top firm—insist on understanding where your money is going.

    Hedge Funds and AlternativeInvestments
    If you are a woman with a large portfolio, the chances are good that you will be offered the opportunity to invest in hedge funds, private placements, or other so- called alternative investments. These investments are usually not regulated by the SEC or any other governmental body, so they are inherently riskier. Hedge funds, for example, often have lockup periods— it can take months to get your money back. In the wake of the latest financial crisis, many hedge funds have imposed gates, which means that if all the investors want to get out of a fund at once, a “gate” is slammed shut and an orderly liquidation takes place, sometimes over a couple of years.

    The prevailing wisdom used to be that youwere compensated for the lack of liquidity and additional risk in hedge funds by much higher returns. However, the performance of many hedge funds was dismal during the crisis, and they did no better protecting investor wealth than traditional investments, which have significantly lower fees.

    If you plan to invest in any alternative or hedge fund investments, you must have a clear understanding that you are most likely paying much higher fees and getting less transparency, less regulatory oversight, and less ability to redeem your cash. The returns you earn should compensate for all these negative characteristics—if they don’t, then stick to traditional investments.

    According to the 2010 World Wealth Report, wealthy investors with more than $1 million in investable assets put, on average, only 6 percent of their total worth in alternatives16—so don’t be pressured to overinvest in illiquid alternative investments.

    Ask for a Blended Benchmark
    Your financial adviser should be able to help you accurately mea sure the performance of your assets against an appropriate benchmark. Remember, you are paying the manager a fee to manage your assets, so the fund should make more money using an active money manager than you would make using a passive index account.

    In order to assess how your manager is doing, each type of investment should be measured against an appropriate benchmark. Your large capitalization U.S. stock investments should be measured against the S&P 500 index, for example. To make matters more confusing, there are actually several versions of the S&P index, including those with dividends and those without dividends, among other variations. Work with your adviser to make sure you are using the right benchmark.

    It is also possible for many advisers to create a “blended benchmark” that reflects that same percentage allocation as your portfolio. For example, if your portfolio has 60 percent U.S. large- capitalization equities and 40 percent municipal bonds, you can have a blended benchmark of two indices in the same ratio and use that to judge the performance of your account. This is easier to do if you have separately managed accounts than if you have mutual funds.

    If you are investing in mutual funds, each will be measured against an index; your job will be to mea sure the performance of your total portfolio correctly. Ask your adviser for options.

    Your Investment Policy Statement
    Once you have set your investment philosophy, asset allocation, and quality standards, you can put all these elements together into an investment policy statement that you can give to your financial adviser. Most family offices and most institutions, like pension funds, provide their own policy statements to their investment advisers. There is no standard form for these statements, but there are certain elements common to all of them. Creating a written document that contains all these elements will make your intentions clear and will ensure that there are no misunderstandings between you and the people who manage your money.

    To give you an idea of what an investmentpolicy statement might look like, let’s create a hypothetical example for a woman we’ll call Susan Smith, a forty- five- year- old professional who works as a corporate marketing executive and lives in California.

    After taking care of her liquidity needs and fully funding her retirement accounts, Susan wants to grow her wealth, so she has decided to create an investment portfolio that she plans to leave untouched until retirement. She has seventy- five thousand dollars to invest today and, based on her bud get, can contribute a good chunk of her bonus each year, so she plans to add another twenty thousand dollars annually.

    Susan cares deeply about environmental causes and travels frequently, so she is interested both in socially responsible investments and in international stocks, particularly those from Asian countries.

    She realizes that she does not have a very high risk tolerance, however, so she wants a fairly stable and conservative portfolio. Her investment policy statement might look something like the one on the following page. 

    This document describes the investment policy for my personal investment portfolio.

    Initial investment amount: $75,000.
    Tax status: This is a taxable account.
    State tax: I am a California resident.
    Structure: This portfolio is part of my revocable living trust.
    Purpose: The purpose of this portfolio is to create wealth that I can live on in retirement.
    Percentage of my liquid assets: This portfolio is 50 percent of my liquid assets.
    Percentage of my total assets: The portfolio is 30 percent of my total assets.
    Ultimate distribution: I plan to pass on any money I don’t use to my sister’s children and my alma mater.
    Time horizon: I expect to invest this portfolio for the next fifteen years, or until retirement, whichever is later.
    Liquidity requirements: I do not require any current income from this portfolio. I will use this money in retirement. I amkeeping cash in other portfolios.
    Liquidationof investments: I want only investments that can be sold every day. I don’t want locked- up investments.
    Diversification: No one fund should be more than 5 percent of the portfolio.
    Risk tolerance: I am a low- risk investor. I would like to limit the possibility of investment losses. However, I want some equities and commodities so the portfolio will grow.
    Style preference: Although I know my investments should comprise a variety of styles, I am a growth investor and I prefer to invest 60 percent of my U.S. equities allocation in growth companies and 40 percent in value oriented companies.
    Values: I do not want this portfolio invested in the traditional “sin” stocks. Do not invest in alcohol, tobacco, gaming, or military contractors.
    Interests: I am interested in socially responsible investments, international investing— especially Asian equities— and clean technology. I like commodities, including gold.
    Avoid: I don’t want real estate funds, as I own two buildings and have enough real estate in my net worth. I don’t want hedge funds.

    Asset allocation:
    Cash 10%
    Municipal Bonds 50%
    U.S. Large Cap Growth Equities 8%
    U.S. Value Equities 6%
    U.S. Small Cap Equities 1%
    International Equities 10%
    Socially Responsible Equities 5%
    Commodities 10%

    Rebalancing: I would like to rebalance the account at least once a year to maintain the asset allocation, unless we discuss otherwise.
    Investment vehicles: Use mutual funds and ETFs for the investments.
    Quality standards: No mutual fund should have fewer than three stars from Morningstar unless I give specific written permission to the adviser for an exception. I want funds to have a ten- year track record with the same team of investment professionals. I do not want to invest in any fund or ETF that has less than $500 million in assets, unless I give specific written permission to the adviser for an exception.
    Position size: No one fund should comprise more than 5 percent of the
    Duplication: Please analyze funds to the best of your ability to make sure
    that there is not a great deal of duplication in the underlying securities.
    Performance reporting: I want to see each fund or ETF compared to the appropriate
    benchmark. I also want a blended benchmark that I can use to monitor the results of the total portfolio.
    Informationaccess: I want online access to my portfolio, as well as statements in PDF format emailed to me each month.
    Communication with adviser: I expect to speak to my adviser at least once a month. During a crisis, I want to be able to reach my adviser every day if necessary. I will be the one communicating with my adviser.

    These instructions shall remain in effect until I submit written modification of them.

    Structures to Hold Investments
    In addition to choosing investments, family offices make sure that the right legal structures are used to hold assets, given the family’s tax and estate planning situation. Sometimes an LLC is the right answer; other times, a family limited partnership makes better sense.

    Even if you are single, it is still critical to hold your assets in the right form, which may be a Revocable Living Trust, which we explain next.

    The key point is this: don’t assume that having investment accounts in your own name is the best way to hold your assets. The choice of vehicle and which state to hold the vehicle are critical.

    Some states, such as Alaska, Delaware, and South Dakota, have progressive trust laws. You do not need to be a resident of these states to have a trust that isdomiciled in the state Consult a good trust and estate planning attorney andconsider your options.

    Now check out the website that helps you find out if your broker is wasting your money > 

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    roman abramovich life

    Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich is worth $12.1 billion. That makes him the 68th richest person in the world, according to Forbes.

    He made his fortune as the main owner of private investment company Millhouse LLC, and he's known outside Russia as the owner of the Chelsea Football Club, an English Premier League football team.

    Abramovich was orphaned as a child. He went to public schools and was an average student.

    But today has one of the most fabulous lives in the world. From his gorgeous girlfriend and palatial home to his massive security staff and celebrity-studded parties, you'll hate him by the time you finish reading this.

    Abramovich is the owner of Chelsea Football Club, one of the top soccer teams in the world.

    Source: The Independent

    His frenemy is fellow oligarch Boris Berezovsky. The two bought a controlling stake in an oil company, now they're battling over $6.5 billion in court.

    Source: The Guardian

    Abramovich has a security staff of 40 people, which reportedly costs him $2 million a year.

    Source: The Daily Mail

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Peter Thiel

    Through notes from Peter Thiel's CS183: Startup class at Stanford University, we have a unique window into the mind of the venture capitalist and hedge fund manager. He's fascinated with human nature, and integrates what he learned from his former career as a chess master into his lectures. 

    Chess is a contained universe: there are only 32 pieces on the board and 64 squares those pieces can occupy. But starting up a company takes much more than raw intellectual ability; it requires what Thiel calls "The Mechanics of Mafia," or the understanding of complex human dynamics. Linking the two worlds is Thiel's passion. Here are some of the chess concepts he highlighted in his class, thanks to notes from one of his former students, Blake Masters

    Know the relative value of your pieces: 

    In chess, the queen is the most valuable piece on the board. In the standard valuation system, it is given a 9, whereas the rook (5), bishop (3), knight (3), and pawn (1) are lower. In his lecture Value Systems, Thiel mentions Guy Kawasaki’s equation on how to assess the value of a company based on the types of people you have:

    Pre-money valuation = ($1M x Number of Engineers) – ($500k x Number of MBAs).

    So engineers are more valuable pieces than MBAs.

    From his lecture If You Build It, Will They Come? Thiel points out that within any group, there is a wide range of talent. This goes for engineering as much as it goes for sales. “Engineering is transparent … It is fairly easy to evaluate how good someone is. Are they a good coder? An ubercoder? Things are different with sales. Sales isn’t very transparent at all. We are tempted to lump all salespeople in with vacuum cleaner salesmen, but really there is a whole set of gradations. There are amateurs, mediocrities, experts, masters, and even grandmasters.”

    “But if you don’t believe that sales grandmasters exist, you haven’t met Elon [Musk]. He managed to get $500m in government grants for building rockets, which is SpaceX, and also for building electric cars, which is done by his other company, Tesla.”

    The take-away lesson: Just like with chess pieces, people are not of equal value when it comes to your organization. You must be able to accurately assess their value. And within any field there are amateurs, mediocrities, experts, masters, and grandmasters.

    Know how your pieces work best together: 

    In his lecture The Mechanics of Mafia Thiel discusses two personality types: “nerds” and “athletes.”  “Engineers and STEM people tend to be highly intelligent, good at problem solving, and naturally non zero-sum. Athletes tend to be highly-motivated fighters; you only win if the other guy loses.” A company made up of only athletes will be biased toward competing. A company made up of only nerds will ignore the situations where you have to fight. “So you have to strike the right balance between nerds and athletes.”

    The take-away lesson: You need some athletes to protect your nerds when it’s time to fight.

    Know the phases of the game and have a plan:

    In chess, there are three phases: the opening, the middle game and the end game.

    From his lecture Value Systems Thiel notes: “People often talk about ‘first mover advantage.’ But focusing on that may be problematic; you might move first then fade away. The danger there is that you simply aren’t around to succeed, even if you do end up creating value. More important than being the first mover is the last mover. You have to be durable. In this one particular at least, business is like chess.  Grandmaster Jose Raul Capablanca put it very well: to succeed ‘you must study the endgame before anything else.’”

    From his lecture War and Peace: “A good intermediate lesson in chess is that even a bad plan is better than no plan at all. Having no plan is chaotic. And yet people default to no plan.”

    Take away lesson: Moving first isn’t always an advantage. Think about poker. If you’re the last to bet, you have the most information. The endgame is where the most decisive moves are made. Study it and make sure you’re around at the right time to make your move. Have a plan.

    Talent matters; there is more to success than luck: 

    In chess, talent clearly matters. In business and life, both talent and luck matter.

    From his lecture You Are Not A Lottery Ticket, Thiel said that “when we know that someone successful is skilled, we tend to discount that or not talk about it. There’s always a large role for luck. No one is allowed to show how he actually controlled everything.”

    In his lecture If You Build It, Will They Come? Thiel explained that "since the best people tend to make the best companies, the founders or one or two key senior people at any multimillion-dollar company should probably spend between 25 percent and 33 percent of their time identifying and attracting talent.”

    Take away lesson: Some people hold more value and control more resources than you realize. Invest your time in finding those talented people for your organization.

    Chess is a brutal mental game. So is life. Make your moves carefully. 

    According to chess grandmaster Danny King's interview with 60 Minutes, “Chess is a really brutal game. I think because it’s so contained. It’s all going on in the head. And if you lose to your opponent, you feel stupid. You can call someone all the names under the sun, but if you call someone stupid, that’s the worst thing you can say to another human being. And that’s a bit what it feels like when you lose a game of chess. It’s all intellectual.”

    Take away lesson: In the words of King: “You can’t take your moves back. Once you play your move you could be stepping into some horrible trap.”

    © 2012 by Jonathan Wai

    You can follow me on TwitterFacebook, or G+. Read my Psychology Today blog Finding the Next Einstein: Why Smart is Relative here.

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    amanda hearst

    These dashing youths are not only attractive, but as the children of the world's wealthiest people, they are also devastatingly rich.

    Having billionaire parents has its perks, from $60 million weddings to private yachts.

    But while some of these heirs have become famous in their own rights as models and businessmen, others have have stayed out of the spotlight, focusing on charity or private work.

    Sofia Barclay, granddaughter of media and real estate entrepreneur Sir David Barclay

    Sir David Barclay, #358 on the Forbes list, is worth $3.2 billion

    Sofia Barclay, 23, is the granddaughter of David Barclay, media and real estate tycoon, estimated to be worth a combined $3.2 billion with her twin brother Frederick.

    This beautiful heiress splits her time between London and New York City and attended Westminster School in London.

    Sofia has said that she has always wanted to be an actress and has attempted to pursue her career in New York City.  Considering her beauty and familial wealth, she should not have much of a problem.

    Isha Ambani, daughter of oil mogul Mukesh Ambani

    Mukesh Ambani, #19 on the Forbes list, is worth $22.3 billion

    The 20-year-old is currently a Sophomore at Yale and the only daughter of Mukesh Ambani, an oil tycoon and India's richest man.

    At 16, Forbes put Isha at number 2 on their list of heiresses, noting that by then she already had an $80 million share in her father's company, Reliance Industries.

    Isha has now grown out of the braces and glasses of her teens and is not only an accomplished pianist, but a student leader in New Haven.

    Sam Branson, son of Virgin mogul Richard Branson

    Richard Branson, #255 on the Forbes list, is worth $4.2 billion

    The son of Virgin mogul Richard Branson could very well pose as a double for his father, but he does far more than hide in Sir Richard's shadow.

    Sam, 26, who graduated from St. Edwards in Oxford, has expressed an interest in becoming a documentary filmmaker and has mostly shied away from the public. However, the young heir is a known friend of Prince Harry.

    A few years ago, Sam spent three months trekking across the Arctic and recently set up his own production company.

    It is no surprise that the Virgin heir is frequently listed as one of Britain's most eligible bachelors.  

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    India Money

    In the past few years a new word has appeared in India to describe the new mega-rich — "Bollygarchs".

    These Indian business-owners have become a new, distinct class of the international elite. But can they keep hold of their wealth?

    The Indian stock market tanked in 2011, dropping 40% amidst poor performances by the manufacturing and farming sectors. The booming Indian economic growth slowed, fourth quarter figures dropping to their lowest numbers in nine years (5.3%), and 2012 isn't looking much better either.  

    As if that weren't bad enough, India's mega-rich have found themselves ensnarled in scandals, two of last years billionaires even finding themselves behind bars on charges connected to the 2G spectrum scandal.  

    We've taken a look at the 15 richest Indians here, and had a look at their chances for the future.

    NOTE: All figures are accurate as of March 2012, sourced from Forbes. The previous years reported worth are from Forbes' March 2011 list

    #15 Anil Agarwal

    Estimated Net Worth: $3.4 billion ($6.4 billion in 2011)

    Residence: London, UK

    Source of Wealth: Founder of Vedanta Resources, a global metal and mining company listed on the London Stock Exchange.

    A good year? Since last year, Agarwal's wealth has dropped substantially in line with the Indian stock market. Shares of Vedanta have lost more than half of their value since July 1st, 2011, dropping from 2,107 to lower than 900 per share.

    Source: Forbes

    #14 Micky Jagtiani

    Estimated Net Worth: $3.8 billion ($3 billion in 2011)

    Residence: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Source of Wealth: Owner and founder of Landmark Group, one of the largest retail companies in India and the Middle East with 1,088 outlets worldwide.

    A good year? Bucking the trend of many of the others on this list, Jagtiani's wealth increased from last year as Landmark's revenue continued its steady rise

    Source: Forbes

    #13 Uday Kotak

    Estimated Net Worth: $4.1 billion ($3.2 billion in 2011)

    Residence: Mumbai, India

    Source of Wealth: Kotak holds the title as India's first billionaire banker, starting out with a small firm in 1985 to create Kotak Mahindra Bank, with 335 branches and 2.7 million customers.

    A good year? Kotak owns 46% of the financial service firm, whose net income, dividends, and earnings per share continue to grow.  

    Source: Forbes

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Mark Cuban Cigar

    Bloomberg Markets magazine asked six billionaires to give their input on what stocks/sectors might outperform in the next 12 months.

    Some of the billionaires think the average investor should avoid the market, while others name specific stocks and sectors they think will pay off.  

    We've compiled their tips and insight in the slides that follow.  


    Mark Cuban says you should pay off debt and use the Internet to get the best bargains on household items.

    Mark Cuban, who has made his billions from the sale of and he currently owns the Dallas Mavericks, thinks people should pay of all their debt. 

    He also thinks that the average investor should invest in everyday items that save money and make life easier.  

    That means keeping your money out of the stock market until you have better information.  He believes that the stock market is rigged by professional investors and that by avoiding it, you'll save yourself stress and time.  

    By investing in yourself and your home, you'll be fully responsible for how your investments perform.  

    Source: Bloomberg Markets

    Denis O'Brien says to invest in telecommunications companies companies that have access to emerging markets.

    Denis O'Brien, who is the sole owner of the Jamaican telecommunications company Digicel Group, is a telecommunications guru. 

    He says that Vodafone is one of the best available stocks and has valuable access to emerging markets, along with a solid 5% dividend.  

    He also believes that Vodafone has a versatile platform for all technologies and that it may soon be able to charge companies like Google and Facebook for access.  

    Other telecommunications companies that he thinks are undervalued include Milicom International Cellular SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd.    

    Source: Bloomberg Markets

    Vikas Oberoi says to invest in companies with strong cash flows and innovative stocks like Samsung and Apple.

    Vikras Oberoi, the primary owner of Mumbai based Oberoi Realty, says he likes Apple and Samsung.

    He thinks well managed companies with solid cash flows will outperform the general markets.

    Source: Bloomberg Markets

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Romney Hampton fundraiser

    New York’s rich and super-rich convened in the Hamptons on Sunday for a trio of fundraisers for Mitt Romney, expected to bring in as much as $4 million. And the well-heeled donors did little to avoid looking like, well, moneyed attendees paying for exclusive access to the Republican candidate.

    While a group of Occupy Wall Street protesters assembled in the area, the Porsches, Range Rovers and BMWs streamed in. Here are some of the best quotes from the events.

    A gem from the Los Angeles Times:

    A New York City donor a few cars back, who also would not give her name, said Romney needed to do a better job connecting. “I don’t think the common person is getting it,” she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits. “Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.

    “We’ve got the message,” she added. “But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.”

    Peter Cohen, the former Shearson Lehman Bros. chief, told the Associated Press — while chewing on a cigar — that Romney is a “plain-talking guy.”

    Ted Conklin, who owns the American Hotel in Sag Harbor, told the New York Times that Obama is a “socialist.”

    “His idea is find a problem that doesn’t exist and get government to intervene,” Conklin added, his wife, Carol Simmons, nodding beside him in their gold Mercedes.

    But wait, there’s more. From the Times:

    Ms. Simmons paused to highlight what she said was her husband’s generous spirit: “Tell them who’s on your yacht this weekend! Tell him!”

    Over Mr. Conklin’s objections, Ms. Simmons disclosed that a major executive from Miramax, the movie company, was on the 75-foot yacht, because, she said, there were no rooms left at the hotel.

    Romney, for his part, said at the fundraiser that he is focused on everyday voters. “If you are here, by and large, you are doing just fine,” Romney said, according to the Times. “I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about those here. I spend a lot of time worrying about those that are poor and those in the middle class that are finding it hard to make a bright future for themselves.”

    Romney’s first fundraiser was held at the home of Revlon chairman Ronald O. Perelman. The next was held at the home of Clifford Sobel, former U.S. ambassador to Brazil. And finally, Romney held an event at David Koch’s home. While the protests might have been rather mild, they did hire a local pilot to fly with a black and red banner that read: “Romney has a Koch problem.”

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    david murdock

    Oracle CEO Larry Ellison made waves last month when he purchased Lanai, a 141-square-mile Hawaiian island once known for its pineapple plantations.

    But Ellison's $600 million (or so) purchase, which is slated to close this week, is only part of the story. David Murdock, the man who sold the island to Ellison is a major businessmanand eccentric characterin his own right.

    Murdock, 89, took over the company that owned fruit and vegetable producer Dole in 1985, and turned it into a moneymaker. As part of that deal he also acquired Lanai, which was at one time the world's largest pineapple plantation.

    Murdock, worth an estimated $2.7 billion, also owns homes in North Carolina and Southern California, and a private jet to shuttle among them all.

    But perhaps the most interesting thing about the billionaire is his quest to live to the age of 125.

    It's not just a passing interest, either. Murdock has poured some $500 million of his own money into a science center in North Carolina that's "dedicated to his conviction that plants, eaten in copious quantities and the right variety, hold the promise of optimal health and maximal life span," according to Frank Bruni's profile of him in the New York Times last year.

    Murdock became obsessed with health after he lost his third wife to cancer at the age of 43.

    Here are just a few of the things he does in his race to outpace death, according to Bruni's profile:

    • "He crams as many as 20 [fruits and vegetables], including pulverized banana peels and the ground-up rinds of oranges, into the smoothies he drinks two to three times a day, to keep his body brimming with fiber and vitamins."

    • "He eats plenty of seafood, egg whites, beans and nuts to compensate for his avoidance of dairy, red meat and poultry, which are consigned to a list of forbidden foods that also includes alcohol, sugar and salt."

    • "He tries to fit in weight lifting several times a week, and that, combined with brisk walks on a treadmill and his diet, helps keep his weight at about 140 pounds, though he has always been naturally slender, even when he ate what he pleased."

    • "In restaurants Murdock will push the butter dish toward the server and say, 'Take the death off the table.'"

    • "When he had that sore throat, he didn’t suck on a lozenge or swallow aspirin. When he has had precancerous growths removed from his face, he has passed on anesthetics. 'I just turned my brain on and said, ‘Cut!’' he said. 'Of course it hurt. But I controlled that.'"

    Now tour the island Murdock just sold to Larry Ellison for around $600 million >

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    Hans and Eva Rausing

    As British officers climbed the stairs of billionaire Hans Kristian Rausing's five story townhouse in Chelsea, London, they may have expected to discover some illegal drugs.

    After all, Rausing and his wife, Eva Rausing, originally met in a drug rehabilitation center and admitted in 2008 to possessing a large amount of cocaine, and smaller amounts of crack-cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, according to the Telegraph.

    They probably didn't expect to find Eva's lifeless body behind one of the bedroom doors however.

    In what authorities are calling an "unexplained" death, it appears Eva may have overdosed. Hans Rausing, the billionaire heir to the Tetra Pak fortune, was already in custody for drug possession when he was charged in connection with his wives death, according to the Telegraph

    Rausing's family is worth an estimated £4.5 billion ($6.9 billion), according to the Sunday Time's Richest List, and Eva, daughter of a Pepsi executive, was quite wealthy as well. The couple were deeply involved in philanthropy efforts and owned homes in Barbados and Hilton Head, South Carolina besides their west London home where the body was discovered. 

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