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The latest news on Billionaires from Business Insider
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    jeff bezos

    • Billionaires typically can afford to spend $80 million a year, while most Americans earn less than $60,000.
    • While some billionaires live below their means, many spend their billions on real estate, private jets, yachts, and cars.
    • Despite their lavish indulgences, many billionaires also donate billions to charity.

    It's hard to fathom life as a billionaire

    Business Insider previously calculated that the typical billionaire can afford to spend $80 million a year, while most Americans earn less than $60,000. And for the world's richest billionaire, Jeff Bezos, who has an estimated net worth of $156 billion, spending $88,000 is similar to an average American spending $1.

    Where does one even begin to drop such billions?

    While some remain somewhat frugal, such as Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg, others are known to drop money on more lavish items. A sprawling real estate portfolio is a staple for billionaires, as is lavish means of personal transportation — think private jets, colossal yachts, and expensive cars.

    But while many billionaires are known to indulge, they're also known for their philanthropic efforts and donating billions to charity.

    See how billionaires spend their billions.

    SEE ALSO: Bill Gates is worth $95 billion and he plans to give most of it away — here's how he spends his money now, from a luxury car collection to incredible real estate

    DON'T MISS: The rich keep getting richer — here are the billionaires who made the most billions in a single year

    Billionaires are often on the go — many buy a private jet to makes the jet set lifestyle that much easier.



    Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, owns a $65 million Gulfstream G650ER private jet.

    Source:Business Insider



    Businessman Mark Cuban also owns a Gulfstream jet — he purchased a Gulfstream V for $40 million, the Guinness World Record for the biggest purchase ever conducted over the internet.

    Source:Business Insider



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    oprah winfrey

    • Oprah Winfrey's net worth is $2.9 billion, according to Forbes.
    • She spends her fortune on property across the globe, a private jet, vacations for her friends and staff, and investments in health and wellness-oriented companies.
    • Winfrey also donates time and money to a variety of philanthropic causes.

    Oprah Winfrey came from humble beginnings— now she's worth $2.9 billion, according to Forbes.

    So what exactly does she do with all that cash?

    We took a look at Winfrey's spending habits over the last few decades, and learned that she's got property across the globe and a private jet — but she also supports a range of philanthropic causes. And she's been known to take her friends and staff on lavish vacations, including "glamping" in Yosemite and a 10-day cruise.

    Find out more about how Winfrey spends her money:

    SEE ALSO: The life and career of Oprah Winfrey, who was nominated for an Oscar and lives in a $52 million estate nicknamed 'The Promised Land'

    Oprah Winfrey is a media mogul, a philanthropist, and an actress.



    Her current net worth is $2.9 billion, according to Forbes.

    Source: Forbes



    Winfrey spends her fortune many ways, purchasing real estate across the globe, investing in businesses, and supporting philanthropic causes.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    warren buffet

    Forbes Magazine just came out with it's list of the top billionaires in the U.S. 

    We narrowed the list down to look at the most successful people in finance, which includes investments, trading, hedge funds and money management. 

    Read on to see the 10 wealthiest people in finance. 

     

    10. Philip Anschutz

    Net worth: $11.3 billion 

    Age: 78

    Country: US

    Industry: Diversified investments

    Source of wealth: Self-made

    Reclusive billionaire Philip Anschutz has built a fortune across oil, railroads, real estate, sports and entertainment. 

    Anschutz also owns the NHL's King team and part of the Lakers' basketball franchise. 

    He's trying to build the world's biggest wind farm in Wyoming. 



    9. David Tepper

    Net worth: $11.6 billion 

    Age: 61

    Country: United States 

    Industry: Hedge funds 

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Appaloosa Management 

    Tepper founded his hedge fund, Appaloosa Management in 1993, and now manages $15 billion. 

    Tepper bought the NFL's Carolina Panthers professional football team for $2.3 billion earlier this year. 

    In September, Tepper said that his firm had reduced its holdings of US stocks.

    "If you ask me what inning we're in, I think it's a late-innings game," Tepper, who manages about $14 billion in assets, told CNBC of the nine-year bull market in stocks.

    Appaloosa in May disclosed it had sold its entire stake in Apple, which had previously made up more than 7% of its portfolio. 

    The fund is also pushing for change at pharma company Allergan. 



    8. Steve Cohen

    Net worth: $13 billion 

    Age: 62

    Country: US

    Industry: Hedge funds

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Point72 Asset Management 

    Steve Cohen for years ran SAC Capital, one of the most successful hedge funds ever. Cohen was forced to shut down SAC after the firm pleaded guilty to insider trading charges. He launched Point72 Asset Management and started taking outside capital in 2018 after running it previously as a family office. He now manages $13 billion.

    Earlier this year, a female employee, Lauren Bonner, filed a lawsuit alleging widespread gender discrimination at the fund, including stark wage discrepancies between men and women for the same work. Doug Haynes, the firm's former president and a former McKinsey executive who was named in the suit, left soon after. Bonner's lawsuit was dismissed in federal court last week, and will now be arbitrated. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    warren buffett

    • Warren Buffett's estimated net worth is $88.3 billion.
    • But you wouldn't know the investor is America's third-richest man by his frugal lifestyle.
    • Buffett lives modestly and is one of the world's most generous philanthropists, opting to give away most of his billions to charity.

    Warren Buffett, America's third-richest man, has increased his net worth by around $10 billion in the past year, according to the Forbes 400, which was released on Wednesday. But what else would you expect from the "Oracle of Omaha," who began building his wealth at age 11? 

    Now 88, Buffett's estimated net worth stands at $88.3 billion — but you wouldn't know it by Buffett's frugal ways.

    Still living in the house he bought in the 1950s and driving an equally modest car, Buffett prefers to keep and grow his money rather than take it out of the bank. Not one for lavish purchases, he spends relatively little of his billions — except when it comes to philanthropy. 

    Buffett is regarded as one of the most generous philanthropists in the world, having donated more than $46 billion since 2000.

    However he uses his money, not much is spent on himself. See how Buffett spends — or doesn't spend — his billions.

    SEE ALSO: 24 mind-blowing facts about Warren Buffett and his $87 billion fortune

    DON'T MISS: Bill Gates is worth $95 billion and he plans to give most of it away — here's how he spends his money now, from a luxury car collection to incredible real estate

    Warren Buffett has a net worth of $88.3 billion, making him the world's third richest person.

    Source: Forbes



    He began building his wealth by investing in the stock market at age 11 and currently runs Berkshire Hathaway — but you wouldn't know he's a billionaire by the way he spends his money.

    Source:Forbes



    He previously told CNBC and Yahoo Finance's "Off the Cuff" that he's "never had any great desire to have multiple houses and all kinds of things and multiple cars."

    Source:CNBC



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    space travel virgin galactic

    • The world's ultra-wealthy spend money on things that most people can't even fathom buying.
    • One tech billionaire bought his own Hawaiian island, and a hedge fund manager spent at least $8 million on a 14-foot preserved shark.
    • From private islands to dinosaur fossils and tickets to outer space, here are 10 things you'd only buy if you had more money than you'd ever need.

     

    When you have more money than you know what to do with, it might not seem like a big deal to spend $8 million on a preserved shark, $2.2 million on a gold bathtub, or millions more on luxurious superyachts and private islands.

    Business Insider previously calculated that the typical billionaire can afford to spend $80 million a year.

    Here are 10 outrageously expensive things millionaires and billionaires spend their money on.

    SEE ALSO: This $446 million mansion in Hong Kong could break the record as the most expensive home ever sold in the world's most expensive housing market — and it's surprisingly modest

    1. Tickets to outer space



    Celebrities Ashton Kutcher and Katy Perry are among those who have reportedly bought tickets for a space tour aboard Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic spacecraft.

    Source: Business Insider



    Kutcher put down a $20,000 deposit for his $200,000 ticket in 2012.

    Source: Business Insider



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    richard branson

    • Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has an estimated net worth of $5 billion.
    • When he spends his money indulgently, it's only to make money in return — like renting out real estate he owns, such as Necker Island.
    • In fact, Branson once said in an interview that he's "embarrassed" by displays of wealth, like leaving large tips and buying things for "pure luxury."
    • A member of the Giving Pledge, Branson would rather spend his money on philanthropy.

    Nearly 50 years after dropping out of high school at age 15 and founding his first business, Sir Richard Branson is now the billionaire chair of the Virgin Group, which brings in more than $21 billion annually in global revenue.

    Having overseen approximately 500 companies, Branson, who is known for his charisma and eccentric behaviors, has an estimated net worth of $5 billion.

    Ever the savvy businessman, Branson has spent some of his billions indulgently, but only to make money in return — like renting out real estate he owns (think Necker Island). When it comes down to it, Branson is rather frugal, opting not to own objects of pure luxury. He also donates much of his time and money to philanthropic efforts.

    Below, see how the eccentric leader spends his billions.

    SEE ALSO: Warren Buffett is the world's third-richest man — see how the notoriously frugal billionaire spends his fortune

    DON'T MISS: Bill Gates is worth $95 billion and he plans to give most of it away — here's how he spends his money now, from a luxury car collection to incredible real estate

    Richard Branson launched his first business at age 15. In 1972, he founded Virgin Records and went on to launch the Virgin Group conglomerate. Through this, he's built an estimated $5 billion net worth.

    Source:Forbes, Business Insider



    Branson is well-known for his jet-setting adventures and eccentricity, such as dressing as a butterfly to run a marathon.

    Source: Business Insider



    Virgin Media, Virgin Australia, and Virgin Atlantic are some of the biggest companies under Virgin Group.

    Source:Financial Times



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    giorgio armani

    • Fashion designer Giorgio Armani is worth $8.8 billion, according to Forbes.
    • The 84-year-old has made his fortune not only in fashion, but also in accessories, perfumes, makeup, sportswear, interior design, real estate, restaurants, hotels, and even chocolate.
    • Armani owns a 213-foot luxury yacht and homes in Italy, the French Riviera, and the Caribbean island of Antigua.
    • Here's a look at how Armani makes and spends his billions.

     

    Giorgio Armani, the co-founder and sole owner of fashion house Armani, is worth $8.8 billion, according to Forbes

    His empire also spans industries that include accessories, perfume, makeup, interior design, real estate, restaurants, and hotels. The business mogul brought in $2.7 billion in revenue in 2017, according to Bloomberg, which looked at filings with Italy's business register.

    The 84-year-old spends part of his fortune on multiple private homes all over the world, from Italy to the South of France to the Caribbean island of Antigua. He also owns a 213-foot luxury superyacht. 

    Here's a look at what nearly $9 billion buys.

    SEE ALSO: The 25 richest people in fashion

    Giorgio Armani is one of the richest people in the fashion industry, with a net worth of $8.8 billion.

    Source: Forbes



    Armani was born in the northern Italian town of Piacenza in 1934 and later attended medical school at Piacenza University for two years before leaving for his military service.

    Source: Bloomberg



    While on leave from the military, Armani got a job as a window dresser at Milan department store La Rinoscente, where he worked up to a buyer position, marking his first foray into fashion.

    Source: Bloomberg



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    roman abramovich

     

    Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, owner of the UK's Chelsea soccer team, is known for his mind-boggling collection of superyachts, luxury cars, private planes, and lavish homes around the world. 

    The Wall Street Journal once nicknamed his global collection of extravagant possessions "The Roman Empire."

    Once the richest man in Russia, Abramovich has amassed a vast personal fortune. The 51-year-old billionaire is the largest shareholder of Evraz, Russia's second-biggest steelmaker, and also owns stakes in the world's largest producer of refined nickel, according to Bloomberg.

    In 2008, Abramovich's wealth peaked at $23.5 billion, Forbes reported. Today, estimates for his net worth vary greatly, from $11.6 billion to $14.1 billion.

    Here's how Abramovich spends his billions.

    SEE ALSO: 10 things people buy when they have more money than they'd ever need

    DON'T MISS: Richard Branson is sitting on a $5 billion fortune but spent years cringing over displays of wealth — see how the eccentric billionaire likes to spend his money

    Roman Abramovich is a Russian billionaire with an estimated net worth between $11.6 billion and $14.1 billion.

    Source: Forbes, Bloomberg



    Once the richest man in Russia, Abramovich's net worth peaked in 2008 at $23.5 billion.

    Source: Forbes



    The 51-year-old billionaire became a high-profile figure in Britain after he acquired Chelsea Football Club in 2003.

    Source: Bloomberg



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    private plane jet luxury

    • Private jets are the choice mode of travel for billionaires, CEOs, celebrities, and world leaders.
    • These aircraft cost millions to hundreds of millions of dollars and often come with luxurious leather seats, full dining rooms, private bedrooms, and fine cuisine.
    • Here's what it's like to fly on a private plane.

     

    The preferred mode of travel for billionaires, CEOs, celebrities, and world leaders, the private jet can be seen as the epitome of luxury and wealth.

    Traditional commercial flying is an affordable service for the masses, but flying on a private jet is a very different world, Eric Roth, president of International Jet Interiors, told Business Insider.

    "Privacy, productivity, comfort, luxury and convenience are some of the major differences between flying private vs. commercial," Roth said. "You decide when you want to leave – YOU dictate the schedule — not the airlines. Chinese food for your flight from Teterboro to Van Nuys? No problem. Need to change your plans mid-flight and reroute to another city? OK."

    Private plane travel represents freedom for those who can afford it, he said.

    "Flying on a private jet can be the difference of being at three different cities for meetings and still returning home at a decent hour. Time is the one commodity that even money can not buy. A private jet is the best way to 'buy time,'" Roth said.

    Here's a look at what it's like flying on a private plane.

    SEE ALSO: Take a look inside 8 of the most luxurious private jets in the world

    DON'T MISS: 5 things you should know if you're flying private for the first time

    Flying on a private jet is a luxury form of travel usually associated with the ultra-wealthy, celebrities, business magnates, and world leaders.

    Source: Business Insider



    Private aviation didn't start becoming popular until the 1960s, after the first Learjet took flight in 1963.

    Source: Solairus



    In the 1970s, private planes were exactly as groovy as you'd expect.

    Source: Getty Images



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Mark Zuckerberg dinner table

    • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife have ponied up $1 million to support a statewide ballot measure that would soften penalties for drug possession.
    • Zuckerberg's investment in a ballot measure a long way from home is hardly unique.
    • This year, 25 American billionaires have invested more than $70.7 million for initiative campaigns in 19 states where they do not reside.

    There would appear to be no shortage of issues competing for Mark Zuckerberg's attention. Security breaches. Russian disinformation campaigns. Politicians' demands for more regulation.

    But the 34-year-old Facebook founder and CEO is also interested in a more local version of politics: He and wife Priscilla Chan have ponied up $1 million through their philanthropic Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative to support a statewide ballot measure that would soften penalties for drug possession. The constitutional amendment would also put savings from prison budgets into treatment for drug users.

    The measure wouldn't affect Zuckerberg's palace in Palo Alto, California, his 700-acre estate on the Hawaiian island of Kauai or another home he owns in San Francisco's hip Dolores Heights. This effort, dubbed Issue 1, is on the ballot in Ohio.

    Ana Zamora, criminal justice manager at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, said the charity is "pleased to support Ohioans in directing taxpayer dollars to rehabilitation, drug treatment, and education programs that are proven to improve public safety."

    Not all Ohioans are happy about the California billionaires' involvement. Louis Tobin, the executive director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, opposes the measure, arguing that fewer people will enter treatment without the threat of jail time.

    "We think setting criminal justice policy by constitutional amendment is a terrible idea, and I think what makes it even worse is that it's not being proposed by Ohioans. It's being driven by money from out of state," Tobin said. "We're going to have to live with the unintended consequences of this."

    Zuckerberg's investment in a ballot measure a long way from home is hardly unique. Liberal billionaire George Soros has given $5 million for issues on the ballot this fall around the country. California environmentalist Tom Steyer has spent $10 million.

    All told, this trio and 22 other American billionaires have invested more than $70.7 million for initiative campaigns this year in 19 states where they do not reside.

    Meanwhile, as little as $7.2 million has gone from their wallets and those of other billionaires to campaigns in their home states, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of state records.

    Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla ChanIn total, the $78 million tally from all 34 billionaires — local givers and out-of-state donors alike — may be pocket change to them, but it is more than 10% of the $648 million disclosed so far this year for statewide ballot measure campaigns, as tracked by the nonpartisan political encyclopedia Ballotpedia. And the total is likely an undercount of billionaires' influence on this year's ballot measures. It doesn't include gifts from billionaire-led corporations, nor from nonprofits where the billionaires are among a multitude of backers, nor from nonprofits whose donors' identities are unknown.

    As with Tobin and the prosecutors association in Ohio, the handouts from the wealthy to campaigns across state lines rankle some local opponents, even though no one questions their legality. Just who should decide issues in their states, they ask — the people who live there or some rich folks from out-of-state?

    Billionaire bigfooting

    "We believe strongly that a California billionaire coming into Arizona and spending $10 [million] to $20 million to cram this thing down our throats is problematic," said Matthew Benson, an opponent of a renewable energy measure in Arizona backed by billionaire investor Steyer, which would require utilities to get half their power from wind and solar sources by 2030.

    Other local activists say it's fine to have billionaires funding ballot initiatives, which let voters decide issues directly.

    "There's nothing illegal about this," said initiative expert and University of Florida professor Daniel Smith. "In some ways it's less corrupt than if they were making contributions to lawmakers or giving favors to lawmakers."

    Indeed, the Supreme Court ruled in 1981 that states cannot limit contributions to ballot measures partly because measures, unlike candidates, cannot be corrupted.

    Billionaires and ballot measures are not a new combination. Oil industry magnate John D. Rockefeller was behind a 1912 Colorado referendum campaign to eliminate an eight-hour-maximum workday for miners. California software developer Ron Unz funded a Colorado initiative in 2002 to ban bilingual education. Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has funded campaigns in California to hike cigarette and soda taxes.

    "The fact is that you need a lot of money to even get one of these campaigns off the ground," said Josh Altic, ballot measures project director for Ballotpedia, adding that the average cost for a campaign to get on the ballot in 2016 was more than $1 million. "It's not very unusual to have really rich individuals or financially influential corporations giving a lot of money."

    Cash from afar

    Two wealthy families who don't live in Florida gave millions to a ballot measure there this year. Five members of the billionaire Bonderman family — four children of private equity titan David Bonderman along with his wife, psychologist Laurie Michaels — contributed $3.2 million to the campaign for a measure that would restore voting rights to felons in the Sunshine State.

    In addition, hedge fund manager James Simons and his daughter Liz Simons gave a combined $1 million to the campaign.

    The Bondermans appear to be spread out among several states, none of them Florida. James and Liz Simons live in New York and California, respectively.

    james simonsKirk Bailey, the political director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, said donors are attracted to the initiative campaign because it's a long-term, citizen-led effort to support a decision that should be in the hands of voters, not politicians.

    "We're one of only four states that permanently disenfranchises those who have felony convictions from voting," Bailey said. "And it's a really antiquated law."

    At least $9 million of the Florida campaign's $16 million war chest came from major donors out of state. That includes the Simons, Bondermans and a few familiar faces from the Ohio measure.

    None of the billionaires who gave in Florida and Ohio agreed to comment.

    A lawyer affiliated with an informal campaign to defeat the issue, Richard Harrison, did not return multiple requests for comment. But he argued in an opinion piece in the Tampa Bay Times last year that the initiative would "operate without regard to the seriousness of the crime, the severity of harm to the victims, or any of the other factors that one might reasonably want to consider."

    Middlemen nonprofits

    Most of the billionaires contributed in their own names, although several spent it through nonprofits they founded. For example, Steyer's NextGen Climate Action, part of his NextGen America network, has spent roughly $10 million on two measures to boost renewable energy in Nevada and Arizona. NextGen has provided nearly all of the funding for the campaigns.

    "This is all a vanity project for him," said Benson, the spokesman for Arizonans for Affordable Electricity, which opposes the measure in his state. "His primary objective is to set himself up to run for president."

    Arizonans for Affordable Electricity is one of four groups opposing the measure, all of which are funded by Arizona utilities. Two of the utilities backing the other groups are subsidiaries of Canadian company Fortis.

    NextGen America spokeswoman Aleigha Cavalier said the group was pushing the state measures because the Trump administration thwarted its work at the federal level to fight climate change. She said the group reached out to state partners early on, and together they came up with the idea for the initiatives.

    Tom Steyer"The notion that this is just because Tom Steyer is running for president is a little absurd, to be honest. We've been doing this stuff for years," she said. "The whole point of doing a ballot initiative is so that the people have a say, not the wealthy individuals."

    Soros, who's garnered notoriety for his hefty donations to various liberal causes, gave more than $5 million to nine initiative campaigns in nine states this year through his politically active nonprofit, the Open Society Policy Center, according to Bill Vandenberg, who helps direct the Open Society Foundations' giving in the states.

    "We've taken an interest in places around the country where the issues reflect our long-standing priorities," Vandenberg said. "We see our involvement as a great way to help ensure that all voices in a community are heard, not just those of the rich and powerful."

    The Soros funding includes $400,000 to back a measure in Maine that would raise taxes to pay for in-home care for seniors.

    "We fully expect that we're going to be outspent by out-of-state money," said Newell Augur, a lobbyist for the Home Care and Hospice Alliance of Maine and the chairman of the group fighting the measure.

    Augur said he believes outsiders are pushing the initiative in Maine because the state requires relatively few signatures — roughly 61,000 — to put a measure on the ballot, allowing groups to easily test voters' appetite for a new policy.

    "We're a cheap date," he said.

    A spokesman for the Maine People's Alliance, which gathered signatures for the initiative, said the wealthy corporations opposing it have vested interests in the status quo.

    "This is a grassroots, Maine-based initiative," said spokesman Mike Tipping. "We're happy to get support from people and advocates across the country that support these issues."

    The Alliance received roughly half its funding for the measure campaign from out of state, but Tipping said the group has 32,000 local members and thousands of small-dollar donors.

    Texas billionaires John and Laura Arnold are backing four measures inColorado, Michigan, and Utah with more than $1.1 million from their Action Now Initiative. The measures would allow independent commissions to draw political districts instead of the states' legislatures.

    Action Now Initiative CEO Sam Mar said in a statement that the group is supporting grassroots initiatives. The measures have drawn little organized opposition, other than an unsuccessful effort in Michigan to persuade the courts to remove the initiative from the ballot.

    (Laura and John Arnold are donors to the Center for Public Integrity. Open Society Foundations, which Soros funds, and the Ford Foundation were previously donors to the Center. More details on our funders.)

    And this year California billionaire Henry Nicholas is continuing his quest to have every state pass crime victims' rights laws named after his murdered sister Marsy. He's already spent $45.1 million of his own money and his foundation's to push the Marsy's Law measure in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky,Nevada, and Oklahoma. The proposal is also on the ballot in North Carolina, but the campaign there has not yet recorded any contributions.

    His efforts in past years have already led to laws in five states. Nicholas and his foundation did not respond to a request for comment, but he is quoted on his foundation's website saying that Marsy's law would "provide for a more compassionate justice system for crime victims." Among other things, it would allow crime victims to be heard in court, notify them of all judicial proceedings, protect them from defendants, and provide restitution.

    The ACLU, which is opposing the measure in various states, has said that its provisions can undermine the presumption of innocence for defendants.

    Bucking the trend

    Not all billionaires gave to states far afield. Before his death on Monday, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen had pitched in to help the campaign for a gun control measure in his home state of Washington that would limit certain gun purchases to buyers who are at least 21 years old and undergo additional background checks, waiting periods, and safety training.

    "Initiative 1639 is a reasonable and necessary measure that will improve the safety of our schools and our communities, which is why I have contributed $1.2 million to the campaign," Allen said in an email to the Center for Public Integrity earlier this month.

    paul allenThe National Rifle Association and other opponents did not respond to requests for comment, but NRA Washington State Director Keely Hopkins called the initiative an "attack on every law-abiding citizen's constitutional rights" in a press release.

    Most of the billionaires gave to left-leaning causes, such as boosting renewable energy in Arizona or protecting salmon in Alaska. That's not surprising, said Ballotpedia's Altic, since the initiative process is most commonly used by the party out of power, and Republicans control both the legislatures and governors' mansions in 26 states.

    But at least two billionaires gave to conservative "no" campaigns this year.

    Trump donor and billionaire Los Angeles landlord Geoff Palmer gave $2 million to defeat California's Proposition 10, which would allow local governments to enact rent control measures.

    And Republican megadonor Richard Uihlein, who lives in Illinois, gave $10,000 to oppose a Massachusetts law up for a vote that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity in public venues.

    Neither conservative donor responded to requests for comment.

    Another billionaire, Boston-based investor Seth Klarman, gave $200,000 to the Massachusetts campaign to keep the anti-discrimination law.

    "All human beings deserve the same basic protections," Klarman said in an email. "I have faith that a majority of people share my belief, and will vote Yes on 3 to protect the rights of transgender people."

    In South Dakota, outsider money in ballot measures has so angered Speaker of the House Mark Mickelson that he penned his own initiative. The Republican is leading a campaign to ban out-of-state contributions to ballot measure efforts in his state, where politicians are still debating a 2016 measure backed by a national group that sought to tighten lobbying and campaign finance rules.

    The measure passed, but was overturned by the Legislature the following year. Now the same national group is behind a similar ballot campaign to again tighten ethics rules and create a new government accountability board — but this time in the form of a constitutional amendment, so that the Legislature can't repeal it.  

    "I'm sick and tired of liberal political groups and out-of-state businesses treating South Dakota like it's a political playground," Mickelson said. "My goal is to send all those people that don't live here a message: Go somewhere else."

    Critics have said his proposed ban on out-of-state funding is unconstitutional.

    "If they want to file and fight it in court, we'd be happy to see them there," Mickelson said. "But hopefully they just determine they can go screw around in Idaho or some other state."

    Local or not?

    For Zuckerberg, part of the motivation for getting involved in Ohio's Issue 1 may be rooted in his 30-state tour last year, which included a sit-down with a group of recovering heroin addicts in Dayton. Later in the tour, Zuckerberg spoke emotionally about the experience.

    "The biggest surprise by far has been the extent of the opioid issues," he said. "It is really saddening to see."

    Supporters of Issue 1 said the measure has the backing of a coalition of local groups wanting to solve local problems, not just the support of Zuckerberg and Chan.

    "This has been a three-year effort in Ohio started by faith leaders and community organizers and people who have just had enough of our incredibly high rates of incarceration and our incredibly high rates of addiction," said Amy Hanauer, the executive director of Policy Matters Ohio, a liberal think tank. "It's a homegrown effort."

    But a close look reveals a somewhat more complicated history.

    The measure got onto the ballot with the help of the national Alliance for Safety and Justice, a project of the liberal nonprofit Tides Center based in California that does not reveal its donors. The Alliance had previously spearheaded the passage of California's Proposition 47, which shrank many criminal charges from felonies to misdemeanors.

    In 2015, it approached the Ohio Justice and Policy Center, which was already working on shrinking Ohio's prison population, according to the Ohio group's deputy director Stephen JohnsonGrove.

    And Soros' Open Society Foundation gave more than $6 million in 2016 and 2017 to seven of the 26 nonprofits that make up the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, which also worked to get the measure on the ballot.

    The Collaborative members and partners have also taken in more than $10 million from the liberal, New York-based Ford Foundation since 2015.

    Once the Ohio measure was ready for the ballot, another $1 million came from a charity endowed by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife, Cari Tuna, who also live in California.

    All told, according to the Center for Public Integrity's analysis of state records, Ohio donors have given just 6% of donations to the committee supporting the ballot measure.

    SEE ALSO: Here's what handwriting analysts say about the signatures of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and 13 more successful people

    SEE ALSO: Trump helped mislead investors about his involvement in real estate projects — and made money when projects failed

    SEE ALSO: The 25 most generous philanthropists in America today

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Neiman Marcus Gift 8

    • Neiman Marcus' multimillion-dollar Christmas list is back, and it's more extravagant than ever. 
    • The "Fantasy Gifts" section offers billionaires and the ultra-wealthy the chance to buy one-of-a kind luxury items like custom art pieces, first-class travel experiences, and private yachts. 
    • See the most expensive gifts on the 2018 list. 

     

    Neiman Marcus' multimillion-dollar Christmas list is back, and it's more extravagant than ever. 

    The retailer has released its 2018 Christmas Book, an annual collection of suggested gifts from the luxury department store.

    One major highlight of the Christmas Book is its "Fantasy Gifts" section, which offers billionaires who have everything the chance to buy one-of-a-kind luxury items, travel packages, and experiences that cost thousands — and even millions — of dollars.

    Neiman Marcus is careful to highlight its philanthropic efforts alongside the decadence. Between $10,000 and $50,000 of every Fantasy Gift purchase is donated to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation, which funds art programs across the United States.

    See the most expensive gifts on the 2018 Fantasy Gifts list:

    SEE ALSO: We went shopping at one of New York City's most famous department stores as it prepares to close for good. Here's what it was like.

    A larger-than-life animal sculpture by Bjorn Okholm Skaarup

    Price: $200,000+

    Internationally acclaimed artist Bjorn Okholm Skaarup, whose work is on display in New York City's Lincoln Center, will cast a family pet or favorite animal in bronze. You'll fly to Florence, Italy, to spend time with the sculptor at his foundry, see his most famous works, and finalize the details of your custom sculpture. 



    Yours & mine ultimate clubhouses

    Price: $250,000 each

    The ultimate clubhouse includes two 10' by 12' backyard retreats by Studio Shed and Christina Simon of Mark Ashby Design. There are two houses: The Virtue House and The Vice House. 

    The Virtue House has a white exterior and is a space for self-care, alone time, reflection, meditation, pampering, and centering.

    The Vice House has a black exterior and a clubhouse feel, with cigars and a humidor provided by Cornelius & Anthony, cocktail glasses, vinyl records, and more.

     



    Collaborate with costume designer Colleen Atwood on a one-of-a-kind outfit inspired by "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald"

    Price: $300,000

    Spend the day collaborating with costume designer Colleen Atwood on a one-of-a-kind outfit inspired by "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald." The package includes lunch and a collaborative design session with Atwood, a costume fitting, and a photo op to commemorate the experience. 

    You will also receive an autographed movie poster, "Fantastic Beasts" wands from The Noble Collection, and a collection of three HarperCollins "Fantastic Beasts" movie tie-in books.



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    Bill Gates Jennifer Gates

    • Billionaire children have privileges many will never know.
    • Some spend their parents' money on college tuition and hobbies.
    • Others spend their fortunes a little more lavishly — think: world travels, yacht vacations, and designer clothes.

    Children of billionaires have access to a world that many can't even begin to fathom. 

    Some, like Jennifer Gates, daughter of Bill Gates, and Eve Jobs, daughter of the late Steve Jobs, use their fortunes to pursue their passions — like schooling (both went to Stanford) and competing as equestrians.

    Richard Branson's daughter, Holly Branson, takes after her dad and loves to spend her money on experiences and adventures rather than material objects.

    Others use their fortunes a little more lavishly — think: vacations around the world, exploring the seas via yachts, closets stocked with designer clothes, and partying it up in the city. Tiffany Trump and Alexa Dell both have a taste for finer fashion and seeing the world, while Larry Ellison's son David loves to get around in style, whether it's via jet or snowboard.

    Below, see some of the outrageous ways in which the children of billionaires spend their parents' billions.

    SEE ALSO: 16 heirs to some of America's best-known brands who are poised to inherit millions

    SEE ALSO: Bill Gates is worth $95 billion and he plans to give most of it away — here's how he spends his money now, from a luxury car collection to incredible real estate

    Jennifer Gates, daughter of Bill Gates, recently graduated from Stanford University, where undergraduate tuition costs $50,703 for the 2018-2019 school year.

    Instagram Embed:
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    Sources:Business Insider, Stanford



    Gates loves to travel. Her Instagram feed shows she's been everywhere from Lake Como, Italy, to Barcelona to Australia.

    Instagram Embed:
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    Source:Business Insider



    Sometimes, she even charters a yacht during her trips.

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    Bill Gates

    • Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates are some of the world's most famous entrepreneurs — and billionaires.
    • They also dropped out of college. One in eight billionaires on the Forbes 400 are college dropouts, according to a study by UK job site Adview.
    • However, experts suggest you stay in school. 

     

    Bill Gates is a college dropout worth $95 billion. Mark Zuckerberg, who also didn't graduate, is worth just under $70 billion.  

    Indeed, according to a study by UK job site Adview, one in eight of the Forbes 400, which are the 400 richest billionaires in the US, are college dropouts. They came to this conclusion by looking at the 362 billionaires with publicly available education information; 44 were dropouts.  

    That follows a similar analysis by Forbes. In 2017, they found that 16% of the billionaires on their list didn't have a bachelor's degree. 

    Quite a few wildly successful entrepreneurs managed to hit it big without a college degree — like Microsoft cofounder  Paul Allen, Dell founder Michael Dell, Apple cofounder  Steve Jobs, Oracle cofounder  Larry Ellison, Spotify cofounder  Daniel Ek, Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso, DropBox cofounder Arash Ferdowsi, to name a few.

    From that list, it seems like having the guts to eschew the typical path of a college education, and the average debt of $17,126 per graduate, coincides with hitting it big in the business world.

    Investor Peter Thiel apparently agrees; he launched an on-going program in 2011 that awards $100,000 to young entrepreneurs who want to drop out of school. The Thiel Fellowship website summarizes the dropout ethos by positioning college as an impediment rather than an area of growth: "College can be good for learning about what’s been done before, but it can also discourage you from doing something new."

    And after all, taking risks and not fearing failure are key traits for success. 

    Still, you should probably get a degree

    Experts really don't recommend you drop out of college.

    "There are always going to be the Jay-Zs of the world. There's going to be the Kobe Bryants. There's going to be the Mark Zuckerbergs, the people that drop out of college," Scott Galloway, professor of marketing at NYU Stern, previously told Business Insider

    "You should assume you're not that person and go to college," Galloway said.

    While quite a few successful entrepreneurs and billionaires did drop out, the vast majority have degrees. What's more is that those degrees are from prestigious colleges. Harvard, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania are the top three alma maters for American billionaires, totaling 326 billionaire alum. 

    Researchers Jonathan Wai and Heiner Rindermann found that 94% of US leaders, including top journalists, politicians, and CEOs, attended college. Half of them attended what they defined as an "elite school,"compared to 2-5% of the overall US population.

    Wai and Rindermann emphasized in a piece for The Conversation that few of these US leaders came from disadvantaged backgrounds. Meanwhile, many of the most famous college dropouts happen to be white men with highly-educated parents who could be safety nets.

    "Perhaps in the future, college may not be as important to employers," the researchers wrote. "But for now, college dropouts who rule the world are rare exceptions – not the rule."

    Take Thiel for example. While his fellowship provides an alternative to "sitting in a classroom," he's a graduate of Stanford University — and Stanford Law School. 

    SEE ALSO: Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are worth more than $100 billion — see how they spend it, from trapeze lessons to a 600-foot 'air yacht'

    DON'T MISS: College Greeks are known for high GPAs and making more money after graduating — but new research says it's not as straightforward as it seems

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    • GPA is one of the most important markers of success in school — but in the real world, that number has less of an effect on life achievement or wealth
    • Eric Barker, author of "Barking Up The Wrong Tree,says that becoming a millionaire or billionaire doesn't require an outstanding GPA or being class valedictorian. 
    • In fact, he says the average college GPA of American millionaires is 2.9. 
    • In the video above, Barker explains what impacts success more than GPA.

    The following is a transcript of the video.

    What we see is that the average GPA, college GPA of American millionaires is actually 2.9.

    So Karen Arnold did research at Boston College looking at the success levels of valedictorians. And, In general, high school valedictorians do well but they don't actually reach the highest level of success metrics. They don't become the billionaires. The people who run the world in general.

    And that's because what the research found was that school teaches you to comply with rules. So valedictorians often go on to be the people who support the system, they become a part of the system, they don't change the system or overthrow the system.

    And so what we see is that the average GPA, college GPA of American millionaires is actually 2.9. And while valedictorians generally score high in the personality trait of conscientiousness. What you see among the millionaires with their 2.9 GPAs is they're known for grit.

    Maybe they don't comply with rules that well but they stick with goals over the long term. And that how they do really well. And sometimes they don't play by the rules, sometimes they do things differently. Because in school rules are very clear in life rules are not so clear.

    So a certain amount of not playing by the rules is advantageous once you get out of a closed system like education.

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    utopia cruise ship

     

    For the ultra-wealthy, traveling the world is nothing new — but now they're bringing their luxurious homes along with them. 

    The richest people in the world can now buy permanent luxury apartments on Utopia, a 971-foot long cruise ship that will travel the world for months at a time and stop for global cultural and sporting events such as the Olympics, Wimbledon, and Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.

    The floating residences cost between $4.4 million and $36 million — and many of the largest apartments are already purchased, David Robb, founder and chairman of the Utopia project and Harvard Business School alum, told Business Insider. Utopia is set to launch in early 2019. 

    utopia cruise ship

    "We describe it as the largest private yacht in the world," Robb said. "Cruise ships are built to last approximately 25 to 30 years. We're building Utopia to a 100-year specification. There's nothing like that in the world."

    Utopia's luxury residences are designed to be comparable to luxury condos in major cities such as New York or London.

    Robb said the team went to great lengths to design open floor plan kitchens so that "someone with a beautiful apartment in New York would say, 'This kitchen looks just like what I have in my luxury apartment,'" he said. "[But] you can look out at the ocean. You can be preparing drinks while you're watching the islands go by outside. "

    utopia cruise ship

    The ship's 190 apartments come in a variety of sizes and floor plans, ranging from about 1,500 square feet up to 6,200 square feet. Every bedroom has an ocean view, Robb said.

    Robb noted that they told their naval architects that they wanted the ship to look "like a gorgeous luxury apartment in Central Park South."

    "It has to be elegant and timeless," he added. "We can't be chasing fads because this is going to last a long time. We also told the architects that if it looks like a cruise ship anywhere on the inside, they're all fired."

    Entertainment on board the Utopia will include a theater, a nightclub, jazz lounges, a casino, an art gallery, and a putting green. Residents will have plenty of ways to stay fit aboard the ship, including a walking track, a complete gym, multiple swimming pools and a multi-deck waterslide, paddle tennis, and fitness classes.

    utopia ship

    There will also be a luxury boutique hotel on board with 160 rooms so residents can invite in-laws, children, grandchildren, and other guests on board without having to invest in a larger apartment. 

    Robb said most of the buyers so far are business people and philanthropically-minded individuals, including artists and fine art collectors.

    "I think what [Utopia] does is attract people who want to find something unique that they wouldn't otherwise see in a normal travel experience," Robb said. "You can't buy experiences. They're going to places and doing it in a way they wouldn't otherwise."

    utopia cruise ship

    Utopia is being created by some of the same team that developed The World, a similar condo cruise ship launched in 2002 that only accepts buyers with at least $10 million in assets, according to Bloomberg. But Robb says Utopia has improved upon The World in terms of design, comfort, and economics for the residents.

    Robb said that with Utopia, they've provided "the ultimate answer"for people who want to see the world but don't want to abandon the luxuries and comforts of home.

    "That's kind of a revolutionary concept, traveling to remote parts of the world and having all of the infrastructure that you have at home," he said.

    Beyond its residential focus, Utopia sets itself apart from traditional cruise ships by traveling the globe in one direction instead of making round trips in and out of ports. The ship will also stay in one port for up to a week as opposed to most cruise ships that stop for fewer than 24 hours.

    "The most luxurious way to travel, I think, is to go into the heart of the country, to get out of the big cities and see what the countryside's like and how people really live," Robb said. "That's what we'll be able to do with this kind of itinerary, and that's unique."

    SEE ALSO: Outrageous photos show what flying on private jets is really like, from private bedrooms with plush bedding to exquisitely crafted meals served with Champagne

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    Jeff Bezos

    October was a rough month for billionaires in the tech sector, who saw their net worth plummet as stocks took a hammering. 

    According to Bloomberg data, the CEOs and founders of the most popular tech companies "FAANG+BAT" lost $61 billion in October.

    The tech-heavy Nasdaq index plunged 9.2%, posting its worst month since the financial crisis.

    And among the hardest hit were the "FAANG+BAT" stocks —  Facebook  (-7.7%)Apple (-3.1%), Amazon (-20.2%) Netflix (-19.3%), Google (-9.8%), Baidu (-16.9%), Alibaba (-13.6%) and Tencent (-14.1% in Hong Kong). 

    The list below provides details of the estimated net worth of some of tech's richest CEOs and founders:

    Reed Hastings — CEO and cofounder of Netflix

    Rank on Bloomberg Billionaire's Index: 463

    Net worth on October 31: $3.9 billion (-19% from $4.8 billion at the end of September)

    Holdings in Netflix: $1.7 billion

    Source: Bloomberg



    Robin Li — CEO and cofounder of Baidu

    Rank on Bloomberg Billionaire's Index: 82

    Net worth on October 31: $13.6 billion (-16% from $16.1 billion at the end of September)

    Holdings in Baidu: $13.4 billion

    Source: Bloomberg



    Laurene Powell Jobs — wife of the late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs

    Rank on Bloomberg Billionaire's Index: 35

    Net worth on October 31: $21 billion (-3% from $21.6 billion at the end of September)

    Holdings in Apple: $8.5 billion

    Source: Bloomberg



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    Beijing

    • According to the 2018 edition of UBS and the PwC's Billionaires Report, the number of billionaires in the world is very much on the rise.
    • There were 2,158 people to join the ultra-rich club last year, up from 1979 in 2016.
    • The total wealth among billionaires has also grown from 19% in 2017 to a record total of $8,900 billion.


    The number of billionaires in the world may already have been pretty impressive but it just keeps on growing.

    According to the 2018 edition of UBS and the PwC's Billionaires Report, there were 2,158 people to join the ultra-rich club last year, up from 1979 in 2016. Of these, only 11% are women.

    The total wealth among billionaires has also grown from 19% in 2017 to a record total of $8,900 billion. China's growth in wealth has been particularly impressive, with a rise of 39% recorded last year, against 12% on the whole of the American continent and 19% in Europe.

    Billionaires have on average just over $4.1 billion each. Of the 332 new businesses recorded in 2017, 119 are independent contractors, 89 of which are from China. Among these neo-billionaires, you can find "innovators involved in everything from blockchain and lending to genomics and green energy," according to the study.

    These are the 19 countries with the most billionaires in the world, according to UBS and PWC.

    SEE ALSO: These are the 25 most innovative FinTech startups in the world

    16. Thailand

    According to UBS and PwC, there are now 30 billionaires in Thailand — that's a 43% increase in the number of billionaires since the previous year.



    15. Sweden

    The ranking shows there are currently 32 billionaires in Sweden, which equates to a 3% increase in the quantity of billionaires living there compared with the preceding year.



    14. Taiwan (joint with Japan)

    Following on from the previous year, Taiwan saw a 13% increase in the number of billionaires living in the country — there are 35 billionaires living there presently.



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    Marc Benioff

    • In a recent report, UN Special Rapporteur Leilani Farha said San Francisco's homelessness crisis was a "cruel" violation of human rights. 
    • The city is set to vote on Tuesday on a controversial ballot measure that would tax the city's largest corporations to fund services for the homeless. 
    • Many billionaires, including Square CEO Jack Dorsey and Zynga co-founder Marc Pincus, have come out against the measure, arguing that it unfairly targets their companies. 
    • Farha praised Salesforce chairman Marc Benioff's decision to support the tax, arguing that more CEOs should be willing to surrender their wealth to help the homeless. 

    San Francisco billionaires are warring over a controversial ballot measure that would tax the city's largest corporations to fund services for the homeless. 

    In late October, Salesforce chairman Marc Benioff came out in support of the measure, known as Proposition C, claiming that homelessness was an even bigger threat to his business than a "small tax."

    "This crisis reminds us that business does not exist in a bubble," Benioff wrote in a New York Times editorial. "Companies can truly thrive only when our communities succeed as well."

    If Prop C is passed on Tuesday, it would raise taxes on gross annual receipts — or total income, before subtracting costs or expenses — for the top 1% of large corporations in San Francisco. These taxes could garner an additional $300 million for programs like mental health services or shelter beds for the homeless. Half of the funds will also go toward the construction and renovation of 4,000 affordable homes. 

    Both Square CEO Jack Dorsey and Stripe CEO Patrick Collison worry that the proposition unfairly targets businesses that are much smaller than Salesforce. 

    "Prop C is the dumbest, least thought out prop ever," Zynga co-founder Marc Pincus tweeted in early November. "Please get the facts and vote no."

    According to United Nations Special Rapporteur Leilani Farha, the city's lack of taxation is "part of the problem."

    In January, Farha went on an unofficial mission to explore homeless encampments in San Francisco and Oakland. There, she encountered disturbing sights of rats digging through mud and streets littered with trash, feces, and discarded needles. The conditions prompted her to label San Francisco's crisis a "human rights violation," equal to some of the poorest parts of Delhi and Mumbai

    "Since I've been rapporteur for the last four years, I've had three experiences that shook me to my core,"Farha told Business Insider. "One of them was in San Francisco."

    Because Farha sees housing as a human right, not a commodity, she said it's up to the government to solve the problem. Under international human rights law, governments are required to take reasonable steps to address human rights' need using the "maximum available resources." That includes proper taxation, Farha said. 

    "Cities and states and national governments have less money than they used to," she said. "They need more money, and the only way they can get more money is through taxation."  

    "People always say, 'Oh we're going to build our way out of the housing problem,'" she adds. "But it's not always that there isn't [housing] stock. It's that the stock that's available is being eaten up by investors right, left, and center."

    Though Farha doesn't point the finger exclusively at tech firms, she does feel they should be willing to surrender a small portion of their wealth. 

    Benioff's editorial in the Times, she said, was an example of that. "I find it very helpful that he's come out [in support of a homelessness tax]," she said. 

    While some have criticized the tax as an attempt to throw money at a structural problem, Farha said money is critical to identifying and addressing the root causes of homelessness — namely, a lack of affordable homes. 

    "Money is part of the equation here," she said. "Political will is part of the equation, too."

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    panic room jodie foster

     

    Forget penthouse views and rooftop pools. The ultra-wealthy are shelling out up to $500,000 for an unexpected amenity: luxurious panic rooms complete with flat-screen TVs, high-end décor, and even bars.

    "Panic rooms have become more popular, particularly in London, especially with international clients from the Middle East and Russia, where they are prevalent," Richard Westell, commercial sales manager for Safe and Bolt Co. and Opulent Safes, companies that make and install safes, vaults, and panic rooms, told Mansion Global. "These people want to replicate what they have in their other houses."

    In New York City, some members of the urban elite have built panic rooms into opulent homes such as an $88 million Upper East Side mansion that the New York Times called an "urban fortress." Internationally, Business Insider Australia reported in February 2018 that American billionaire Peter Thiel was building a panic room into his $4.8 million house in New Zealand.

    Of course, safety is still paramount in these fancy safe rooms, which are made of blast-proof and bulletproof material. But some have decorated their panic rooms to look like a 1920s speakeasy and or a Ralph Lauren catalog, as Chris Cosban, the owner of New York-based Covert Interiors, which makes luxury panic rooms for the elite of New York City and the Hamptons, told Mansion Global.

    These luxurious panic rooms cost between $50,000 and $550,000 for the basic armored room, and more for the furnishings and décor, according to Mansion Global.

    Interest in luxe panic rooms has spiked as mass shootings become more and more prevalent, said Chris Acevedo of Panic Room USA, a panic room firm based in Parkland, Florida.

    "The volume of our business increases commiserate to the increase in gun violence," he told the site.

    After decreasing for years, homicides and suicides that involve guns have been on the rise, according to recent data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    SEE ALSO: New York City has more penthouses available than it can fill — and it suggests a change in the way wealthy people are looking at luxury real estate

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    Michael Dell

    Michael Dell is once again making headlines as he tries to take his company public again in an unusual and controversial way.

    Instead of an IPO, Dell wants to buy the "tracking stock" of VMware for a combo of cash and Dell's stock. The tracking stock was created when Dell bought VMware's majority stakeholder EMC as part of that mega $67 billion deal. VMware is publicly traded and the tracking stock gave EMC investors extra value for their portion of VMware's equity, to encourage them to approve Dell's offer for EMC, which they did.

    The tracking stock is also publicly traded, separate from VMware's common stock. Buying the tracking stock with Dell's stock means Dell would instantly become into a public company again, without a traditional IPO. 

    But this deal initially earned the scorn of multiple hedge fund managers, who say Dell's offer for the tracking stock is too low.Dell has bowed to the pressure and offered investors more money ... a lot more money.

    This deal has put Michael Dell back in the bullseye of his old nemesis Carl Icahn, who bought an 8% stake of the tracking stock and had threatened to sue if the offer isn't either dropped or raised. He wanted Dell to triple the offer, though Dell isn't raising his offer that by that much.

    With an estimated net worth of $27.5 billion, Dell is one of the wealthiest people in the world. From his early career as one of the youngest CEOs of a Fortune 500 company until today, Dell is used to getting his way.

    He was only 23 when his company had its IPO in 1988, and soon he was a billionaire.

    Dell lives the extravagant life of a successful businessman as well, complete with all of the private planes, summer homes, and sweet rides you'd expect from a billionaire.

    SEE ALSO: These are the 10 best countries for computer programming — and the US didn't make the list

    Michael Dell was born on Feb. 23, 1965, in Houston, Texas. He was fascinated with gadgets from a young age — when he was 15, he bought one of the first Apple computers and disassembled it to see if he could put it back together.

    Source: Academy of Achievement



    When he was in high school, he got a job selling newspaper subscriptions. After figuring out how to target an untapped customer base, he made $18,000 in just one year.

    Source: Academy of Achievement



    Though he was really only interested in computers, Dell entered the University of Texas at Austin as a pre-med student in 1983. He spent his spare time upgrading PCs and selling them from his dorm room, making $180,000 in his first month of business. Though he never came back for his sophomore year of classes, he returned to his dorm for a photo opp in 1999.

    Source: Entrepreneur



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