What does it feel like to be a millionaire
I was born into a low income family, not exactly poverty though. My father was young, 21 when he married my mom at age 18. My dad lost his job the day I was born because he asked his boss for a raise. My parents fought over my father buying us a plastic batmobile toy for Christmas when we were little. He made us a wooden fort for our toys. When I was 10, I remember my mom saying we could afford pizza, because it was the last day of the month, and she had $24 left. When I was in junior high school, I was teased because I wore a “free” T-Shirt that said “Feelin’ 7-Up!” to school. My mom and dad always seemed to worry about money. My mom spent everything, and my dad penny pinched like crazy.
By the time my father retired, I was 29, and I went home to live with him and help manage his investments. We did well, and I grew his retirement account from $300,000 to $3 million. Eventually, my net worth topped out at $15 million in 2006. It’s been downhill from there.
It was both easy, and both a struggle, to gain it, and it was a struggle to try to keep it as I lost it all.
To gain it, I worked as hard as I could, with little distractions.
At the peak, it felt weird. I thought the net worth was just about to double again to $30 million. I knew it was not all liquid. I tried to figure out how to manage it all. There was little help. Nobody who has that kind of wealth offers consulting fees on how to help. Professionals who “work for a living” have no idea what that kind of wealth is like, or what it can buy, and neither did I! I was advised to spread it out among more investments. I did. It did not help. By 2008, I had 45 different investment positions in different stocks worth over $100,000. Some investments, the top three, were each over $1 million.
I probably lost about $10 million in stocks in the crash of 2008 as JP Morgan fraudulently manipulated the silver price down from $20/oz., down to $9/oz., as that devastated the mining sector in which I was invested. Many others lost a lot that year, too, of course.
I tried to determine what my time was worth, at the peak. Some say it’s based on what you can make. Maybe, for me that was $5 million, what the portfolio in the IRA gained in the previous year or so? / 250 working days is $20,000/day? Maybe my time was worth about $2000/hour to $5000/hour? It’s insane. My gains were ten times greater than the salary of the President.
I felt like I could not “afford” time to relax, nor go to the bath room, nor watch a movie. I felt like I had to be responsible to continue to grow the wealth, because good times do not last.
I could walk into a hardware store, and think, “I can buy anything in here, or even the whole store maybe? But first, using these tools is not my area of expertise, nor can I afford to waste my time on project like this anyway, right? I’ll just have to hire a handyman for anything I might want done.” And so, we did
I had anxieties about losing it all. I had anxieties about people kidnapping my family demanding millions.
Many friends and family and friends of family came to me with sob stories of desperately needing. My money seemed to bring out the worst in people.
I was generous. I was charitable. It’s not my place to say where I gave to. God rewards if you don’t brag about it, says the Bible. I hope I have a few rewards in heaven over some of my actions.
One of my first failed investments was a fraudulent start up mining company that I wasted $250,000 into. I felt like I just bought 5 Ford Excursions for $50,000 each and just drove them off a cliff and into the sea. I’m like, I don’t even have 5 big cars, where’s my money? It made me sick to be taken advantage of that way. Angry. Helpless. Furious. Foolish. But that’s life. That happens. Rich people problems, right? Count my blessings, nobody cares about the rich guy’s problem, everyone else is struggling in comparison, right? So shut up about it. Exactly what the thief was counting on. I reported him to the FBI. They didn’t care. He took 5 others for their life savings, as least I only invested a tiny little compared to what I had. But it was one of my biggest lump sum investments yet.
Yes, I had “good” feelings, too. I had feelings of power. Safety. Arrogant. Invulnerability. Strength. Invincibility. Security. I felt like I had enough money for 100 lifetimes, and then some, because wow how it will grow even more before I could ever spend it all. And I had no desire to spend any of it.
But my wife did. She wanted a bigger house and threatened to leave. Divorce is unGodly right? I appeased her. Big mistake, even though the house was under a million. The big house has big expenses, and a house that can entertain guests is not a house that is a peaceful place to sleep or work! It just attracts partying. Not good.
The net worth started to dip. It always dips. I had about 10 dips where I lost 30% to 50% on the way up. By the time it dipped 60%, it really started crashing fast, and many of my stocks went to zero.
I had diversified into physical silver and gold. Unfortunately I also started a mint and bought expensive minting machines. I thought it would cost me $300,000 and two months to start up a mint to make 1000 oz. silver bars into rounds. It cost a million and a year instead, and the machines never worked right. I sold all the half working minting machines in 2014 for $100,000, just to save the $5000/month in rent.
I had two coin shops, and suffered major losses from theft from each. Then the lawyers got involved, and I knew I was doomed.
I drank for a year to drown my sorrows, and lost even more money. I went to rehab in fall 2011- spring 2012. 125 days. I’ve been sober since.
Money is funny. I lost $850,000 in 2009 due to the theft. The IRS audited that year, and today is fighting me, they claim I earned $4 million. Nope, that was in the IRA and years earlier. So, for the last two years I have been under IRS collections, and they put my coin shops out of business, and now I’m nearly broke again.
How does it feel? If I don’t have a suicidal thought, that’s a good day. I know an awful lot about making money in stocks. I think that’s partly why so many people abused me and stole; they thought I could handle it, but I couldn’t. I took the personal betrayals very badly, and the loss of the remaining money very badly too, because I needed it to live! And what about my kids? They stole from what would be the inheritance for my kids! But what’s the point if the IRS can simply come in and steal all of your hard work? I’m battling “learned helplessness” from their abuse, and I should be suing them for millions. Maybe I will.
I don’t know if I could ever bring the mental focus and energy back to making money like I did in the past. But what’s the alternative? And this is the battle I’m suffering today.