What Do Billionaires Have in Common? Big Bucks, and Not Much Else
What do Larry Ellison and Ingvar Kamprad have in common? They are both billionaires. But that may be one of the few characteristics they share.
拉里·埃里森(Larry Ellison)和英格瓦·坎普拉德(Ingvar Kamprad)有什么共同之处？他们都是亿万富翁。但这可能是他们为数不多的几个共同点之一。
Billionaires may have enormous spending potential, but they certainly exercise that power differently. Some live lavishly and enjoy being in the headlines, while others live frugally, if not anonymously. There are big spenders and those who give it away.
Mr. Ellison, a founder of Oracle and its executive chairman, owns most of the 140-square-mile Hawaiian island of Lanai, after buying 88,000 acres in 2012 with plans to create a sustainable, eco-friendly resort. He also likes expensive racing yachts.
His fellow billionaire Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, bought 74-acre Necker Island in the Caribbean in 1979. It operates as a private luxury resort, with room for 34 adults and six children at about $2,300 each per night. He also bought nearby Mosquito Island in 2007, the site of former President Barack Obama’s recent vacation. Mr. Branson is a serial blogger and Twitter user, sending out inspirational messages about entrepreneurship, conservation, music and travel.
同为亿万富翁的理查德·布兰森(Richard Branson)是维珍集团(Virgin Group)的创始人，1979年，他在加勒比买下了占地74英亩的内克岛(Necker Island)，把它办成一家可容纳34名成人和6个孩子的私人豪华度假村，每晚费用约在2300美元。他还买下了附近的莫斯基多岛(Mosquito Island)，最近，前总统贝拉克·奥巴马(Barack Obama)就是在这里度假。布兰森热衷使用博客和Twitter，经常发送关于创业、保护、音乐和旅行的各种鼓舞人心的信息。
Paul Allen, a Microsoft founder, is unmistakable on the high seas in his $250 million superyacht, Octopus, which has two helicopter pads, a submarine, a glass-bottom swimming pool and a recording studio, not to mention room for 26 guests. Recently, he has been known to host a celebrity-studded party on Octopus during the Cannes Film Festival. But he has a serious side, too. Mr. Allen last year gave $295 million to brain and cell science, wildlife conservation, global health and climate change.
Then there’s the sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, with a fortune once estimated by Forbes to be as much as $20 billion. He has the world’s largest collection of rare cars, including a gold-coated Rolls-Royce; his 1,788-room palace, Istana Nurul Iman, is the largest private home in the world.
还有文莱苏丹哈桑纳尔·博尔基亚(Hassanal Bolkiah)，据《福布斯》(Forbes)估计，他的财富达到200亿美元。他拥有世界上最大的稀有汽车收藏，包括一辆镀金劳斯莱斯；他的宫殿奴鲁伊曼王宫(Istana Nurul Iman)拥有1788个房间，是世界上最大的私人住宅。
But not all billionaires like to be so obvious. Chuck Feeney, who built an empire of duty-free shops and a multibillion-dollar fortune along the way, has worked since the 1980s to give all that money away, as quietly as possible.
Forbes magazine once called him the “James Bond of philanthropy” for his work through his charity, the Atlantic Philanthropies. The foundation has given away $8 billion to education, science, health care and human rights projects around the world and made its final grant last year. It plans to close for good in 2020.
Another example of modest living is Mr. Kamprad, the founder of Ikea, the assembly-required Swedish home-goods company. According to estimates by Forbes, Mr. Kamprad was worth as much as $23 billion before giving away much of his stake in the company, but he lives stingily He flies economy class and drove an old Volvo until recently. He is also said to prefer cheap hotels and secondhand clothes. Could that be a carefully shaped public persona? There are also reports in the media that he owns a Swiss chalet and a French vineyard. An Ikea spokeswoman said Mr. Kamprad “is a private person and we have no information about his private assets.”
The fact is, most “ordinary” billionaires live quietly. “Unlike what the public thinks, the majority of these people come out of the middle class or even poverty,” said Jim Grubman, a clinical psychologist who wrote “Strangers in Paradise,” a book about how people adjust to becoming wealthy.
事实是，大多数“普通”的亿万富翁过着宁静的生活。 “与公众的想法不同，这些人大多是从中产阶级走出来的，甚至是从穷人起家的，”临床心理学家吉姆·格鲁布曼(Jim Grubman)说，他著有一本关于人们如何适应富裕的书，名为《天堂里的陌生人》(Strangers in Paradise)。
“The billionaire lifestyle makes for good TV, but below the surface is a much bigger portion of people who are salt-of-the-earth families just concentrating on raising their kids and running their businesses,” said Mr. Grubman, who is a consultant at Cambridge Family Enterprise Group, an adviser to wealthy families.
“亿万富翁的生活方式可以拍成很好的电视节目，但是表面之下，更大的一部分社会中坚家庭只是专注于抚养孩子和经营生意，”格鲁布曼说，他还是剑桥家族企业集团(Cambridge Family Enterprise Group)的顾问，该集团为富裕家庭提供咨询服务。
More than half of billionaires are self-made, either through business or successful investments, but of course there are dynastic families as well. Queen Elizabeth II of Britain would not be even Europe’s richest monarch if you did not count Buckingham Palace, the crown jewels and assorted royal accouterments that are state-owned. That title goes to Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein, whose personal fortune is estimated to be $4 billion, mostly from banking. His passion is collecting art, including works by Rembrandt and Rubens, holding most of it in the National Museum.
一半以上的亿万富翁是通过商业或成功的投资白手起家的，不过当然也有王朝家庭。如果不计入归国家所有的白金汉宫、皇冠上的珠宝和各种皇家财产，英国女王伊丽莎白二世(Queen Elizabeth II)算不上欧洲最富有的君主，这个称号属于列支敦士登亲王汉斯-亚当二世(Hans-Adam II)，他的个人财富估计为40亿美元，主要来自银行业。他的爱好是收集艺术，包括伦勃朗和鲁本斯的作品，它们大部分收藏在国家博物馆。
Asia is an active area of billionaire creation, with one person reaching that threshold every three days, according to a study released in October by UBS and the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Asia’s two richest men are Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce giant Alibaba, with a $26 billion net worth, and Wang Jianlin, a real estate mogul with $29 billion to his name who also holds stakes in a Spanish soccer club and the Hollywood film production company Legendary Entertainment.
In 2015, The Economist reported on the party Mr. Jianlin held to celebrate his deal to buy Infront Sports & Media, which has marketing rights to World Cup soccer. The magazine said that Mr. Wang favored “private jets and flashy yachts (he owns Sunseeker, the British maker of the sleek craft seen in James Bond films),” and that the party featured strobe lights, disco music and leggy beauties.
2015年，《经济学人》(The Economist)报道了王健林收购盈方体育传媒(Infront Sports＆Media)后的庆功派对，该公司拥有世界杯足球赛的市场营销权。该杂志说，王健林喜欢“私人喷气式飞机和华丽游艇（他拥有商圣汐[Sunseeker]公司，这家英国游艇制造商的精美工艺可以在007电影里看到），派对上充斥着频闪灯、迪斯科音乐和长腿美女。”
Where do some billionaires hang out? According to a calendar of major luxury events, they like mountains and beaches.
In the winter, many flock to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland; the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah; and New Year’s Eve celebrations on St. Barts, where people can rent their own eight-bedroom beachfront villa for $420,000 a week.
In the summer, some of the richest flock to Britain for the Henley Royal Regatta, the Royal Ascot horse races, and Wimbledon, where a center-court season ticket at the men’s championship final this year has a market value of $3,300.
在夏天，一些世界上最富有的人会赶到英国，参加亨利皇家赛舟会(Henley Royal Regatta)、皇家爱斯科赛马会(Royal Ascot)和温布尔登网球赛，今年的男子锦标赛决赛的中央球场季票市价为3300美元。
As for passions and hobbies, 56 percent in WealthX’s billionaire survey cited philanthropy as their top priority. Many billionaires, Mr. Ellison, Mr. Branson and Mr. Allen among them, are part of the Giving Pledge, something Warren E. Buffett set up with Bill Gates in 2010. It is a collective effort by the world’s richest people to give more than half their wealth to charitable pursuits during their lifetimes or through their estates.
至于激情和爱好，根据WealthX进行的亿万富翁调查，有56％的亿万富翁将慈善事业作为自己的首要任务。埃里森、布兰森和艾伦等许多亿万富翁都加入了“赠与誓言”(Giving Pledge)行动，该活动是沃伦·E·巴菲特(Warren E. Buffett)与比尔·盖茨(Bill Gates)在2010年倡导的，是世界上最富有的人的一项集体努力，他们宣布在有生之年或通过遗产，将自己财富的半数以上用于慈善目的。
So far, 156 billionaires and their families have committed to the cause, according to the profiles listed on the pledge’s website. The group also includes the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, his wife, Priscilla Chan, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur Elon Musk and the former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
到目前为止，根据该网站上列出的资料，156位亿万富翁及其家人已承诺参与这一事业。这个人群还包括Facebook创始人马克·扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)和他的妻子普莉希拉·陈(Priscilla Chan)、硅谷企业家伊隆·马斯克(Elon Musk)以及前纽约市市长迈克尔·R·布隆伯格(Michael R. Bloomberg)。