The 1% who invests way better than they buy cars.
We live in a culture that places a huge emphasis on material wealth, and that’s why billionaires are some of the most mysterious people that seemingly everyone wants to learn more about. What are their strange habits and do they cultivate success? Do billionaires give into animalistic hoarding instincts in the way we’d expect them to? Like normal people, the 1% is made up of a very diverse group, meaning that no member of the elite club is alike This makes for some very interesting purchasing decisions. Here are the most notable.
Microsoft Founder Bill Gates is a household name, and it isn’t because he founded the company that brought the computer to the world, it’s because he’s the richest man on earth. With a net worth of $75 billion, Gates could buy pretty much any car in the world over multiple times. Instead of a Koenigsegg, Gates chose a Porsche 959 coupe. The Porsche 918 Spyder may be the modern car of our time, but in the 80s, the 959 was at the pinnacle of automotive technology. In classic billionaire style, Gates had to pull some strings to get the car. It was illegal in the US due to a lack of a crash test rating, but a flick of the pen from another Bill (Bill Clinton) is all it took to get Gates his dream car. It pays to know people.
Wal-Mart is a huge company, so big in fact that if it was a country, it would be the 26th largest in the world in terms of gross domestic product. It also innovates and employs so many people that if it were an army, it would be the second largest military in the world behind China and ahead of the US. Despite the association between small town rednecks and Wal-Mart, you’d expect the owners and heirs of such a large company to drive some of the most rare and expensive cars in the world. However this isn’t the case for Alice Walton, the daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. She does her daily errands in a 2006 Ford F-Series King Ranch pickup truck. So much for her $32.9 billion dollar spending limit.
Two spots behind Bill Gates on the list of the world’s richest people is Warren Buffet. Known for making his fortune using very smart investments and business deals, he is frequently quoted on memes that give sound financial advice to the masses. Despite his ability to live extravagantly, he eschews the typical old man vibe and his cars only reinforce this. Previously, he owned a 2001 Lincoln Town Car, which he later sold and made an $11,000 profit on. Then, when the American automakers were in trouble, Buffet bought a $45,000 Cadillac DTS as his contribution to keeping GM alive. This Cadillac was one from the “bad years,” but at least it perfectly fit his aged style and preaching of frugality.
Bill Gates may have brought the computer to the homes of the everyday man, but Mark Zuckerberg was one of the people who capitalized on its ability to connect people together. He is also one of the youngest members of the “world’s richest” list, but his car certainly doesn’t represent the top pick of the youth. For his daily ride, he chose a $30,000 Acura TSX, which is only marginally cooler than Warren Buffet’s Cadillac. He has $44.6 billion to throw around, and given the same opportunity, we couldn’t promise that we’d be as prudent as Zuckerberg. He either wants something inconspicuous or he must have gotten tired of all of the Rich Kids social media accounts that kept popping up and decided to live the humble life.
You may not have heard of Ingvard Kamprad, but chances are he's been in your home. He doesn’t make his visits in the creepy sex offender kind of way, instead he does so with every Ikea purchase that you make because this Swede is responsible for the blue and yellow warehouses that litter almost every major city. He is worth a cool $28 billion, which he made off of uniquely styled furniture and well designed stores, so it’s a bit strange that he drives one of the least stylish cars known to man: the 1993 Volvo 240. It seems that unlike flat-packed furniture, his Volvo is holding up well to the test of time. Similar to his household goods, the likely cost of his Volvo is cheap, sitting at little more than $2,000 today.