Thursday, August 12, 2010


The first time Ange showed this to me, my initial reaction was: "Wow, this would be the perfect anthem for Investor Juan." I was thinking, don't we all want to be billionaires so fucking bad?

And Bruno Mars is talking about being a US DOLLAR billionaire, not the cheap-ass peso kind. So let's put things in their proper perspective. 

One billion US dollars will place you up there in Forbes' 10 richest persons in the Philippines, just enough to bump Jollibee's Tony Tan Caktiong out of the 5th spot.

A billion US dollars nowadays is roughly equal to 45 billion pesos. 45 billion pesos. 45 and 9 trailing zeroes. That's the ability to spend 1 million pesos a day for 45,000 days. 1 million pesos per day for 123 years; 1 million pesos in two lifetimes for some of us. Or two million pesos in a lifetime. Can you even imagine what you can do, what you will do, with that kind of money?

Then I encountered this Wall Street Journal report about how Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, two of the richest persons in the world whose combined wealth runs in the neighborhood of 100 billion US dollars (that's 200 lifetimes of 1 million pesos per day, in case you've already forgotten), managed to convince 38 other billionaires to pledge more than half of their fortune to charity. The group includes many familiar names: Oracle's Larry Ellison, New York's Michael Bloomberg, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, filmmaker George Lucas, and CNN's Ted Turner, among others.

The combined wealth of the group is currently around 230 billion US dollars; with Gates and Buffet pledging more that 50% of their wealth, more than 125 billion US dollars could go to charities today. Can you imagine how many lives and how many lives can be changed by that kind of dough?

If you do become a (US dollar) billionaire, what are you going to do with the money? Get your mug on the cover of Forbes magazine smiling next to Oprah and the Queen? Spend 2 million pesos a day for the rest of your life? Or donate half to charity and change the lives of tens of thousands of people?

Me? I'll probably just put everything in Treasuries, earn 5% or 2.25 billion pesos per year (depending on the exchange rate). With the 6,164,383.56 pesos that I'll get each day, I'll probably donate 5,164,383.56 pesos to charity and just live a "simple" life with my 1 million pesos a day, forever.
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