Last night I went to the film premiere of Born Rich. Jamie Johnson (of Johnson and Johnson) directed and produced this documentary which is being distributed by HBO. It was quite an interesting perspective into the lives of children of the very wealthy. Supposedly, money is something never openly discussed growing up among their families but as each of the 10 people start talking about their wealth, it is quite an interesting look into what being born rich means.
Like anyone, some people appear to be more grounded than others. Ivanka Trump came off seemingly grounded and real considering she has grown up in the press, surrounded by divorce, and controversy.
Imagine becoming 18 years old and now you are worth somewhere between $100 – $200 million. You don’t have to work. But, how do you feel good about yourself? How can you feel normal surrounded by people that are perhaps uncomfortable by your money? Money after all is a weird thing. Noone likes to talk about it.
The most interesting person in the film was the heir to the Guggenheim/Whitney legacy. At 18, he was brought paperwork to be signed from his parents which brought him into millions of dollars. He became really depressed afterwards. His parents took him out of college and for 2 years he worked on an oil rig down in Texas surrounded by true blue collar workers. Great experience for him. He realized that working was something that gave him self satisfaction. So, although he rakes in probably around $1m a year, he makes $50K doing something for himself. I liked that.
I also liked Jamie Johnson. He really was very curious about his circumstances and how his father dealt with his circumstances as well. He wanted to make sure that his comfort level was better than his father’s. He realized that being born rich is a privilege but what do you do with that?
All and all, an interesting perspective. Who hasn’t thought that wouldn’t it be easier if I just had tons of cash. Well, it obviously isn’t that easy.