Sunday, October 26, 2014

What Billionaires Really Spend Each Month

By Robert Frank
Oct. 23, 2014

Court filings related to different cases involving Wyly and Griffin offer a rare look into the real spending habits of billionaire families. While all billionaires are different, with some living large and others more frugal, the filings show the so-called burn-rate, or monthly spending, for many of today's upper crust can dwarf most people's annual incomes.

Take Wyly, a former billionaire who made his fortune from Michael's Stores and Sterling Software.


In court filings, Wyly filed his monthly expenses for the court's approval and the SEC is asking for an asset freeze. The SEC said Wyly has spent a total of $450 million over the past 10 years, "a burn-rate of approximately $3.75 million a month."

Of course, much of that may have been lawyer fees to battle the SEC. But the SEC says his everyday expense include $2,200 a month for "pool, home maintenance and landscaping," $2,000 a month for groceries, and $32,000 a month for "two personal writing assistants" (he's written several books). The salaries for the writing assistants and his housekeeper total $523,345 a year.

He pays $29,000 a month for the mortgage on his wife's bookstore, Explore Booksellers in Aspen, which is for sale. He also spends $7,000 a month "to support family and friends."

Wyly also reports paying more than $100,000 a month to his family office, which runs his investments and his finances.


In a similar vein, court filings from billionaire hedge funder Ken Griffin against his estranged wife Anne Dias Griffin seek to seek to paint a picture of a woman with a large personal budget. She's seeking to break their pre-nup and said Ken has cut off her credit cards and fired her staffers. She said he has an annual income of around $900 million a year. [$900 million a year = $900,000,000/year = $75,000,000/month = $2,465,753/day]


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