Nicolas Berggruen is a homeless billionaire, preferring to live a simple life devoid of possessions that others who make the same amount of money as him have in spades.
Berggruen, whose equity firm’s annual revenue is $5 billion, has chosen not to own a home or a car, deciding instead to live from hotel room to hotel room, effectively making him a homeless billionaire, reports EnStarz.
But don’t think that he lives out on the streets or stays in the local Best Western, as he travels around the world in a jet and only stays at five star hotels.
The multi-billionaire sold his two homes, one in downtown New York City and the other on a private island near Miami, along with his only car, 12 years ago.
Now, the only possessions he has are either in storage, while he just carries his iPhone, a carry on with a few pairs of jeans, a nice suit or two, and a few clean shirts. The homeless billionaire explained his decision by saying:
“Everybody is different and I think that we live in a material world. But for me, possessing things is not that interesting. Living in a grand environment to show myself and others that I have wealth has zero appeal. Whatever I own is temporary, since we’re only here for a short period of time. It’s what we do and produce, it’s our actions, that will last forever. That’s real value.”
The Wall Street Journal notes that Nicolas Berggruen explained his decision by saying that, 12 years ago, he discovered that he was less and less satisfied with acquiring things, adding:
“First, I don’t need it. Secondly, maybe in a bizarre kind of way, I don’t want to be dependent on it or have the responsibility. I don’t get that much enjoyment out of saying ‘I own it.’ “
The homeless billionaire makes it clear that he has nothing against those who want to enjoy their wealth by purchasing large homes, cars, and other toys. Despite all of the news about rich people and their possessions, it appears that Berggruen’s perspective is becoming increasingly common among today’s superwealthy, who are searching for more meaning in their lives beyond their possessions.
As for what will happen to the homeless billionaire’s money once he’s gone, Nicolas Berggruen states that he has dedicated money towards helping the financial crises in the UK and in the US and has also donated to charities.