This year’s list of richest Angelenos contains 16 billionaires who spend their money on everything from mansions to charities. Such wealth is hard to comprehend for most people. But if you had it, the Business Journal asks:
What would you do with a billion dollars?
Actor, Writer, Director, Producer
I’d get the hell out of Los Angeles and I’d be one of the richest guys in Galveston, Texas, or Boulder, Colo. I’d earmark a huge percentage for charity. With the rest I would start my own film studio, maybe build it in my hometown of Pecatonica, right outside Chicago. I’d make it an indoor studio so I could control the weather and everything. Then I’d buy a couple of really good cigars, a bottle of good scotch and put an ad in the Personals and find myself a wife.
Petersen’s Automotive Group
I already have all the fun stuff a house in Florida, garages full of cars, a fishing boat. Maybe I’d buy a bigger boat. I already travel as it is, probably I’d do more of that. I’d take money and put it into the stock market and diversify that investment from blue chips to high-tech stocks and mutual funds. I also would invest in limited partnerships, keeping an eye on those companies that are ingrained in the marketplaces they serve. In addition, I would invest in smaller companies and turn them over to people I have worked with over time. That can be as much fun as taking a vacation.
The average person has no concept of what a billion dollars is. I would take care of my family forever, and their families and their families’ families. Then I would concentrate on children’s education, setting up funds, trusts for merit across the board, so that any child meriting educational assistance could go to the fund. I would keep the trust in a fund that would keep it growing and self-perpetuating.
First I would move to a place in Malibu where it’s sunny and where it won’t slide down a hillside. Second, I’d set up trust funds for all my friends and relatives so they’ll never have to ask me for money again, And third, I would donate the rest of the money to charity because I would want to keep working.
Co-Founder & Principal Sound Designer
Well, of course, the obligatory answer is to say I’d give part of it to charity, so I’d give $300 million to higher education. There are some really smart people out there who can’t afford to go to Ivy League schools. I had the benefit of a higher education because my parents have money. Another $500 million I’d use to buy a sports team wouldn’t that be cool to have a sports team? You’d never lose any money because they still make money when they’re losing. Then the other $200 million I don’t have any kids yet but I’d put that away in a trust fund. I wouldn’t tell them about it so they wouldn’t grow up thinking they’re rich. Trying to put money into world peace, now that’s a waste.