Luxury Purchases by Billionaires People Wouldn’t Even Fathom

Shannon Quinn - May 23, 2021
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One billionaire was so rich, he bought an entire island in Hawaii. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Buying Your Own Hawaiian Island

When most people think about Hawaii, they know that it’s a popular vacation destination, as well as a home to many people. But one billionaire named Larry Ellison loved Hawaii so much, he decided to buy the island of Lanai for $300 million in 2012. Personally, I didn’t even know someone could do that. Even though he owns the island now, the original residents are still living there, but they pay rent to use the land. And he also purchased all of the vacation resorts, which means he pockets that revenue, as well. Since buying the island, he has invested an additional $500 million to make it more sustainable for the environment.

It should be no surprise that in 2020, Larry Ellison decided to move to Lanai and manage his company, Oracle, through Zoom during the pandemic. Unfortunately, Larry didn’t have total control over the situation. At first, Lanai was Covid-free all through the spring and summer. But their first cases came in October, when they finally tried to re-open the resorts. Lanai was still hit by Covid pretty hard, because they don’t have a critical care unit in their hospital. Basically, owning your own private island isn’t as luxurious as you would imagine. Ellison had a lot of responsibility to protect the people of Lanai during the pandemic.

Imagine the luxury of having a manager running your house for you. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Hiring a House Manager

If you own a house, you’re technically a house manager. And anyone who is a housewife knows how much work goes into managing a house, but they rarely get paid. But what happens when you’re wealthy, and you own multiple mansions around the world? Billionaires will hire a “house manager” to look after their house while they’re gone. This is similar to property management, but it goes one step further, because the house manager is usually working there full time. They handle hiring and managing any cleaning staff, paying for utilities, hiring landscapers, and more. It’s very much like a modern-day version of Downton Abbey.

A Reddit user named Sincere Enthusiasm had a story about his experience working in a wealthy person’s home: “I worked as a house cleaner in college, and I was hired by the house manager! The owner asked me to trap any scorpions I found so he could make him fight in the scorpion tank at his office.”

Vertu is a luxury phone company that very few people have heard about. Credit: Vertu Online

1. Private Smartphones that Come With a Butler Button

Vertu luxury smart phones are known for being the most expensive in the world. Many of their models cost over $9,000. Buying a new iPhone for $1,000 is bad enough as it is. So what makes them so great? After looking at some unboxing videos online, it’s difficult to understand why you would want one. The website offers to custom-build a phone for you in any material you like. So you could have a smartphone made of leather, gold, or whatever you want. There is also a “butler” or concierge button you can press. This person will help you get pretty much anything you need.

For the record, many elite credit card companies like the American Express Black Card also come with a concierge service, too. But when you really dig into what this job entails, it is the equivalent of hiring a personal or virtual assistant. Any business owner can hire a freelance PA or VA for $15 per hour, and ask them to complete certain tasks within a certain number of hours per week. So when you think about the perks of these luxury services, they might not actually make a lot of financial sense. Except, of course, these companies recruit the concierge for you without doing any hiring or interviewing.

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