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August 21, 2009

John McAfee: "Whoa, my cash is gone."

Yea, the same super rich John McAfee of McAfee anti-virus fame.

...Bill Gates, Warren E. Buffett, the heirs to the Wal-Mart Stores fortune and the founders of Google each lost billions last year, according to Forbes magazine. In one stark example, John McAfee, an entrepreneur who founded the antivirus software company that bears his name, is now worth about $4 million, from a peak of more than $100 million. Mr. McAfee will soon auction off his last big property because he needs cash to pay his bills after having been caught off guard by the simultaneous crash in real estate and stocks.

“I had no clue,” he said...

This whole piece is worth a read since it dovetails with the $2T adjustment Ace just wrote about. Curiously, it was written by the NYT which hasn't been notoriously sympathetic with the plight of the super rich in the past. I guess now that their numbers are drastically contracting, as well as their wealth, along with their ahem...ability to be the stated ATM of choice the Obama administration planned on depended on for making hefty withdrawals from for all those VolksUnicorns™ for the masses, the no longer super rich need some love too.

My spies in the Obama administration tell me that they've stopped shipping out unicorns. All unicorn shipments will be replaced with ChiaPets along with a little flyer telling the recipient if they take a couple of hits of blotter along with squinting a bit after pounding down a 6-pack, they'll start to see something that resembles a unicorn.

Obviously, a large part of McAfee's problem was his apparent proclivity for living large. I have several friends who are self-made multimillionaires who managed to keep the bulk of their wealth during the downturn. However, none of them have the expensive tastes that McAfee apparently had. One was driving a 20 year old beater with 250,000 miles on it that he'd bought for $350 a few years ago. He recently traded it in and got $3,500 out of cash-for-clunkers and went for a new $14,000 Hyundai.

One key element to keeping a large fortune seems to be not spending like a drunken sailor. The other seems to be avoiding investment advisers.

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posted by Purp at 08:39 PM

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