Market Overview

Things Billionaires Can Have That Millionaires Can't

How much wealth is enough?

Should I work hard towards my next million or relax on the beach? Is my nest egg large enough that I can maintain my lifestyle of lavish homes and fast cars?

For Benzinga's higher net worth readers, these are daily questions.

David Rose is a famed venture capitalist, early technology pioneer, and the CEO of angel investing platform Gust. His family is involved in a large real estate business. It goes without saying, Rose knows a thing or two about the multi-millionaire lifestyle.

He took to Quora to answer the question, "How is being a billionaire better than being a millionaire?"

"Being a millionaire ain't what it used to be," Rose writes.

He continued, "Even if you had, say, $5 million, and were willing to take a fair bit of risk and put it all in the stock market where it might (with real luck) generate 4% annually, you'd still be making only $200,000 a year. Take out taxes (being generous, let's use the 20% rate at which Obama paid) and you're at $160,000."

While $160,000 per year in investment income sounds nice, Rose argues that it's not enough to afford the high-flying lifestyle that is associated with millionaires. Rose says, "That's enough to rent a nice apartment (or pay the mortgage on, say, a +/-$1m house), take a nice vacation each year, and probably pay private school tuition for one or two kids. But you're certainly not going to be flying your own Gulfstream with only $5 million."

"At what point can a person do pretty much anything you'd reasonably want to do?" Rose argues that the magic number is $100 million.

"But still no Gulfstream, no $35 million penthouse in midtown Manhattan, no building named after you at your alma mater, no mega-yacht docked outside your Riviera estate, no getting Justin Bieber for your daughter's quinceanera, no 24/7 security detail like the President, no executive-producer credit on Avengers 2, no invitation to the Allen & Co. retreat, no mega-trophy-spouse. All that needs to wait until you get your first billion and put it to work."

Rose concludes, "Once you get above the $10 billion level, all is good, and you can both help change the world."

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