My Vast Fortune: The Money Adventures of a Quixotic Capitalist

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Pace yourself! Touch-tone dialing? Caller ID? Microwave ovens?

Seaplanes vaulting Friday-afternoon traffic? Stock markets that only go up 20 percent or 30 percent a year?

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Live a little beneath your means. Tease yourself with anticipation. Ease the fingers of your aspiration up the inner thigh of your cupidity. Tickle your fancy.


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Of course money buys happiness. But both will last longer if you remember the importance of foreplay. Pacing yourself and living beneath your means is sage advice.

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I found your article very interesting. This book does not just tell you how, but moves you towards action. I am really seeing my finances turn around! Look forward to your book! Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. I had not yet learned to save. But I did like money. For one thing, I liked numbers. For another, I was competitive, and doubtless saw money for what it is—and practically all it is once you have more than you need—a way to keep score. Let others be class president or veep; in high school, treasurer was my political calling.

I liked counting the money. I liked the feel of a couple of hundred dollars in small bills in my pocket. I guess it made me feel important? Income was high, but so were expenses. Uncle Lou, on the other hand, was wealthy. Short, fat and jolly, with a gold chain from his vest to his pants pocket—I never saw him in anything other than a three-piece suit—he looked like the rich uncle in the Monopoly game. Whenever he came to visit, the coins in his pocket positively jingled—dazzling enough to a little kid, but then he would pull out a huge wad of silent green and hand me a dollar or two.

My Vast Fortune: The Money Adventures of a Quixotic Capitalist

Loved Uncle Lou. I do remember once, aged twelve, getting a cold call from a Merrill Lynch broker eager to discuss my investment needs. I remember we would check their prices in the paper and graph them. Once I think we even made a trade. One thing for sure: we were no Warren Buffett or Jimmy Rogers or anything like that.

My brother, summa cum laude from Harvard, went into academe with a decidedly anticapitalist bent as what self-respecting Harvard grad of the time did not? And I—well, I was, at best, conflicted. Yes, I liked money. I remember being at the Y for some sort of class OK, OK, it was a puppetry class , aged ten or so, and the teacher that first day asking where each of us lived.

I had no idea what she meant, or how she could possibly be criticizing me for answering her question. That moment stuck with me.

My vast fortune ( edition) | Open Library

I also found myself feeling extremely uncomfortable, as I got a little older, being served dinner by a black maid. What had I done to deserve being waited on by an adult this way? The Sixties were upon us, Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney, not much older than me, were down in Mississippi getting killed while I was being offered more pot roast , and my sense of injustice—perhaps honed by the tyranny of my older brother, whom I loved then after a fashion and surely love now, but you know what sibling rivalry can be—had grown robust.

What had I done to deserve being born, white, in the richest city of the richest country in the world, and to live on perhaps its richest street? But somehow, confused as I was by Boolean algebra and multiplying in Base-8—and as sheltered as I was from any real injustice—his barely audible passion on the subject of civil rights echoed in my ears.

It left a lasting impression. What am I doing about South Africa?

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Why should I be doing anything about it? I wondered.

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It had just never occurred to me. But of course from then on—and long after Al had been murdered by an acolyte turned paranoid-schizophrenic—I was still looking for ways to do a little something about South Africa. So when I stumbled upon Russian as my language in high school, and when that led to a summer behind the Iron Curtain the summer of the U. I left New York a sixteen-year-old and returned a socialist.

That lasted about a year. My parents, memories of the McCarthy era and the Black List still fresh, were horrified it lasted even that long. And sure, they would be against the Vietnam War first my mom, later my dad. The ad he wrote featured an American flag upside down, with a message about the true meaning of patriotism. But socialism, let alone a sympathy for communism, was quite another thing. That all this would lead to my owning controlling interest in a Russian ad agency or doing battle with Ralph Nader is not without irony.

But wait, I am sixteen. I have yet to amass my vast fortune. This book will make you rich. Filthy stinking rich.

My Vast Fortune: The Money Adventures of a Quixotic Capitalist

You will never need to work again. And even if this doesn't happen, Andrew Tobias will provide you with such a wealth of wit that you will retire with a vast fortune of laughter.

For anyone who hopes to not only get ahead but enjoy life to the fullest, this is essential reading. See All Customer Reviews.

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