Saturday, 18 February 2012

Filthy rich

The well-known phrase `filthy rich' must have been originally used by the not-so-rich people to describe the overwhelmingly rich ones who gained their wealth by unfair or improper means. Nowadays, the negative connotation of the phrase is somewhat muted and labelling some people as filthy rich simply means that they are exceedingly wealthy, no insult intended. I wouldn't mind if someone calls me as such... except that I do not qualify.

A few days ago, the Malaysian Business magazine reported that Robert Kuok is still the country's richest man. The staff of that magazine have been doing complex calculations over a number of years and comes out with an annual list of Malaysia billionaires, based on their reported holdings in listed companies. Kuok is said to be worth RM45.7 billion. The richest bumiputera is Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, who comes in at no. 5 with RM9.53 billion.

Wow.... billions, huh? Let's just try put that into perspective, shall we?

Let us just look at RM1 billion... that's a One with nine Zeros behind it. Assume for simplicity's sake, that I have worked 50 years of my life to get that RM1B. On average that works out to RM20 million a year or RM1.67 million a month... and we are not talking about gross salary here. At present, I'm taking home less than 0.5% of that monthly figure. In other words, those billionaires are waaaaaay out of my league! Can dream only meh....

But if we don't dream, we'd never achieve reality, right? Yeah, that's what I thought. There was this one time I was listening to this particular guy talking about how to become rich. He was asking his audience if we knew anyone in particular who wakes up every morning and have thousands of ringgit coming his way without doing anything? Of course we didn't. It's Robert Kuok, he said. And do we want to be rich like him? Of course we do. So let's join this new amazing business programme that would help us realize our dreams, he pitched. Many others have participated and made it big, so what are we waiting for?

It was a multi-level marketing recruitment seminar and I was duped. Yeah... don't be surprised, I did try MLM once. I guess the dream of hitting my quick million had dulled my senses. I quickly learned that sales is not my skill at all. I doubt any of those guys in the annual billionaire list got rich from being involved in direct-selling. *Sigh* Enough of the dreaming... and back to the grind.


doc said...

no, those guys didn't get rich from MLM - some from really hard work, some from preferential treatment.

what's important for you & i, is to realise that we're never going to get there, so just accept our lot & be content with what we have.

after all, for every one person richer than us, there's probably at least 10 who are worse off.

Oldstock said...


Agreed, about us not getting there. Actually, I am past that dreaming stage already. Previously, I had thought that I'd be able to help more people if I'm stinking rich... but then I realized that wealth should not be the measure of our intentions.