The Homeless Billionaire – Minimalist Inspiration: Nicolas Berggruen
Nicolas Berggruen is worth $2.2 billion and is a minimalist at heart. He basically lives out of hotels, doesn’t own a fancy home, a car, or even a watch.
As Berggruen’s wealth grew, however, he became disillusioned with what it could buy.
“I felt I was owned by possessions,” Berggruen says.
What he does own, is a private jet which he uses to go through different countries, living and working where he needs to be at the moment.
It goes without saying that he also doesn’t accumulate paintings, or anything that rich people tend to own:
His somewhat limited wardrobe is now scattered across the world, stored at his favorite hotels.
He loaned his art collection to museums—a move that left him free to drift from one city to the next aboard his private jet, the one item he deems too “practical” to discard.
Hmm I think his private jet counts as a home. An expensive, gas-guzzling mobile home (truly mobile), but a home nonetheless. He probably stores his electronics there, which is what I’d do.
This is interesting to me because it’s what I do.
We aren’t billionaires, but we live out of hotels, and don’t really have an apartment or a home, both of which are challenging in terms of having an address, but we’ve managed to figure out a system that keeps things as stable as possible.
We travel to different cities, live where we need to be (based on who is working), and commute as little as we can as consultants.
Of course, we too are childless (Berggruen is childless and has never been married), but we are planning on having children, so this lifestyle will have to be altered slightly, although not by much.
We just won’t accumulate all the junk that comes with having a child.
It’s pretty cool to read about someone who is fairly high-profile, doing the same thing, which a lot of people can either find cool or weird.
It is also a lot easier to be such a nomadic minimalist when you have tons of money (him more than us), but it doesn’t mean that all minimalists are rich, either.
It’s a lifestyle choice that has nothing to do with money, which is where people get confused I think, when trying to understand what it’s all about.
It is about accumulating less and having the perfect amount of stuff, not more, but the amount you decide to spend, is up to you.