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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Billion-Dollar (Day)Dream

Powerball is at $1.3 billion for Wednesday's drawing, and if you're like me, you've got most of it spent already,  what with the homes you would buy and friends and family you would help or avoid.  Some would see the world, others would invest in a solid gold bathtub (because, you know, gold is a stable investment).  And I would love for you all to comment on what you would do in the comments section down below.

Personally, I would send all my inner circle an email to go to the airport at a specific time.  There would be a ticket waiting for them.  And we would go on one EPIC adventure.  After that was done, though, it would be time to make that money work for me.  I may be crazy, and I'm definitely not a finance guy, but here's what I would do.

First, I would move my family (brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces) to one place, where we would own a block off homes, or a cul-de-sac or something.  Thomas Town would be born.

Next, I would set up my nephews and nieces with independent million dollar trust funds, untouchable until they turn 21.

I would section off an enormous amount to simply accrue interest.

I would then start Thomas Holdings, Ltd as a way to allot the money in a manner that it would never be completely depleted.  This company would be the way I did real estate back home (more on that later), do an entertainment startup, or any number of ventures that two or three hundred million would allow.  I would have the holding company pay me and my family a salary (to at least give the illusion that there should be some degree of responsibility for one's own money) and live.

The real estate thing is a big deal to me, as it would be my way of giving back to my hometown.  I'm from Brooklyn, NY (as most of you know), and grew up in Flatbush, one of the neighborhood that is at the center of the big gentrification issues going on back home.  While it may be all Starbucks and hipster now, when I was there it was affordable, low-to-middle income housing (the 'hood).  Some of my greatest friendships were forged there, some of my best memories happened there, and some of the best stories that can't be told start and end there.  If you go to my closest circle of friends and say the words "Silencio del Gato," they will smile, laugh... and bite the cyanide pill in their teeth to avoid revealing secrets (we take that seriously).  But I digress.

New York as a whole, Brooklyn in particular, has become inaccessible for the most part to the low-to-middle income citizen, despite that being the vast majority of the city.  Ask any one of the five co-workers sharing a two-bedroom, 950 sq. ft. apartment in Bed-Stuy or Sunset Park, and paying a grand.  Each.  What I would do is, starting with the block I grew up on, buy some of the older buildings, renovate them, and rent them out to low-to-middle income families.  Not the projects, but actual livable apartments.  With reasonable square footage.  That didn't demand 75% of your earnings to simply keep a roof over your head.  There are some that would regard this as a bleeding-heart fantasy devoid of any business sense, but I disagree.  Yes, can cater to the high-end and make large sums of money, but there are more people two or three tiers down than there are at the top, and that is a huge market in NYC.  With a little less than a billion dollars in the bank, profit wouldn't be my primary motivation, but it would generate income nonetheless.

It's a billion-dollar fantasy that makes me smile.  And if my $20 pulls that in and makes that fantasy a reality, how cool would that be?

But hey, it's the lottery.  I might as well ask Santa Claus to make that happen.

Feel free to comment with your daydreams and money wishes.  Cheers!

Side note:  I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to the late David Bowie.  Along with Madonna, he was the master of innovation and reinvention, both stylistically and musically.  You've gotta hand it to a man who managed to stay relevant since the mid-70s.  RIP, Mr. Bowie.

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