I found this really interesting article from John Caudwell, who made £1.5bn when he sold Phones4U. The advice to lottery winners was originally featured in The Daily Mirror. A short version (the bits that ring with me) is below, but if anybody knows the ups and downs of riches, a billionaire would. It is addressed to £148 million winners Adrian and Gillian Bayford and is interesting stuff from Mr Caudwell.
"Adrian and Gillian Bayford will find that becoming instant millionaires is going to be a huge challenge. Getting rich quickly is not just a shock to you but to your friends and family, too.
The temptation is to spend, spend, spend and, of course, you should treat yourself. There is nothing wrong with spoiling yourself and buying the car or holiday you have always wanted. Having a blow-out is no problem and is a good thing but, at some stage, that has to stop and you have to come back to reality and get your feet back on the ground.
What are you going to do when the fix runs out?
There is more substance to life than just spending money. People often ask me if money buys happiness and it can’t, but the lack of it can cause misery. So, one of the ways they can find happiness is by doing good through other people. Through charitable causes they can do good things that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. You can’t be self-centred and happy.
Charity also comes into the work situation.
If you pack your job in you will have a lot of time on your hands and charity helps to give you emotional support and the feeling you are doing something useful with your time.
They also have more practical considerations to think about. Just taking the £148million alone, all the banks will be swarming over them to manage the money and a lot of them will do a poor job. I fear they will be sucked into believing the wrong people so it is important to take good advice.
Another danger is false friends. Everyone will want to know them.
Equally, some people will walk away because they are jealous. They have to try and work out who their true friends are and be careful not to give too much to friends because they will end up disappointed with what they have done.
The Bayfords have young children so they don’t need to worry about gifting any money to them straight away, but as long as they stay wealthy they will have to address this at some point.
My advice when the children get older is to keep them wholly grounded and treat them, as much as is possible, as anyone else would treat their children. Don’t spend money on them thinking it will make them happier or more successful, because it won’t, but when they get into their teens it can help them get on in life. I went to comprehensive school but I sent my children private school and I guess I would recommend that, but it is a personal decision.
They have also either got to make a break from their current life when they are surrounded by wealthy friends and people, or try and blend into their life now.
I think it will be hard to stay the same, but they are going to be a target for people who are jealous. They are going to have to evolve into a richer set of friends but also try to keep their true friends from the past. It’s going to be very hard because if they are used to going out for meals with other families which cost £50, now they can spend £500 and not everyone can keep up.
I don’t want to sound like a killjoy but it is going to be very hard to transfer from no money to lots of money.
I would suggest that they shouldn’t just spend more money on things for the sake of it.
If you like Marks & Spencer stick with them. I love the shop and am still very, very happy going there, despite the money I have in the bank.
Yes, I shop at more exclusive places, but it is good to keep some familiar experiences in your life.
Overall, I wish them success in making some good decisions.
John is set to tackle The Shard – the tallest building in the EU – on September 3 as part of the longest civilian abseil in history in a bid to raise money for The Outward Bound Trust. His own charity is www.caudwellchildren.com.
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