What She Wants

Tales of the Truly Rich: Do We Ever Worry About Money?

Fortunes soothe away most worries, but money is a needy creature and requires coddling and smart thinking.

Dear Truly Rich Lady, 

Do you ever worry about money? I just want to know if you think about making ends meet just like the rest of us. (I bet my last 500 pesos you don’t!) I always think that I am one stupid purchase away from having nada in my savings account. Good thing I have seven credit cards.



One Of Us


Dear One Of Us,


Yours is a short but powerful question that requires a long and complicated answer.

If you are Truly Rich, the family vault will leave you with no doubt about financial security for your lifetime and beyond. And by “beyond” I don’t mean spending your money in the afterlife like the pharoahs, but “beyond” as in for the next generation... and the next and the next (and the next, if you are God-level rich).

Then again, if you are really Truly Rich, you can’t not think about first, preserving the fortune, and second, growing it even more, not just for yourself, but for the next generation… and the next and the next (you get the point).

Here’s another way to look at it. My She-EO Friend never worries about where to get the next car payment because, well, she paid for her Her-cedes Benz (an elegant S-Class in white—Benzes are best in white, she says) in full and in cash.

Know, too, that this remains her main ride even if it is a few seasons behind—because who cares? She is protecting the fortune by not touching the principal, by resisting the purchase of frivolous things, like a centrally located two-floor apartment that I inspected last week. I was only looking. Promise.


What she is thinking about are the following: the return on investment on that amount she would have used to buy the newest set of wheels or a pair of wings, a private jet (her self-control is amazing) and how to expand her family’s businesses even more (I can only say that you are most likely a customer of her nationwide establishment that sells something you need every day).

Because once you have a lot of money, you have to manage it like, say, a head of long and luscious hair. You have to groom it, treat it, cut and color it, comb it 100 times a day, and super baby it, so that it remains healthy, shiny, and strong. I know of one Truly Rich Grand Dame who wears her hair in an old-fashioned nest, which when unfurled reveals a river of locks that reaches the ground and pools around her tiny feet. The extent of her wealth is said to be as never-ending as her ancient hair.

That’s not to say that the richest among us have not succumbed to The Curse, The Plague, The Big Joke From Above.

The darkest fear of the Truly Rich is losing all that wealth and, more worrisome for some, the glittering status that comes with it. So even if the basic needs are more than covered, a very comfortable lifestyle is established, and the superfluous wants are sometimes indulged, there is that unquenchable desire to increase the net worth. To have a bigger house, the newest supercar, the largest rocks, the younger face—it is a devilish endeavor that can drive anyone crazy.

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Okay, wait, we don’t even have to go there. Being richer than the annoyingly elegant couple from last night’s party is a pastime for the Newly Rich.

The Truly Rich curse can simply be about keeping the fortune. For isn’t it true that the more you have, the more you have to lose, too? A missed opportunity, a stupid decision, an unlucky lawsuit, or a bumbling pair of descendants can topple an empire. Last I heard of the old miser who founded that biscuit factory that makes the sinful things that still make people fat today was that he spent the final years of life, frail and forgotten, at a home for the elderly—and not the fancy kind.

What I’m trying to say is this: Do I worry about money? Worrying is different from thinking. Worrying creates wrinkles. Thinking prevents them. Yes, fortunes soothe away most worries, but money (lots and lots of money) is a needy creature and requires coddling and smart thinking.

What really makes the Truly Rich Lady lie awake at night, staring at the fabric-covered ceiling of her bedroom at three in the morning, is the dread of losing all that she worked so hard to build—and in that way, I guess we are all the same.


Yours Truly,

C.C. Coo

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C.C. Coo
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