Where do millionaires buy groceries

Does money make you happy?

Munich entrepreneur Max * is in his 50s, married and has two children. As the son of a family that has led a traditional dynasty for several hundred years, he was born rich. Max was ready for a conversation and asked himself some interesting questions.

You are a millionaire. In your opinion, what makes you different from the rest?
This is a very great privilege for me. Financial freedom gives you a lot of breath and takes away a lot of worries. I don't have to think about how best to keep my house so that at the end of the month there aren't 4 days of bread and butter on the menu. It shouldn't mean that I'm not doing business. I do. But my profitability is geared towards increasing my money, while the average employee primarily does business in order to have a good living with his financial possibilities.

What are you ready to spend on a good bottle of wine?
If you disregard collector's items, which can sometimes have the value of a small car, there is a good wine at REWE for 5 euros. I believe the idea that a millionaire sits in his villa every day and drinks either champagne or expensive red wine is unrealistic. At least far from the reality of my life. If I want to have a glass of wine in the evening, it can come from the nearest supermarket. The difference is then perhaps the point of being able to go to the wine cellar on a special occasion and then open a wine worth the value of the small car. But something like that is the exception.

Most people are familiar with the saying "money does not make you happy". What do you think about it?
The saying can only have come from a person who has a very good financial living. Money definitely doesn't make you happy. But not having one certainly doesn't do it either. It's a comforting feeling not to have to worry about your livelihood. You automatically have your head free for things that are essential in life and that can bring you happiness. If you have to take the returnable bottles away in the morning to buy another pack of toast, that is certainly not a definition of happiness. But I think the "how much" does not matter above a certain amount. As long as the person has a good living and can afford the things that correspond to his style of "worth living", the most important things are already there. So you definitely don't have to be a millionaire to be or become happy.

Do you have advantages over poor people? What do you think about a Hartz IV recipient, for example?
No! I have no prejudices, which is certainly also due to my upbringing. My parents always made it very important to let me see how privileged we are. My father used to travel with me as a little boy to help out in soup kitchens. I never had any reservations about poor people. Accordingly, I don't have a stereotypical way of thinking about a Hartz IV recipient. The Hartz IV system, on the other hand, is not particularly dignified.

Do you think you are being prejudiced?
Yes. Rich people are pigeonholed just like poor people. According to the common prejudices that have all been pounded on my head in one way or another, I'm a lifted fat cat who doesn't understand anything about real life. Having money is often equated with an unsocial, selfish blow to people. People think that all day long you are busy counting your money while you have the butler pulling up the fleet. There is certainly everything, but rarely.

Is it easier or harder to find a partner when you're rich?
It all depends on what you are looking for a partner for ... You have to be aware that you will have a host of admirers at every event and party you attend. That this has nothing to do with you as a person but with your status. As a millionaire, it doesn't matter what you look like, you will always find a woman who undresses because of your money and the benefits that may result from it. Certainly it looks very similar the other way around, with rich women.
And I will not now claim that I did not take advantage of this fact in my Sturm und Drang time. But at some point you just want to have someone around you who loves you for your own sake. Then it becomes more difficult to find a partner. 30 years ago, if you were lucky, you could still make an appointment without your girl knowing your status directly. Today, in times of social networks, you can be sure that you have already been subjected to an online check when you arrive at the agreed location. It is a real shame that such experiences lead to a loss of trust. A woman who wanted to win my heart would have a damn hard time proving to me that she was interested in me. I'm sorry about that myself, because it's not a fair starting point. Because in the worst case, this results in a marriage of convenience in which both live in a sad arrangement.

What do you think is your greatest advantage that your wealth enables you?
Enjoy the freedom not to have to worry about the materially essential.

What do you see as the major disadvantage of your wealth?
To speak of a disadvantage here would be outrageous towards financially disadvantaged people. However, money also comes with a lot of obligations. Just like having a name that is well known. You always have to meet certain expectations and you are rarely able to simply go about your life unobserved and without judgment.

What have you recently spent a large amount of money on?
I already know how that sounds now. In answering the question, I am definitely fulfilling a cliché. I received the last major invoice for the general overhaul of my two sailing boats. After the winter, that's always on the agenda. And in summer they are then used on Lake Tegernsee and Lake Lugano.

What is your most precious possession?
Sounds trite, but it's like this: My two children.

You have 2 children who were given the status of "millionaires" when they were born. How do the two deal with it?
Children have one thing ahead of adults: They are free of prejudice and live without judgment. My children never questioned what was there or why. But they also take the status for granted and at some point begin to take the comforts for granted. My daughter, who is just going through puberty, comes with absurd requests like a handbag for 2,000 euros. She then argues that her classmates also got the bag from their parents. Actually, the pressure is the same in every schoolyard. Only at the private school it's rarely about the latest PS4 game but rather about Prada bags, Louis Vuitton wallets and shoes for 500 euros. But she doesn't get anything like that from us. It is important to me to make my children aware that they are growing up in a very privileged way. By the time they are of legal age, they have already traveled to every continent and dinner in the 3-star restaurant is nothing unusual for either of them. It is my job as a parent to convey that other children do not enjoy this luxury. That there is no weekly steak and sushi, but rather sliced ​​turkey from the discounter around the corner. I try to make their comfortable life uncomfortable as often as possible and to get them out of their comfort zones. That also means public transport instead of a pick-up service, saving up your wishes and taking on one or the other volunteer task at the weekend. I hope that it will educate them to be social people with moral values, who understand that life is not about luxury handbags.

Do you go shopping at Aldi?
A supermarket for millionaires has not yet been invented ... In principle, I buy my groceries from the producer. But you have to be able to afford this luxury and I love to do it. It is important to me to buy food and especially animal products on fair terms. And anyone who can afford it would do well to do it that way. But of course I also buy a pack of pasta at the Aldi. By the way, they also have a very good wine.

What role does money play in your life?
Not a particularly big one. But I am aware that this statement is a product of my account balance. Because I don't have to worry too much about my financial situation. I think it looks different with the single mother with 3 children or the incapable of taking early retirement. Then money very quickly becomes an exposed role if you don't know how to pay the next rent ...

What attitude towards money were you brought up with?
With two principles: First, to be grateful for what our family has and to handle it carefully. It is thanks to my grandfather, who made everything out of nothing, that I am still able to manage several well-run companies today. It is mine, but also the duty of every individual in our family, to continue this legacy with respect. That doesn't have to mean that everyone should work in our family company. But the family name and the property must not be a reason for proletarian excesses.
Second, I was tried very early on how to increase wealth and use it sensibly.

Does money spoil character?
To answer the blanket with "yes" would be wrong. But I do believe that rich people often have a very self-centered perception. I often see in my environment that many things are taken for granted. In addition, it is the case that a lot of money can also bring many problems. The bandages become harder and the means used to fight are often anything but morally impeccable. I don't want to take myself out of there either. I couldn't say with a clear conscience that I never did things to advance a business deal that weren't far from commonplace. I'm anything but proud of it. In interpersonal relationships, however, when friendship is about love, ethical behavior is extremely important to me. Because these are the areas of life in which you can't get any further with money ... However, not all people with a bulging wallet have understood this yet ...

Do you have any idea what it's like to be poor?
No! And to say anything else would be an affront to people who are struggling financially to survive. However, I consider myself to be reasonably sensitive to the worries and needs of socially disadvantaged people. To deal with it and to help wherever possible is, in my opinion, an obligation of all upper class members.

How true is the cliché "parties, coke and hookers" that people like to put on rich people?
Is that so? I don't think the urge to do those three things is exponentially higher in millionaires. You are more likely to stand out because you can afford it more often. But to shear that over the comb now would be a big pigeonhole thinking ... At least I have left out coke and women from the horizontal trade so far and can hardly imagine developing an enthusiasm for it now.

Are you involved in charity?
Yes! For very different clubs and also from time to time privately. By the way, private is the keyword here. I already know that many rich people are accused of using charity events for self-marketing. Sometimes you need the general public to raise awareness of a topic. But it doesn't hurt anyone to do something good outside of a press conference. Not everything always has to be prepared for the media. Because if you are really a social person, you show it all year round and not only for charitable purposes. He's a good friend, a reliable family member, and an attentive citizen.

What advice do you give the average consumer who would like to be a millionaire?
You have to be clear, if you disregard the lucky lottery winner, that such wealth cannot come from being a secure employee. Anyone who loves their 09 to 05 job but longs for big money will very likely have no prospect of success. In most cases, people have put up with great hardship over the years in order to advance a (business) idea. In the end, of course, you only ever see what has been achieved. The way there is certainly anything but glamorous. It takes a lot of courage in yourself and your abilities to put everything on a horse. But in most cases it is also a time full of self-discipline and a meager life until you can live from your idea. Or in the worst case it fails.

* Name changed.
-The interview was taped and recorded true to the original.