Losing Millions

I remember being around 4 years old and often going to visit my grandparents at their mansion in the hills of Silicon Valley.  A few years later, when I was around 7 years old, I remember visiting them at the motel downtown where they were now living.


They lost everything. Their mansion, their cars, investment properties. Everything. Gone in the blink of an eye.


Before they lost it all, they lived in a mansion in Los Altos Hills, CA , where the median home price is around 8 million dollars. They had almost 2 dozen other properties spread out all over the Silicon Valley.  Los Altos, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, and Palo Alto. If I were to take a guess at their net worth in today’s terms, it would probably be near 100 million dollars.


It’s quite tragic really, from a mansion in the hills to a trailer park downtown, in what seemed like the blink of an eye.


The conclusion I came to was that it was actually not gone in the blink of an eye. Their wealth was slowly eroded by stagnation and complacency. By 40 years old, my grandfather retired. He stopped hustling and sat back on what he had built. However, they didn’t change their lifestyle.


As the money started to dwindle, they would default on payments. The bank would foreclose on one property, then the next, and the next. They slowly lost everything, bit by bit.


It’s easy to just say they weren’t smart with money or they should have been satisfied with less. But the truth is, this is not a story about what will happen if you don’t control your money. Instead, this is a story about what will happen when you let your money control you.


I know for a fact that witnessing this tragedy as a child and trying to understand what could possibly lead to this, helped to shape how I treat money now as an adult. The moral that I learned from living through this experience is that pride and complacency can slowly destroy everything you’ve built in your life.


Appreciate what you have but don’t lose the drive that made you get it in the first place. Always be willing to adjust if your circumstances change because if you dont, it could all be gone tomorrow.