The traditional, romanticized impression of the world’s wealthiest individuals is clear. Influenced by popular culture, members of the public lean towards The Wolf of Wall Street-sized properties and corporate meetings in mirrored tower blocks when they think of billionaires.
But the way people make large amounts of money is changing, and the way that money is spent is changing too. Where once fortunate people would climb the corporate ladder to take on swathes of responsibility and capital, the ability to become wealthy has been somewhat democratized with the rise of cryptocurrency and self–made internet personalities. People who cater to the deepest desires of billionaires, such as Jonny Dodge, have identified the trends in tycoon tendencies as they become more ambitious.
Age is just a number
The age of the world’s billionaires may be changing, but the wealth of young tech entrepreneurs is keeping up with the conventional capital of their older counterparts. Companies in the luxury sector are beginning to open up to blockchain and alternative payment methods to enable a financial influx from the new affluent generation.
Cryptocurrency and opportunities in Web3 are, inherently, the playground of this internet cohort. The impact has been a significant trend towards high net worth figures emerging at earlier ages, thus influencing billion-dollar spending habits.
“In the last two years, the average age of a superyacht owner has dropped by 10,” Dodge outlined. “It used to be people in their 40s and 50s that could afford these luxury items; now it’s people in their 30s and 40s. That shift is mainly due to the Web 3.0 and emerging tech such as A.I boom and the evolving design, use, and attraction of yachts.”
A new nomadic lifestyle
Alluded to earlier was the mansion-like imagery often associated with wealthy people. It’s a truth that has been largely accurate for the past centuries as real estate made for one of the most stable investments for those with abundant capital.
The way people make money, especially since the pandemic, has changed from the lowest to the highest earners. Income is no longer tied to geographical locations such as office blocks. As a result, many billionaires’ life structure and expenditure have changed dramatically, with perpetual travel enriching the lives of those with the financial reserves to commit to it.
“Entire industries in the luxury space have changed so much,” Dodge explained. “People are far more nomadic now, so they use the likes of yachts and jets as second homes. It has created a brand new environment and way of living in the luxury world. The trend across the board is towards longer trips that last several months at a time, which means the yachts and jets are getting bigger and more lucrative.”
The economy of experiences
Tangible investment in the likes of a superyacht has some limitations for crypto billionaires who want to live an unrestricted life. Therefore, worldwide experiences can offer the pinnacle of exclusivity that 2022’s wealthiest crave.
“Money is no object in the unique experiences that today’s billionaires are seeking out,” Dodge said. “We’re talking about trips to space, breakfast at Everest Base Camp by helicopter, or flying to each of the seven wonders of the world in one week. Experiences can also be about billionaires taking their mobile properties to the next level. An example is hosting celebrity DJs at parties on their private jets.”
These nomadic lifestyles, centered around lavish social events, bespoke customization, and uncharted experiences, culminate in a new sense of impermanence surrounding current billionaire spending. The nature of today’s capital—often held in fluctuating cryptocurrency wallets—mirrors and justifies the uninhibited worldview at play. As centralized finance is displaced, so too are conventional spending patterns among the most successful entrepreneurs.