You’ve really got to feel for someone who blows a casual US$650 million dollars. While not exactly a relatable first world problem, the sheer volume of missing cash is enough to make you wish you never had it in the first place.
This is the scenario currently playing out for Johnny Depp. Last year it was reported by Rolling Stone that everyone’s favourite pirate was bordering on bankruptcy.
After a career spent crushing it, Johnny went supersonic after starring in The Pirates of The Caribbean franchise. Those films, along with his other work, earned Depp an estimated US$650 million, but now it’s all gone.
Off the back of this fortune-into-misfortune disaster, Bloomberg let us in on seven tips to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes Johnny did.
1. Have a plan
This might seem obvious, but it’s important to have a long term plan when dealing with your many millions. When you scroll through Depp’s spending it’s clear his plan was “lots of spending.” He famously spent $3 million to shoot his pal Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes into the sky from a cannon. Bad plan.
2. Delegate but be involved
When you’re operating in the $650 million dollar bracket, you’re not expected to be pocketing receipts. Eventually, you’ll need to delegate tasks to your team, but it’s crucial to stay informed about what’s going on.
3. Understand your career cycle
This tip is basically about peaks and troughs – one minute you’re Captain Jack Sparrow, the next you’re a washed-up Hollywood has been. The top-earning years don’t last forever. Make hay while the sun shines and don’t spend the same once you’re on the wane.
4. Friends and family off the payroll
You can’t put a price on family, but you kind of can. Depp learnt the hard way that mixing family and finances can be a fiscal nightmare. At one point he had his sister, brother-in-law and their son on his payroll. “[My sister] was buying handbags for my mom, who was bedridden,” Depp recalls in the Rolling Stone piece. “Jewelry, fucking this, that, everything.”
5. Avoid debt
The more you have, the more you spend and the grander your tastes become. Mike Tyson certainly didn’t own tigers when he was penniless. Money breeds living beyond your means, which can be a tough habit to break. So then you start to borrow, which is a slippery slope. Try to avoid unnecessary debts, say no to the tiger.
6. Keep your investments simple
The minute you come into cash people you went to high school will be hitting you up to invest in their new cryptocurrency. Don’t take the bait, instead stick with the tried and tested: stocks, bonds and property.
7. Understand what money is and what it isn’t
Money can’t hug you back, money can’t cure illness and money definitely can’t protect you from the world. Just ask Johnny Depp. Money is a transient tool and no amount – not even $650 million – lasts forever.
The advice in this article is general and for entertainment purposes, readers should seek professional opinions before making any financial decisions of their own.