Frugal Lessons From a Guy Who Lost $90 Million

by Justin Weinger on August 30, 2011

You’ve probably heard of the name John McAfee, however, if you can’t place the name, go to the bottom right corner of your computer screen and check out your antivirus software. Is it McAfee

As you might have guessed, creating one of the world’s most widely used antivirus software makes you rich. Really rich. $100 million rich. It buys you several multi-million dollar homes, cars, toys, you name it. Sounds pretty awesome, right?

Not according to McAfee, who ultimately lost almost $90 million of his estimated $100 million fortune, and he couldn’t be happier.

In an interesting article entitled “Antivirus Software Pioneer Gets Dose of Reality,” Chris Bury writes about McAfee’s story and how he (McAfee) became a slave to his possessions:

McAfee’s net worth dropped from within the ballpark of $100 million to less than $10 million, he told ABC News. But instead of feeling a sense of loss, he says he feels free.

“I feel a sense of freedom,” he said. “People think that it’s a joy to own things. But it really isn’t.”

McAfee’s net worth dropped from within the ballpark of $100 million to less than $10 million, he told ABC News. But instead of feeling a sense of loss, he says he feels free.

“I feel a sense of freedom,” he said. “People think that it’s a joy to own things. But it really isn’t.”

McAfee’s net worth dropped from within the ballpark of $100 million to less than $10 million, he told ABC News. But instead of feeling a sense of loss, he says he feels free.

“I feel a sense of freedom,” he said. “People think that it’s a joy to own things. But it really isn’t.”

(Click here to read the entire article.  It’s a great read!)

Obviously, this is a $100 million problem many of us would like to have, and it’s easy for someone to still be happy after losing $90 million when you still have $10 million or so left over. I don’t expect much sympathy for McAfee and, quite frankly, neither does he:

McAfee says he expects no sympathy. “Oh, God, I hope they don’t have sympathy. I don’t have sympathy for my position,” he said. “I’m perfectly happy.”

In fact, he believes that to a certain extent, the recession has served a useful purpose: “It’s brought home a dose of reality,” he said. “And sometimes a little pain is necessary to see and understand the true circumstances of your life.”

The moral of the story here is that even for really rich people, less is often more. 

By being happy with what you have and living below your means you’ll avoid becoming a slave to your money and your possessions, and exponentially increase the quality of your life!  You won’t be stuck in the possession-based rat race which ultimately does nothing but suck the life out of you.

By staying away from the trap of placing so much importance on material possessions, you will truly be free financially.

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