Many people have this idea that China is poor and its people are starving. If you have not spent some time there, you wouldn't know that there are lots of millionaires in the major cities of China. And many Chinese are living the good life like us.
Many of the rich Chinese who apply for Singapore Permanent Residency through its Investment scheme have high net worth of S$10 million.
This is the story of Mr Li, 51, a self-described billionaire, who has bought a S$2.4 million apartment in Singapore. He and his wife own several million-dollar apartments in China. The couple's net worth places them in the top 1 percent of families in China.
Yet each day Mr Li continues to crack his head, still striving for his next big strike. Two years ago, he lost a major bid for the construction of a US$80 million commercial building. He had spent half a year preparing for the bid. Employing extra staff and doing everything he could to secure the bid.
He's usually at his desk by 7. He typically stays awake 19 hours a day due to stress and insomnia. He travels a lot. Spending weeks in hotels. He also has lots of medical problems. Every week he has to see a Chinese Physician and take various herbal concoctions. He spends thousands of dollars on massages to relieve his tensed muscles. He's always on the look out for doctors to solve his insomnia problem. I have recommended almost all the best doctors in Singapore to him, yet the problem persists.
He seldom sees his children. They aren't close to him. And they have nothing much to say to one another when they have the occasional meal together. Mr Li keeps himself updated on his kids through me.
Several of his business friends have similar problems. Not that they are short of money, they have enough to last them for 3 generations, yet they are still actively pursuing more wealth. Even with their worth of S$10 million, they see that sum as relatively paltry.
"You're nobody here at $10 million," they said. Gosh. Where there are many people struggling to make a living daily, there are the rich who have what they need but are unhappy that they haven't got that sports car they've always wanted or the million-dollar yacht etc.
Well, the tendency to compare is not reserved for the very rich. When I was single, I never thought I would try to 'keep up with the Jones'. Later, mixing with an affluent crowd, it's hard to not get caught up in it. There's always someone with a bigger house and more branded stuff." When the comparison game starts, it never ends. Depressing, isn't it?
When money is their focus, people will never have enough.
Truly, none of us will ever have "enough." Is there a point where I will have enough things? I have reached that point now. I have all the things that I need. The few luxury items I would like, if I never get them won't make a difference in my life.