Having rich friends has enriched my life in ways that a million dollars in cash could not come close to doing. I’m not just talking about the gifts, the trips, and the various other lifestyle perks that include weekends in Malibu and drinking Veuve with every meal. Having wealthy friends opens up a world of experience and opportunity that will make you want to say goodbye to your sorority sisters and start out on a new way of life.
During my junior year of prep school, there was an ostentatiously wealthy boy named George (not his real name) who lived in the room next to mine. George’s family had a fleet of white Mercedes and he loved carrying around wads of cash that would form a conspicuous bulge in the back of his Ralph Lauren chinos. George and I were both unpopular students who affected snobby pretenses and so naturally we quickly became friends. At that age, as continues today, I had limited funds at my disposal but a constant hunger for living well. George also had a constant hunger for living well but unlimited funds with which to pursue such a lifestyle.
It had started innocently enough – George and I would frequently go out to eat at the town’s only decent restaurant and we would split the bill. But then our eating out began to outpace my weekly allowance and George started paying all the time, for everything that we did together. The following year when I went off to school in France, George arranged a weekend visit where he and his mother flew to Paris and booked a suite at the Ritz where we stayed. He bought me a Rolex.
Ever since, I have had friends with more money than me (though this is not such a high standard, the local McDonalds manager probably has more in the bank than I do). I have never set out to become friends with someone because of their resources, but it so happens that it is usually people with wealth that have shared similar experiences and enjoy similar things.
One of my past best friends and I bonded at a party after I discovered that she was smoking Yves Saint Laurent cigarettes. During the year that I lived in France, I also smoked YSL cigarettes for their glamorous affect and the chic black and gold packaging. It was that shared experience that sparked a conversation, which led to us becoming friends. Only later did I find out that she was the daughter of someone famous and her friendship opened up a lifestyle of fabulousness that I could have never previously imagined.
Now of course you can’t go hunting for rich friends. It’s not as simple as spending an evening at the Four Seasons bar and expecting that lady with the perfect blow out and expensive handbag to start chatting with you – she’s probably a hooker anyway.
So you might be wondering then, how can I meet wealthy people to befriend? Well, rehab is a great place to start. Like summer camp for the rich and reckless, tony rehab centers are great ways to bond over the shared experiences of addiction, group therapy and table tennis. Also, like a top tier Ivy League school, the price of admission is restrictively high – usually in the high five figures for a 30 night stay so you can be sure your fellow addicts either have fantastic insurance (are rich) or can pay out of pocket (are rich). Secondly, you know people in rehab like to party. This makes it a prime spot for making new friends.
If you live in Los Angeles or New York, you might also think about joining a cult that rich people like, such as Scientology or Landmark Education. I was recently invited by a client to one of these meetings and found that they were replete with entertainment industry professionals and fertile ground for networking.
Beyond that, all you can do is make yourself the kind of person that is interesting to be around and stop wasting time on dead end friendships that are not making your life better. Your friends are an investment – you spend time and money to maintain those relationships – make sure they yield gains or cut your loses.