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First with Financial Comment from Arabia

Is millionaire right to give away his $4.5m fortune?

with 10 comments

Consider the curious case of Karl Rabeder, a self-made businessman from Austria who is giving away his $4.5 million fortune because he found being rich was making him unhappy. Is he mad or just eccentric?

Only The Daily Telegraph could come up with such a story. His fabulous $2.3 million home in the Austrian Alps (pictured above) is to go and his $1 million farm house in Provence. The interior furnishings business that made him rich has already gone.

Well earned riches

Most people in similar circumstances feel that they have worked very hard for what they have got, and generally think it should have been more or that they were cheated in someway. Mr. Rabeder apparently believes he will be happier living in a small hut and giving his money to charities in Central and Latin America to help the very poor.

The tipping point came on a three-week holiday staying in a five-star hotel in Hawaii that Mr. Rabeder and his wife thought soulless with themselves and the staff just actors on a stage.

Yet it would take a lot more than a bad holiday in America to persuade most people that being a multi-millionaire was not worth the candle. What about the financial security for the future?

If the big homes are a burden then downsize to something simpler and more practical. For most people this looks like a simple failure of imagination. They would have a Ferrari and be done with it. Mr. Rabeder is even selling his Audi A8.

Personal freedom

But then again the whole point of being wealthy is to be free to do what makes you happy. If giving your money away to enrich the poor gives you satisfaction then why not?

It is perfectly true that you can only live in one house at a time, drive one car and eat so many five-star meals without feeling sick. But this seems a curious allergic reaction to materialism and good living, a sort of personal communist revolution.

Perhaps in future years The Daily Telegraph will care to report back on their Karl whose Marxist credentials would have pleased the master, or will he be forgotten now that he is just another average citizen of modest means. Mad is the word.

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Written by Peter Cooper

February 9, 2010 at 1:48 pm

10 Responses

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  1. If being rich doesn’t make him happy, so why not he bring the poor to “taste” becoming rich. That’s way, he can sharing his success to others. Make a lot of friends with love. I’m sure he will become happy if in his life he received a lot of love (not love because of money, though).

    Where I can contact him personally ? I need a lot of money for work (just US$200,000), and I’m sure he can help me with his money. Let me “taste” becoming rich like him, or even more rich than him.

    Contact Me ! ASAP.

    Afif

    March 24, 2010 at 4:23 pm

  2. Mr. Rabader, You have every right to do what ever you want with your money, it’s your. If you have any left and would like to help out a 47 year old women who was divorced after 20yrs, and left with nothing it would be greatly appreciated. I am tryin to better myself by going to school but thing are really tough right now. Thank you, Laurie

    Laurie

    March 10, 2010 at 8:28 pm

  3. One of the best lessons I have learned in my life is this: Money does not make you anything. It just makes you more of what you already are.”

    If you are a caring, loving, philanthropic person, chances are good you will give more. If you are lonely, chances are the chasm between you and love will grow. If you are an ass, chances are you will just be a bigger ass.

    Sounds to me like this gentleman fits into the first category, and the perception is that “money makes me unhappy” comes from being a giving person who feels guilt and wants to share with the less fortunate. Good for him if that’s what floats your boat. I’m no shrink. Just a guess.

    Either way, I hope he finds what he’s looking for.

    Jared

    February 14, 2010 at 3:37 am

  4. Mr. Rabeder if that make you happy, do it…its a good think…being broke is not fun..may God bless your heart.

    V.Roy

    February 11, 2010 at 8:07 pm

  5. MR. REBEDER’S ACTIONS ARE BEYOND EXEMPLERY. I PRAY GOD GIVES ME THE GRACE TO BE AS “MAD”.

    RAY

    February 11, 2010 at 1:36 am

  6. I think he is doing good I really wish that I could have received a little bit of that crumb he is giving away so that I can pay off my bills and be happy.

    Carmen

    February 11, 2010 at 1:27 am

  7. TO MR. KARL RABEDER IF YOU WANT TO TO GIVE YOUR MONEY TO CHARITY THAT GREAT ADD ME TO YOUR LIST. I WILL PUT IT TO A GOOD CAUSE. CONTACT ME ASAP. OR CAN YOU TEACH ME TO BECOME A SELF- MADE BUSINESSMAN. I AM WILLING TO LEARN. OR CAN YOU GIVE ME BUSINESS IF YOU DONT WANT IT ANY MORE. I WOULD LOVE THAT. THANK YOU.

    ELOUISE

    February 10, 2010 at 8:12 pm

  8. “The best way to help the poor is not to become one of them.” Quote Lang Hancock Australian mining magnate

    Georges

    February 10, 2010 at 11:31 am

  9. Hmmm, dunno’ about this one. I can’t help but recall a quote attributed to Mae West: “I’ve been rich, and I’ve been poor. Believe me, rich is better.”

    (She took the words right out of my mouth…)

    Eric

    February 10, 2010 at 10:01 am

  10. he will soon realize that he is still unhappy

    rod

    February 10, 2010 at 6:15 am


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