Comedian Steven Wright once mused, “You never know what you have until its gone. I wanted to know what I had, so I got rid of everything.”
It is not known whether or not Wright has begun a career moonlighting as a financial advisor. What is apparent, however, is that one of the world’s richest men (it’s still men who are the richest) has given away his fortune to charity.
Yu Pengnian, the Chinese real-estate tycoon, has transferred his entire $1.2 billion estate to his Yu Pengnian Foundation, which he started in 2003 to provide support for the poorest regions in his country, in particular to pay for cataract surgeries, which the billionaire suffered from before accumulating his fortune.
As a result of benefacting his own foundation, his children will forgo their inheritance. (A mutual decision they have been included in.)
And while it is unlikely that Yu Pengnian was inspired by Wright’s deadpan comic observation, his actions do seem reminiscent of Stephen M. Pollan and Mark Levine’s radical financial offering Die Broke. Continue reading