Money is a great servant but a bad master says Mr.Akram Miknas
“Bill Gates, the fourth richest man on the planet, is pictured with a bag of leftovers”; “Despite his enormous fortune, Bill Gates carries the leftovers of his dinner”; and “Despite his obscene wealth, Bill Gates carries the remains of his dinner”.
These were some of the headlines in the media in response to a photo of Gates exiting a restaurant with what appeared to be a takeaway bag. The comments indicated widespread condemnation of this behavior by a man who, if he gave his riches to the world's residents, each would receive more than $20.
But let's take a closer look at the guy who founded and oversees the world's greatest charity giver, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This foundation has more than $50 billion in assets and has given more than $40 billion in donations to education and health programs around the world.
Gates was also a leading donor to scientific research initiatives connected to Covid-19, vaccine development, and humanity's rescue from the epidemic.
I genuinely like this self-made man's charm and intelligence. He predicted a decade ago that humanity's demise would come not from an atomic or hydrogen bomb, but from a lethal virus that spreads swiftly and threatens our lives and ways of life. He advocated for speeding up medical research to address self-developing viruses and prevent their spread with an effective cure at the time.
He decided to sell or gift the majority of his Microsoft shares, with the value of the donations totaling $35.8 billion so far, while retaining only 1% of the firm, or around $10 billion. Furthermore, despite the fact that Gates spends his money on a variety of activities and collectibles, he prioritizes humanitarian and charity efforts around the world.
Despite this, some people accuse him of being frugal because of his small clothing spending, as well as the fact that he wears a cheap watch and frequently consumes fast food. According to reports, he gives each of his three children $10 million, implying that they will inherit only 1.1 percent of their father's money because Gates thought that they should thrive and start their own businesses.
The media can even criticize Gates' friend Warren Buffett, the famed investor, of being frugal. He shares not just several firms and industries with Gates, but also some personal characteristics, such as modest dress and consuming fast food.
When the money markets are bad, he chooses a $1.70 McDonald's lunch, but when they are good, he treats himself to a $2.30 meal, which means he permits himself to spend an extra half dollar on his food on the day he generates millions of dollars in earnings.
This may appear unusual, but it isn't when we consider what Buffett said about spending money: "If you buy what you don't need today, you will most likely have to sell what you need tomorrow."
“Make sure to save the amount you want first and then spend the rest, rather than spending what you want and then saving the rest,” he added.
In 1978, I reintroduced my company Promoseven in Bahrain, and it grew in popularity over the years. I continued to transfer money to my bank account without checking my final amount. After a few years, the bank manager invited me to lunch with him. He asked me an unexpected question during lunch. "Do you want to be your money's master or servant?" You now have a million dollars in your bank account, and you must decide whether to invest it to help you build your business and assist the people in your community, or to become a slave to money and spend all of your time thinking about the profits you make."
The individual was an expert, and he has subsequently assisted me in determining my financial status. The ownership of a million dollars in those days by a man still in his prime of life would have tempted him away from the correct path and enticed him to drown in pleasures and vanity, but I made it a point to avoid that path.
Originally published on 19th July 2021 on Gulf Daily News