Pile of Money2014 was a bad year for hedge funds and hedge fund managers. It wasn’t just a bad year, it was the worst since the Great Rrecession started in 2008.

In 2014 the average hedge fund was up 3%. In 2013 the average hedge fund was up 7%. Yes, 2014 was one of the worst years in recent memory.

Only $1.3 Billion

Accordingly, in the pay-for-performance culture of Wall Street, the top hedge fund managers’ pay was cut in half. Forbes reports, “The highest paid hedge fund manager only made $1.3 billion (in 2014).”

The average pay of the highest paid hedge fund managers in 2014 was $460 million. Compared to last year, the average pay of the highest paid hedge fund managers was $840 million. Yes, a bad year for hedge fund managers.

But on a little different note, this started me thinking…

How Much Is It, Really?

How much is a billion dollars? I know it is a million times a thousand ($1 billion = $1 million x 1,000 or 1,000 x $1,000,000.00 = $1,000,000,000.00).

Anyway you look at it, that’s a lot of zeros. Almost an incomprehensible number of zeros. (Can you imagine what a trillion dollars looks like? If you’re interested, here’s short video:“3D Animation, What 1 Trillion Dollars Looks Like.”)

The notion of a billion or even a million seems to minimize the number. Plus, in the news, we hear congress toss around a billion here and a billion there, like it’s Monopoly money. (In a sense, it is.  A billion dollars is a little more than eight hours of operations for the federal government.)

But how much is a billion dollars to me? (Because, after all, I am the one who counts in this equation.)

A billion dollars, or even one dollar, truly does not have any value to me until I spend it. So in order to get a grasp on how much a billion dollars is to me, I calculated that, if I was 40 years old and lived until age 90, I would have to spend a little less than $55,000 a day.

I don’t know that I could do it…

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