Mike Tyson, the famous boxer reportedly earned $300 million in his career, but it wasn’t enough to support a lavish lifestyle that famously includes pet tigers. He filed for bankruptcy in 2003, owing $27 million.
Jesse Livermore, also known as the “Boy Plunger,” the “Great Bear,” the “Wall Street Wonder,” and the “Cotton King,” was one of the most flamboyant and successful market speculators in the history of Wall Street. During his three-decade career as the King of the Speculators he reportedly made (and lost) four separate multi-million-dollar fortunes, was the subject of a best-selling biography (Reminiscences of a Stock Operator) and authored the classic 1940 work How to Trade Stocks. He was also one of the prominent speculators later blamed for having precipitated the Great Crash of 1929, during which he claimed to have made over $100 million.
Livermore committed suicide at New York’s Sherry-Netherland Hotel a week after Thanksgiving in 1940.
Ivar Kreuger was the “Match King,” a Swedish businessman who founded and ran Kreuger & Toll, a multi-billion-dollar match conglomerate. Kreuger, like other financial crooks of his era, was essentially running a huge pyramid scheme through a complex structure of hundreds of subsidiary shell companies, hiding his manipulation by cooking the company books and insisting that financial statements not be audited.
Kreuger & Toll securities were among the most widely held in the United States, and when the company went under in 1932 (nearly $250 million-worth of claimed assets were found to have never existed) investors lost millions in the largest bankruptcy of its time. The scandal led to the passage of laws requiring mandatory audits of all companies with listed securities.
Kreuger shot himself on 12 March 1932, although rumors have persisted that his death was a case of murder and not suicide.
The list of professional athletes and entertainers who had it all only to wind up destitute before or at the end are countless. One of the latest, that comes to mind is boxer Evander Holyfield. His story embodies the fact that we have to get to the end before we evaluate our entire lives.
Most recently, Joe Paterno can be upheld as the poster person illustrating the often forgotten fact that no man can evaluate the crest of his happiness and success until the end is known. Paterno was heralded as not only a legendary football coach, but also as an upstanding mentor who emphasized the importance of character to his players.
Then, before the end, a half-century long career ended not with admiration and the accolades he was so accustomed to , Instead a rapid slide down from the top with a character demolishing crash on the bottom because of the the Sandusky sex abuse scandal that unfolded on his watch. Two months later, he succumbed to cancer. Post expiration examinations point to the scandal, retracted record of achievements,his tarnished football program and it’s institution, expediting his death and the end, finding him a long way from happier days.
The takeaway from the above
Be grateful for what you have every day make the most of it, Humble yourself to the sources of your fruit.
Never forget the path traveled and those you met along the way. Money is good but oftimes not forever, and contributes so little to true happiness; If you lose it, you could find yourself left with nothing else from which to draw satisfaction. Hold near to you the things which last long after all else is gone
Sustain resilience . When men become successful, they often get sloppy in their decision-making, less circumspect about with whom they associate, and indulge in vices that lead to ruin. Once the negative perils of unnecessary mistakes soak in, it can be weakening both mentally and physically.
Persevere to the end . When you think you’ve “made it that starts your decline. You can’t let up. You have to maintain and sustain forward progress bolstered by deeply rooted morals and values. Take all the way to the end.
“As with most glurge, we might scratch the surface of this one to find a darker subtext beneath: only a few of us lead lives of privilege, it says; the rest of us can take comfort in a skewed “sour grapes” tale which casts those privileged few as corrupt individuals struggling through flawed, unhappy existences, inevitably suffering disastrous losses of their wealth and health. Perhaps better we not obscure the idea that happiness and misery, kindness and greed, and good works and bad deeds are within the capacities of us all, not merely a select few.” –From somewhere in the vast Internet