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还不是超级富豪?那你够幸运……

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还不是超级富豪?那你够幸运……

Great wealth is overrated.

人们对于财富的那种艳慕似乎过了头。

Whenever my kids swoon over a palatial home or a passing Ferrari, it always bugs the heck out of me. Before long, I am on my soapbox, insisting that they shouldn't be awed by such symbols of wealth.

每当我的孩子们看着一处豪宅、一辆疾驰而过的法拉力(Ferrari)惊叹不已时,总让我觉得如鲠在喉。总有一天我会忍不住对他们说,不应该被这些财富的表象东西所吓倒。

This might sound odd coming from a personal-finance columnist. But the fact is, while it is comforting to be financially secure, money is no measure of self-worth, no guarantee of happiness -- and no reason to be impressed.

这种言论出自一位个人理财专栏作家之口听起来有些奇怪。不过,现实情况是:拥有足够多的财富让人高枕无忧固然是件好事,但金钱并非衡量自我价值的标尺、不一定就能带来快乐,也不会因此而被人铭记在心。

Forget Respect
忘记尊重

We all tend to sit up and take notice when we come across people with fancy titles, hefty incomes and immense riches. Yet these aren't signs of genius or virtue. Want proof? All it takes is two words: Paris Hilton.

当我们见到那些挂着显赫头衔、日进斗金的超级富豪时总习惯于坐直身板,并对之报以相当的关注。然而拥有这些并不表示他们就是天才或是品德高尚的人。证据?看看帕丽斯•希尔顿(Paris Hilton)就够了。

Wealth may be inherited, which means the beneficiaries' struggle for riches didn't extend beyond the delivery room. Legendary investor Warren Buffett, the billionaire chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, has described 'the idea that you win the lottery the moment you're born' as 'outrageous.'

财富可以被继承,这就意味着那些含金钥匙出生的继承人们只要从娘胎里爬出来就算是成功完成了自己的财富“奋斗历程”。伯克希尔•哈撒威 (Berkshire Hathaway)董事长、股神巴菲特(Warren Buffett)曾经将“出生豪门如同中奖”的想法形容为“无耻”。

What about the self-made rich? Shouldn't we be more impressed by them? While their hard work and perseverance are often admirable, I wouldn't be too quick to deify.

那么白手起家的又如何呢?我们是否应该更敬重他们一些?尽管他们的艰苦奋斗和坚强意志值得尊敬,但因此就将他们奉若神明似乎有些草率。

Today, if you are adept at judging the chances that a corporate takeover will go through, you can make good money running an investment fund devoted to merger arbitrage. Such a skill, however, wasn't nearly so valuable in thirteenth century England -- or, for that matter, twenty-first century Afghanistan.

今天,如果你对于判断一宗收购交易能否成功有着敏锐的嗅觉,那么经营一家专门从事合并套戥的投资基金将会让你赚得盆满钵满。然而如果倒退到13世纪的英格兰,你的能力就远没那么值钱了──在21世纪的阿富汗也是这样。

In other words, in a different society or at a different time, your peculiar set of skills might ensure fabulous financial success. But in today's America, you are just another working stiff.

换句话说,在另一种社会环境或者时代背景下,你特有的技能也许会为你赚回大把大把的钞票。然而在今天的美国,你不过是普通的工薪阶层罢了。

Losing Money
钱财流失

Displays of wealth can also be misleading. Folks can appear wealthy -- but the mansion may be fully mortgaged, the cars might be leased and the landscaper may still be awaiting payment.

看起来很风光的有钱人其实未必一定有钱,住的豪宅也许全是用贷款买的、车可能是租的、而且没准儿还欠着庭院设计师的帐没付呢。

Even if you come across somebody who can easily afford the trappings of wealth, the trappings themselves are not a sign of wealth, but of wealth that has been spent. The money lavished on the cars, homes and jewelry is now gone.

即便有那么一些富人确实能轻而易举地负担这些奢侈品,这些东西本身也不是富有的标志,只能表明他们花出去了多少钱。那些挥霍在靓车、豪宅、珠宝上面的钱就像泼出去的水。

True, these purchases could always be sold. But there's no guarantee they will fetch the price that was paid -- and, in the meantime, they may require hefty maintenance costs.

诚然,这些东西总还可以卖掉,但最后能否回本就不好说了,况且平时维护它们还需要投入大笔的资金。

Don't get me wrong: There is nothing wrong with spending. The whole reason for saving and investing now is so we can have money to spend later. That said, I can't imagine why I should find this spending impressive -- and I am not sure it is making the spenders happy.

不要误解我的本意:花钱并没有错,进行储蓄和投资的目的就是让自己以后有钱可花。因此,难以想像如此的挥霍会对我有吸引力,我也不敢肯定富豪们真的会从挥霍中找到快乐。

Feeling Tense
感受压力

As the old adage goes, money doesn't buy happiness. Yes, those with high incomes and more wealth often say they are happier.

老话说得好,金钱难买幸福。当然,那些高收入、有钱人往往表示他们更幸福。

This may, however, be a so-called focusing illusion. When the well-heeled are asked how satisfied they are with their lives, they contemplate their position in society -- and they realize they're pretty fortunate.

但这也许正是所谓的“聚焦幻觉”吧。当这些有钱人被问及他们对自己生活的满意程度时,他们会对自己的社会地位进行一番思考,并意识到自己十分幸福。

But research has found that, when high-income earners are asked about their emotions on a periodic basis throughout the workday, they don't report being any happier -- but they are more likely to say they are anxious or angry.

然而研究发现,如果在工作日中、定期向那些高收入者询问其情绪状况,没有人会说自己比别人更快乐,倒是更有可能说自己感到焦虑或愤怒。

No Satisfaction
欲壑难填

All this might have you scratching your head. It seems obvious that your life would be better if you had a gardener to maintain the yard, a chef to prepare your meals and a private jet to whisk you off to exotic locations.

所有这一切可能会让你百思不得其解。因为如果有位园丁为你打理花园、有大厨为你烹饪美味、还有架私人直升机带你周游世界,你的生活显然应当过得更好啊。

And if you were suddenly handed all these things, life would indeed be grand -- until you got used to them. Unfortunately, after a while, you would become accustomed to the great food and the no-hassle travel, and you would be hankering for something even better.

假设你突然之间就拥有了上述所有东西,那样的日子简直妙不可言──直到有一天你习惯了这一切。不幸的是,用不了多久,你就会吃腻了珍馐美味,厌倦了专属的旅行,这时候你将开始向往那些好上加好的东西了。

Problem is, once you are used to life's finest, that hankering can be hard to satisfy. Suppose you go to the best restaurant in town with your wealthy friends. To you, the food is unimaginably good. To your friends, it is just another meal -- and yet there's no place better they can eat.

问题是,一旦习惯了最豪华的生活,要想再上一层楼会十分困难。比如,你和你的有钱朋友去城里最豪华的餐馆吃饭,对于你来说,饭菜好得超乎想像,但对于你的朋友来说,不过是平常的一顿饭罢了。可是,再没有更好的餐馆供这些富豪们光顾了。

Finding Purpose
寻找人生目标

As you might gather, I think it is important to realize that there is nothing that special about the wealthy or the life they lead. But my goal isn't to discourage folks from striving to be rich. That brings me back to my children.

也许你已经想到了,我认为意识到“有钱人以及有钱人的生活并无特殊之处”这一点很重要。但我的目的并不是给那些正努力致富的人泼冷水。说到这里,又要谈回我的孩子们。

Not everybody will grow up to be president of the United States -- or, for that matter, president of a major corporation. Still, I hate the idea that my kids might be so awed by such people that they consider these lofty positions out of reach.

不是每个人将来都会成为美国总统、或公司总裁的。不过,我依然不喜欢我的孩子过于敬畏那些高官显贵,以致于相信这种位置对自己来说根本遥不可及。

Maybe, of course, my kids will decide that they aren't interested in spending their lives in pursuit of fame and fortune, and that would be fine. But I don't want them to be so awestruck by anybody -- whether wealthy, talented or powerful -- that they rule out such possibilities.

当然,也许我的孩子对于追求名利并无兴趣,这样也不错。但我不希望他们被任何人吓倒,从而失去追求的勇气和信心,无论这些人是有钱、有才还是有权。

Having enough money is important, but having heaps of it doesn't guarantee happiness. Instead, what matters is doing something that you enjoy and that gives you a sense of purpose -- and I don't want my children to be deterred from doing just that.

赚到足够多的钱很重要,但钱多不一定就能保证你拥有幸福。重要的是你做了自己喜欢做的事,并让它为自己的生活赋予前进的目标。我可不希望孩子们连这一点都不敢去做。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
periodic [.piəri'ɔdik]

想一想再看

adj. 周期的,定期的,间歇的,完句的

 
tend [tend]

想一想再看

v. 趋向,易于,照料,护理

 
investor [in'vestə]

想一想再看

n. 投资者

 
fortune ['fɔ:tʃən]

想一想再看

n. 财产,命运,运气

 
mansion ['mænʃən]

想一想再看

n. 大厦,豪宅,楼宇

联想记忆
guarantee [.gærən'ti:]

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n. 保证,保证书,担保,担保人,抵押品
vt

 
secure [si'kjuə]

想一想再看

adj. 安全的,牢靠的,稳妥的
vt. 固定

联想记忆
discourage [dis'kʌridʒ]

想一想再看

vt. 使气馁,阻碍

联想记忆
maintenance ['meintinəns]

想一想再看

n. 维护,保持,维修,生活费用
n. 供给,

联想记忆
valuable ['væljuəbl]

想一想再看

adj. 贵重的,有价值的
n. (pl.)贵

联想记忆


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