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#15 - Private Banking

#15 - Private Banking

Swiss Private Banking
Min. deposit: $1 million

Rich people love multiple bank accounts; rich people love Swiss Bank accounts. Switzerland is an excellent choice due to bank secrecy, low risk, economic stability and let’s be honest who doesn’t love saying “wire it to my Swiss account”. Few industries are enshrouded by mystery as Swiss banking. Despite James Bond’s distrust of Swiss bankers, learn a few rules and you will be leading sparkling conversation that makes your wealthy compatriots envy your international financial knowledge.

Bankers will not install microprocessors under your skin, you won’t feel like James Bond withdrawing your cash and you certainly won’t have a Da Vinci Code key to tote around. In fact, private banking services in Switzerland are remarkably similar to private banking services in Cleveland, but who wants to go to Cleveland? What you do get is banking secrecy rivaled by few countries the world over. Clients may use Swiss banks to shield assets from spiteful spouses, intrusive government tax agencies, angry patients, unscrupulous business associates, greedy litigators or a host of leeches laying claim to the birthright of the fabulously wealthy.

Besides the intense secrecy laws that protect account holders, private banking has unrivalled levels of service far surpassing the common man’s mass market retail savings and checking accounts. Rich people can ensure they avoid teller lines, dirty ATMs, pens on chains and cattle-herding polyester ropes by liaising with their personal banker in the comfort of a private office. Services are extensive and typically include wealth management counseling services, investment advice and estate planning peppered with offside humor at the expense of poor people. While the minimum million dollars in assets in not particularly prohibitive, many private Swiss Banks will only extend an invitation to new customers based upon a referral from current customers. Nevertheless, during your next visit to St. Moritz, delay the departure of your Gulfstream, visit Zurich and engage bankers that have served European royalty for over 300 years. Unsurprisingly, you are unlikely to encounter Mr. Christoph Meili in the lobby.

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#13 - Private Jets

#13 - Private Jets

Gulfstream G550
Price: $51,900,000

There comes a point in every rich person’s life when having a personal assistant book airline tickets, waiting in the Emirates lounge, sampling vintages in the Grand Cru at the Dubai Airport and flying first class becomes tiresome. It is time to visit Gulfstream in Madison, Connecticut, 2003 winners of the Robert J. Collier award for outstanding innovation in aeronautics in America. A private jet is convenient and damned civilized; if you have the means, I highly recommend it.

Gulfstream manufactures seven models with the Gulfstream G650 scheduled for release in 2012. For now, the G550 is the most exclusive jet available to billionaires. With a range of 6,760 nautical miles and cruising altitude of 41,000 ft no destination is too far. Such range dictates that comfort is top-of-mind for the wealthy jet set. The G550 will accommodate 18 passengers with 7 berthing seats and is available in any custom configuration one desires. Should owners require Phillipe Starck fixtures, elephant skin seats, Malmaison flatware, persian carpets or Louis XIV desks…the designers at Gulfstream will bring your dreams to life.

To combat effects of jetlag, the cabin is pressurized to 6,000 ft and 100% fresh air is pumped throughout the plane while you watch DVDs on built-in LCD televisions and enjoy hot food on exquisite china. Advanced soundproofing and signature oval windows keep noise levels low while the jet cruises at up to Mach 0.87 or 926 km/h. This powerful thrust is provided by Rolls-Royce engines which have helped the Gulfstream G550 break 39 (and counting) city pair speed records including West Hampton to Beijing and Honolulu to Higüey. Interestingly, while this jet is well suited for international flights, the espresso machine is optional.

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