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Work hard, take risks, maybe build your own business. Of course, there's another highly traditional path to acquiring wealth that isn't talked about quite as much these days: Marry money. As in not a mere millionaire (a dime a dozen these days) but an honest-to-goodness billionaire - make that 10 figures after the dollar sign, please.True, it's not politically correct to go hunting for a marital meal ticket (or for that matter, to write about it).There aggressive overachievers compete with one another to donate the most in what Milton Pedraza, head of the Luxury Institute, a market research company that studies the wealthy, calls the "alms race." Now thanks to the Internet, you can ferret out those shindigs.
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To figure out which nonprofits are most likely to put you in touch with people of ultrahigh net worth, peruse the Chronicle of Philanthropy to see what causes top givers favor.
You would learn, for example, that Veronica Atkins, widow of low-carb diet guru Robert, has a $400 million fortune to share. She is bound to visit - even be honored by - the hospitals and universities to which she has given dough. In some cities there's an unspoken hierarchy of charities, says Richard Conniff.
Just over half of the billionaires in our study met their spouses at work. 3) worked for companies owned by Rupert Murdoch ($7.7 billion), the first as a reporter, the second as a TV executive. There are plenty of other activities that the resolute billionaire hunter can pursue to mix with the excessively prosperous during evenings or on weekends. "You need to move into a rich environment," says Ginie Sayles, a Houston marital consultant and author of How to Marry the Rich.
Examples: Melinda Gates was a Microsoft manager when she met Bill at a company press event. And corporate raider Carl Icahn ($9.7 billion) made Gail Golden, his longtime assistant, wife numero dos. Ambitious Type A billionaires rarely leave their offices long enough to chat up women at bars or to attend a mature singles hayride at their local church or temple. "If you want to be rich, you must live where the rich live, even if it's in an attic." She claims that no matter what your budget, you can find a hidey-hole "within 16 blocks of the big money." By hanging out in a ritzy neighborhood, you'll get comfortable with wealthy people and attuned to what they like.
But just for a moment imagine the life that could be yours if you did.
Forget the fabulous baubles, designer clothing, cutting-edge electronics and palatial mansions that your golden goose - uh, spouse - might heap upon you.
(Yes, hard work - albeit of a different kind - is still a requisite for achieving wealth.) You will first need to identify the billionaires in your area (or their relatives) and learn their marital status. (UHNWIs are defined as those with million or more.) Many of them - up-and-coming hedge fund managers, telecom barons and Internet tycoons - may have amassed only a hundred million or so but could easily hit the Big B in a few years.
Then you'll have to study their businesses, hangouts, pets, favorite philanthropies, artists, music and vacation spots. For male fortune hunters, there are widows and armies of ex-wives with humongous divorce settlements. Since people think that it qualifies you to do just about anything, you can get hired just about anywhere. Women too seem to favor the brainy over the muscle-bound. If you (or your close relatives) have little aptitude for Excel spreadsheets and turned in unimpressive GRE scores, you'll have to select a career that focuses on a billionaire's second-greatest preoccupation after his business: spending.
Consider the more pragmatic bonuses of the good life.
No more scrimping and scraping to make your annual Roth IRA contribution.
The court forced her to make do with a pitiful million, plus interest. New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman, for example, when berated by Bill O'Reilly from the right and the Washington Monthly from the left, can sob into a pillow at the .5 million, 11,400-square-foot house he owns with his wife Ann Bucksbaum, a shopping-center heiress. To worm your way into a billionaire's business, and eventually his heart, you need the right career. Consider Anne Wojcicki, who only this May sealed the deal with Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder (.1 billion). She met Brin through her sister Susan, a Google marketing exec with - see, we told you! Timeworn but still good: personal trainer or golf or tennis pro.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating