How to Blow $344,511
Bonus time: 12 ridiculously cool gifts to buy yourself
According to CNN, the average “compensation expense” (read: bonus) for a Goldman Sachs employee in 2015 was $344,511.
This was considered a “down” year.
But $344K is nothing to sneeze at.
Now, re: spending it. You should do good things for others. You should tuck some away. You should buy experiences and not things.
But also? You should buy yourself at least one thing that was always out of reach. Something you may not have known existed. Something … cool. Just for you.
Herein: 12 such cool somethings, from private islands to Bentley golf clubs to Jerry Seinfeld’s Porsche.
The RMS05 Fountain Pen
From Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille, this is a writing instrument to be cared about, and deeply. A sublime contraption crafted from a Grade 5 titanium base and bridge, sapphire crystal window, rhodium-plated wheels and a hand-polished nib made of 18K white gold, the RMSO5 incorporates the same technology on display in many of Mille’s timepieces. ($105,000)
Single Malt Scotches from The Balvenie
Distilled in Scotland’s Speyside region, a 50-year old single-malt Balvenie already tops the world’s most expensive whisky list. If one bottle seems a bit excessive, try Distillery Style, a limited-edition, five-bottle collection of whiskies with age expressions from 10-47 years, matured in American oak casks with tasting notes that include “honey, vanilla, butterscotch” and “juicy tropical fruits complemented by earthy ginger and cinnamon.” There’s a new set coming every year; this year’s arrives in a wood-and-brass box, along with a book by master distiller David Stewart. ($50,000+)
Bentley Golf Clubs
Bentley might be better known for its luxury cars (and luxury golf carts). Now, they’re driving (hey-o!) into a new market. Noting that up to 70% of their customers are golf fans, the British marque just introduced a set of irons, drivers and flat sticks that’ll up your game … style-wise, at least. We’re talking grips made from alligator skin and shafts that borrow NASA-level space tech. ($100,000+)
Imperia Speakers from OMA
OMA looks to the past for its sound designs, crafting their sonic wares out of Pennsylvania hardwoods, slate and steel and evoking the Golden Age of stereo design (think ‘30s through ‘50s). Their new handmade Imperia speakers are seven-foot beauts, a vertical array of conical horns made from black walnut, cherry or ash wood with two rear-loaded subwoofer horns. ($288,000)
Show a Little (Smart) Love for That Special Somebody
Presented By Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company
Hey, remember Valentine’s Day? Now you do. With your bonus, it’s time to add a little sparkle to someone else’s life. And for some added peace of mind to go with that rock—Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, protecting your jewelry (and relationship) now for over 100 years. Jewelers Mutual® offers name-your-own deductibles and comprehensive repair or replacement coverage that includes worldwide travel. Because you want this memory to last.
The Mario Puzo Godfather Archive
Starting February 11, RR Auctions is offering this Godfather treasure trove, a 45-banker’s box archive spanning 50 years, ten books and nine screenplays, with a handwritten version of Mario Puzo’s classic novel and the author’s early script work on the famous movie trilogy. Included: a 15-page handwritten The Godfather novel outline revealing that Johnny Fontane was based on Frank Sinatra. ($400,000)
This “Killer” Guitar Auction
From Guernsey’s comes this rather eclectic Feb. 27 Guitar Auction, featuring assorted axes and instruments from Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eddie Van Halen. Oh, and a 1938 Larson Bros. Euphonon Dreadnought once owned by Johnny Cash and gifted to Bob Dylan. Plus, a pair of guitars tied to In Cold Blood — the one Robert Blake played in the film — and the guitar used by real-life killer Perry Smith. ($150,000+)
Bernie Madoff’s Gold Watch
To recover the $64 billion in losses schemed up by Ponzi man Bernie Madoff, the fed have turned to auctions. This current one, running until February 16, features some nice accessories: a jewel-encrusted bracelet, an emerald necklace, a gold money clip, etc. But most interestingly, there’s a rather handsome 18 karat gold Patek Philippe Two Register Chronograph dating from the 1940s. Let it serve as a conversation piece … or a reminder of ill-gotten gains. ($21,000+)
Jerry Seinfeld’s Porsches
The comedian and car fanatic is unloading a few historic Porsches from his private collection at this March 11 auction by Gooding & Company. “I’ve never bought a car as an investment,” says Seinfeld in a press release. “I still love these cars. But it’s time to send some of them back into the world, for someone else to enjoy, as I have.” Up for grabs, a ‘55 Porsche 550 Spyder, a ‘58 356 A 1500 GS/GT Carrera Speedster and a rather funky yellow ‘74 911 Carrera 3.0 IROC RSR. ($1.2 million+)
Awesome Street Art (Banksy Included)
Starting February 12, Julien’s Auctions (along with Artsy.net) hosts a “Street Art auction,” featuring works from Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Damien Hirst and KAWS, among others. Little info is available now, but prior sales of Banksy works have started at about $1,000 and peaked in the high six-figure range.
An Amazing Miniature House
Tiny home fanatics, rejoice. Muji, the Japanese equivalent of IKEA, recently showcased a trio of pre-fab “huts” built from cork, aluminum and, our favorite, wood — the latter meant to occupy a space somewhere between a summer cabin and a more barebones retreat, with wood interiors, a stove and floor-to-ceiling windows. Also: a traditional Japanese bathtub. ($25,000+)
A Private Island
“Our clients are not necessarily the richest people on earth,” says Sabine Rollinger of Vladi Private Islands. “Most of our clients are in the higher middle class.” The company told us earlier this year that you can get started on your own island with a budget of just $100,000 (sans housing) and “work your way up.” It’s true … we found dozens, mainly in Canada, for around that price.