What Would You Do With $100,000?

I recently watched a documentary on Showtime entitled “Reversal of Fortune“. The whole premise of the film was to ask a simple question. What would a homeless person do with $100,000 dollars? I found the idea of the film very fascinating and watched it with great enthusiasm.

After watching the film I felt sick. I sat and watched the hour long film with disgust. The person they picked at first seemed like a good guy who fell upon hard times. But as the film progressed it became obvious that the man had serious attitude problems that had more than likely brought him to homelessness.

When he first received the money, he was extremely happy and thankful. The first thing he did was buy a car for a young friend of his. A nice gesture, but not the way to start a new life. Next he went to a bar and got so drunk he could barely make it back to his hotel room. He went back to his mom’s house and got an apartment and a 35,000 dollar truck. Next, he bought a car for a girl he was trying to date. Within about 6 months, he was broke. He never got a job, invested a dime, or even put a little bit away in the bank. He spent the money like it was going to last forever. Before he knew he was getting the money, the producer asked him what one thing he would do for himself if he could afford it. His answer? To get his teeth fixed. He felt that having bad teeth was the cause of his whole problem. Little did he know that self defeating beliefs, bad habits, and lack of will power were his true enemy. By the way, he never did get his teeth fixed.
Now I want you to think about yourself. What would you do with 100,000 dollars? Would you save it all, pay off all your bills, invest it? More than likely you have already had 100,000 dollars pass through your bank account in the last 5 years. How much of that do you have left? I know it’s a not a fair question, but I’m only bringing it up to get you to think about it. We have an opportunity everyday to save money or spend money. Curbing spending is a great way to take control of your life.

At the end of the film the homeless man said something I found astonishing. To paraphrase he said, “It’s not easy having to deal with $100,000 dollars, it’s a lot of work. Everybody telling you what to do, and what to spend it on. I’d like to see what you’d do if you got $100,000 dollars.”

I was flabbergasted. Here this man had taken a gift of $100,000 and turned it into a problem. He also had a habit of blaming others for his problems. I watched situation after situation where he turned away good advice and made poor choices while blaming making those poor choices on his circumstances. His mind was not ready to accept the money, so it did the only thing it could do. It got rid of the money.

How does this apply to all of us? If you aren’t ready to grow into the person you have to be to accept the responsibility of more money, power, or influence, then you will eventually begin acting out in ways to remove yourself from your position. Humans cannot live incongruently for two long. If you think of yourself as poor, you will do everything to maintain that belief. The homeless man did. He made sure that within 6 months he was back in the same exact situation he was in before he got the money.

It’s been said that a lot of the people who receive inheritances or win the lottery end up being broke again within a matter of time. This is because they aren’t mentally ready to handle their new life. I challenge you today to change the way you think. If you’ve been thinking like a poor person, odds are you’re poor. Simply change your beliefs and you’ll begin to change your outcome. You can make as much money as you think you can. You can begin by controlling your thoughts because:

  • Thoughts become actions, actions become habits, habits become lifestyle, and lifestyle becomes your destiny.
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19 thoughts on “What Would You Do With $100,000?

  1. I’ve read too about people winning the lotto and ending up on exactly the same track again, even cursing it and looking at outside circumstances as their enemy than looking within to see the environment will change only once you do. This was thought provoking, Mke, and I really like your perspective. Because the last point you made in the grey box sums up everything. The sentence I found most profound was “His mind was not ready to accept the money, so it did the only thing it could do. It got rid of the money.” Great example. =) Melissa

  2. Thoughts become actions, actions become habits, habits become lifestyle, and lifestyle becomes your destiny.


    And people will blame others and their environment way before they would even consider their actions.

  3. I just saw this same documentary. I too was completely blown away by how this guy handled the situation. He started off fairly well but completely spirlaled out of control. His inability to deal with the basic responsibilies in life leads me to believe that his homeless situation had certainly resulted mre from a concious choice then from a series of unfortunate events. An example of this was how he dealt with having to get his drivers license reinstated in Airizona. I watched that show and kept hoping he would use the money to get going in the right direction but as more time passed and his balance dwindled, it was clear that this guy was just an alcoholic who could have benefited more from rehab than from $100k. It was a depressing show but very interesting.

  4. I barely survive with four children. We have been homeless alot, I had been in his shoes
    I would of invested. Right now We survive on barely nothing. I think its ashame that a person is given a chance and he freakin blew it. Yes I would have helped people. But I would give money to orginizations that help needy. This guy bought weed to smoke. He should of listen to the homeless lady and invested in rental property. My kids and I are used to living on very little. I was married to a marine. We learned how to survive on very little. I wish I was given that same opportunity. I sure wouldnt blow that kind of money.
    My Grandmother always said “people who never had nothing dont appreciate it when they get it”. This guy is living proof Grandmother was right!

  5. I ended up in that position after years of being one of the “working poor” and was petrified to spend the money and end up right back where I started.So the first thing I spent the money on was an investment consultant and an attorney and I finally decided upon purchasing a Sub-Way sandwich franchise on State Street in Madison Wisconsin upon discovering that the franchise would not let another Sub-way owner open a store within 5 miles of me placing the University campus sqaurely inside of my zone.I also became aware that the cafeteria would soon be opening itself up to outside resteraunts to come in and become part of their cafeteria plan giving me an opportunity to expand.It sounded good and I was still wearing my same old clothes and living in my same old home but ready to invest my money and change my life.

    The Sub-Way owner,Attourney and Consultant all got together to rip me off,they saw the merit of my idea,raised the price of the Sub-Way store on State St.(effectively blocking my purchase)had their friend buy it and then built a subway franchise in the University netting them $425,000 per year after stealing my idea and over $20,000 in consulting fees and expenses.I had a great idea but because I trusted “professionals” I ended up back to square one minus $20,000.

    My next idea was to invest in housing debentures overseas because a relative had suggested doing so and had made some good returns in the same type of investment a few years previous.I decided that the longer I held onto this money the more time I was wasting so I proceeded to check out the broker who was the middle man on the debebtures with the state of Illinois and his record was flawless and he had in fact founded Blue Cross Blue Shiled of Illinois first franchise in the 1940s.Sounded great,I was ready to invest my money this time ALL OF IT without reservation.I got on the internet and every related news article about the company and it’s project was SOLID GOLD!! Well I began my wire transfers to the trust account of one William R Chambers at the behest of Ira Lipshitz and waited patiently for my debenture certificates to arrive and would wait the 5 years it took for the construction projects to be finished but this was not to be.

    I called the broker and he said there wa a problem and that my money was gone?I said how can it be gone?He said that William R Chambers had wired the money from the trust account to a Barlclays Bank Franchise in Barcelona Spain and that the intermediary had withdrawn the money and dissapeared!!

    I was dismayed beyond belief, I contacted the FBI and their agent went on the hunt and found that several people including a federal magistrate from Indiana had been ripped off as well and they began to follow the money trail to Switzerland and then look for evidence of colsusion on the part of the Broker(Ira Lipshitz) and the Trustee(William R Chambers) and they found it and prepared a case for the Clinton Era Justice Department to put these crroks in Jail and allow me to later sue for damages but even with a great deal of evidence and a federal magistrate being the victims they decided that cases of white collar crim were not a priority of the Clinton administration and told me they would not be picking up the case and that I should pursue it locally. Locally?My money was wired through 3 states and then tranferred to 2 foreign countries!!

    The moral of this story is, don’t trust smiling, suit wearing professional thieves and liars(attourneys,brokers,businessmen)to not rip you off even if they have good reputations and you have paid them and don’t expect law enforcement to protect you or seek justice for you.If you are not an “insider” these coporate criminals will find a way to hang you out to dry and steal your money and you would be better off just buying yourself a paid for house and paying off your debts and leaving these scumbags to fleece each other and never give them access to your money.

    I am about to hit another good lick of money and my first priority will be to pay off my debts and my wife’s student loans and to give each of my kid’s the maximum allowable tax free gift to minors $10,000ea and to pay off my current house, rent it out and buy another one while the prices are so low and eventually work my way up to owning several rental houses.

    So being prudent and investing was a risky crap shoot, going to college for 4 years has netted neither my wife nor I more than a 20% increase in income and the only people I know who have reliably made money without resorting to something illegal or immoral are those who have property to rent or small businesses with very low overhead.

  6. I watched the show too.I found myself thinking what could have happened if i had been the one.Honestly i think i would have lost all the money just like the man.Thanks to him now i know what can happen when you think you have alot and no discipline.
    You dont have to be an alcoholic,or homeless to behave that way just remember mc hammer!

  7. I have a chance at at least $135,000, and then a few months later possibly the same amount. I was very fortunate that my father ( when he was wealthier ) left me 2 $35,000 bonds or funds. It has grown to ( I overheard ) $183,000. Of course investors need their money and what’s left over I need to decide what to do with. I plan to buy 2 trucks, and hopefully spend like $2,000 on a vacation, that would be nice. I have been scouring the internet looking at mutual funds, saving accounts, so so so many things to invest and each one believe they are the best to invest. I am completely stumped on what to do. I believe I am going to invest something some where in stocks or bonds. I am also about to turn 21. It seems as those luck has once again fallen into my lap, and yet again I dunno what to do with it. MY e-mail address is zoomzoom2222@aol.com please send your comment to me

  8. I can understand what you are saying, but what perspective are you coming at this with? Remember that this man spent his 20s in prison, and the next 20 years homeless. Doesn’t sound like he had the most functional childhood either. Not surprising that he has a “bad attitude”. I think many people in his situation would have reacted similarly. After a life of that, you expect to get kicked when you are down. You learn not to trust anyone, and so maybe you do make wrong choices.

    This show made me sick as well, but not because of the fact that he “blew $100,000”. I was sickened by the fact that this man was placed in a “social experiment” to be put out there for our entertainment. Yes, he agreed to it, but what homeless person (or any person for that matter!) wouldn’t agree to a free wad of cash like that? Easy for us to sit in our recliners, drinking cokes, eating popcorn and making our judgements.

    Most people don’t just ‘become’ homeless, and none of them deserve to be there. The ones who are not mentally ill, or drug addicts, have usually been beaten down time and again by life. They give up fighting… which it sounds like this guy did. Sad, sad cycle.

  9. Dam, such a waste. Like many of you I am a wage slave as well, currently in my 30’s.
    I have been dilligently putting my money into dividend paying Canadien oil funds. These are essentially Oil companies, but by Canadien law these have to pay out the profits to the shareholders. (As opposed to Exxon who just gives the money to execs). So they yeild monthly cash dividends.
    With 100k, the homeless man could have put it in the largest and most stable of these companies, Penn West, symbol “PWE” which currently yeilds 12%. (seriously, no joke, look it up on yahoo) Granted oil is up now, but demand is not going down and fixed income investements will be hot in the next 10 years as people retire.
    He would recieve about 1000k a month cash back from the dividend and never touch the principle. This is taxed at the 15% cap gains rate, but his income is so low he wouldn’t pay it. This is enough to get an apartment, pay groceries, utilities and keep him off the street. Heck, I live off about 600 a month in college and had the time of my life.
    He would never need to work again if he could enjoy a modest life. Everything he earned extra could be for fun.
    Wish he had asked me for advice…=/

  10. some of this is great info to read and learn from. I am 20 years old, soon to be 21 and about to inherit 100g’s and really not sure what to invest it in. Ideas?

  11. It’s good that you’re already thinking about investing!! I think you
    should invest in the staples of course – stocks, bonds, real estate
    if you can.

    But it’s also great to set up an online business. That’s what I
    do and it’s a blast! Care to join me?

    If you want to know a good course to get started with your
    own online business here’s the course that got me started:


    Good luck Jason!!

  12. My father recently passed away, and I have just sold his house. I am about to receive a little over $140,000 in net inheritance, which includes the money from the sale of the house. That’s not a fortune, but it’s a nice chunk of money. In addition to this, I already have about $200,000 saved for retirement and for emergency expenses, and I own a house with a mortgage of about $50,000 at 5 percent interest. I have one child.

    I have already decided to max out my contributions to my Roth IRA, partly to pay for my child’s college. Because I am an older parent, I will be over age 59 and a half when she starts college, which means that I can withdraw the money from the Roth IRA without penalty to use for her college. I will get the same benefits from the Roth IRA that people get from College 529 plans, without any of the restrictions.

    I need to figure out where else to invest the more than $100,000 I am receiving as inheritance. I don’t plan to spend any of it. I want to grow the money. Probably I need to see a professional advisor at this point. I am thinking that, because of my age, I should probably not invest too heavily in stocks, and I should be a little more cautious in my investments than I have been in the past. (I have mostly been invested in stock mutual funds up to this point.) I don’t need a bigger house. I don’t need a fancy car. I don’t really need or want anything, except to grow the money for my child’s security and my retirement. I have pretty much concluded that long term care insurance is a rip off and is so prohibitively expensive that I will just save my money and not buy this insurance.

    I am stunned that someone took $100,000 and spent it. Why would anyone in his right mind do that? That’s the last thing you should do with your money! Maybe spend a little on a vacation, but not much.

  13. Wow. What an eye opener…. Hey Mike, Like Sue who posted on Sep. 19, I have some money coming my way. And I am do my research and looking for the best way to invest. However, it’s funny. A few years ago, I know exactly what I wanted and knew how I was going to get it. A made plans, did my homework, and did all the attempts.

    Now, a few years lator, I am pretty much in the same situation and still searching, trying to find the “right” opportunity to make money and snowball. This time, I have the money which will be in my hands in less that two weeks, and to tell you the truth, I am a bit frieghten. I know in the long run I will be a lot better off than I am now. But I really want to do the right thing verses that of which this homeless guy did.

    I am going to take his situation and use it as a lesson. Thanks.

  14. What an idiot!! People are dying of real hunger not hunger for alcohol which is the real drug of choice! Oh and Sandy, this homeless guy smoked weed for recreational use just like everyone that drink beer and killed right ? My point is Sandy is that you portray weed as if it is worse than beer and as if it is some killer drug. I used Marijuana since high school with a 3.5 gpa,won state twice in wrestling and national all american,national all american in college,was a sargeant in the Army,killed people for a supposed purpose in Iraq, live in an upper middle class neighborhood, have a good paying job, oh,I am a teacher for Telecomunications as well. Goodness gracious what damage “weed” has done to me…lol! Time to wake up and re=legalize Cannabis. Alcohol kills 6.5x’s more than all other drugs combined.Focus on the real problems people.

  15. frist i want to buy a house for my old father and mother.then i give some money to my brother to doing bussiness also.then i doing my own bussiness.

  16. i will buy a house for my old father and mother.then i do bussiness with my brother.then i expen some money to medicl tretment for my mother.

  17. There is actually a real life success story, minus the 100k in Scranton PA.

    His homeless name was Dumpster Bruce. He had a dog named Blue Christmas. Dumpster Bruce and Blue Christmas lived downtown Scranton PA on the streets. Then one day, he got his life together and using other peoples money, he started investing in real estate.

    He currently has over 20 properties (as far as I know) and is growing. He is an exception to the general way people attain success. He does not drive new cars. He leads a very simple life.

    You should ask him what he would do with 100K.

    Probably do a few more real estate deals.

    You can meet him if your in Scranton, PA, or visit his website, http://www.investmentpropertybuying.com/ and read more about him. Yea, he is for real. Call him.

  18. i came across 150,000 dollars recently and i need serious help in learning how to double my money any way have a idea ? willing to share some of the money…….to those that can really show me how to make more……………