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8:29 a.m. - January 30, 2004
Friday Five
You have just won one million dollars:

1. Who do you call first?

Nobody. What they don't know, they can't ask for.

2. What is the first thing you buy for yourself?

My South America trip.

3. What is the first thing you buy for someone else?

My brother and sister have college loans I'd pay off.

4. Do you give any away? If yes, to whom?

This is a cruel question. If I say yes, I'm potentially magnanimous and unrealistic; if no, then a cheapskate. Let's do some math: One million after taxes is approximately $685,000; that sum invested in a moderately agressive account could net anywhere between 5 - 10 percent interest annually. For sake of argument, say you have excellent money managers and receive 10% (but keep in mind you pay them well), which is $68,500 per year. That's not a lot of money and in my area, that's lower-middle class if one didn't work and lived solely off the interest. So having won a million, I can see numerous small gifts here and there to the local food bank, Toys for Tots, and other personal-appeal charities.

Personally, I'd give a substantial chunk of the funds to the scholarship I set up at my alma mater in my grandfather's name.

I can also see a few $1,000 checks to close friends for fun money, troubled-times money, things like that.

5. Do you invest any? If so, how?

Yes, I invest quite a bit (or more accurately, the people looking after my investments do). I have a range of high-risk/yield accounts in addition to good old cash in the bank. As I get older I'm becoming more of a miser and yup, that's me who bent over to pick up the penny.


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