Being an extremely high net worth individual is 99.99% amazing. You live in an enormous mansion. You own several lavish vacation properties. You reach those vacation properties via private jets. Your garage is overflowing with super cars. Every whim is answered. Every need is catered-to, instantly. Your children also live the good life. They go to the best schools and are given every possible advantage the world can offer.
That last point actually presents one of the very few downsides of being an extremely high net worth individual. Every high net worth individual who has children always has the following question in the back of their mind:
How do you prevent your children from growing up to be spoiled, do-nothing, lazy shitheads who are just counting the days for their trust funds to kick-in so they can squander the fortune you worked so hard to create for them???
This question has plagued wealthy parents for centuries. It's not an easy problem to solve. One guaranteed way to ensure your kids do not grow up to be spoiled, do-nothing, lazy shitheads is to hide the full extent of your vast fortune. You can easily live in a mansion and periodically fly on private jets without your children knowing the full extent of your hundreds of millions of dollars. Let them think someday they'll have to work really hard if they want to continue living so lavishly.
Unfortunately, hiding your wealth isn't an option if you're one of the most famous people in the world.
Take Shaquille O'Neal for example. Not sure if you know this, but there's a pesky website out there that literally lists the net worths of huge celebrities like Shaq in an easy-to-search database. You just type in a celebrity's name and boom, with one click you can read that person's entire wealth history. I can't remember the name of that website… but if any of Shaq's six children ever had the gall to type their father's name into the search bar, they would find big bold green letters declaring that Shaquille O'Neal has a net worth of $400 million.
Six kids… $400 million. That's $67 million per kid right now if Shaq never earned another dollar for the rest of his life. Their inheritance will almost certainly be much higher in a few decades considering that Shaq actually earns more money every year today in "retirement" than he ever did during his NBA days. Today Shaq earns around $60 million every year thanks to a sprawling empire that includes many endorsements and a lucrative TV sportscasting career. There's a very real scenario where each of Shaq's six kids could someday inherit $100 million or more.
Knowing that he can't exactly hide his wealth, Shaq recently revealed a simple rule his kids must follow if they ever want to inherit any of his fortune…
Two Degrees Before The Cheese
Speaking with 7News Australia's morning show, Shaq recently revealed a simple rule each of his eight children must follow before they can inherit a dime of his fortune:
"In order to get my cheese, you have to present me with two degrees."
As in, before they can inherit any of his money, Shaq's kids need to have earned two college degrees.
"I'm teaching them about generational wealth right now. I tell them all the time, we don't need another NBA player in the house. If you want to play, I can help you get there. But I would rather see a doctor, a dentist, a veterinarian, a world traveler, a hedge fund guy…"
Simple, but effective. Not only does it create a built-in hard-working necessity, this system also forces the children to be extremely informed and intelligent. Informed and intelligent people are much less likely to squander their fortune.
This isn't the first time Shaq has talked about the wall he maintains between his children and his money. Speaking with the "Earn Your Leisure" podcast last November, Shaq shared a mantra he periodically tells his kids when they step over the wealth line: