Billions – Fortune, Fame or Helping?

The 3rd season of the TV series Billions recently finished. It’s loosely based on the activities of Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and his legal battles with hedge fund manager Steve Cohen of S.A.C. Capital Advisors.

In the show traders in a hedge fund Axe Capital, when stressed turn to the firm’s in-house psychiatrist and performance coach. A previous article I wrote -> Coaching Market Wizards is about this coaching traders and hedge fund managers. I found Billions to be entertaining and reflecting the traits some of the billionaires I’ve met and work with.

For more than a decade, SAC Capital employed psychiatrist Ari Kiev (passed away in 2009), a former performance coach for Olympic athletes who has been called the first performance coach on Wall Street.

One of the inspirations for the character of performance coach in the TV show is Denise Shull. Denise hired Ari Kiev among others to coach her. She works with Wall Street investment professionals and elite athletes According to Shull, and I agree, feelings are the foundation of our decisions, but we don’t pay enough attention to them most of the time.

Billionaires Fortune

According to Forbes’ 2018 Rich List there are 2208 billionaires in the World. Not to be mistaken by High-net-worth individuals or HNWIs not even UHNWIs (Ultra…), billionaires are also known as members of the Three-Comma Club. They often use family offices to manage their wealth.

For some billionaires, good genes were enough to land them on the list—33% of the rankings inherited their fortunes.

Earth seems to be getting boring, Ellon Musk is the most famous of the billionaires launching on a space race, which also includes Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Naveen Jain, …. there’s even a book about it.

Billionaires Fame

Watched by billions and admired by many, they took their own lives -> Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson, George Michael, Whitney Houston, Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Prince and Anthony Bourdain among many others.

Billionaires Helping

“To become a billionaire, help a billion people.” is a motto of Singularity University.

Billionaires -> Fortune, Fame or Helping?

I coach individuals and family businesses. To impact a family by improving relationships, communication and performance and trickling from that family to hundreds and thousands of families, for me is the greatest contribution, sense of reward and contribution as a person and as a Professional Executive Coach.



André Ribeiro is an executive coach and mentor coach. He is Master Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation and Senior Practitioner by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council. More @

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