Magazine article Newsweek

How to Spend It

Magazine article Newsweek

How to Spend It

Article excerpt

Byline: Rebecca Dana

Buy a baseball team? Fine art? Zuckerberg has a bunch of options.

It's not easy to spend tens of billions of dollars these days.

Feel the pain of 28-year-old Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who after last Friday's IPO ranks among the richest people in the world. The be-hoodied tycoon, whose greatest extravagance to date is a $7 million Palo Alto home, now has the enviable burden of finding a place to park all his lucre.

Will he start a foundation like Bill Gates? Will he splurge on a super-yacht like Paul Allen? Will he bail out Greece?

If he has good advisers--and if he listens to them--he'll likely play it safe at a time of global economic upheaval, says equities analyst and blogger Barry Ritholtz. That means diversifying his holdings rather than leaving them all in Facebook.

"Believe it or not, and this is a real issue, any time anybody on planet Earth comes to their first billion dollars, the advice is always to create a very conservative bond ladder," Ritholtz says. The idea is to "set up that billion so that no matter what happens with Facebook, for the rest of eternity, he's going to be making between $20 million and $40 million a year, tax-free."

Once several generations of Zucklets have their college tuitions guaranteed, the uncommonly young billionaire can start to think about his legacy. Zuckerberg, though hardly profligate, has already taken steps in this direction. In 2010 he made two eye-catching philanthropic moves: he gave $100 million to the Newark, N.J., public school system, and he joined Gates and Warren Buffett in signing the "Giving Pledge," promising to donate half his wealth to charity.

"There will be a long line of people telling him what the most important issue in the world is, trying to persuade him where he should put his philanthropic resources," says Melissa Berman, president of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. …

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