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Mammon

$100 Million Net Worth Falls To $4 Million

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He spunked his fortune on a 35-seat movie theater, a cafe, vintage cars for his visitors, 10-passenger Cessna jet, bought overpriced real estate all over the world and invested heavily in Lehman Brother Bonds :o

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John McAfee, an entrepreneur who founded the antivirus software company that bears his name, is now worth about $4 million, from a peak of more than $100 million. Mr. McAfee will soon auction off his last big property because he needs cash to pay his bills after having been caught off guard by the simultaneous crash in real estate and stocks.

“I had no clue,†he said, “that there would be this tandem collapse.â€

In the late 1980s, he founded McAfee Associates, the antivirus software company. It gave away its software, unlike its rivals, but charged fees to those who wanted any kind of technical support. That decision helped make it a huge success. The company went public in 1992, in the early years of one of biggest stock market booms in history.

But Mr. McAfee is, by his own description, an atypical businessman — easily bored and given to serial obsessions. As a young man, he traveled through Mexico, India and Nepal and, more recently, he wrote a book called, “Into the Heart of Truth: The Spirit of Relational Yoga.†Two years after McAfee Associates went public, he was bored again.

So he sold his remaining stake, bringing his gains to about $100 million. In the coming years, he started new projects and made more investments. Almost inevitably, they paid off.

“History told me that you just keep working, and it is easy to make more money,†he said, sitting in the kitchen of his adobe-style house in the southwest corner of New Mexico. With low tax rates, he added, the rich could keep much of what they made.

..

Over the last several years, Mr. McAfee began to put a large chunk of his fortune into real estate, often in remote locations. He bought the house in New Mexico as a playground for himself and fellow aerotrekkers, people who fly unlicensed, open-cockpit planes. On a 157-acre spread, he built a general store, a 35-seat movie theater and a cafe, and he bought vintage cars for his visitors to use.

He continued to invest in financial markets, sometimes borrowing money to increase the potential returns. He typically chose his investments based on suggestions from his financial advisers. One of their recommendations was to put millions of dollars into bonds tied to Lehman Brothers.

For a while, Mr. McAfee’s good run, like that of many of the American wealthy, seemed to continue. In the wake of the dot-com crash, stocks started rising again, while house prices just continued to rise. Outside’s Go magazine and National Geographic Adventure ran articles on his New Mexico property, leading to him to believe that “this was the hottest property on the planet,†he said.

But then things began to change.

In 2007, Mr. McAfee sold a 10,000-square-foot home in Colorado with a view of Pike’s Peak. He had spent $25 million to buy the property and build the house. He received $5.7 million for it. When Lehman collapsed last fall, its bonds became virtually worthless. Mr. McAfee’s stock investments cost him millions more.

One day, he realized, as he said, “Whoa, my cash is gone.â€

His remaining net worth of about $4 million makes him vastly wealthier than most Americans, of course. But he has nonetheless found himself needing cash and desperately trying to reduce his monthly expenses.

He has sold a 10-passenger Cessna jet and now flies coach. This week his oceanfront estate in Hawaii sold for $1.5 million, with only a handful of bidders at the auction. He plans to spend much of his time in Belize, in part because of more favorable taxes there.

Next week, his New Mexico property will be the subject of a no-floor auction, meaning that Mr. McAfee has promised to accept the top bid, no matter how low it is.

“I am trying to face up to the reality here that the auction may bring next to nothing,†he said.

In the past, when his stock investments did poorly, he sold real estate and replenished his cash. This time, that has not been an option.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/21/business...tml?_r=2&hp

Edited by Mammon

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It could happen to any of us..... fortunate to have a good idea that makes money, invest that money in rising assets... and watch it all fall away again.

I think the secret is to search for peace of mind! Then no matter what happens to your money, you'll still be happy.....

It's that or drugs....

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Sounds like a nice guy who enjoyed himself. Why should it have been any other way? Why should he have 'held on' to his asset worth of 100 million?

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"It does not take a reasonably young and normal man very long to lose the habit of being poor. It requires a little longer to forget that he used to be rich."

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Nothing to do with McAfee being crap then? Plenty of superior free alternatives.

:lol: yeah, no idea why anyone would want to pay for this guy's so-called anti-virus software..

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Nothing to do with McAfee being crap then? Plenty of superior free alternatives.

Indeed. And gave the world a rubbish, intrusive, virus-scanning product that will reach "end of life" just when you need it most.

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:lol: yeah, no idea why anyone would want to pay for this guy's so-called anti-virus software..

While on this topic, what are the suggestions for the best value anti-virus soft??

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While on this topic, what are the suggestions for the best value anti-virus soft??

ClamWin here

Used to use FreeAVG, but laptop sounded like a jet engine and became unusuable when it ran! :lol:

Shan't bother when I get my Ubuntu laptop working again of course.

Would think MacAfee's success was getting his product into other people's marketing funnels, so it came preloaded on new PC's etc

Edited by HostPaul TAFKA Rover2000

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ClamWin here

Used to use FreeAVG, but laptop sounded like a jet engine and became unusuable when it ran! :lol:

Shan't bother when I get my Ubuntu laptop working again of course.

Would think MacAfee's success was getting his product into other people's marketing funnels, so it came preloaded on new PC's etc

Cheers... yes, that's how I got it - was preloaded and free for a couple of years.

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Cheers... yes, that's how I got it - was preloaded and free for a couple of years.

I don't want to skew this thread but I'll chime in here for a sec.

I'm a CompSci graduate (Bris), have been using IBM compatible PCs daily for twenty years & I don't run any AV software on my four Micro$haft OS PCs at all. It's simply unnecessary, costly & intrusive - just use a modicum of care & thought and you'll never become 'infected'. This little article sums it up adequately:

http://www.robertpeaslee.com/index.php/why...-use-antivirus/

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While on this topic, what are the suggestions for the best value anti-virus soft??

Avast FTW

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I don't want to skew this thread but I'll chime in here for a sec.

I'm a CompSci graduate (Bris), have been using IBM compatible PCs daily for twenty years & I don't run any AV software on my four Micro$haft OS PCs at all. It's simply unnecessary, costly & intrusive - just use a modicum of care & thought and you'll never become 'infected'. This little article sums it up adequately:

http://www.robertpeaslee.com/index.php/why...-use-antivirus/

I have to agree, I've been using PC's for, well, well before the IBM PC was launched and I haven't used AV software or got a virus.

I would not recommend it to most PC users though, they tend to do the stupidest things.

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While on this topic, what are the suggestions for the best value anti-virus soft??

Since installing Antispywarebot I've had no worries. Before this installation, I encountered a nightmare virus that wouldn't bugger off.

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Guest DissipatedYouthIsValuable
While on this topic, what are the suggestions for the best value anti-virus soft??

Linux or OSX.

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Indeed. And gave the world a rubbish, intrusive, virus-scanning product that will reach "end of life" just when you need it most.

6 months after removing Macafee, due to uselessness and slowing my PC to a crawl, the b*ggers 'autorenewed' my 'subscription', despite only signing up for a year, taking a wodge of money off my credit card without my permission. Straightforward stealing. Took a steaming email and threat of court action to get it back.

The sooner he looses the other $4million the better.

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+$100 m to + $ 4 m is very destructive.

I know someone who has gone from + $50 m to - $5m which is catastrophic.

For every famous person who has suffered a lot, there a lot of lesser known people who have faired much worse in relative terms.

The "wealth" destruction in the last two years is breathtaking.

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The "wealth" destruction in the last two years is breathtaking.

Wealth isn't created or destroyed, it is just transferred.

re: best antivirus

i currently rate, running together

avast antivirus

spybot search & destroy (both free)

i'm not sure how anyone can say they don't need antivirus with windows,

you really don't need to anything that stupid to become infected with something,

plus running something like spybot s&d detects when intrusive software is

trying to hook itself into all parts of your system and allows you to block it

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I run Spybot and Norton NIS - which is dramatically improved in not hogging the PC's memory nowadays. I personally have seen too many viruses on PCs installed with some free AV programs.

Admittedly, a few years back NIS was a pig but it is greatly improved nowadays.

I do run a couple of free AV programs also as belts and braces... and paranoia... make one's day :-)

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