Is Bruno Mars a billionaire yet?

Is Bruno Mars a billionaire yet?
Video is bruno mars a billionaire

He wanted to be a billionaire. So. Freaking. Bad. The year is 2010. Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars release their hit single “Billionaire”. It was one of two songs that year which effectively launched Mars’ career. In the decade since, has he reached his goal? The short answer is no. But the bigger question is: why do we care so much about wealth?

The lowdown on Bruno Mars’ net worth

In 2021, at 35-years-old, Bruno Mars’ net worth is estimated at $175 million.

Between 2013-2019 Mars averaged earnings of $40 million and frequently appeared on Forbes’ highest paid celebrity lists. There’s no denying these are good figures and that he has led a hugely successful and profitable career. But, there’s also no denying that after 10 years in the music industry; he’s not very close to joining the billionaires club. Which brings me to my next question; just how hard is it to become a billionaire?

How many billionaires are there?

Let’s turn to another type of billions; billions of people. Of the 7.6 billion people alive today, only 2,095 around the world are billionaires. Even once you adjust for the fact that many of those are not income-earning adults, you’re left with a crazy small percentage of people at the top. There are plenty of recognisable names, like Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Gina Rinehart, and plenty that don’t make the news. With so few billionaires in the world, it might seem like becoming one is really difficult. In some ways, it is. In others, it’s not.

Check out Forbes’ list of real-time billionaires if you want to know who’s who in wealthville.

Owning things is the deceptively simple secret to becoming a billionaire. The more you own, the higher your net worth. The higher your net worth, the more interest you can earn, the more loans you can get and the more ways you can spend. In other words, money breeds money.

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If you want to know more about how billionaires are made, give season 2, episode 2 of Explained a watch on Netflix.

While the recipe for billions may be simple (own as much as possible), the actual execution is not. Most people won’t see the kind of money needed to make continual growth a reality. That kind of money tends to be passed down through generations OR made through life-changing business ideas like Facebook and Microsoft.

Earning billions is further complicated by the fact that wealth is one of our world’s finite resources. The mere fact that some people have billions keeps others from getting a bigger slice of the economic pie (a key factor in the Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011).

This brings me to my next question. If the billionaires’ club is so hard to crack, why do we want it anyway?

Why do we want to be rich?

Many of us have our own theories as to why wealth feels so important; whether that’s the lure of capitalism, the power of marketing or even the idea that earning money is addictive. It’s one of those questions without a single, clear answer. Here are two reasons I believe we are constantly chasing the allure of wealth.

1. Wealth is relative

I can think of few better ways to explain this than with Dr Evil.

Having been cryogenically frozen from 1967 to 1997, Dr Evil doesn’t know yet that $1 million is not a lot of money. Like Dr Evil, we all view wealth through our own lens. Perhaps the reason we so badly want to be rich is because we are frequently becoming accustomed to our own wealth. The only way then is up.


You may not feel rich now, but how would a past version of yourself view your wealth? I know that 20-year-old me would see my lifestyle habits like buying organic produce, dining at fancy restaurants and living on my own as rich and out of reach. Wealth is a concept that changes as we change our daily habits, and it can go up and down.

One of history’s few iron laws is that luxuries tend to become necessities and to spawn new obligations. Once people get used to a certain luxury, they take it for granted. Then they begin to count on it. Finally they reach a point where they can’t live without it.

Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

The longer we live with our luxuries, the less we view them as wealth. They become our minimum standard of living and losing these luxuries would make us feel poorer. Each time we become accustomed to a standard of living, we lose our sense of wealth and need to go higher in order to feel rich once again.

2. Money makes life easier

The second reason I believe many of us crave wealth is because money makes life easier. When we think of a stress-free life, many of us think of being richer. Having more money allows us to dream bigger and meet our goals faster. It allows us to outsource our mundane daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning and working. But while money can make life easier, does it actually make us happier?

Can money make us happy?

Researchers have asked this question time and time again – with different results. If money were to lift you out of poverty, science generally accepts it would make you happier. But other studies suggest there is a limit to this happiness. Depending on which study you consult, an annual income of between $75,000-$105,000 is the cap at which money alone stops making us happy. In other words, a raise once you’re already in this salary bracket can improve your lifestyle but not necessarily your emotional state.

The generally accepted definition of happiness is ‘subjective well-being’. Happiness, according to this view, is something I feel inside myself, a sense of either immediate pleasure or long-term contentment with the way my life is going.

Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

If money is not the key to long-term contentment, then what is? Practicing mindfulness and living with a sense of purpose have both been tied to greater wellbeing and they don’t necessarily require much money.

As Nietzsche put it, if you have a why to live, you can bear almost any how. A meaningful life can be extremely satisfying even in the midst of hardship, whereas a meaningless life is a terrible ordeal no matter how comfortable it is.

Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

New goal: wealth without the billions

At the end of the day, it’s just a song. Mars and McCoy may never be billionaires. The vast majority of people will never know that kind of wealth. But the good news is, we don’t need to. It doesn’t take billions to be rich or happy. It takes a critical look at what you view as wealth and why.

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