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Australia’s Richest Man Plans to Give It Away

Resource type: News

The Wall Street Journal |

The non-inheritance movement is going global. Original Source Following on the footsteps of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, the richest man in Australia has now promised to give away his fortune to charity. Andrew Twiggy Forrest, the iron-ore magnate behind Fortescue Metals, this week said he plans to donate nearly all of his $8 billion fortune before he dies. I don’t aspire to great wealth and I don’t admire it and I don’t intend to leave this earth as a rich man, Mr. Forrest told reporters at something called the Diggers and Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie. Aside from adopting the Carnegie approach to kidsCarnegie, of course, made famous the quote that the man who dies thus rich dies disgracedMr. Forrest also had some powerful words about the potential negative impact of great wealth. I have a philosophy [about wealth] and that is that it doesn’t do much for you, he said. I know very wealthy people who have survived and become good guys despite their wealth, but I also know many others around the world who haven’t. So what does Mr. Forrest plan to do with all the cash? He isn’t saying. His big charitable cause so far has been Australia’s Aborigines. He has launched a plan to provide 50,000 full time jobs for Aborigines. Last fall, he donated company shares valued at roughly $80 million to The Australian Children’s Trust. At a time when so much of the world’s commodity wealthoil, metals, getting dumped into yachts, planes and megamansions, it is encouraging to see that some of the money is going toward helping the poor. As Wealth Report readers know, I believe the rich should spend their money however they like. But giving away your fortune has benefits for both society and families. The best philanthropy reduces both social ills and socialites. If Mr. Forrest follows through on his promise, perhaps he could become the Bill Gates of Down Underinspiring an entire new generation of philanthropists who force their children to actually work for a living. As they said in Australia: Good On You, Twiggy!

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