Mark Cuban says he’d be just as happy today without as much as 99% of his estimated $4.6 billion fortune.
In an interview with CBS’s “Sunday Morning” on Sunday, the 64-year-old owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks was adamant that he doesn’t need his billions. When asked if he’d be happy with “1% of what you’re worth,” Cuban replied, “Yes. If I had my same family and everything, for sure.”
One percent of $4.6 billion — Forbes’s current estimate of Cuban’s net worth — is still $46 million, a lot more than many people see in a lifetime. Cuban and his family could still likely live happily with that much money: The average American thinks they need about $1.7 million to retire comfortably, according to financial services company Charles Schwab.
Indeed, Cuban once prepared himself to retire with $2 million in the bank — at age 32, after he sold his first company, MicroSolutions.
“I netted about $2 million after taxes,” Cuban said on Sunday, referring to that sale. “I bought a lifetime pass on American Airlines, and [I said] I’m not going to work, I’m just going to party like a rock star in as many countries as I can.”
The reason he ultimately didn’t retire: He was “too competitive,” he told the “Re:Thinking” podcast last year.
That inability to sit still helped lead Cuban and his friend, Todd Wagner, to launch the online streaming company Broadcast.com in 1995. In 1999, Yahoo paid $5.7 billion in stock to acquire the company, turning Cuban into an instant billionaire.
The tech billionaire says he’s worked to make sure his massive wealth hasn’t changed his personality, which is why he believes he’d be just as happy with significantly less money.
“If you talk to my friends from back then who are still my friends, they’ll tell you: I’ve got stuff. But hopefully I haven’t changed all that much,” Cuban told CBS.
Later in the interview, the network asked a group of four friends who grew up with Cuban near Pittsburgh, who confirmed that he hasn’t changed much from their youth.
“Little more full of it, but not that much more full of it,” one of those friends, Jerry Katz, said. “But still the same guy.”
The best way to ensure that wealth doesn’t change you, according to Cuban, is to simply be grateful for the increased security and peace of mind.
“I just try to appreciate it, and not take it for granted, and not let it spoil me or my kids,” he told “The HoopsHype Podcast” in 2020.
You also need to appreciate how luck and random factors can aid your success, Cuban said on Sunday.
“Life is half random. There’s half you have some level of control over, and half, it is what it is,” he said. “If I was born five years sooner, not during the early days of the internet, you might not know my name. And I’m going to never take it for granted, and enjoy every stinking moment of it.”