By Elizabeth Grey
Everyone knows that Bruce Wayne is a very rich man. With the substantial wealth of Wayne Enterprises behind him, Forbes placed him 6th in their Fictional 15 rich list, with $9.2bn to his name. According to the economics blog Centives that was a conservative estimate as they valued Wayne at a massive $11.6bn.
So what’s a man to do with so much money? Wayne’s playboy façade would have to be maintained, but even the most frivolous would struggle to put a dent in that much wealth, especially when they’re spending time punching people in the face every night.
Bruce Wayne understands he will always need money to support his other life as Batman. Being one of the smartest men on the planet, Wayne would also know not to place all his eggs in one basket, so it’s unlikely he’d simply plough everything back into Wayne Enterprises. Warren Buffet, with his personal wealth of $71.2 billion, is proof that diversified investments are a good way to go.
The first thing to consider is what kind of investment style Wayne would take. With Wayne Enterprises backing him up, he could afford to take risks. The money he could lose would be unlikely to dent his wealth unless he was entirely reckless, while the returns could potentially be massive:
Image credit: Fidelity
Even average growth for a high-risk investor yields large returns. If he was successful in his choices it wouldn’t be long before he could build up enough money to sustain his bativities (bat activities) even if Wayne Enterprises went bust. Creating a decent backup of cash would be a good idea for Bruce as a number of his foes know his secret and could try to destroy him by ruining his company.
If Bruce went the high-risk route there are a few investments he’d be likely to make. Initial public offerings, venture capital funding and emerging markets would likely be at the top of his list, to appeal to his philanthropic and vigilante sides.
Then again, would Wayne be so risky? Would Alfred talk him out of any high risk investments? While it would be great for Wayne to achieve financial self-sufficiency outside of Wayne Enterprises, what if he wasted all his personal fortune only for Wayne Enterprise’s wealth to dry-up? That’s a pretty bleak future for Batman.
Image credit: JD Hancock
It’s worth remembering that we’re talking about a man who not only created a high-tech surveillance system just in case his super-powered friends got a bit dodgy, but also kept detailed information on them so he could defeat them if necessary. These are not the actions of a man who plays fast and loose with his future.
Knowing we’re dealing with someone who is concerned with everything going wrong and actively prepares for those scenarios, can it really be argued that high risk high return investments will be alluring to him? Probably not.
So if Wayne goes the safer route, where would he put his money? Luckily with such vast wealth he can still manage some pretty decent returns compared to the average person. A 3% return isn’t much on a £1,000 investment, but that return on £10,000,000 isn’t to be sniffed at. Spreading out large sums of his money would yield some pretty good results even if profits came in slower.
Unfortunately, investments on the safer end of the spectrum are a bit more humdrum. We’re talking things like savings bonds and utility stocks. Basic, fairly predictable and decidedly unexciting.
For a person who drives a Batmobile and fights supervillains on the regular, maybe it won’t be the returns on high-risk investments that entices Wayne, but the excitement of making them instead.
Elizabeth Grey is a British-based writer who started buying comics with her pocket money and never stopped. She tweets @ej_grey.
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