Ask Heather Mills, who yesterday walked off with a handsome £24.3m divorce settlement following the break-up of her marriage to ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney. That’s about £17,000 for every single day of their short-lived marriage.
At a time when the dollar is plunging, financial markets are in meltdown and even defensive stocks like property and banks are taking a beating, you’ll have to go a long way to find a better return than that. OK, so oil and gold are at record highs – but that also means it will cost you a fortune to buy them. All you need to bag a millionaire is a nice frock and an invite to the right party.
Under the terms of the deal, Mills will get a £16.5m lump sum (including a mere £2.5m for a house – the inhumanity…) plus another £7.8m in assets. Macca will also shell out a further £35,000 a year for their daughter Beatrice’s upkeep, plus her nanny and school fees. Heather was pretty disgusted with this (‘obviously she’s meant to travel B class while her father travels A class,’ she said yesterday) but it sounds pretty decent to us. Let’s hope Beatrice never has to get a proper job – she’d probably end up having to take a pay cut.
It’s not even a bad outcome for Sir Paul – the settlement is much closer to his offer of £15.8m than her preposterous claim for £125m. And if he was a US citizen he’d probably have been a lot worse off, as the likes of Harrison Ford and Michael Jordan will testify. Though we still reckon he’ll probably get a pre-nup next time around.
Of course there are disadvantages with the Mills investment strategy: the public opprobrium, the constant media intrusion, the breakdowns on early-morning television, the stream of inappropriate gags... She fell out with her ex-husband, fired her lawyers, and (allegedly) chucked a glass of water over her husband’s elaborately-coiffured barrister. So it’s been hard work.
On the other hand, she’s made almost as much money from her marriage as she would have done by running one of Wall Street’s finest into the ground. Which just goes to show – these days the smarter investor should short the banks and go long on celebrities.