One Family’s Fall From Affluence Is Swift and Hard

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[This]... luxurious world was fueled by a check Mr. Martin received in 1998 for $14 million, his share of the $600 million sale of Martin Media, an outdoor advertising business begun by his father in California in the 1950s. After taxes, he kept about $10 million.

But as so often happens to those lucky enough to realize the American dream of sudden riches, the money slipped through the Martins’ fingers faster than they ever imagined.

They faced temptations to indulge, with the complexities and pressures of new wealth. And a pounding recession pummeled the value of their real estate and new financial investments, rendering their properties unaffordable.

The fortune evaporated in little more than a decade.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted November 26, 2010 at 10:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Knapsack wrote:

It was writing the novel that did it.

No, seriously!

November 26, 12:15 pm | [comment link]
2. deaconmark wrote:

It’s unfortunate but happens often.  I have a coworker who inherited a house and several hundred thousand dollars.  Four years later she’s living in a motel and paying day by day.  The father’s 60 years of fugality was gone in such a short time.

November 26, 1:26 pm | [comment link]
3. Ad Orientem wrote:

I recall recall reading somewhere that more than half of the people who win the lottery end up broke.  I strongly suspect it’s because money that is not earned is not real to them.  People who scrounge and work hard for their money have a respect for its worth.

This is an extremely sad story.  But I am glad Mr. Martin has found work and is making ends meat.

November 26, 3:38 pm | [comment link]
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