On my list of things to do before I die, I've already done a lot. I've climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. I've climbed down Mt. Kilimanjaro. I've been slathered in bug-juice by a Zulu shaman. I've experienced the miracle of birth, both human (my children) and otter (on The Discovery Channel). But even as I experienced these things, a little voice in the back of my head was telling me that I was missing out on something deeper, something more rewarding. A little voice that said: Instead of doing this, you could be starting your own hedge fund.
I listened to that little voice, and I've never looked back. I'd always hated jobs where I was just punching the clock, where my creativity was in shackles. Plus, I'd always hated paying taxes. Owning a hedge fund has changed all that. My workdays, which used to stretch out before me like a desert of meaninglessness and ennui, now brim with fulfillment and joy. As a hedge fund owner, I am truly, insanely happy, from the moment I wake up to the moment my head hits my 1200 thread-count pillow in an absinthe-drenched haze. And as for the other things I wanted to do before I die, I pay other people to do them for me now.
What do you need to start your own hedge fund? Just three things:
1) a telephone
2) a desk
3) 10 billion dollars
Now, take a quick look at that list. I'll bet you already have a telephone and a desk. That's two out of the three things you need, meaning that you're already more than halfway home. As for number three -- the ten billion dollars -- that's almost as easy to get as a telephone or a desk. Just make a list of people with ten billion dollars to spare who might give it to you. A partial list would be: banks, investment banks, and billionaires. How will you get them to give it to you? Just tell them you're starting a hedge fund. Everyone knows that hedge funds are awesome.
Now that you own a hedge fund, you may be wondering what hedge fund owners do. This, in fact, is the most challenging aspect of the job: explaining to other people what you do all day. Here's your best bet: when someone asks, you say, "Investing in derivatives." This will stop the conversation dead in its tracks, because no one will want to admit that they do not know what a derivative is. And that's a good thing, because even though you will be investing in many, many derivatives, you will never know exactly what a derivative is, either.
Investing in derivatives, however, makes up only a small part of a hedge fund owner's workday. Many of your waking hours will go to other chores, like bidding on Bordeaux futures and doing lines of coke off a supermodel's thigh. But don't let those tasks, as important as they are, distract you from your true mission as a hedge fund owner: overpaying for Manhattan real estate. The crowning achievement of my hedge fund career came the day I bought four classic sixes and combined them into a classic twenty-four. It is my fortress of solitude, my mood spa, a place for quiet contemplation and spiritual revival. I hope to visit it one day.
One final thing: as magical as it is to own your own hedge fund, at some point you may feel the need to let go, to move on. More specifically, you may need to leave the country under cover of darkness. But speaking as someone who has done just that, it's not as tricky as it sounds. What will you need? Just three things:
1) a single-engine plane
2) 20 million dollars in small bills
3) a face transplant
People sometimes ask me, if I had known that this was how things were going to go down, would I still have started my own hedge fund? The answer is an unequivocal "Fuck, yeah." On my list of things to do before I die, fleeing to the Cayman Islands was number seventeen. Thanks to owning a hedge fund, that dream is now a reality.
Andy Borowitz is a comedian and writer whose work appears in The New Yorker and The New York Times, and at his award-winning humor site, BorowitzReport.com.