To the word people among you, what does this phrase mean?

16 replies
Perry Marshall calls one of the colleagues he works with, obviously intending to praise him, a "fractional billionaire."

1)Have you ever encountered this phrase? I have not. I tried looking it up in various slang dictionaries and it seems that Marshall might have made it up.

2)If you have never seen/heard this phrase before, what do you guess that it means? Again, I am not sure. The only analogy I know of is people talk about "fractional ownership" of private jets. The fraction could be quite small.

3)Do you consider this to be a strong, weak or backfiring item of praise? I am wondering why Marshall would think "fractional billionaire" to be stronger than "multi-millionaire" or #X on the Forbes list of richest people in the world. To me, partly because it's an unfamiliar term and partly because a "fraction" has a connotation of belittlement, it comes across as extremely weak praise.

Thanks in advance for your input and insights.

Marcia Yudkin
#people #phrase #word
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    Marcia,
    I've only seen it used a few times. In those times it meant someone was a billionaire based on their investment in pieces of real estate or shares of a company or bitcoin, etc. As opposed to someone who owns Microsoft or Amazon or Trump towers.

    That's a simplistic answer and I'm sure not the whole story, but it's all I could find.

    Not sure if it's meant good or bad. Personally, I'd be happy being a billionaire even fractionally

    Rose
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    • Profile picture of the author palmtreelife
      Personally, I'd be happy being a billionaire even fractionally
      Funny how it doesn't really matter to most how someone makes thousands of dollars, but when it comes to millions and billions (more than the average person), people get their noses up and judge HOW they made that much money. In reality, it's often the same as someone who makes thousands...someone just scaled it and did it better and faster.
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  • Prolly Marshall shoulda said "forevah actualizin' billionaire".

    That way, he mighta pointed up the guys's clear potential for greatness steada jus' framin' him as a loser klutz.

    Tellya, anywan calls me even half a woman gets a punch in the frickin' cockpipe.

    On a good day ... half a cockpipe & I get to conserve a little self-actualizin' vodka to pour down my primedest evah vestibule.

    tbh sounds like derogatorialiciousness gone stoopid to Moi.

    *** Hope my vanishingly small expertise offers comfort in a world overrun by the proclamations of fools. ***
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  • Profile picture of the author SARubin
    Have you tried contacting Perry Marshall or Richard Koch, and asking them what the term means?

    It just seems like since it's their brainchild, they could give you the most definite answer to what they mean by it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    it does seem Marshall came up with the term while promoting the $2k seminars....so perhaps he has his own definition.


    As a word person, my own initial definition is 'a billionaire by combining interests in various businesses, each business perhaps run by someone else. ...as opposed to owning a billion dollar business yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    It's new to me. I guess the phrase, like every other word and phrase in existence, has to be considered in its context. "Multi-millionaire" refers to multiple millions. The frame around it is MILLIONS. The frame around "fractional billionaire" is a BILLION, so if the context is about aspiration, I could see the phrase as a positive. The person described perhaps sees himself as an up-and-coming billionaire.

    In short, it's all about context
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    The frame around "fractional billionaire" is a BILLION, so if the context is about aspiration, I could see the phrase as a positive.
    But logically, if we take the phrase literally, aren't we all "fractionally billionaires"? It's all a matter of the size of the fraction. That doesn't come up with "multi-millionaire." To me, it's a contradictory image because it tries to build someone up by cutting him down.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
      Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

      But logically, if we take the phrase literally, aren't we all "fractionally billionaires"? It's all a matter of the size of the fraction. That doesn't come up with "multi-millionaire." To me, it's a contradictory image because it tries to build someone up by cutting him down.
      I agree, and this is the problem we have with words. "Multi" implies many, but not necessarily how many. If you had $500 million, you'd technically be a multi-millionaire, but the term doesn't really convey that you're half-way towards being a billionaire. I guess Perry has tried to invent a term that describes the situation in-between, but it's a bit ambiguous as you point out.

      That's why the context would be interesting to see. If the context implies that the guy has hundreds of millions of dollars, "fractional billionaire" would make sense. If Perry just uses it with no explanation (or useful context for the "fractional" part), then I agree it wouldn't be a great phrase to use.

      Example: "John is a fractional billionaire. He buys and sells golf courses, with his last one raising over $163 million."

      The implication (because of the mention of $163m) is, we're talking a significant fraction of a billion.
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  • May I suggest we observe a moment's silence for alla them infarctional billionaires?

    Tellya, they dropped dead from coronaries cos they simply could naht believe how colossally great they done.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

    Perry Marshall calls one of the colleagues he works with, obviously intending to praise him, a "fractional billionaire."

    1)Have you ever encountered this phrase? I have not. I tried looking it up in various slang dictionaries and it seems that Marshall might have made it up.

    2)If you have never seen/heard this phrase before, what do you guess that it means? Again, I am not sure. The only analogy I know of is people talk about "fractional ownership" of private jets. The fraction could be quite small.

    3)Do you consider this to be a strong, weak or backfiring item of praise? I am wondering why Marshall would think "fractional billionaire" to be stronger than "multi-millionaire" or #X on the Forbes list of richest people in the world. To me, partly because it's an unfamiliar term and partly because a "fraction" has a connotation of belittlement, it comes across as extremely weak praise.

    Thanks in advance for your input and insights.

    Marcia Yudkin
    When I heard Perry use the phrase, it was in the context explained by Rose in the 2nd post of this thread.

    Before entering the marketing game, Perry was an engineer. I wouldn't be surprised if "fractional" is a commonly used term in his prior profession.

    Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    Nah. I think Perry is just talking about a (significant) fraction of a billion. I found the context. He uses it twice on the sales page...

    "In 2014 I held a now-legendary seminar with fractional billionaire Richard Koch. It was called "The Star Principle Seminar." Admission was $7500."

    Later on, he says:

    "So you won't get to be Richard's newest friend. But if you're accepted, you get access to his mind, his formula, his process. A process that's grown his net worth by eight figures in two years. A formula that took him from working stiff to fractional billionaire in 25 years."

    A very brief scan of the letter shows Perry using figures in excess of $100 million, so I'm pretty sure it's not industry jargon. It's just Perry inventing a phrase for "someone who has assets in excess of $100 million".

    Context... King. Etc.

    (I just Googled "fractional billionaire" and it was the first link to come up.)
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    Without Paul's context, to me, it means someone who owns a part of a billion, with the (unwarranted but deeply felt nonetheless) expectation that it would be used only when that part was a significant amount, or else I would have been this type of billionaire way back, when I barely had a penny to rub together.

    With Paul's context, it means the same.

    I came to my understanding from hearing about people having fractional ownership in airplanes... Which, I heard for the first time before Wikepedia existed, still here's the definition of it there: Fractional Aircraft is a common term for fractional ownership of aircraft where multiple owners share the costs of purchasing, leasing and operating the aircraft.


    PS 'Fractional' has never given me a warm feeling, not even if I find it next to 'billionaire.' Why not just say partial/partially or almost and, thus, be honest about it?
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    PS 'Fractional' has never given me a warm feeling, not even if I find it next to 'billionaire.' Why not just say partial/partially or almost and, thus, be honest about it?
    "Fractional ownership" of an airplane is positive because the smart owner has found a way to use a private airplane without paying for the whole thing.

    "Fractional billionaire" doesn't give one any such special rights or privileges. Not even any bragging rights beyond "multi-millionaire" because it's not a familiar concept to the average person or even the average rich person.

    And in any case, I'm not sure why I should admire someone who has a net worth of, say, 200 million more than someone with a net worth of 20 million. Does the extra zero really get them more of anything except bigger accounting bills?

    Marcia Yudkin
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
      Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

      And in any case, I'm not sure why I should admire someone who has a net worth of, say, 200 million more than someone with a net worth of 20 million. Does the extra zero really get them more of anything except bigger accounting bills?

      It buys them a lower level of misery
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

      And in any case, I'm not sure why I should admire someone who has a net worth of, say, 200 million more than someone with a net worth of 20 million. Does the extra zero really get them more of anything except bigger accounting bills?
      In theory, the guy or gal who is worth 200 million worked harder (or smarter) than the person worth 20 million.

      And can buyer bigger toys.

      Alex
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    • Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

      And in any case, I'm not sure why I should admire someone who has a net worth of, say, 200 million more than someone with a net worth of 20 million. Does the extra zero really get them more of anything except bigger accounting bills?

      Marcia Yudkin

      As a confirmed ditzbrain, I am always ready to go the extra zero.
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