Dean Clough

February 7, 2024

Portico Darwin: The World's Most Expensive Man is Dead



2 Minute Read

Happy Wednesday, and as if London Calling isn't enough, let me today share an outcome of our recent engagement with a certified financial planner, the fiduciary Heather Liston.  Here it is:

The World's Most Expensive Man is Dead.

Or, in other words, the diamond man is now the lab-grown diamond man.

Some background.  The World's Most Expensive Man has been my dear friend K. Helmsley Garfinkel's moniker for me for years now.  He's witnessed many a time when I up the ante and take things to the next level, especially when it comes to flushing money at bars, restaurants, and hotels.  And on yachts sailing the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, as above in May of 2019, although K. Helmsley missed that one.

It's what I do used to do. 

That's because of any professional service I've ever utilized, Heather Liston has arguably been the best. 

(Well, apart from Professor Howard Blum, Esq., A.K.A. "Bobby's Estate Planner," but that's a different blog post.)

Rare in my experience in terms of financial planners, the charming but forceful Ms. Liston works on a for-hire basis, meaning we paid her a flat fee.  She also doesn't want to manage our investments in the future. 

Instead, she took an intense and broad dive into every aspect of our finances, plugged it all into a sophisticated computer model, and gave us the answer:

Earn a bit more or spend a bit less, preferably both, and your money will outlive you, with near certainty.

The cool thing is that we've planned on this for years.  The only difference is that this phase was supposed to begin when Julie and I both retired, 3 years from now.  Sure, I would have made several hundred thousand dollars more for us meanwhile if TEECOM hadn't happened, but c'est la vie. 

Indeed, even after Heather's beatdown (and a 4-year Airbnb binge), we still have plenty allocated every year going forward for domestic and international travel.  Almost as important, there remain ample sums assigned for reasonable food & drink shenanigans each week, for the rest of my already spoiled-rotten life.  Julie's, too, although she's not quite the demanding brat I am.

So our transition to lab-grown diamonds should be relatively painless and won't likely impact much - apart from our maturity.  Instead of everything everywhere all at once, it'll be quite a few things in quite a few places often.  

Or, even more concisely:  Mumm Napa, vs. Veuve Clicquot.

10 Seconds of Seriousness:  For the record, I'd love to earn more, but I am either too old or radioactive or both.  I am open to virtually anything you hear of, for any amount of time - there's nothing too big or too small, and those who know my work will say I am capable in a variety of areas.  I am happy to send my CV and portfolio to anyone who asks.

If nothing happens, that's fine, too, because we're now operating from a place of knowledge and confidence.

Which is better than a mediocre Crème Brûlée any day.

Thank you for your indulgence today.  Too much sharing?  I'll let you be the judge, but I felt others might want to know:

  • How to find someone like the Diamond Certified Heather Liston, if you're in the market for a one-off and complete sanity check of your current and future finances.  I simply could not have been more impressed by the experience and deliverables. 

  • That even a 60-year-old bourgeoisie crank can learn and adjust.


I can't spill the beans now, but a shout-out to the London Calling cheerleader Lara Mohair.  She came through with some deep intel that will be featured in Friday's chapter.

Until then, look at this double rainbow from our neighbor and close pal Laura Gonzalez, taken from her and Andrew Whistler's apartment next door this past Monday, at the end of the Bomb Cyclone.   

Everyone we know made it through unscathed, and we've had far worse storms here.  But this was right around the corner from us, on the approach to the Golden Gate Bridge.  I guess that pressure did drop and it did get a touch breezy . . .

Thank you for reading this newsletter.  


And how convenient was Laura's subject matter?  In its first play on KLUF, here is an album considered in some circles a hard rock classic:  Rainbow and the apropos Rising.  Kids, these are what instruments sound like.

And what hard rock vocals sound like:  I feel the late Ronnie James Dio has been wrongly lost to history.

About Dean Clough