Affluent Vampires of Fiction

For a few weeks now a thought has been buzzing in my head. I like vampire movies and their dilemnas portrayed in fiction. The whole conflict circling what would you give up to live forever and never age is intriguing. Some would give up alot for one or the other yet both is a possibility.

Commonly, the price is giving up your soul with the side effect of being unable/difficult to control your evil bloodlust. Which brings us to another crisis, would you try to get your soul back? Would you try to make it right if you couldnt get your soul back? Does it matter if you wont ever die?

All these are facinating questions but they are not the one I wish to propose. The overwhelming majority of vampires portrayed are extremely wealthy. Putting myself in their shoes, I am not born of money, I find it rather difficult to conceive how they attained these fortunes.

The facts as I see them are that you can't really trust anyone since they will naturally fear you. You could only work at night. Graveyard shifts pay more but wont make you an instant billionaire. Should you choose to do the noble deed of not killing to feed, blood is quite a bit more expensive than groceries. Don't forget the implications of trying to attain a license or fullfilling all the requirements of being able to purchase blood is a major hassle. You could steal it, but eventually you would get caught. Sure it may not be for a hundred years, but you will get caught and what you you do then? Infact, the law of averages is your biggest foe. Which is why even if you didnt have a problem with killing to feed, you would eventually be forced to find other means since you would build up a nasty trail rather rapidly.

If you did aquire wealth, how would you manage it? The best solution I came up with would be to have an international bank account halfway across the world. That way you could phone if you had too since the bank hours across the world would be during night time in the US.

Any thoughts? or am I completely off my rocker for even pondering this?

I think the presumption is pretty much the same as the IRA, being that if you invested even a slight amount at some time in the past, and did it with any acumen and subtlety, then you''d be pretty wealthy now. Considering, if we are to assume that most vampires are quite old, that centuries past saw wealth based on more than a simple day''s work, and that forcefulness, power, and influence were riches of themselves, then the accumulation of wealth, in say the 16th century, would be as much about charisma and status as anything else. In other words, vampires come from ''old money''. Further, considering how dramatically the economy of the world, and particularly first world countries, has grown, any investment no matter how slight in even just a savings account would yield results.

Consider that a simple retirement account now, where you might invest only a few hundred a month, would be worth several hundred thousand dollars in only a few dozen years. Since most of that money, the amount earned off interest, is earned after thirty years or so, and begins to grow at that point dramatically, then an investment of 150 years or more would be remarkably significant.

Interesting! I had thought of the old money idea but I had always dismissed it since every vampire seemed to just ""arrive"" from old money. I had never thought it through since most story tellers didnt think it through either. The characters just ""were"" aristocrats.

I do see a problem, however. How improbable would it be to accomplish these investments over the course of several hundred years in successive world powers? Arent the risks that one could accumulate wealth only to have that government completely overthrown and all assets nulified? The Great Depression, the French Revolution, the Civil War all happened in the last 200 years.

The only types of places I think you could manage it easier would be, ironically, the Middle East. I may be off the mark but it seems the only region with a few countries with consistent affluence and consistent controlling power. (Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lybia)

I think you couldnt do it with money. Both money and goods have fluctuating and cyclical value. Money, however, changes form. Precious metals and gems are cyclical but will never completely be obsolete like money has in the past. Well, they could but its not likely.

Danielle Steele! Oh wait, you meant fictious vampires...

Anne Rice doesnt count either.

I said ficticious.

Maybe thats the key to affluence. You can write books to become wealthy AND remain a recluse. The latter is an integral part of being a vampire.

Its the perfect cover. Its just like a murderers alibi being the book the author wrote exactly detailing the murder. The disbelief is built in!

Or (depending on which authors you read) some vampires stay with their creators or older vampires for a while - and if you have to tithe to the older, more powerful vamps, they get wealthier (kind of a pyramid scheme).

Laurell Hamilton has some interesting vampire books... Guilty Pleasures is the first - although after Blue Moon, they pretty much turn into porn...

Personally, I find the vampires of Buffy the Vampire Slayer much more realistic than vampires like you describe. In Buffy, they''re just lowlifes who now have no nagging conscious and super strength. They still hang around the house all day drinking beer, watching TV, and partying. They scavenge, and use the money off thier victims. But mainly, they''re after the partying and thrills. The bloodlust and hunt for the kill is just another source of fun for them. After watching Buffy (okay, maybe Ive watched too much Buffy :), I find most other portrails of vampires rather unrealistic. Except for Bram Stroker, which made sense in the time that it was written.

Why do I have the sudden urge to reinstall Vampire: The Masquerade? And then patch it, of course.

Before Buffy there was The Lost Boys. They seem to have a pretty similar style, though. According to IMDB, the tagline is ""Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It''s fun to be a vampire."" Their investments hadn''t paid off yet, either. They mostly hung out and caused trouble. Their mansion consisted of a cave as I recall.

""Something I never could stomach about Santa Carla, all the damn vampires!""

Laurell Hamilton has some interesting vampire books... Guilty Pleasures is the first - although after Blue Moon, they pretty much turn into porn...

No kidding, especially in the later books. I''m still waiting for some kind of ""Anita does every werewolf in Dallas"" book to cap it all off.

Still good reads though, despite the soft-core porn in there to please the lonely house-wives who have vampire fantasies.

I''m with Pyroman on the Buffy versions of vampires, just like normal people, except for the drinking blood thing. For me Spike and Drusilla have always been some of the best characters in Buffy.

One of my fave vampire films is from years ago called Near Dark with Lance Henrikson and Bill Paxton. with some classic lines.

Caleb: Something I been meaning to ask you.
Jesse: Yeah, what might that be?
Caleb: How old are you?
Jesse: Let''s put it this way, I fought for the south.

(had to dig out the VCR there to get the charcters names right.)

Just looked up release dates and believe it or not The Lost Boys and Near Dark were both released in 1987.

Near Dark was released October 2, 1987

The Lost Boys was released July 31, 1987

Oddly, I dont find either depiction (gritty and feral vs. reclusive aristocrats) more realistic. On one hand you have rag tag groups forming bonds like a pack of wolves.

On the other hand, maintaining considerable amounts of wealth over a great period of time can cause a person to become vain and out of touch. The reasoning comes to a point where the only thing better than having wealth is keeping it and maintaining physical well being such that you can use it. In other words, eternal life and eternal youth becomes almost a necessity. I dont think you need look very far to find real life examples of very wealthy, vain recluses that spend incredible amounts of time and money looking for cures to aging or altering their anatomy with the illusion of youth.


There are a lot of games I dread reinstalling

None of them have vampires though.

Oh that reminds me. I should have mentioned Berlin in the guilty pleasures music thread. Masquerade is one of their great songs.

What were we talking about? Oh yes its hard to believe im running out of space on my 60GB now.

Looks like I''m going to have to move some stuff around or else buy another drive.


Love the topic.

Elysium is dead (pardon the pun) right about investments vs. time. Since this is something I do for a living I can pretty much say with confidence, if you have enough time, you''ll be rich.

Assuming your roi (return on investment) is greater then the rise of inflation (which is easily done with Treasury Notes, T-bills, ect.) over time your investments will compound itself. There is a rule of 72...divide 72 into the expected percentage of investment return, and you''ll get the number of years it''ll take to double your original investment. (ex. 72 divided by a 12% annual return will double your money in 6 years, so let''s say money market rates pay 1.5% currently (which is true, and almost on the high side) you''ll double your investment in 48 years.)

Sooooo, someone with time to kill (heh, another pun) can easily amass a fortune over the years. Assuming trusts are set up, one need not worry about using the same name, though it is assumed every generation or so, the Vamp would change names and get a new ID #.

Plus, the money in collectables, would be very profitable. Save a bunch of junk/currency/everyday items and every 50-100 years, sell it off.

Probably more info than you wanted, but I like to ramble on about this stuff.

Dont be bashfull YOMM. Thats good stuff.

Now help me extrapolate backwards from 2003. The US has only been around for ~200 years. So from money market rates you would only be able to double your money 4 times. Which would mean you could increase your money 16 fold.

$100,000 was probably enough to be self sufficient 200 years ago. That money would be worth $1.6 million today. That''s a lot of money but hardly aristocratic.

I do believe in acquiring wealth thru acumulating collectibles. However, how much would one have to carry? Its hard enough for a family to stay in an area for hundreds of years. Now multiply that by the fact your a vampire. If you are found out you would have to flee rapidly. Would you have the time to take much with you?

How would you know whats valuable? Would you start collecting baseball cards today? Artwork? Whats going to be valuable 50-100 years from now? Its not like we can point to a select few artists or crafts people such as Picasso or chinese porcelain. I wonder what about music? Collecting Beatles vynls might prove lucrative. Heh I guess U2 and Aerosmith from our generation. I dont think CD''s will hold much value compared to records.

"fangblackbone" wrote:

Now help me extrapolate backwards from 2003. The US has only been around for ~200 years. So from money market rates you would only be able to double your money 4 times. Which would mean you could increase your money 16 fold.

$100,000 was probably enough to be self sufficient 200 years ago. That money would be worth $1.6 million today. That''s a lot of money but hardly aristocratic.

Well, remember that money market rates are in constant flux. In the late 70''s early 80''s money market rates were a whoping 12-14%!! Of course, inflation in the oil crisis of the 70''s would have eaten alot of it. Also remember the rate of inflation only hurts those who buy stuff. Taking the vampire as example, his/her daily cost of ''living'' would be much cheaper then someone who had to eat/sleep/entertain and so on...

Lastly, I was using money market as the most conservitive investment tool out Had someone been invested in stocks their ROI would have been much greater, even taking into account every stockmarket crash in history (watergate/oil/inflation/vietnam/coldwar/desertstorm/9-11/corporate scandal/Iraq ect.). Given that someone would be invested across all asset classes (Large-mid-small cap Value and Growth stocks) their portfolio would have returned, on average, 10-12% a year.

Let''s say after every run up of 10% you moved the profits into fixed income and kept your inital investment intact. The late 90''s would have made you millions. Or say at every dip in the market, you added money....well, stats say you could add an additional 20-30% on top of the other gains. All this is just based on US Dow Jones Index. Had you started earlier (and the Bank of London is still around, almost 300 and some odd years??) you would have been able to create a shell corporation and move assets in and out as needed.

Don''t even get me started on off-shore accounts, and tax for selling crap...I guess the answer to a Vampire''s prayers would be e-bay.

Holding almost anything for a long enough period of time would be profitable. Just look at eBay. There are things selling for tens of thousands of dollars that I didn''t even know existed. Hell, even 20 year old computers are worth a few grand. Given enough time, just about anything will gain value if kept in mint condition. However, things that are handmade or made in limited numbers seem to be the things that gain the most value. I''m sure that with the wealth of a vampire you could afford to buy a few handmade knives or a couple of paintings every few years as investments.

Edit: I can[t tipe or spel.