This secret millionaire with an MBA and a $1 million home in Brooklyn spends her days collecting cans
Do you ever have those conversations about what exactly you'd do if you were a millionaire? Some would go all out, buying a mansion as big and luxurious as Floyd Mayweather's, others would immediately go out and buy a round for the whole bar, others would make sure they invest it all to make the most of it.
Personally, I'd like to think I'd give some to charity and use the rest to live a pretty regular life without worrying over bills - but who am I kidding... there would be some ridiculous purchases along the way.
Lisa Fiekowski actually is a millionaire, but what she does with her time is pretty unexpected. After The New York Post published a profile of the low-key millionaire earlier this week, it's been revealed that despite owning more than $8 million's worth of properties around New York City, she doesn't spend her time like most of the 1 per cent do.
A resident of Brooklyn's Prospect Heights neighbourhood, Fiekowski owns a $1 million property in Prospect Park, and one of her two Hamilton Terrace buildings has an estimated market value of over $4 million. However, one of these investments is practically uninhabitable, thanks to a "bad hobby," as she puts it - collecting cans and other garbage.
She packs many of her buildings with trash she collects, with a Harlem location said to contain an old microwave, an umbrella, carpets, and more. Her decades-long hobby of collecting cans generates her around $20 to $30 for several hours of work, but she doesn't mind it - despite how others might see it:
"It keeps me active. I talk to people in the neighborhood. I guess I was always a recycler. Mostly, it's physical activity. I figure I make a little money at the same time. Keep the neighborhood clean.
"My family thinks this whole thing is horrible, but I think it's so funny."
Fiekowski has an MBA from the University of Chicago, and her husband makes about $180,000 a year. Her parents were both high-ranking economists employed by the government, while she has worked both as a marketing analyst and a stockbroker.
"I'm an old-fashioned bohemian," Fiekowski told the Post. "To me, what's sad is New York used to have acceptance of people being eccentric, but now it's like, 'Heaven forbid!'"
She did receive some complaints when she left a beaten-up and graffiti'd 1993 Toyota Camry, full of trash, in Prospect Park in July. While she was in California for a wedding, media reported on the 'blight' on the community, and it was eventually towed - but Fiekowski claims she had parked it legally.
"People were so upset that this terrible car was in the neighborhood," Fiekowski said. "It shows you how intolerant that area is."
If you were wondering if she is looking to do anything else with her Harlem properties, she claims she is fixing them up - although The Post reports that neighbours have said otherwise. “In New York, you’re always under renovation because there’s always stuff the city is requiring you to do,” she said.
It just goes to show, though - not all millionaires are the same.