'Tis the season to be raking it in (and rolling in it) if you had a good year on the Street. Whether you're expecting an entry-level-sized bonus or a jumbo payout befitting a managing director, there are plenty of choice holiday items to stuff your stockings with.
Let's say you've had a nice year riding the indexes but are just getting your start in finance -- you're probably taking home around a $60,000 bonus. The most bang for your buck? How about a new 2010 Cadillac Escalade ($62,500, base model). If you don't feel like driving around in all the winter snow, you could set off for St. Barts instead, where you won't need an Escalade to get around because you'll be spending eight nights at the luxurious Le Plage Villa ($8,572 a night, within shouting distance of the beach). A week on the beach sound a little self-indulgent for your taste? Feel like giving back? Buy 270 Amazon Kindles ($259 each) and give 269 of them to Franklin Elementary, an underprivileged school in Glendale, Calif., that's winning recognition left and right. Keep one for yourself -- you deserve it! Or, you could go out and treat your friends to some Big Macs at McDonald's -- at a mere $4 each, there will be 15,000 of them waiting for you.
Some finance pros won't be eating Big Macs this bonus season. Take the golden boys at Goldman, who are set to collect an average of $599,369 each (not that we're counting every dollar). Instead of the burger of clowns, why not eat the burger of kings (not that king): the $777 Kobe Beef and Maine Lobster Burger at Le Burger Brasserie in Las Vegas. You deserve one! Every day! For two years and 41 days! Delicious, of course, but perhaps too fattening. Instead, get a new wardrobe. We've got the perfect thing: a Ralph Lauren Cashmere V-neck Sweater ($595). With your bonus, you could buy 1,000 with enough money left over for a Cyberdyne Hal exoskeleton (only $4,200 and going fast!). They say the clothes make the man or woman (or robot), but we say luxury views of the sea do. So instead of sweaters, pack your old wardrobe for a 585-night stay in the exclusive Sea View Room at Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo ($1,023 a night). Take the subway to the airport -- you didn't get to where you are by wasting money on taxis. If you don't feel like going all the way to Paris, you can buy 266,386 rides (New York metro, $2.25 per ride), enough to ride all day, every day, for 182 years.
The subway? Not for group heads taking home $1.7 million this bonus season. Forget the train -- take a boat. You and a guest can take a three-month trip with Crystal World Cruise from Miami to London, staying in the penthouse with a veranda ($572,510 per person). If Vikram or Jamie can't handle things without you for so long, you could instead take a two-weeker from Mumbai to Dubai ($99,060 per person). For the less adventurous, there might be something at Tiffany to brighten your day. Plan for the future: Buy a Tiffany two-carat emerald-cut three-stone engagement ring ($48,400) for that special someone, even if you haven't met them yet. Buy 40 (just in case!) -- you never know how many times you'll need to pop the question. If commitment isn't your thing, you might be better served with movie tickets; at $9 a pop, you could buy 222,222 of them.
But why go to the movies if you can build your own theater? We imagine Andrew Hall can. Hall is set to collect a cool $100 million for his services this year. Andrew, you should be reading this from your new Hamptons estate (only $39.5 million, comes with beach passes). We suggest you go Imelda Marcos on the place and fill it with 50,000 pairs of Christian Louboutin patent platform pumps ($695 a pair). With over $25 million left to burn, don't forget the environment; ship the shoes to their closets via a fleet of 1,000 third-gen Toyota Priuses ($22,400 each). Then, with all the money left over, throw the awesomest, Laboutin-wearingest, Prius-drivingest party ever with 478,571 six-packs of Budweiser ($7 a pack). That's 2.8 million bottles of beer! With the $3 you will have left, buy three New York Lotto Mega Millions tickets. The jackpot for December 15, 2009, is $118 million, enough for a....
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