Chinese billionaire says he was happier when he was poor

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Chinese Billionaire Says He Was Happier When He Was Poor

As glamorous and carefree as being a billionaire sounds, China's richest man, Jack Ma, says that in actuality it's not that thrilling.

The founder of the wildly successful commerce site Alibaba told attendees of The Economic Club of New York luncheon that he was happier when he was poor.

Ma said that one of the best times of his life was right after college when he was earning $12 a month as an English teacher.

Many years -- and billions of dollars -- later, he now characterizes his existence as one dominated by pressures and expectations.

Said Ma, "If you have less than $1 million, you know how to spend the money. [At] $1 billion, that's not your money ... The money I have today is a responsibility. It's the trust of people on me."

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Chinese billionaire says he was happier when he was poor
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16, 2014: Alibaba Group founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma speaks after accepting the Game Changer of the Year award at the Asia Game Changer Awards, hosted by the Asia Society, on October 16, 2014 at the United Nations in New York, NY. Ma, China's richest man, was one of several award winners, including a Pritzker Prize winning architect (Shigeru Ban), an Academy Award winner (Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy), and this year's Noble Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai. (Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)
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