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A Billionaire’s Heir Hangs Up His Healing Crystal to Fix Capitalism

William Peterffy spent his career avoiding working for his Wall Street tycoon father at Interactive Brokers—until ESG became a thing.
Peterffy the younger in Boulder.

Peterffy the younger in Boulder.

Photographer: Caleb Alvarado for Bloomberg Businessweek

William Peterffy, the only son of billionaire Thomas Peterffy, has cycled through a lifetime’s worth of occupations in his 32 years. He’s been a ranch hand in Colorado; an organic farm worker in California; a student of yoga, sound therapy, and Chinese medicine; a board member for an environmental advocacy organization; and a post-production associate for a 10-part documentary series on “archetypal astrology.” He served time at two investment firms, for about nine months apiece, but those stints left him “heart-crushed” and pushed him in 2016 to go, with his dog Bowie, from New York to New Mexico in hopes of absorbing the healing powers of the desert.

Boulder, Colo., is his latest adopted home, where he now lives in the mountains with Bowie and a new dog, Raksha, named for the mother wolf in The Jungle Book. In late November he visited friends for dinner at their regenerative farm. A citrine crystal, believed to symbolize positivity and new beginnings, sat nearby as he feasted on braised lamb shoulder, mashed potatoes, arugula, beet sauerkraut, and a punchy fermented hot sauce—a meal his friends prepared using only crops and animals raised on their farm, except for a bit of clarified butter and a few glugs of olive oil.