Man sparks confusion with ‘Forbes Friends List’: ‘Imagine setting up a class system inside your friend group’

·6-min read
Man baffles viewers after sharing spreadsheet breaking down friends by their incomes  (TikTok / @tcruznc)
Man baffles viewers after sharing spreadsheet breaking down friends by their incomes (TikTok / @tcruznc)

A real estate investor has sparked confused reactions after revealing the “Forbes Friend List” he and his friends created to make planning their vacations easier, which breaks down each individual by factors such as how much they make.

The video was originally posted to TikTok by Tom Cruz, who goes by the username @tcruznc on the app, and showed viewers how the friend group listed each member by how much they make, their availability for travel, their expected bonuses, and their travel preferences, among other factors.

“So a few years ago, me and my friends started making a spreadsheet breaking down our incomes and availability for travel and it looks like this,” Cruz said in the video before showing viewers the spreadsheet of 18 names. “This is incredibly helpful.”

Cruz then offered a close-up view of the spreadsheet, where his “top-earning friend” Shawn is listed to have a projected income of $5m in 2021, before pointing to the last name on the list, who he revealed his friends call “broke Bobby” because he makes $125,000. According to the spreadsheet, six individuals make $1m or more, while the rest make at least six figures in income annually.

The video also saw the investor show off columns dedicated to how much each individual would spend on a three-day vacation, a seven-day vacation, their marital status, and whether they are willing to travel to a third-world country, as well as list those who are willing to splurge on a private flight and whether or not each friend is a “degenerate gambler”.

According to the spreadsheet, about half the friends are married or in relationships, while the others are single. One friend, identified as Chris K, is listed as “complicated (70 per cent single).

“This list is very pragmatic and also a lot of them are saying that it’s very motivational,” Cruz continued. “So it allows us to avoid awkward situations within our friend group, inviting certain friends that may or may not want to do what we want to do, especially when it comes to gambling or spending a lot of money.”

While Cruz claimed his friends find use in the spreadsheet, the video has since gone viral on Twitter, after it was shared with the caption: “What in the wealth is this,” where it has prompted a range of bewildered responses.

“Imagine setting up a class system inside your friend group,” one person tweeted, while another said: “I feel like that’s too much information to have on a friend. Half this list has nothing to do with the trips in question…”

Others couldn’t get past the description of a friend making more than $100,000 a year as “broke,” with someone else tweeting: “Imagine making $125k and being considered broke Bobby.”

“Broke bob pulling in $125,000 and still being considered broke is what’s getting me,” another person wrote.

Chris K’s relationship status also sparked a number of remarks, as viewers wondered how Cruz could have skipped past that part of the spreadsheet.

“Everybody talking about Broke Bobby, nobody talking about how Chris K is 70 per cent single,” someone else commented.

There were also viewers disgusted by the video, with one person claiming that the TikTok, and the spreadsheet, was in poor taste.

“I hope this is fake. People are starving, dying, suffering. No one needs to see this. Also, your friends were fine putting their income on blast? Reevaluate yourself. It’s sick,” they wrote.

The various responses to the video, which has been viewed more than 1.6m times on Twitter, prompted a response from Cruz, who created a new TikTok on Thursday in which he addressed some of the questions he had received about the Forbes-style list.

“One, I’m not introducing any of you guys to any of my friends based on the fact that you like their level of income,” Chris began. “Two, we use the list in a variety of ways.

“Whoever is planning the trip, they’re going to decide all the activities, come up with a budget for that trip, they’ll go in and see the bonuses that are upcoming, available PTO [paid time off], if they have kids or are married or have a girlfriend or not, their level of degenerate gambler, and also they will go and book the private jet or whatever transportation we are getting, figure out whose budget is going to work for that trip and will invite them.”

According to Cruz, this method allows the friend in charge of planning to avoid “hurting any feelings,” while he also noted that if it is a “lower-income individual planning the trip,” then they will invite anybody else that wants to go.

Cruz then described the various jobs held by his friends, explaining that those on the list with unlimited PTO are investors or business owners with “complete control of their time,” before revealing that “broke Bobby” is an accountant and that the list also includes doctors and friends who work in real estate.

“As far as third-world destinations, some of these people have had bad experiences in the third world, they don’t want to go, so we automatically disqualify them, that’s one of our first criteria that we look for,” Cruz continued.

Cruz also acknowledged the “shock” that some viewers expressed over his number of friends, with the TikTok user explaining that they are not all “really close good friends” that he’s known for years, as some of them have been friends just a couple years and some he met in college.

However, he did confirm that all of the individuals listed are friends with one another, assuring his followers that Shawn, the highest-earner of the friend group, who owns a software service company, is friends with “broke Bobby,” before claiming that there is “no income segregation”.

While Cruz attempted to clear up some misconceptions about the spreadsheet, many viewers were still left with unfavourable opinions, with one person writing: “This whole friend group just sounds insufferable.”

“Can’t tell if it’s satire or just really out of touch,” someone else commented.

The Independent has contacted Cruz for comment.

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