I think I’m in “the 10%” but I’m not sure; there are all different measures of affluence these days, from income to assets to net worth to liquid net worth. I’m probably striving to get into the 5%, then I’d be happy. At least that’s what I keep telling myself, although being a part of the 5% or the 1% for that matter will not help me much with things like the emotional distance that can grow between couples where one spouse works too hard and pays too little attention to the other. Being in the top 5% will also not eradicate the potential for sudden injury or the onset of illness, although these things are easier to deal with when “money is no object.”
I’ve learned in my 35 years that people should never be classified strictly by monetary wherewithal and financial stability – because the Baseline Happiness Effect pretty much renders us all equal at the end of the day, even if we don’t appear as such.
But for my profession, it is important to have a keen understanding of what issues those with great wealth find to be important at any given moment. My clients and their well-being and confidence is the business I am in, and I care deeply about serving the people I am responsible for, it is important that I have a finger on the pulse at all times. And because I take my responsibility seriously and am nothing if not a diligent student of the zeitgeist, I sometimes come across some pretty hilarious stuff.
Like this gem from a new Fidelity survey (via Family Wealth Report):
The survey, covering 1,000 millionaire households, found that 86 per cent are self-made. Furthermore, it found that this group is the most confident about the future financial outlook since the survey began in 1996. On a scale between -100 and +100, millionaires’ future financial outlook stands at +39.
However, their views about the current financial environment remain negative, at -29.
To recap, the wealthiest Americans are more confident about their futures than at any time in the last 15 years – but in terms of the financial environment everyone else has to swim in, well…good luck.
I love this poll, I could sit down with some smart friends and dissect the meaning behind it and the conditions that have brought us to this place for hours and hours.
Anyway, these are the self-made speaking – they know all about hard times, too, after all.
Oh yeah, one other insight from the report that may be of interest to you – there is a big difference between the investing predilections of the self-made versus those who’ve been born to wealth:
The two groups’ investment styles were also slightly different, with people who were born with wealth erring toward real estate, while the self-made wealthy cited equities more often. People born wealthy were also more accustomed to using financial advice, as they made the most of services like personal trust and foundation/endowment management.
Which means I should probably get an appraisal license or some such thing at some point as well. Or at least gear my writing away from markets and a bit more towards property.
Nah. I’m a stock and bond guy through and through.