And The Rich get Richer

Hating “rich” people because they are rich is almost a national sport these days. Those that are not rich love to see them fall, love to hear of their misery, love to gossip of their shortcomings.

Of course, it’s ridiculous to judge someone’s character based on his or her net worth. I have known many mean, greedy people who happen to be poor; as well as many compassionate, generous people who are also wealthy – and so have you.

Are there unethical and dishonest rich people? Of course there are. But, in Thomas Stanley’s,The Millionaire Next Door: Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy millionaires rated integrity [being honest with all people] as the number one factor that explains their economic success, ahead of wise investing or working hard.

Paul Sullivan of the Herald –Tribune recently wrote Financial Advice Gleaned From a Day in the Hot Seat about  his opportunity to participate in a “carefrontation” hosted by the Tiger 21 club. Tiger 21 members have a net worth of at least $10 million. They meet regularly to discuss investments and encourage one another to think about everything in their lives affected by their wealth. The “carefrontations” put one member on the hot seat to defend their current financial decisions. Sullivan thought he was doing well but the group encouraged him to dump his vacation condominium saying he needed to be more liquid. “If something bad happens, it’s easy to get rid of a dog walker; it’s hard to get rid of a house in Naples.” They also beat on him about the levels of life and disability insurance he and his wife are carrying.

Let’s Recap:

  • Your disdain for wealthy people will make it difficult for you to increase your wealth; so knock it off. Feel free to dislike mean people or dishonest people but don’t hate people because they are successful.
  • Many Millionaires cite “honesty” as the number one factor influencing their success. You can be honest, right?
  • Wealthy people deliberately set aside time to regularly review their finances, not just by themselves, but with trusted peers. You can start this today. Calculate your net worth monthly. Review your budget and investments regularly, find some like minded people to discuss money matters with.

It is time you give up your ridiculous prejudices against the rich. Most of us wish we had more money; more to give, more to help others or more to spend on travel or stuff. Resenting and demonizing the wealthy makes it nearly impossible for you to learn anything from their successes. And really, who do you want to listen to for money advice, someone who’s got some or your broke brother-in-law?