Tag Archives | Wealth

Is Your Religion Your Financial Destiny?

Photo: steelman (CC)

Jehovah's Witnesses. Photo: steelman (CC)

This is one of the most interesting studies on comparative religions that I have seen in a long time. Who’d be a Jehovah’s Witness, eh? David Leonhart reports for the New York Times:

The economic differences among the country’s various religions are strikingly large, much larger than the differences among states and even larger than those among racial groups.

The most affluent of the major religions — including secularism — is Reform Judaism. Sixty-seven percent of Reform Jewish households made more than $75,000 a year at the time the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life collected the data, compared with only 31 percent of the population as a whole. Hindus were second, at 65 percent, and Conservative Jews were third, at 57 percent.

On the other end are Pentecostals, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Baptists. In each case, 20 percent or fewer of followers made at least $75,000.

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China Outlaws Advertisements Promoting Luxury Goods And Lifestyles

554252494_47a4e801ffIn an effort to contain class resentment stemming from a growing wealth gap, China has outlawed public ads that extol luxurious or ‘high end’ things. Are they onto something? Partial Objects takes note:

The clean up means commercials posted or aired in public can no longer include words like “supreme”, “royal”, “luxury” or “high class”, all of which frequently appear in Chinese promotions for real estate developments, vehicles and wines.

This move is designed to deal with the growing resentment about the wealth gap that exists between (some) urban and rural Chinese.

But note that they aren’t banning the wealth itself, or taxing it to oblivion; but managing the appearance of wealth, the description of wealth. It’s still okay to sell high end real estate, just don’t describe it as “elite” or “luxury.”

The Chinese government is fighting a linguistic battle, not an economic one. Anyone who sees a nice car may want one, but it is the description of that car and not the car itself that makes it an aspirational good.

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If It Flies, Floats Or Fornicates, Always Rent It

He may be plugging his new book, but Felix Dennis has some pretty perceptive things to say about rich people, himself included. Robert Frank profiles him for the Wall Street Journal:

Felix Dennis, the shaggy British publishing tycoon, poet and author, always seems to have wise words about getting and being rich.

A Brief Guide to the Getting of MoneyIn his first book, “How to Get Rich,” Dennis posited that anyone with $2 million to $4 million in assets is merely “comfortably poor.” For him, it takes $150 million to be truly rich.

He also delivered some memorable (and very true) one-liners like: “the richer you are and the more financial advisers you employ, the less likelihood there is that you can ever discover what you are really worth.”

Of spending, he wrote: “If it flies, floats or fornicates, always rent it.”

Dennis has a new book, called “The Narrow Road: A Brief Guide to the Getting of Money,” which is more how-to than the memoir of “How to Get Rich.” Most of the book is a life map for entrepreneurs.

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42% Of American Millionaires Say They Aren’t Rich

millionaireDo you feel sorry for these people? Reuters reports on the millionaires who need more money to feel rich:
More than four out of ten American millionaires say they do not feel rich. Indeed many would need to have at least $7.5 million in order to feel they were truly rich, according to a Fidelity Investments survey. Some 42 percent of the more than 1,000 millionaires surveyed by Fidelity said they did not feel wealthy. Respondents had at least $1 million in investable assets, excluding any real estate or retirement accounts. "Every person in the survey is wealthy," said Sanjiv Mirchandani...
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