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Billions of Bucks; Two Pairs of Shoes

Posted on October 5th, 2010

In a national survey of 733 millionaires representing the top 1% wealth holders in America, I found that 70% regularly have their shoes resoled/repaired (see The Millionaire Mind, p. 297).  Millionaires are generally frugal, but they are not frugal when it comes to purchasing quality shoes. Why do most wealthy people pay several hundred dollars for a pair of shoes?  As one respondent, a decamillionaire, stated, "cheap shoes wear you; you don't wear them."  Plus most millionaires are more sensitive to the life cycle costs of shoes than the initial purchase price.  The most favored brands of shoes among male millionaires are Allen Edmonds and Cole Haan (see Stop Acting Rich, p. 66).  Plus both of these brands are also favored among that elite group of millionaires which has annual realized  incomes of $1M or more. As I stated about such shoes, "never go out of style and can be refurbished over and over again."

Given this background I was not surprised that Mayor Michael Bloomberg of NYC, a billionaire and member of the prestigious Forbes 400 club, has "been wearing the same shoes for 10 years,"  see NYPost.  According to the article, Mr. Bloomberg "owns only two pairs of work shoes. . . one day he'll wear one, the next the other.  When they get worn down he has them resoled."  According to a spokesperson, the shoes appear to be Allen Edmonds and Cole Haan brands.  Another expert that was interviewed for the article said, "A pair of shoes like that could go 18 to 20 years . . . ."

The only exception I take to the article is when the author states that "Mayor Bloomberg is the rare billionaire who can preach penny-pinching. . . ."  I find that the majority of millionaires, decamillionaires and billionaires are penny pinchers when it comes to their wardrobes!

Category: Current Events
Tags: Stop Acting Rich, The Millionaire Mind, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Allen Edmonds, Cole Haan,


This Post Has 4 Comments:

On December 2nd, 2010, 12:50 PM, Abigail said:

As a woman in professional school, I can tell you that most women DEFINITELY CAN get by with only 2 pairs of work shoes, one black and one brown or camel. They do need to be very good shoes. But more than that is an indulgence. The only industry that might demand more shoes is high fashion.

On November 20th, 2010, 6:04 PM, Jen said:

What about the millionaire ladies? Are they as frugal with re-soling shoes? There is a difference in societal expectations for both women and men regarding wardrobe and shoes, and I wonder whether the millionaire women are also reputed to wear the same two pairs of shoes for a decade.

On October 6th, 2010, 3:49 PM, Morgan Thompson said:

I've been wearing my Timberland shoes for the past 5 years.
glad to know I'm on the right path.

On October 6th, 2010, 12:27 PM, JR said:

Yes, I would concur with the article that quality shoes are more important than quantity of shoes. Other great brands (that are also durable) that I also regularly resole include Johnston Murphy and Mezlan.

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