Fantasies of Wealth; Misinterpreting the DataPosted on May 14th, 2013
A couple recently asked me about the relationship between home ownership and net worth. They are contemplating buying their first home. "In your books, Tom, you mention that nearly all millionaires are homeowners . . . approximately 95%." Most homeowners, however, are not millionaires. And no one is going to hand you a check for seven figures when you close on your first home. However, there is some correlation between home ownership and net worth. According to government statistics, the median household net worth for renters has hovered around the $4,000 to $5,000 level during the last 15 years. For the same period, the median net worth for homeowners has...
Pastor and His Wife, A Teacher, on Building Character and WealthPosted on April 1st, 2013
My wife (public school teacher) and I (pastor) have become millionaires (yes, without even figuring equity in our home) in our mid-late 40s while being salaried workers and with her taking nine years off from teaching/salary to stay at home with kids. We've had no inheritance or windfall. Moreover, we have consistently given about 20% of our income back to our church. We have simply delayed gratification by consistently living on less than we make while contributing heavily to...
Car Buying from The Millionaire Next DoorPosted on March 26th, 2013
Toyota did very well on my acid test, i.e. the home cooking index. I learned about the acid test from millionaires whom I interviewed. Before buying my first Toyota 17 years ago, I did a lot of research. Plus I drove through the employee parking lots of several Toyota dealerships. I found that nearly all the employees drove, you guessed it, Toyotas. Sure, employees have incentives to consume "home cooking." They get discounts. But not all dealers of brands X, Y and Z cars have their employee parking lots filled with the home team brands. Not eating one's own home cooking...
A Billionaire's Office Next DoorPosted on January 8th, 2013
Recently Huff Post published a list of the top 10 most expensive office rental rates by city. It also listed the top ten least expensive rental rates. New York City (5th Avenue) ranked 2nd along the most expensive dimension at $97 per square foot. Omaha, Nebraska (less costly than hundreds of other cities) ranked 7th on "the least expensive" list at $15.23 per square foot. In terms of rank, the positions of these two office environments have not changed much over the years. New York City is considered to be the center of the investment industry in this country. They...
Billionaire's Big Donation Receives Little PressPosted on November 7th, 2012
Imagine that you worked hard, took much risk and became financially successful, very, very successful. You employ thousands upon thousands of people. You even give considerable portions of your wealth to noble causes. Earlier this year, Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, designated a gift of $300 million to The Institute of Brain Science. The money was given in support of the organization's objective of finding a cure for Alzheimer's. Interestingly, this good deed was hardly mentioned in the press. One of the few outlets that covered the story was The New York Times. But the article was far from the front...
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