We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
My NYC pal, who happens to be a "private wealth" money manager, and I had an interesting a conversation this week.
I commented to him that it seemed to me that, the more money people had, the more they worried about money. (I also told him about some doubtless BS study that said that peoples' general life happiness doesn't improve much after an income of $75,000. - assuming the life they constructed is not totally dysfunctional.)
He told me that he had thought about this too, and that his observation about my point was that wealthier people did tend to worry more about their money the more money they have - up to the point of $17 million in the bank.
At 17 million, he said, for some psychological reason, prosperous people generally stop worrying unless they are highly neurotic - or if they try to live as if they had $100 million.
He also said, however, that "Everybody is neurotic about money. The hard part of my job is the Psychiatry, because it's not rocket science to determine a good bond price and it's not rocket science to preserve capital."
At age 17!!??!! Who in the heck is properous at age 17? The parents may be, but the 17-year-old hasn't the foggiest. Nor, for that matter, do the techie millionaires who haven't truly earned their stripes, but rather lucked into a once-in-a-century opportunity.
"...... it's not rocket science to preserve capital." Not too sure about that.
A wealthy friend of mine advised me years ago there two essential elements to wealth. One was making money the other was hanging onto it. Everything I have seen since then supports that view.
HRT from Down Under
When I grew up, I lived in 2 worlds - my mom's and my dad's.
My parents, divorced, had very different world views and money making capabilities.
My father was well off. I saw him infrequently, but often enough to know what it was like to live an upper middle class lifestyle. It was never fun going home and living and sub lower middle class lifestyle.
Money is ALWAYS a factor. When you don't have it, you want it or need it for some reason. I'll never forget the time my brother was injured and we didn't have health insurance. My father was PISSED at my mom for not having it (she couldn't afford it). I vowed never to go without it at that stage.
But my father taught me 90% of what I know about money. And he basically said there's no trick to making it - work hard and be smart. And there's no trick to keeping it - save 10% of everything (gross income, not net).
Beyond that, it's a question of knowing what you need, what's worth taking out a loan for, and how to balance borrowing versus savings.
I don't think this would matter much if I had $10mm in my bank account. Think about it - if I'm debt free, have $10mm earning 2% ($200k a year)......I can live on $100k and keep adding $100k to savings. With inflation today at 1% - I'm staying steady.
The messy part comes with inflation, but even then.....if my value dropped by 10%, I would still be living well.
There's definitely a point at which money SHOULDN'T matter. Doesn't mean it won't. But up to that point - it always matters. Always.
A friend who manages "wealth" (I know, what a vulgar expression) told me that there is huge anxiety in the 100 to 500 million crowd who feel diminished and somewhat ashamed that they do not have more, because they know a few people who have more. Yikes.