Thursday, May 31, 2007

Pentamillionaire Facts and The Invisible Hand

Amount of wealth required to be in the nation's top 1%: More than $5,000,000

Number of U.S. pentamillionaire ($5m) households in 2007: 930,000

Number of U.S. pentamillionaire households in 1997: 232,000

Percent of the nation's big family fortunes that are less than 13 years old: 70%

Percent of pentamillionaires from passive investments: 10%

Percent of pentamillionaires from inheritance: 10%

Percent of pentamillionaires from either starting their own business or working for a small company that experienced explosive growth: 80%

How most pentamillionaires acquire their wealth: They make up their minds to solve a problem or do something better than it's been done before. And almost all of them made their fortune in a big lump sum after many years of effort.

Source: SmartMoney Magazine, based on a wealth study by the Harrison Group.


Bottom Line: Most wealth is not inherited, and most fortunes are not made passively in the stock market. Rather, wealth and fortunes are mostly created by many years of hard work and effort directed toward "solving a problem or doing something better than it's been done before." In other words, in the self-interested pursuit of wealth, entrepreneurs are led by the "invisible hand" to solve other people's problems, or produce new products for other people, or produce existing products more efficiently for other people, to the great benefit of everybody in society.


15 Comments:

At 5/31/2007 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a retired lawyer in Flint: Most academics, particularly professors do not cite SMART MONEY MAGAZINE as source upon which to offer what they claim are profound conclusions.

 
At 5/31/2007 8:49 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Note: The SmartMoney Magazine article was cited in the WSJ , and the Wealth Study cited by both was actually from the Harrison Group.

 
At 5/31/2007 10:13 AM, Anonymous Bob Wright said...

anonymous:

What conclusions?

I see only a citation of data.

Unless you are referring to: "...to the great benefit of everybody in society."

 
At 5/31/2007 10:46 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"What conclusions?

That rich people aren't parasites and they work hard for what they've acquired...

"to the great benefit of everybody in society."

When was the last time a poor person put someone to work and paid that person a paycheck?

The other questionable benefit, the rich pay more taxes: Another Liberal Myth!!! "Tax cuts make the rich pay less taxes and drive up deficits"

 
At 5/31/2007 11:03 AM, Anonymous Bob Wright said...

juandos,

you silly man. Only people like John Edwards, by "channeling" spirits in the court room really earn their money.

I wonder what data set presidential candidate Edwards cited after his channeling.

 
At 5/31/2007 11:16 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Only people like John Edwards, by "channeling" spirits in the court room really earn their money"...LOL!

Oh that was a most excellent zinger sir!

Damn near drowned on my coffee while reading that...

Oh yeah, good question about "data set" too...

I would love to hear that question answered...

Well right now it seems that Edwards is channeling Jesus: "I think that Jesus would be disappointed in our ignoring the plight of those around us who are suffering and our focus on our own selfish short-term needs," Edwards told the site. "I think he would be appalled, actually."

Edwards also said he was against teacher-led prayers in public schools, but he added that "allowing time for children to pray for themselves, to themselves, I think is not only OK, I think it's a good thing."

 
At 5/31/2007 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Flint Lawyer: Please advise methodology of "study" if you are going to vouch for study and use as a basis to convince students. You claim to be anti-government but use government tactics when it suits your political advocacy. SAD again!

 
At 5/31/2007 11:25 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"You claim to be anti-government but use government tactics when it suits your political advocacy. SAD again!"...

Hmmm, speaking of sad, sadly here's another shinning example of someone not quite getting it...

How about a cogent, coherent, and logical description of just what's bugging you?

 
At 5/31/2007 11:33 AM, Anonymous Walt G. said...

Anonymous,

The methodology is called reading the article from the supplied link. It seems self-explanatory to me. You can come up with your own conclusions from the material.

 
At 5/31/2007 11:36 AM, Anonymous Bob Wright said...

Being FOR free markets and capitalism does not make one anti-government.

I can even be anti-socialism and not be anti-government.

I can argue against government intervention in the economy and not be anti-government.

Where exactly has Professor Perry claimed to be anti-government?

 
At 6/03/2007 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The numbers don't even make sense. If you need 5 million to be in the top 1% then that means there must be 3 million pentamillionaires (300million people/100). The next statistic says there are about 1 millions.

 
At 6/03/2007 4:25 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Most of the research and statistics on millionaires and pentamillionaires is by HOUSEHOLD, not individuals. There are about 110 million households in the U.S., and the top 1% would be about 1 million households, so I think the numbers do make sense.

 
At 6/11/2007 12:09 AM, Anonymous Friedman said...

Leave the people free of regulation and they will achieve great things. At this rate we will all be millionaires in short order.

 
At 1/17/2008 10:49 AM, Anonymous sir_ken_g said...

Of course the WSJ and the Harrison group are both unbiased. Give me a break!

 
At 1/17/2008 11:20 AM, Anonymous sir_ken_g said...

Another issue here is that the REAL money is not with the pentamillionares. The REAL money is with the 10 million plus folks. Then the statistics get far more ugly.

 

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