Author Topic: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"  (Read 13361 times)

Clean Shaven

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"A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« on: April 20, 2017, 12:42:39 PM »
Stumbled across this on Bloomberg news -- thought it might be of interest and amusement here:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-19/a-look-at-the-ugly-side-of-getting-rich


sirdoug007

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 12:55:54 PM »
Quote
“David Siegel [the time-share king] said that money doesn’t make you happy—it makes you unhappy in a better part of town. I love that, because who should know better than him?”

Great quote to end the article.  These photographs would be fun to thumb through at a book store just for the shock value.

SEAKSR

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 01:15:32 PM »
Thanks for the share! It blows my mind how folks live sometimes.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 03:35:59 PM »
I read that article and it struck me how awful people can become when they have it all, because human beings thrive on misery and deprivation. When life becomes easy, most people simply lose their minds. I think there's a scene with Agent Smith in the Matrix that explains this phenomenon.

Stachey

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 04:30:33 PM »
That "Queen of Versailles" documentary about David Siegel was shocking.  They would let the dogs crap IN the house and expect the help to clean it up. 
The way they treated their domestic staff and their company employees was just disgusting.

solon

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2017, 04:46:27 PM »
I'll second "Queen of Versailles". Pure train-wreck of wealth.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2017, 10:25:58 PM »
I read that article and it struck me how awful people can become when they have it all, because human beings thrive on misery and deprivation. When life becomes easy, most people simply lose their minds. I think there's a scene with Agent Smith in the Matrix that explains this phenomenon.

Extreme wealth removes the natural consequences of treating people badly.

Healthy people respond to abuse in several ways that are all intended to make the abuse stop. Some disengage and find someone less toxic to hang out with, and so the consequence of being a jerk is that nobody's around when you need them. Others retaliate. So during the growing up and civilizing process, kids learn that there are immediate negative consequences to negative behavior.

There's nothing nastier, more vicious, or more sadistic than a child: they bite, they hit, they throw tantrums, and they're generally obnoxious until they're trained to do otherwise. It's a civilizing process known as parenting that doesn't always occur. But sometimes through the miracle of social feedback from peers most people eventually get it: how people treat me is influenced by how I behave toward them.

The exception is if there's something preventing natural consequences from occurring. Extreme wealth or power imbalance can really jack with this process.

If the victim of abuse is prevented from leaving (say, they can't afford to quit their job), the abuser learns that there's no immediate consequence to treating the victim badly. So they continue, because they either get a sick thrill out of it or they believe it will get the other person to do what they want. Likewise if the abuser is in an environment where victims are plentiful, fungible, and expendable, there's no incentive to care for the people in their immediate area: if they abuse someone badly enough for that person to leave, they can replace him or her easily with someone else because there's already another candidate angling for the job.


paddedhat

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 05:58:45 AM »
I'll second "Queen of Versailles". Pure train-wreck of wealth.

Absolutely worth the time to watch.  Not only is the "Queen" a disaster at every level, but she raised a herd of kids who are destined to be a whole new group of wealthy, barely functional dumpster fires.

  The wife and I became familiar with an extremely wealthy family. We would run into them annually, at their winter vacation spot, and get together for a cocktail hour.  After a while a few things became evident. The husband was well on his way to drinking himself to death. The wife was obsessed with material possessions, and could talk of nothing else. It was the middle of the great recession and the husband's business was doing poorly, but she was obsessed with shopping for a bigger trophy home, since there were bargains to be had. The children were the real mess though. They were spoiled beyond comprehension, and were completely free of any normal social skills. On our last visit the children were young teens. They ran into us as we walked towards the front of their parent's half million dollar motorcoach. Neither had enough "upbringing" to say hello, they just stared. I said that I was here to say hi to their mom and dad. One sneered at me, and looked back around the corner while shouting "mom, somebody is here". Then both walked past like we were the domestic help, unworthy of acknowledgement. That was our last visit.

Clean Shaven

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2017, 08:11:08 AM »
I hadn't heard of the Queen of Versailles movie. Going to have to see if I can find it streaming somewhere.

Laura33

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2017, 06:54:48 PM »
The one that got me was when the first "Real Housewives" came out in NYC.  Because I have always had the secret Powerball fantasy of living in Manhattan, right off of Central Park (and, you know, having unlimited money to enjoy everything the city has to offer).  And then they made a show about people basically living my dream life -- and all they did was bicker and argue over meaningless crap and fight over social position. 

Money isn't a cure-all.

Philbert

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2017, 06:56:25 AM »
I hadn't heard of the Queen of Versailles movie. Going to have to see if I can find it streaming somewhere.

I streamed it on Netflix a few years back. It should still be on there. Fantastic documentary!

Just Joe

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2017, 09:42:39 AM »
I just checked. It is on Netflix right now.

Clean Shaven

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2017, 09:47:53 AM »
^^ Just added it to my Netflix list.

YogiKitti

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2017, 08:49:56 PM »
 
I'll second "Queen of Versailles". Pure train-wreck of wealth.

Wow. Just wow.

Busting out if their mansion? Buying lottery tickets after your Botox appointment?

Marty

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2017, 09:38:46 PM »
Reminds me of a book I just read called For the Love of Money: A Memoir by Sam Polk which details the author's "success" at becoming a Wall Street trader and his realization of addiction to wealth.  It also chronicles the unhealthy lifestyle of drugs and sexism in the Wall Street world.  He quit trading when he received a $3.6 million bonus and was angry because he thought he deserved more, but realized he had become addicted to wealth and will never be able to achieve "enough" money.  Nowadays, he operates a non-profit organization dedicated to helping out families in food deserts (areas where little fresh produce is available and fast food is plentiful) with obtaining/educating about healthy eating.  Interesting read which proves money does not equal happiness.

Maenad

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2017, 11:10:37 AM »
I went looking for an update on Versailles to see if they ever got it finished - it's still under construction, but getting closer. On a sad note, one of their kids ODed and died in 2015. I guess money can just make you unhappy in a better part of town.

Clean Shaven

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2017, 11:04:08 AM »
^^ Just added it to my Netflix list.

Tried watching it last weekend.  Ouch.  The waste is just too painful to watch... couldn't make it through the whole thing.

eljefe-speaks

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2017, 01:58:31 PM »
I read that article and it struck me how awful people can become when they have it all, because human beings thrive on misery and deprivation. When life becomes easy, most people simply lose their minds. I think there's a scene with Agent Smith in the Matrix that explains this phenomenon.

Extreme wealth removes the natural consequences of treating people badly.

Healthy people respond to abuse in several ways that are all intended to make the abuse stop. Some disengage and find someone less toxic to hang out with, and so the consequence of being a jerk is that nobody's around when you need them. Others retaliate. So during the growing up and civilizing process, kids learn that there are immediate negative consequences to negative behavior.

There's nothing nastier, more vicious, or more sadistic than a child: they bite, they hit, they throw tantrums, and they're generally obnoxious until they're trained to do otherwise. It's a civilizing process known as parenting that doesn't always occur. But sometimes through the miracle of social feedback from peers most people eventually get it: how people treat me is influenced by how I behave toward them.

The exception is if there's something preventing natural consequences from occurring. Extreme wealth or power imbalance can really jack with this process.

If the victim of abuse is prevented from leaving (say, they can't afford to quit their job), the abuser learns that there's no immediate consequence to treating the victim badly. So they continue, because they either get a sick thrill out of it or they believe it will get the other person to do what they want. Likewise if the abuser is in an environment where victims are plentiful, fungible, and expendable, there's no incentive to care for the people in their immediate area: if they abuse someone badly enough for that person to leave, they can replace him or her easily with someone else because there's already another candidate angling for the job.

Very insightful! Couldn't help but think of Trump the entire time I was reading it.

Just Joe

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2017, 01:57:22 PM »
I watched it with my family the other night. Wife and younger child gave up when it was bed time. Teenager and I finished it. Very painful to watch. On a bright note our teenager seemed to have his values straight. We discussed the choices the Segals made in the movie at length.

I want my younger child to finish it with me. He sort of idolizes the rich right now. All I want him to do is consider the opportunity costs of those kinds of choices and how a person would actually make use of a giant house like that.

We talk here at MMM about money as freedom. I want my children to see a reasonable lifestyle as a different kind of freedom too. 

LeRainDrop

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2017, 02:59:14 PM »
I went looking for an update on Versailles to see if they ever got it finished - it's still under construction, but getting closer. On a sad note, one of their kids ODed and died in 2015. I guess money can just make you unhappy in a better part of town.

Yup, still building, and now she wants the house to be even bigger.

Looks like the couple did an episode of Celebrity Wife Swap a couple years ago, too.

Just Joe

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2017, 12:23:21 PM »
They sure need alot of attention.

CargoBiker

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2017, 04:46:05 AM »
Money is just an amplifier.

If you're a shitty douchebag, having lots of money will enable to you to be an even shitter, douchier douchebag.

If you're a generous person, having lots of money will enable to you change the course of the world for the better.


There are lots of rich people that fit into each category, looks like this article just focused on the first group.

paddedhat

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2017, 05:33:32 AM »
Money is just an amplifier.

If you're a shitty douchebag, having lots of money will enable to you to be an even shitter, douchier douchebag.

If you're a generous person, having lots of money will enable to you change the course of the world for the better.


There are lots of rich people that fit into each category, looks like this article just focused on the first group.

Being close friends with a family who's net is in excess of 100Mil, and knowing many of their friends and business associates, I can assure you that the douche bags far outnumber the philanthropists.

MgoSam

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2017, 01:20:46 PM »
Money is just an amplifier.

If you're a shitty douchebag, having lots of money will enable to you to be an even shitter, douchier douchebag.

If you're a generous person, having lots of money will enable to you change the course of the world for the better.


There are lots of rich people that fit into each category, looks like this article just focused on the first group.

Being close friends with a family who's net is in excess of 100Mil, and knowing many of their friends and business associates, I can assure you that the douche bags far outnumber the philanthropists.

That's been my experience as well.

prognastat

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2017, 01:26:24 PM »
Money is just an amplifier.

If you're a shitty douchebag, having lots of money will enable to you to be an even shitter, douchier douchebag.

If you're a generous person, having lots of money will enable to you change the course of the world for the better.


There are lots of rich people that fit into each category, looks like this article just focused on the first group.

Being close friends with a family who's net is in excess of 100Mil, and knowing many of their friends and business associates, I can assure you that the douche bags far outnumber the philanthropists.

The question then is does being a douchebag give you an edge in becoming rich or does being rich lead one to become a douche bag.

My suspicion is likely some of both. Being too nice to others if it comes at the cost of yourself is likely to lead to not being rich so the nicest people are the most likely to not build wealth. Also not being reliant on other people's opinions and even being enabled by those around you hoping to get the benefit of your money is likely to skew your view of the world if you don't have a strong ethical base to start.

CargoBiker

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2017, 06:45:10 AM »
Being close friends with a family who's net is in excess of 100Mil, and knowing many of their friends and business associates, I can assure you that the douche bags far outnumber the philanthropists.

Maybe.  I'm not going to extrapolate based on your personal anecdotes though... given that douchebags will tend to be friends with douchebags and associates of douchebags.

It'd actually be really interesting to see a study comparing the number of douchebags vs. philanthropist mega-wealthy people. I think there would close to an equal number, but it's just a guess, I could be wrong.

CargoBiker

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2017, 06:52:21 AM »
The question then is does being a douchebag give you an edge in becoming rich or does being rich lead one to become a douche bag.

Hmmm interesting question.

Money is made when two parties mutually agree on a price for perceived value of a good/service.

Douchebags can definitely make money selling perceived value that is much higher than actual value (a dishonest business).

Douchebags can also make money by delivering actual value that matches perceived value (an honest business).


Whereas, a non-douchebag will only make money pursuing the latter. 


So maybe this limits the non-douchebag's pathways to mega-rich, and might allow a disproportionate number of douchebags into the top-tier.





Laura33

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2017, 07:53:43 AM »
The question then is does being a douchebag give you an edge in becoming rich or does being rich lead one to become a douche bag.

Hmmm interesting question.

Money is made when two parties mutually agree on a price for perceived value of a good/service.

Douchebags can definitely make money selling perceived value that is much higher than actual value (a dishonest business).

Douchebags can also make money by delivering actual value that matches perceived value (an honest business).


Whereas, a non-douchebag will only make money pursuing the latter. 


So maybe this limits the non-douchebag's pathways to mega-rich, and might allow a disproportionate number of douchebags into the top-tier.

Agree, but I think it goes beyond even that.  I think many of the characteristics that are correlated with great financial success are the same characteristics that we call douchey or assholeish.  E.g., a driving desire to be wealthy or have power, single-minded focus on personal achievement above all else.  Money tends to be how we recognize status in this society, so someone who defines "success" as high status/power is going to chase the money.  OTOH, people whom we consider "nice" tend to be less self-focused, less all-in-it-for-them, and so are more likely to consider things other than money and power and status in choosing careers; they seek -- and get -- fulfillment from other things, like making a difference in someone else's life. 

As a result, I think that on average, fewer douchebag-types are going to self-select into lower-paying "helping others" jobs teaching and public service, while more nice people will.  At the same time, fewer "nice" people are going to "follow the money" into highly-competitive and highly-paid finance, business, and entrepreneurial opportunities -- and even when they do, they tend to be not so aggressively driven to continue to advance. 

Obviously, these are stereotypes writ large.  But I do think you are naturally going to wind up with more douchebag types in the "extremely wealthy" category, because those are the people who tend to have that single-minded focus on making gobs of money that makes them willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve that -- and to continue pushing for more and more wealth even after a normal person would say "enough, I'm retiring to the Bahamas."

prognastat

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2017, 07:58:07 AM »
The question then is does being a douchebag give you an edge in becoming rich or does being rich lead one to become a douche bag.

Hmmm interesting question.

Money is made when two parties mutually agree on a price for perceived value of a good/service.

Douchebags can definitely make money selling perceived value that is much higher than actual value (a dishonest business).

Douchebags can also make money by delivering actual value that matches perceived value (an honest business).


Whereas, a non-douchebag will only make money pursuing the latter. 


So maybe this limits the non-douchebag's pathways to mega-rich, and might allow a disproportionate number of douchebags into the top-tier.

I think this is definitely a big part too. Many of the financially most lucrative industries can be quite morally grey or even just plain dishonest/manipulative. This is likely to deter good people from entering those fields and limit those that still do enter them from being as succesful.

Torran

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2017, 09:43:24 AM »
I second (or third or fourth?) watching the Queen of Versaille.

*slight spoiler alert* Fascinating - and sad and funny in different parts. And mind-boggling. I disagreed with... ooh... just 100% of the things that family did and the decisions they made. And all their dead pets, I just couldn't understand that, at all.

Maenad

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #30 on: May 15, 2017, 03:15:06 PM »
It'd actually be really interesting to see a study comparing the number of douchebags vs. philanthropist mega-wealthy people. I think there would close to an equal number...
I highly doubt it.

Why should the mega-wealthy be any better than the rest of us?

;-)

Loren Ver

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #31 on: July 25, 2017, 08:16:31 AM »
For comparing the good and bad mega-wealthy, are you just looking at the loud ones?  I bet there are some Mustacians on here that may be in to the mega category (or will before they die), but drive an old beater car and have a small house.  They may be neutral or good, but you wouldn't know the bank account.  Some good mega-wealthy gave much of it away and are now only normal wealthy - would they count?  JK Rowling fell off the billionaires club list due to charitable giving (if the news it to be believed).  So she would be philanthropic but no long considered mega wealthy?

Many mega-wealthy looking people have tons to debt, so net worth-wise maybe they aren't mega-wealthy after all. 

Generally speaking, I think if you ask the question - are the people that appear mega-wealthy and are loud about it (show it off) more likely to be less generous? - then you are already selecting for a subset of people that have brought in large amounts of wealth at one point. 


Chesleygirl

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #32 on: July 25, 2017, 07:55:36 PM »
Extreme wealth removes the natural consequences of treating people badly.


I knew a guy in school who was from a very well-off family, and he was a bully and I believe his family's social standing helped him get away with it. None of the teachers would do anything, they knew who his Dad was.

I also have known some very dysfunctional people coming from both wealthy and impoverished backgrounds. I don't think wealthy people are more likely to have dysfunction, but I do think they are somewhat more likely to dominate others and go on power trips.

LalsConstant

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #33 on: July 25, 2017, 09:14:34 PM »
Many mega-wealthy looking people have tons to debt, so net worth-wise maybe they aren't mega-wealthy after all.

When I was still a tax preparer, I did returns for plenty of clients whose income was top 10%, 5% and even 1% (of course these are the kind of people most likely to need professional tax services as that much income typically comes from something far more complicated than a simple W-2).

When I got that job, I had just come out of paying off a lot of personal debt and I was saving up what little money I could to be able to afford to quit that job and move somewhere I could get a better job after graduation.   Grad school was a huge cash suck.   So understand, with everything I had in the whole world, I was worth $10,000 or so in terms of net worth.

The thing I realized though, after doing enough of these (because you have to review their statements to figure things out), is that I was actually wealthier than at least some of the people who earned salaries in excess of $100,000 a year  Granted, this circa 2010.

The thing is, when your income is sufficiently high, people will throw loans and credit at you, and if you have a lot of debt to begin with they just increase the interest rate.

Numbers can lie to you, but in this case they didn't.  I saw people with $160,000 in annual income with $30,000 in credit card debt, $60,000 in car loans, $450,000 in mortgage, around $100,000 in a potpourri of all kinds of other loans like HELOCs, with around $15,000 worth of taxable investments in very expensive mutual funds from Edward Jones type places and maybe $5,000 in cash.

Absolute madness.  The thing is, if they kept the payments up, their debts never got any smaller because as soon as something was paid off partially they just borrowed more to spend again.

I will grant you, these people had amazing lifestyles.  Custom clothes, constant trips and vacations, expensive and fancy cars, dined in restaurants almost daily, well stocked liquor cabinets, etc.  Like people on TV, larger than life.  But I couldn't do it, the debt burden would drive me insane.

It is not a majority of high income people, but people with large incomes, luxurious lifestyles, and no wealth certainly exist.

marty998

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #34 on: July 26, 2017, 04:22:06 AM »
Many mega-wealthy looking people have tons to debt, so net worth-wise maybe they aren't mega-wealthy after all.

When I was still a tax preparer, I did returns for plenty of clients whose income was top 10%, 5% and even 1% (of course these are the kind of people most likely to need professional tax services as that much income typically comes from something far more complicated than a simple W-2).

When I got that job, I had just come out of paying off a lot of personal debt and I was saving up what little money I could to be able to afford to quit that job and move somewhere I could get a better job after graduation.   Grad school was a huge cash suck.   So understand, with everything I had in the whole world, I was worth $10,000 or so in terms of net worth.

The thing I realized though, after doing enough of these (because you have to review their statements to figure things out), is that I was actually wealthier than at least some of the people who earned salaries in excess of $100,000 a year  Granted, this circa 2010.

The thing is, when your income is sufficiently high, people will throw loans and credit at you, and if you have a lot of debt to begin with they just increase the interest rate.

Numbers can lie to you, but in this case they didn't.  I saw people with $160,000 in annual income with $30,000 in credit card debt, $60,000 in car loans, $450,000 in mortgage, around $100,000 in a potpourri of all kinds of other loans like HELOCs, with around $15,000 worth of taxable investments in very expensive mutual funds from Edward Jones type places and maybe $5,000 in cash.

Absolute madness.  The thing is, if they kept the payments up, their debts never got any smaller because as soon as something was paid off partially they just borrowed more to spend again.

I will grant you, these people had amazing lifestyles.  Custom clothes, constant trips and vacations, expensive and fancy cars, dined in restaurants almost daily, well stocked liquor cabinets, etc.  Like people on TV, larger than life.  But I couldn't do it, the debt burden would drive me insane.

It is not a majority of high income people, but people with large incomes, luxurious lifestyles, and no wealth certainly exist.

Some people are just able to compartmentalise the stress long enough so that they never actually feel under the pump.

Even though it will all come crashing down if life throws up something unexpected, chances are these guys manage to get through without a detrimental event ever happening.

For some people, whether by luck or otherwise, it really does all work out in the end.

Of course, that infuriates me.

LalsConstant

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #35 on: July 26, 2017, 05:44:19 AM »
Many mega-wealthy looking people have tons to debt, so net worth-wise maybe they aren't mega-wealthy after all.

When I was still a tax preparer, I did returns for plenty of clients whose income was top 10%, 5% and even 1% (of course these are the kind of people most likely to need professional tax services as that much income typically comes from something far more complicated than a simple W-2).

When I got that job, I had just come out of paying off a lot of personal debt and I was saving up what little money I could to be able to afford to quit that job and move somewhere I could get a better job after graduation.   Grad school was a huge cash suck.   So understand, with everything I had in the whole world, I was worth $10,000 or so in terms of net worth.

The thing I realized though, after doing enough of these (because you have to review their statements to figure things out), is that I was actually wealthier than at least some of the people who earned salaries in excess of $100,000 a year  Granted, this circa 2010.

The thing is, when your income is sufficiently high, people will throw loans and credit at you, and if you have a lot of debt to begin with they just increase the interest rate.

Numbers can lie to you, but in this case they didn't.  I saw people with $160,000 in annual income with $30,000 in credit card debt, $60,000 in car loans, $450,000 in mortgage, around $100,000 in a potpourri of all kinds of other loans like HELOCs, with around $15,000 worth of taxable investments in very expensive mutual funds from Edward Jones type places and maybe $5,000 in cash.

Absolute madness.  The thing is, if they kept the payments up, their debts never got any smaller because as soon as something was paid off partially they just borrowed more to spend again.

I will grant you, these people had amazing lifestyles.  Custom clothes, constant trips and vacations, expensive and fancy cars, dined in restaurants almost daily, well stocked liquor cabinets, etc.  Like people on TV, larger than life.  But I couldn't do it, the debt burden would drive me insane.

It is not a majority of high income people, but people with large incomes, luxurious lifestyles, and no wealth certainly exist.

Some people are just able to compartmentalise the stress long enough so that they never actually feel under the pump.

Even though it will all come crashing down if life throws up something unexpected, chances are these guys manage to get through without a detrimental event ever happening.

For some people, whether by luck or otherwise, it really does all work out in the end.

Of course, that infuriates me.

If it gives you any schadenfraude (hope I spelled that right) I did see a couple of those people's lives implode on them completely.  Not that anyone wishes for bad things to happen to others but it is somewhat reassuring that the fragility of a high income low wealth lifestyle makes itself manifest eventually.

My experiences certainly inspired me to seek to live in such a way I might not get to do a lot of the neat things people with six figure incomes get to do, but my life won't implode nearly so easily or severely in all likelihood.

paddedhat

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2017, 06:25:36 AM »
I was in the homebuilding industry in a pretty economically marginal, extreme suburb of NYC, when the axe fell, during the great recession. Within a year the industry lost 92% of it's new home volume. Naturally, it's a given that a lot of company owners and highly placed management saw their personal, and excessive, lifestyles collapse.

The part that few outsiders understood, however, is how bad the house of cards really was. Many, many, of these guys were far from generating the net income required to live the high life, but we able to pull it off, since they were essential skimming a percentage of cash flow. With a constant flow of five figure bank draws streaming in from construction loans, while there were dozens of houses under construction, they would just funnel $15-20K a month into their personal accounts. When the cash flow came to an abrupt stop, they all tried to downsize, and hunker down to ride out the recession. Unfortunately, that $200K+ a year lifestyle never was real, and it didn't take long until subcontractors were not paid for work done 90-120 days ago, and loan payments were no longer current. A year or two later, some of these guys simply disappeared, moving a thousand miles away from the constant drone of banks and lawyers wanting a piece of their hide. Others held insane auctions of trophy homes, gun collections, expensive cars, etc.... A few, like myself, never had an interest in living large, and came out the other side of the mess a lot better than they went in. But, that's not obvious at all to most outsiders here, since most of the winners were from a cultural background where you hold your cards tight, and conspicuous consumption is not acceptable. Old Pennsylvania German stock, specifically.

It was some interesting times indeed.

KBecks

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Re: "A Look at the Ugly Side of Getting Rich"
« Reply #37 on: July 26, 2017, 07:14:05 AM »
I watched Queen of Versailles two nights ago (it's also on Hulu).   It was interesting to see how the family operated, and in particular how the husband led, or didn't provide leadership to the family.  It was also interesting to see how the husband perceived himself, and the food chain of people working for the family business and home.

Their staff was cut from 19 to like 3, which is a huge difference in things being maintained. 

Interesting comparisons to the Trump family but this family is the bad version and the Trumps are the better version.