How to get Rich ~ According to Mark

If you weren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth, but you still want to get rich, here’s what I suggest. Buy lotto tickets.

July 13, 20011 — I’ve made a new friend on Facebook, one whose heart and head are in the same places as mine. This friend, I’ll simply refer to him by his first name, Mark, recently posted a very interesting story on his wall. With Mark’s permission and with a few minor edits, this is what he wrote:

“When I was 8 years old I talked my way into the Grown-up section of the library. Four of the 6 books I took home that day were biographies of famous rich guys from the early 1900s. Over the next 45 years I read lots of Rich Guy Bios and found that most of them have one thing in common. That one thing was confirmed in 2005. I did a complete analysis on the Forbes 400 richest folks in America. I put together an Excel spreadsheet using the data, then started sorting by each column to see what there was to learn.

There are Rich Guy Hot Spots to live in like NYC (Central Park), The Hamptons, South Miami (and Fisher Island), Southern California and Scottsdale AZ. But what I found to be most intriguing was how they got their wealth. In the Forbes article, 12% said they inherited their money. Of the others, a large number said their wealth came from real estate, oil, banking or hotels. But that made my ‘Radar’ really start pinging. To start a business in any of these industries takes big bucks. So where did their start up money come from? I did some deeper digging into their histories. The extensive Forbes article provided lots of information and the library and internet provided more. When I was finished the answer was clear, 85+% were born into rich families and, as adults, they enhanced their wealth investing in the stated industries. So 7 out of 8 really rich people were born rich and got richer. But most of them would like for you to believe they worked for it — the ole “American Success Story”.

As for Rags to Riches, here is what I discovered. A few very wealthy made it on their own. Computer software made Gates and Jobs and some other puter gurus rich. Movies made Tom Cruise, Will Smith and other celebrities rich. A few like John McCain and John Kerry married into wealth. And we all know how Oprah made her money, by syndicating her talk show, forming her own production company, then buying the rights to the show – oh and capturing the hearts of millions with her personal story and her generosity.

Sadly, there were only 3 or 4 out of the 400 that really started with nothing and worked 24/7 for 30 to 40 years to get rich. That’s 1% that were not born rich and weren’t computer gurus or entertainers. None of them ever worked a regular job to get rich.

So if you weren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth, but you still want to get rich, here’s what I suggest. Buy lotto tickets. The Lotto odds are 12M-to-one against you winning, but that’s a heck of a lot better odds than thinking you can start with nothing, work hard and smart all your life, and with a little luck end up rich. Those odds are around one-in-80 million. So, good luck on the Lotto.”

Thanks for this, Mark.

If anyone would like to comment on what Mark has written, feel free to post a comment below. I’ll make sure he gets it.

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Published in: on July 13, 2011 at 10:48 am  Comments (3)  

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  1. So a large percentage of today’s “rich” folks inherited their money – that’s ok with me. I don’t begrudge them that; a lot things happen to people merely because of where they were born and into what circumstances. I wasn’t born into wealth, but I am very fortunate to have been born in the United States of America which has the best overall environment for folks who want to apply themselves for their financial gain. If what Mark is citing is really “old” money that today’s rich have inherited, I would wonder if the working environment in our country those decades ago was more conducive to business, and much less regulated than our businesses are today. An example question: how much more productive would this country be if not for all the costs absorbed by businesses as the cost of unionization? Anyway, I’ll continue to purchase a lotto ticket from time to time, just for the sport of it, but I certainly don’t count on that whatsoever as a source of income on the hopes that I will win. Maybe I missed something somewhere, but is Mark advocating the taxation of the so-called rich merely because they had the good luck of being born into a family that is well off? thanks for this posting and I hope that Mark will show up on Facebook sometime soon so that he can be engaged by others on various topics.

  2. Yes, virtually all really rich folks is a large percentage. And it’s okay with me that it’s okay with you that this really large percentage had their success handed to them on a silver platter. But I think you miss the whole point or Mark’s study. His conclusions clearly establish that the myths of equal opportunity and justice for all in America are false. And the falseness of these myths is becoming more and more apparent to the “little people” class, us, as we work harder and harder year after year and fall farther and farther behind. Much of what to used to be middle class are now classified as working poor. This is okay with you and with many who think like you because you also believe the myth that these really rich folks are the job makers, that their endeavors create wealth and job opportunities and that these products “trickle-down” to the rest of us. Nothing could be farther from the truth. http://dmaview.newsvine.com/_news/2011/07/15/7089796-job-creators-say-who. Most new jobs in the U.S., jobs that provide living wages to people, are created by small business start-ups.

    Your statement that the U.S. of A. provides the best overall environment for folks who want to apply themselves for their financial gain is consistent with 1950s and 60s thinking, Curtis. Sadly, it’s not true anymore if indeed it ever was. Half of all Americans today believe that the American dream is either dead or in seriously bad health http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2010/09/21/Poll-American-Dream-still-alive-barely/UPI-23711285116544/. And while unemployment lines grow day by day with Congress and the president arguing over what to do about it, Americans are becoming more and more cynical. Why, did you know that there are more millionaires in Norway per-capita than in any other country? https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/no.html. The GDP per-capita at $54,500 (2009) in U.S. dollars places this country number 7 in the world ahead of the U.S. which is number 11 at $47,200 (2010) per-capita. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html. Even more significant, the $54,500 average in Norway is closer to a mean. In other words, the wealth in Norway is more evenly distributed, so everyone there is better off. But you wouldn’t want to live there, their government and economy is a “social” democracy.

    I use Norway only as an example, Curtis. There are plenty of other countries wherein the citizens are better off and happier than here in the good ole U.S.A. Yes, I still believe in America, but only for it’s potential to be a great nation again in terms of how it treats its citizens. We are great in size, in resources, in military power, and in wealth. But that wealth has become the second most concentrated at the top one percent in the world, as of 2000 at 70 percent http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html. Some estimate the percent to be closer to 80 percent today. Only Switzerland has a more top-heavy wealth distribution.

    No, I don’t think Mark was advocating that the really, really wealthy in this country should be taxed more just because they inherited their wealth. But I think he would agree with me that these folks should be taxed more fairly according to their ability to help their country honor it’s promises. Because most of them have never worked a day in their cushy lives for wages or even salaries, their incomes are from capital gains which are taxed at only 15%. Add to that, these folks have available to them a myriad of tax breaks and loop holes that further reduce their tax burden. Read what one of the richest men in the world has to say about this http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-21/warren-buffett-tells-abc-rich-people-should-pay-more-in-taxes.html. Buffet has said that his secretary, who is salaried, pays more in taxes than he does.

    In the near future, I will post another essay by my friend on how we can all reduce our tax burdens. It’s very insightful.

  3. I was reading a very interesting article not that long ago that I wish I could find again. It was talking about how people who earn in the $65k to $90k range believe they are average income earners. Because of this mistaken belief, they are very quick to condemn any tax that affects them as something inflicted on the “average person”. In truth, the average income here is something closer to $41k for those working full-time. Because many are not working (homemakers for example) or cannot get full-time employment, the income of an average Canadian is, in fact, much lower.

    If more people were aware of how their incomes compare to the average and median incomes, they may have a different opinion on how the tax system should function.

    The incomes of the super-rich are so far in excess of what a person could spend on themselves during their lifetimes, I can’t see that the decrease in real money will ever actually impact them, other than the figures on the balance sheet. Seeing how much of this money comes from financial instruments such as stocks, the system is currently designed to increase the gap between rich and poor.

    If, for example, our businesses were mostly large co-operatives, such as is the case in many parts of the world, when a corporation made money, that money would be used to invest in the business or improve the lives of the workers. Either way, the business grows and the money stimulates the economy as it is in the hands of the people who will spend it. If the owner of the business were instead a group of shareholders, they have no long-term interest in the sustainability of the business as long as they’re out before stocks fall. With regard to the workers, they have a disincentive for paying workers more than a minimum wage as any money not paid out becomes profit. The workers are then left with little to live on, little to spend, and a shakier economy as the money is not circulating.

    In a country where the only democratic representatives are very rich, how can they be expected to make decisions in the best interests of the people none of them can truly represent?


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