Jan 192017
 

Meet the World’s Wealthiest

Charity group Oxfam recently reported that the world’s 8 richest people have as much combined wealth as the poorest 50% of the world’s population.

Here is the list of the 8 richest individuals, in order of net worth:

  1. Bill Gates: America founder of Microsoft (net worth: $75 billion)
  2. Amancio Ortega: Spanish founder of Inditex which owns the Zara fashion chain (net worth: $67 billion)
  3. Warren Buffett: American CEO and largest shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway (net worth: $60.8 billion)
  4. Carlos Slim: Mexican owner of Grupo Carso (net worth: $50 billion)
  5. Jeff Bezos: American founder, chairman and chief executive of Amazon (net worth: $45.2 billion)
  6. Mark Zuckerberg: American chairman, chief executive officer, and co-founder of Facebook (net worth: $44.6 billion)
  7. Larry Ellison: American co-founder and CEO of Oracle  (net worth: $43.6 billion)
  8. Michael Bloomberg: American founder, owner and CEO of Bloomberg LP (net worth: $40 billion)

The level of extreme wealth has become more concentrated over time. In the previous year, it took the net worth of 62 individuals to match the poorest 50% in the world. Here’s a look at the trend over time.

The middle class is feeling squeezed in many parts of the world. From 2000 to 2014 the number of households in the U.S. considered to be middle class fell significantly. A study from Pew Research shows that a majority of Americans no longer lives in the middle class. Median income of U.S. households in 2014 was 8% less than in 1999, according to Pew. For context, a 3 people household making $42,000 would be considered middle class.

One similarity shared by most multi-billionaires today is a focus on philanthropy. 🙂 Bill Gates would already be worth 12 figures today if he hadn’t given so much to charity already. He has been estimated to save over 6 million lives with his efforts to eradicate Malaria, end Polio, and help third-world countries grow rice. Warren Buffett wants to donate 99% of his wealth to charitable causes. Hundreds of other billionaires have signed up for the Giving Pledge, a campaign to encourage the rich to give away most of their money.

We all want to make money. But once we reach a certain level of financial success and become independently wealth, we have to think about how to use our excess wealth in the most meaningful manner possible. Helping other people in need is probably one of the best ways to achieve this. 🙂

I would be inclined to donate more money too if I were rich. I have already decided that if I ever win $1 million from the lottery, I will donate a quarter of it to charity because I am so generous. 😉
I still have to decide how I want to spend the remaining $999,999.75 though. 😄 j/k.

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Sep 012016
 

Millionaire Status

After checking my balance sheet for the month of August I realized that the value of all my assets is worth $1,006,200. Great Scott! For the first time in my life I own a million dollars worth of stuff! 🙂

According to the official Oxford Dictionaries website, a millionaire is “a person whose assets are worth one million dollars or more.” The word “assets” is commonly defined as any owned items or properties that have financial value. So according to this official definition I am now technically a millionaire! ? Gosh almighty! Below is my reaction right now.

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I started investing about 8 years ago. I mostly just buy a wide range of investments and use diversification to lower my risk. I also intend to hold my investments until I retire. It sounds like a simple strategy, but it works for me. 🙂 Some readers may think I’m a good stock picker. But that’s not true.

In the last 7 years falling interest rates have pushed up asset prices across the board for stocks, bonds, and real estate. The S&P 500 index in the U.S. returned over 150% to investors since 2009. 😀 Good heavens!

My point is anyone could have randomly invested in a basket of different securities starting in 2009 and would likely see similar appreciation in their assets as I have. 😉 So I didn’t get lucky choosing stocks. But I am lucky to have started investing near the bottom of the great recession in 2008.

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Sep 182015
 

Millennials Create Their Own Opportunities

Some people believe millennials are the screwed generation because there are no jobs for us. And that we have every right to be angry at the older generation for pillaging public coffers, taking on loads of debt, and leaving the broken economy for the younger generation to fix.
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But I don’t see it that way. So what if there aren’t a lot of high paying jobs out there for young workers anymore? Any job is a good job because any income is better than no income. The world can be an amazing place if we just lower our standards a bit. 😀
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And just because there are no jobs, it doesn’t mean there is no work. Jobs are given to us, but work can be self created. Don’t ask what the world can give us. Ask what we can produce for the world instead. 😉 Starting a small business is easy. When I was 14 I shovelled snow for my neighbours during the winter. Clearing each driveway earned me $10. Cutting grass would be a great opportunity to make money in the summer. There are plenty of busy households who would gladly pay $25 for someone else to mow their lawn every couple of weeks. Their time is valuable. And all that’s required for this to happen is for some proactive entrepreneur to go knock on their door and say, “Hey, here’s what I can do for you. How about it?”
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We can also develop knowledge based skills to make money. Being the first group of people to grow up with cell phones, laptops, and the internet millennials have a technological advantage over other working adults today. We can create a free blog in minutes. Social networks keep us informed and enable us to discuss our ideas with anyone from anywhere on the planet. We can download entire first year courses from Yale, Harvard, and other universities for free from their websites. There are non-profit organizations, such as the Khan Academy, which have free lectures on subjects like math, science, computer programming, history, art, philosophy, economics, and more. There’s also plenty of informational YouTube videos that teach everything from how to put on make-up, to how to start a small business, to how to make ricotta and spinach ravioli. ? Yum! Access to information is so ubiquitous today we can develop any knowledge based skills we desire to learn! And then use our new expertise to earn an income.

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Jul 262014
 

If you ever want to feel rich just head over to globalrichlist.com to find out where you are on the spectrum of wealth. For example when I punched in my income I found out that I am in the top 1% of all earners in the world 🙂 My income is so high I can afford to pay the annual salaries of 10 doctors in Azerbaijan, a small country between Eastern Europe and Western Asia. All you need is to earn more than $32,000 USD to be in the top 1% as well.

In terms of wealth I input $300,000 CAD as my total net worth and it turns out I’m in the top 5% 😀

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To be in the top 1% you’ll need a net worth of $830,000 CAD or $770,000 USD. But for now I am already very pleased being at 4.61%. If I take just 1% of my current wealth I could feed a family of 4 in Ethiopia for 3 years 😯  My personal wealth is equal to the combined wealth of 231 people in Afghanistan. What a financially empowering realization!

I think the moral we can take away from this relative wealth exercise is don’t work in Azerbaijan if you’re a doctor.

It’s possible to feel financially inferior after getting used to living in a first world country. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that making even just $30,000 a year and having a $50,000 net worth would already put someone in a very favorable financial position.

Other than using that website to compare our wealth with others for fun, we can also use it as a motivational tool. Find out how rich you are today in terms of both income and wealth. Write down your results, or take a screenshot and email it to yourself. Then go back to the site next year to input your new income and net worth to find out how your position has changed. You should be moving up the ranks every year. If not, find out what’s preventing you from getting ahead. In a global competitive world if we don’t improve, but others do, then we will get left behind. For my own goal, by this time next year I hope to be in the top 4% of the richest people in the world by wealth 🙂

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Random Useless Fact:

If plastic is made from oil, and oil is made from the hydrocarbons of decomposed, prehistoric plants and animals, then that means plastic toy dinosaurs are partly made from real dinosaurs.

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Feb 252013
 

Found a list of 17 ways that rich people tend to think. It’s been floating around the internet for awhile and there’s even a Youtube video on it. How legitimate or practical this list actually is probably will depend on who you ask. And the terms “rich” is pretty subjective to begin with. I don’t know if all the points it lists are true, but it’s fun to go down through it anyway and see if you have any of these traits yourself 🙂

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Rich people….

1. Believe they create their own destiny
2. Play the money game to win
3. Are committed to being rich, not just want to be
4. Think big
5. Focus on opportunities rather than obstacles
6. Admire other rich and successful people rather than resent them
7. Associate with positive, successful people
8. Are willing to promote themselves
9. Are bigger than their problems
10. Are great receivers
11. Choose to get paid based on results, not time
12. Think “both” instead of “either or”
13. Focus on their net worth more than their income
14. Manage their money well
15. Make money work hard for them
16. Take action despite fear
17. Constantly learn and grow

I fit in with most of these, so I guess that means I’m on the right track to becoming rich :0) Despite being about your financial well being I think most of the items on the list are pretty good suggestions for how to become successful in life, in general 😀

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Random Useless Fact:  Look at the images below. What do you notice about them?

13_02_colgateflossad thinking like the rich

This is Colgate’s clever advertisement for their dental floss. The idea is that having leftover food between your teeth is so noticeable and attention grabbing, that you might not have even noticed the physical defects in these images, like how in the top picture the lady has one finger too many on her hand. The second picture has an out-of-place arm resting on the guy’s shoulders. And the fellow in the bottom picture is missing his right ear. Which did you notice first, the food between their teeth or the strange body parts?