I recently read Richistan, by Robert Frank and found it somewhat entertaining, although maybe not too surprising. Back in September when I wrote “You are Rich!” I talked a bit about U.S. income, and followed up with a post, “But the 400 are Really Rich” which focused more on the world’s poor. Now, in Richistan, I learned that the Richistanis are broken out into three Net Worth ranges:
- $1 million to $10 million – 7.5 million households
- $10 million to $100 million – more than 2 million households
- $100 million to $1 billion – thousands of households
Beyond my amazement regarding this concentration of wealth, I was intrigued by some of the anecdotes this book offered. The middle richistanis don’t consider the lower richistanis rich at all, they are merely affluent. Other stories contained detains of the lives of the middle to upper richistanis, and talked about how many people were employed just to run the households of these people, a hundred in some cases. But just like (some of) the anecdotes of “The Millionaire Next Door” I suspect this book doesn’t necessarily reflect ‘typical’, but those whose stories were most interesting.
I was also reminded of the CNBC interview with Warren Buffet during which he was asked if he had a boat. He replied that he did need one, he had enough invitations to go on the boats of others, he didn’t need the hassle a boat brought, the need for a crew, and all the other headaches. This book had no examples such as this, the people interviewed were from the big spending club.