Buy These to See How the Other Half Lives

Family Money Values blog and site will both publish frequent ‘best buy’ type articles intended to share with you products we like and use that will help your family to use your values to keep your family’s wealth and well being for generations to come.

I don’t know about you, but I love to see how the really rich folks live. I wonder about the products they use, the mansions they inhabit, the schools and neighborhoods they frequent and the things they value. I suspect that they have problems similar or maybe even more profound that the rest of us. Anyway, I like to scope out how the other half lives, as my Mom used to say. Here are a few of the ways I have done that in the past.

From the mouths of (uber rich) babes.

Jamie Johnson, an heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune likes to make movies. His very first one is called the Born Rich Documentary. It is the exploration of the life of 20 year old (at the time) Jamie and ten of his uber rich friends. Each of these almost full grown adults is the child of wealth and they discuss the privileges they have as well as the trials and tribulations that go along with them. It includes interviews with kids from the Trump, Bloomberg and Vanderbilt family among others.

I have the DVD and have watched it multiple times. These kids really do live in a world different than mine! It is about 80 minutes long.

Inspiration to become a millionaire.

The book The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class by Keith Cameron Smith is a small package of inspiration. In it he distills, in only 112 small (my book is 7.5 inches by 5 inches) the things you need to do differently than the mainstream middle class in order to be a millionaire.

In reverse order of importance, he starts with “Millionaires think long term, the middle class thinks short term”. His YOU CAN DO IT perspective is inspiring and it is a quick read. This would be a great gift for the young adult on your list this year.

Most fun look into uber rich lifestyles.

I borrowed this one from the library but want to buy my own copy! It’s theThe Official Filthy Rich Handbook (How the other .001% lives)The Complete Guide icon by Christopher Tennant.

This tongue in cheek book tells all about how the really rich folks live – what they buy, where their houses (and second houses and third houses) are, what they wear, the cars they drive, the yachts they have, where to get a nanny, where to send your kids to school (boarding of course). It has a guide for household help, explaining for the new rich, what the various positions are and how they related to each other. It tells what diseases the rich suffer and where they go for treatment. It’s a great read and you learn things about wealth lifestyles you never thought you needed to know!

It’s a quick read as well, and hilarious too.

How can be middle class AND a millionaire?

The Middle-Class Millionaire: The Rise of the New Rich and How They Are Changing America by Russ Alan Prince and Lewis Schiff tells us how.  It is a more studious approach to figuring out what millionaires are all about.

Prince conducted a market research survey for ‘The New Yorker’ and the ‘Registered Rep’ magazines. He talked to 1417 people with net worth between 1 and 10 million dollars. This included value of primary residence. He found ‘middle-Class millionaires in this study and defined them as baby boomers who made their own money who mainly lived on the east or west coast.

He compared the ‘middle-Class millionaire answers to answers made by ‘middle-Class’ but not millionaire people. From this survey and analysis thereof came the book.

He found that the millionaires did have the middle class values of hard work, good ethics. Characteristics which set them apart from the less wealthy middle-Class included being ‘always on’ (work 71 hours a week vs 41 for middle-Class); more into networking connections (62% of millioaires thought it was important vs 40% of merely middle-Class folks); greater persistence (the millionaires were 5 times more likely to try something in the same field than middle-Class and; going where the money is (millionaires put themselves into money flow by taking jobs that provide ownership stakes).

I found the book interesting and you might too. There were some things I hadn’t realized (for instance millionaires spend freely on life coaches to get where they want to be).

Robert Frank and Richistan.

No doubt you have by now seen or read or heard Robert Frank and his focus on rich lifestyles. He currently writes for CNBC who describes him as follows:

Frank is the author of two books: “Richistan,” a New York Times Bestseller, and “The High-Beta Rich,” released in 2011. His blog, “The Wealth Report” was named by Time magazine as one of America’s most influential financial blogs.

Richistan Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich icon is the result of being hired by the Wall Street Journal to write about nothing but the rich. He Frank spent 12 months traveling around interviewing people with at least 10 million dollars and they are different that ‘old money’ wealth holders. He called the book Richistan, naming it like a country, because he found that the rich had built their own nation, having their own health care, travel network, economy and language.

It is a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the uber rich. Frank dives into the use of butlers, the history of affluence in America and goes on to portray individual citizens of his country Richistan including folks such as:

  • Sydell Miller – who created a shampoo – Matrix Essentials and sold it to Bristol Myers for a billion
  • James LePrino – who created a new kind of mozzarella cheese with perfect melting temp for pizza and is now worth a billion
  • Aurelio F. Baretto III – who made an igloo shaped doghouse and sold it to an investment firm – making 10’s of millions
  • Paul Cherrie – who did a come back for dubble bubble and sold it to Tootsie Roll for 200 million
  • Christopher Goldsbury who made Pace salsa and sold it for a billion to Cambell soup
  • Bradley Wayne Hughes – the father of public storage
  • John Menard – his fortune is from roofing supplies and the
  • Tyson family – billionaires from chickens

He discusses living it, losing it and gives the reader a tour of the types of products and the scale of expenditures these folks deal with – things such as huge yachts and Gulfstream jets (which can cost upwards of 45 million dollars each according to Frank).

This book really started Frank’s focus on the American rich and gave his career a big boost.

I enjoyed my voyage into Richistan, but came out shaking my head. Maybe when I win this weeks 250 million dollar powerball my head won’t shake as much (lol).

No list would be complete without it.

The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy iconis a classic. Written by Roger Stanley and Roger Danko after analyzing results from a survey conducted between May 1995 through January 1996 in which more than a thousand responses were obtained on 249 wealth related questions. In addition, these two used other research, such as in-depth interviews with self made millionaires and their advisors.

Since then Stanley has written several other books which might interest you and the folks on your gift list as well including:

Richie Rich the classic movie.

The old classic  Richie Rich icon now on DVD and BlueRay is still a fun watch. I introduced it to my 8 and 4 year old grandkids this year in Grandma Rie’s Money Camp and they absolutely loved it. My point in showing it to them was to reinforce the idea that money does not equal riches and that some things are more valuable than wealth. The movie does a good job of that, but you also get glimpses of the rich life as well.

On my wish list.

There is a book called The New Elite: Inside the Minds of the Truly Wealthy  icon which I need to get my hands on! It is by Jim Taylor, Doug Harrison, Stephen Kraus.

 Do you enjoy seeing how people richer than you live, think and act? What would you recommend?

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