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So Who Are The 1%?
Old 10-17-2011, 04:33 PM   #1
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So Who Are The 1%?

With all of the hubbub concerning the Occupy Wall Street movement, I was curious about who the 1% really is...

I found this article which, I thought, put the 1% into a fascinating perspective. As you can imagine, there's a huge disparity within the top 1% of US wealth holders.

While many of us fall into the bottom half of the top 1%... the top half and even top tenth is where the serious wealth is.

I found it interesting that the author reaffirmed that the bottom half of the top 1% (while considered "wealthy" by many) is simply the effective minimum net worth required for retirement.

Who Rules America: An Investment Manager's View on the Top 1%
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:35 PM   #2
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I think this belongs in the politics forum...
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:36 PM   #3
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This article has already been discussed here:

Interesting Article
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:46 PM   #4
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This article has already been discussed here:

Interesting Article
Yikes... sorry... I missed it...

Feel free to delete...
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:53 PM   #5
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Who the hell cares?
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:07 PM   #6
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So it only takes $1.2MM of investable assets to make it into the top 1% and only $1.8MM for the top 0.5% ?

As mentioned in the article that sure won't sustain a "wealthy" lifestyle very long.

I wonder about those figures.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:24 PM   #7
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So it only takes $1.2MM of investable assets to make it into the top 1% and only $1.8MM for the top 0.5% ?

As mentioned in the article that sure won't sustain a "wealthy" lifestyle very long.

I wonder about those figures.
$1,200,000 in investable assets AND $300K-$400K annual income, according to the article. Sure, I would guess that many retirees have that much in investable assets, but I wonder how many meet (or met) the income requirements listed. I never did.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:28 PM   #8
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So it only takes $1.2MM of investable assets to make it into the top 1% and only $1.8MM for the top 0.5% ?

As mentioned in the article that sure won't sustain a "wealthy" lifestyle very long.

I wonder about those figures.
I agree. There seems to be huge misunderstandings in regard to where the money is or who is "wealthy." One POV expressed by politicians and echo'd in the media says that an individual making over $200k or a married couple making over $250k combined is wealthy and deserves to pay higher taxes. Another goes after "millionaires" and makes no attempt to differentiate between a million bux as annual income or a million bux in net worth. There's confusion between Warren Buffet's jaw flapping about the extremely wealthly and plans named after Buffet that go after folks with a tiny, tiny fraction of Buffet's wealth.

I hope that when election time comes around, the competiting candidates discuss their concept of "wealth" in some dollars and cents detail that omits the vargaries, emotionalism and subjectivity that's going around today.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:37 PM   #9
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I must have missed it the first go-round I guess. Interesting perspective.

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Assuming that the lower end of the top 1% has, say, $1.2M in investment assets, their retirement income will be about $50k per year plus maybe $30k-$40k from Social Security, so let's say $90k per year pre-tax and $75-$80k post-tax if they wish to plan for 30 years of withdrawals.
Sounds like many, many postings here.
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Seeking Hobbes View Post
Yikes... sorry... I missed it...

Feel free to delete...
Not your fault. People need to use better thread titles than "Interesting Article".
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:19 PM   #11
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I hope that when election time comes around, the competing candidates discuss their concept of "wealth" in some dollars and cents detail that omits the vagaries, emotionalism and subjectivity that's going around today.
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:20 PM   #12
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Household income in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

To add some statistics regarding income, take a look at the above link. It's a little old, but the #'s aren't changed too much. In 2005, earning over $100k put you in the 85th percentile of Americans.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:56 AM   #13
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Thank you for sharing. I found this quote fascinating: "Recently, I spoke with a younger client who retired from a major investment bank in her early thirties, net worth around $8M. (...) Since I knew she held a critical view of investment banking, I asked if her colleagues talked about or understood how much damage was created in the broader economy from their activities. Her answer was that no one talks about it in public but almost all understood and were unbelievably cynical, hoping to exit the system when they became rich enough." (emphasis mine)
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:12 AM   #14
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Yes. I guess, like many of you, I am in the top 1% and I feel guilty about it while reading this article.
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So it only takes $1.2MM of investable assets to make it into the top 1% and only $1.8MM for the top 0.5% ?
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:22 AM   #15
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Yes. I guess, like many of you, I am in the top 1% and I feel guilty about it while reading this article.
I hope it was only while you were reading the article... and then you got over it.

There is no reason to feel guilty about going to school, working hard, sacrificing when you were younger to allow you to make money and earn a good living.
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:48 AM   #16
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There is no reason to feel guilty about going to school, working hard, sacrificing when you were younger to allow you to make money and earn a good living.
Exactly.

If you've laid the foundation and had a bit of luck (always a component, IMHO) along the way, there is no reason to feel guilty.
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:04 AM   #17
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Never, ever, ever, should you feel guilty about your wealth (unless you stole it from a bank). I feel that I worked my tail off to get where I can enjoy the fruits of my labor. Nothing was given to me and I give/gave more than my fair share to Uncle Sam along the way. I give back in a variety of other ways, both in time and financially. I do this because it gives me piece of mind and because its the right thing to do. But feel guitly about my wealth? Not one iotta!
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:06 AM   #18
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The $1.2 million may be the threshold for the top 1% when you look at all ages, but for working people financial wealth is heavily skewed by age.

This source says that it took $1.4 million to make the top 10% in 2004, if you were in the 60-69 age group.


Your free financial report card - MSN Money
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:16 AM   #19
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Yes. I guess, like many of you, I am in the top 1% and I feel guilty about it while reading this article.
Bite your tongue (hard).

Anyone who has done well had a solid helping of good luck, no doubt.

That said, why on earth would you feel guilty? Most of us who were not handed a pile of money on a platter worked hard for it and had to produce something of value to society to get where we are. You may feel that you have a moral obligation to help your fellow human beings, but you should not feel guilty for working hard and being successful.
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:42 AM   #20
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The article's link title, "Who Rules America," and the heading at the top of the webpage, "Power in America," led me to believe the article would be about how the top 1 percent directly influences our society from all angles. But "the 99th to 99.5th percentiles largely include physicians, attorneys, upper middle management, and small business people who have done well." These are typically not people who have the ear of people in politics, megacorps boards, etc., and the column's author goes on to say, "freedom from financial worry or access to the true corridors of power and money.... doesn't become frequent until we reach the top 0.1%."

So he's really only talking about that tiny subset when he says, "A highly complex set of laws and exemptions from laws and taxes has been put in place by those in the uppermost reaches of the U.S. financial system. It allows them to protect and increase their wealth and significantly affect the U.S. political and legislative processes. They have real power and real wealth."

So what else is new.
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