The other day, Charlie, 9, one of my numerous grandsons, cornered me in the library asking, “Gramps, what should I do to be rich?” The question took the wind out of my sails, but to explain why, I have to say a couple of things about rich. What exactly are we talking about?
Before the worldwide financial meltdown in 2008, rich was conveniently defined by the Forbes 400 listing as having at least $1 billion in negotiable assets. But after the disappearance of trillions of dollars in mortgage-backed derivatives at that time, assets lost their charm, and the new test of rich is annual income. Because this aspect of rich is so new and different, the lower limit is still undefined, but there is a raft of people pulling in more than $10 million annually, and a few in the $100 million class, so we can reasonably take $5 million annually as applying to ordinary people like us.
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