Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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June 09, 2005
How many waitresses can they tip?

Merrill Lynch and Capgemini released their 2005 World Wealth Report today.

Conclusion: Being a "Mid-Tier Millionare" is hard work!

According to a key section (.pdf) of the report, this fast growing level of High Net Worth Individuals with between $5 million and $30 million in financial wealth are a "tweener" group who feel "painted into a corner."

The "paradox" is that their wealth requires them to hire too many separate people to manage the various aspects of their financial lives. The report states that this problem would be solved if only the MTMs were even richer, and were among the
uber-wealthy multi-decamillionaires -- the ultra-high-net-worth-set -- [who] have access to and can afford the cost of running a family or private office to which they can comfortably delegate nearly all of their wealth management activities.
The MTMs envy their wealthier brethren and wish for a "trustworthy maestro" or "central advisor," someone to whom they can hand off all of that dull, complex financial activity -- such as how to work out "wealth transfer" issues with the grandkids, juggle assets among offshore tax havens, and "maintain their lifestyles and purchasing power."

(The report, unsurprisingly, suggests that financial services firms are trying to get on board with the concept of figuring out how to provide just this sort of one-stop, "family office," though in "virtual" form, the better to market themselves to the newly filthy rich.)

What's worse, Forbes Magazine’s Cost of Living Extremely Well Index (or "CLEWI") notes the skyrocketing costs, as the Times (UK) puts it, of "staples for the super-rich such as private jets, luxury yachts, Roll-Royces, caviar and cigars."

Also unsurprisingly, "North America" led the world with a 10% increase in "its" number of HNWIs. The word "its" is in quotes in the previous sentence because I wonder to what extent the "uber-wealthy" can meaningfully be said to be citizens of any particular nation, in the cluster of senses that citizenship is understood by us non-uber (unter?) wealthy. In a masterpiece of understatement, the report's press release states that those North Americans "continued to benefit from tax reform."