Hedonism Index Update

Paul Kedrosky found a nice study on the burgeoning growth of millionaires:

"Being a millionaire is becoming so … common. The damn people are seemingly everywhere, as a new report from
TNS points out. The number of U.S. millionaire (excluding primary
residence) households is up 5% to 9.3m, which means, given 92m U.S.
households, that one in 18 households meets the definition, or one
every urban block or so."

Here’s the growth breakdown overtime, and by county, via TNS:

click for larger table

M_by_county

Households_millionaire

This is consistent with our discussion of the Hedonism index Tuesday.

>

Source:
TNS REPORTS RECORD BREAKING NUMBER OF MILLIONAIRES IN THE USA
Annual Survey of the Wealthy Reveals Significant Growth in Internet
Investing Reducing the Need for a Financial Advisor
TNS-GLobal, May 1, 2007
http://www.tns-global.com/corporate/Doc/0/19P6619ECA74V69LBJ317289D7/
Millionaires%20Release%20May%202007%20FINALFINAL.doc.pdf

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. erik commented on May 3

    if this isn’t our example of the roaring twenties, i don’t know what is. have greater confidence in our fed and treasury figures than in the thirties, but they can’t do it themselves if things get ugly.

  2. costa commented on May 3

    is this net worth, because with some house prices in Nassau it can’t be to hard to be a millionare

  3. John Thompson commented on May 3

    Wow. We’re rich (‘cept me). Maybe LA & OC home prices will crash. But am not holding me breath.

    These are ponderous times. Half of real estate wealth with home owners and half with banks? Everyone is globally invested with a dying growth economy at home and all their junk dollars floating back to our dinosaur economy.

    Or – will investment in mito flushes save the day? Go Aubrey!!!

  4. Jdamon commented on May 3

    You guys need to read the release/article. They are excluding the value of primary residences and are only counting Millionaires as those with net investable assets above $1m.

    Home prices aren’t in the equation.

  5. Pool Shark commented on May 3

    Considering that the US Dollar is now worth only about 3% of its value in 1913, being a millionaire in 2007 dollars is really no big deal.

    That’s only $30,000 in 1913 dollars.

    A millionaire in 1913 was a TRUE millionaire.

    How would like to have a million Zimbabwean dollars?

  6. David commented on May 3

    What’s interesting from a Seattle perspective is the disproportionate role a single corporation, Microsoft, has played in creating millionaires in King County. There’s no other reason for King County to be on a list with some of these other counties …

  7. Winston Munn commented on May 3

    Sign of the times: stating that one “feels like a million bucks” elicits only blank stares; one must now “feel like a billion bucks” to get one’s point across.

  8. Eric commented on May 3

    As per the 1913 comparison, feeling like 300 million should be enough…

  9. jswede commented on May 3

    all the top chart tells me is that the counties out East are smaller….

  10. TT commented on May 3

    Barry,

    Do you have any data on spending by income bracket?

  11. Aaron commented on May 3

    In my book, all that this really means is that 1 in 18 households are ready for retirement. If you consider the life expectancy of retirees today and the cost of life-extending therapies, this really isn’t that significant.

    I agree with Pool Shark about King County only showing up on this list due to Microsoft (as a MSFT employee and King County resident), although I would add that at least a few of the millionaires in King County work for or invested in AMZN, SBUX, or BA.

  12. Michael C. commented on May 3

    That’s life.

    Everyone wants and does what it takes to have a better one, real or perceived.

    Otherwise, what’s the point?

    As far as the market, what will it take for the market to get too frothy? Perhaps new highs from every index tomorrow on the jobs data? But isn’t that called relative strength?

  13. JP commented on May 3

    If there are 9.3mm millionaire households, and 92mm households total, wouldn’t that make the ratio more like 1 in 10? Am I missing something?

  14. John Thompson commented on May 3

    Aaron’s point,
    “If you consider the life expectancy of retirees today and the cost of life-extending therapies, this really isn’t that significant.”

    This money is still making money though. These people may not EVER die (some). And if this is true, their money is developing the third world and second world, making income to be taxed and spent in THIS economy. I just wish they looked sexier.

    We must value these people because if we don’t rejuvenate the old and keep them around, our whole economy and society are dead. Plus, doing this will re-envigorate the economy.

    Aubrey De Grey is right.

  15. Andrew Schmitt commented on May 3

    Dude, can you and Paul just get a room? You guys are crosslinking way too much.

  16. Andrew Schmitt commented on May 3

    Dude, can you and Paul just get a room? You guys are crosslinking way too much.

  17. tired-bear commented on May 3

    that’s called “inflation”

  18. a commented on May 4

    “What’s interesting from a Seattle perspective is the disproportionate role a single corporation, Microsoft, has played in creating millionaires in King County.”

    Boeing
    Starbucks
    Amazon
    Nintendo of America
    Nordstrom
    Costco
    AT&T Wireless
    Eddit Bauer
    REI

  19. Ethan commented on May 4

    @jswede

    the counties out east may be smaller in some cases, but the report mainly suggests millionaires live where lots of other people live too – in populous counties:

    http://www.census.gov/statab/ccdb/top25.htm

    The top 10 from the report track the top 10 counties by population very well, excepting upstart counties Nassau and Palm Beach.

    Compare, however, the above report to a list of high earning per capita counties and there’s a notable difference:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highest-income_counties_in_the_United_States

    And the report is relatively useless to explain that…

  20. David Yaseen commented on May 4

    How many in Manhattan? I realize there are only ~2M residents there, but I’d think it would crack the top 10.

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