Among well-read investors who study the sources of wealth in America today, Dr. Thomas Stanley’s 1996 book “The Millionaire Next Door” was the seminal work dedicated to studying the behaviors of the affluent which were at odds with public perception. Notably, Dr. Stanley pointed out that $2,000+ purses and $10,000 per year country-club memberships, or whatever other type of veblen good activities your imagination associates with conspicuous consumption, only accurately describes roughly a third of millionaires, with the slight majority of millionaires making purchases that we tend to associate with the upper tier of middle-class consumption (e.g. see Stanley’s classic reference to “the Toyota millionaire households”).
And yet, as Market Watch recently reported 69% of Americans think that the very wealth get their wealth from inheritance. That belief is totally bunk. In 2018, the wealthy have received their wealth at the lowest rate in the history of this country–with only … Read the rest of this article!