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July 23, 2021

Rich people don't feel rich unless they've got $5M in cash: report

Short of appraising art, or deciphering whether or not you think Hilary Swank is attractive, there may be no more subjective task than defining wealth.

To some, it may be a thousand bucks. To others, a million. Some might feel rich if they can just pay their bills every 30 days.

But to truly feel rich, at least among the rich, “wealthy” can be boiled down to a number.

According to a recent survey of the affluent, respondents admitted they don’t actually feel  rich unless they’ve got $5 million in the bank.

By figures in Fidelity Investments’ latest survey of millionaires, 26 per cent of respondents said they didn’t actually feel rich unless they had $5 million in investable assets.

*Bing: What country has the most millionaires?

Investable assets, of course, are liquid, meaning they’re more of a measure of cash-on-hand than they are net worth.

Perhaps it’s a peculiar notion, and indeed one that’s offensive to some: you’re not rich unless you’re sitting on five mil.

But the psychology of the rich, one can imagine, is a peculiar thing. The more wealth you get, and the more sports cars you drive and the more country clubs you visit, the more wealth you might realize you don’t have.

Keeping up with the Joneses, you might say.

In any case, what’s truly interesting about Fidelity Investments’ annual report is that is also serves as a barometer for the global economy.

Last year, a time when the recession was thought over but maybe when it also wasn’t realized how far the downturn’s tentacles reached, 42 per cent of respondents said they wouldn’t feel wealthy unless they had $7.5 million in investable assets.

This year? A reality check. Five million bucks will do.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...