“Wealth Matters” columnist for The New York Times reveals the decisions, behaviors, and worldviews that lead to true wealth.
For the better part of the past decade, Paul Sullivan has written about and lived among some of the wealthiest people in America. He has learned how they save, spend, and invest their money; how they work and rest; how they use their wealth to give their children educational advantages, but not strip them of motivation. He has also seen how they make horrendous mistakes. Firsthand, Sullivan knows why some people, even “rich” people, never find true wealth, and why other people, even those who have far less, are far better off financially.
This book shows how others can make better financial decisions—and come to terms with what money means to them. It lays out how to avoid the pitfalls around saving, spending, and giving money away and think differently about wealth to lead a more secure and less stressful life. An essential complement to all of the financial advice available, this “timely…smart” (Publishers Weekly) guide is a welcome antidote to the idea that wealth is a number on a bank statement.
This book's message can be summed up in the title of its epilogue: "It's Better to Be Wealthy than Rich, Even If You're Poor." The titular green line is the author's useful conceit for describing this desirable state of being. A financial journalist, Sullivan consults with experts from the "one percent" to prescribe a set of strategies for achieving financial stability, such as investing in education for one's children rather than spending time and energy on avoiding taxes. Most important, in his opinion, is understanding how your feelings about earning, saving, and spending motivate financial decisions. Sullivan lays bare a number of his own financial concerns, foibles, and successes. His personal journey, which includes being grilled by the TIGER 21 club (a kind of therapy group for the financial elite) and a visit to Kansas State University's behavioral finance research lab, proves both entertaining and instructive. Drawing on research in behavioral economics, the book is timely taking up the topic of income inequality without picking a side as well as smart.