The 9 levels of wealth – from rich to ultra-rich

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I can’t imagine ever not paying attention to the price of groceries. I genuinely cannot imagine it.


Wait – are you saying you are not yet wealthy enough to influence global markets? My new video can show you how!


I think that’s true starting much earlier, maybe around Class 4 or 5, where individuals already identify with the interests of the higher classes and have the spare cash to buy a senator, if not a whole stable.


According to some sources I’m in the top 2% in the US, but I still pay attention to grocery and meal prices. So apparently I don’t have “real wealth” which seems kind of sad.


Top 2% income or wealth?

If it’s income, you still need to pay attention. If it’s wealth… you know groceries and meals are just a drop in the bucket, so not really worth the worry.

Source: Class 2 here as of ~5 years ago.


Can we map this scale to BB stories, such as Housekeeper sues Jeff Bezos over “unsafe and unsanitary” work conditions or Koch brothers publish letter crowing about all the ways Trump spent the year carrying water for them?


I feel like I flirt with it. It’s never been a concern but if I’m in the store looking for something I have never bought before or rarely buy it’s impossible to not compare prices. I stopped by the lump crab at costco b/c the price felt ridiculous. So I guess yeah I can’t really imagine not looking at prices even in the grocery store.


Like you don’t pay attention? or it doesn’t matter? I mean I don’t think the price of a meal at a restaurant has stopped me from ordering anything in awhile but I still look at the prices. I feel like I would “achieve” class 3 of always flying business or first class before I stopped paying attention to prices of food. I only fly coach now if I’m flying by myself. If I’m taking my father or partner along I will pay for the upgrades.


At 4 or 5, you can afford a governor and state senator.

At 8, federal level elected officials will take your calls.


I’ve just recently gotten to the point that I can afford to buy higher-priced groceries if I so choose, mainly because I’m only feeding myself now. But no matter how much money I have, a lifetime of comparison shopping will never let me stop paying attention.


I was about to say I don’t since the kids moved out, but then I remembered we still clip coupons, still buy generic for some things, and generally avoid high priced items. But we do think about it a lot less for sure now that our many children pay for their own food bills.


“She said, I’m so rich / everything’s free” – Dark Saturday, Metric


A significant portion of the world’s population spends a nontrivial percentage of their income on purchasing (relatively) safe drinking water. For most of us in the developed world tap water isn’t free, but for drinking purposes it might as well be. If you drink safe tap water daily without giving any thought at all to how much a glassfull costs and how much you’re consuming that’s basically the same as how rich folks categorize groceries in their minds.


i think 4 and 5 are the wrong way round.

I don’t think most people would get to the personal chef level before owning three houses. Like cleaning services and frequent catering and such but not full time staff help.


:thinking: The levels I’ve considered over the years have nothing to do with groceries. Once a person doesn’t have to stress about covering the cost of basic necessities, how they spend on “nice to have” items is telling. Of course, that’s only obvious in the conspicuous consumers. Here are entries on my “level list:”

  • They won’t eat at chain restaurants and are just as concerned about ambience as they are about the meal.
  • They don’t drink cheap liquor, beer, or wine (if they drink at all). Same goes for bottled water.
  • They purchase a range of clothing and accessories - limited editions, haute couture, or bespoke. There are wealthy people who will debate the merits of a purse or watch that costs at least five or six figures.
  • They never worry about a credit limit, but Class 9 - those who act like everything is free - can cause those around them to …

Be Afraid Jeff Goldblum GIF


Man, the riches are like dragons hoarding gold and you know what will usually happen to dragons.


On this scale, how about a line indicating at which class you would actively have to work (making really dumb financial decisions) to become a lower class… maybe between 3 and 4?

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I think the real key that’s lost in this: wealth is an exponential function. The difference from one layer to another is the same difference to the next level. If you were to distribute one person’s value out of level 9 and 10, you’re talking thousands of people at the wealthy mid-levels.
People are bad at thinking mathematically for anything that’s non-normal or non-linear.