Have you ever heard of the term centi-millionaire? It’s someone who has wealth of more than $100 million.
According to statistics, there are less than 26,000 people in the entire world with a net worth of more than $100 million.
Allowing for a number of extras out there who may not be declaring that much wealth even though they have it, you could say maybe there’s 4 times as many. So say 100,000 people in the world really have $100 million in net wealth.
Now let’s look at billionaires. Google tells us the richest person is Elon Musk with more than $200 billion net worth.
All up there are 2668 billionaires in the world.
According to B.Invested founder Nathan Birch, many of these billionaires are not well known to the rest of society. They may own a lot of things and wield a lot of power behind the scenes but not all are famous like Elon Musk.
Being a billionaire is something that Nathan aspires towards, but he doesn’t particularly want to be like any of the people he sees on the list. He doesn’t want to be like Elon Musk, or Jeff Bezos.
The Warren Buffet question
Nathan recently read an article about whether someone would swap their lives with Warren Buffett, who at number 7 on the list with $91 billion, is regarded by many as the world’s best investor.
While Nathan appreciates the wealth that Buffett has accumulated, he wonders what would happen if he tried to liquidate it all. Would it be cut in half or thirds as his very actions affect the market that his wealth is invested in?
The other thing to note is that Warren Buffett is near the end of life and, as Nathan says, there are more important things in life than money and assets.
Nathan doesn’t do what he does for money. He does it to live the life he wants to live.
What do they really have?
With all their money tied up in businesses, the likes of Buffett, Bezos, the Adani family, Bill Gates, Larry Page…what do they really have?
Then there are the poorer billionaires such as basketball legend Michael Jordan, ‘entrepreneur’ Kim Kardashian and musician Kanye West – who doesn’t even own the patents to his sneakers anymore. Their wealth isn’t made up of physical assets, they have pieces of paper from companies. There are 2000 billionaires out there, whose wealth could be evaporated if a few things blew up.
Wealth that can disappear easily is not likely to transfer from generation to generation as easily as physical assets.
Of course, billionaires will often have multiple multi-million dollar properties, so even though their wealth isn’t made up of physical assets, they acquire good physical assets along the way.
If and when Nathan makes it to being a billionaire, he knows that just about his entire wealth is made of physical assets and that will be something he can pass on to future generations of his family.
It’s why physical assets are good to have in any economic environment, not just for your own portfolio, but for the future of your family.