The Millionaire Next Door

Donor of $1 Billion Wears Resoled Shoes!

In a previous blog, I mentioned “that Mayor Michael Bloomberg of NYC, a billionaire, has ‘been wearing the same shoes of 10 years . . . .  owns only two pairs of work shoes . . . has them resoled.'”

I also mentioned that according to the data in The Millionaire Mind of “the top 1% of wealth holders in America . . . 70% regularly have their shoes resoled/repaired.”  People who have a propensity to build wealth tend to be quite frugal in allocating dollars for consumer products.  Mr. Bloomberg is a prodigious accumulator of wealth.  I often refer to such people as balance sheet affluent (BA) types.  Members are among the very best at transforming their incomes into wealth.  Yet most, as in the case of Mr. Bloomberg, tend to be generous in donating their wealth to noble causes. 

But what about people with high incomes and significantly lower levels of wealth accumulated for those in their age/income cohort, under accumulators of wealth (UAWs) or income statement affluent (IAs)?  Their proclivity is to spend big on themselves but donate little to noble causes.

It was recently announced that Mr. Bloomberg, the BA billionaire, donated $350M to Johns Hopkins University, his alma mater, “pushing his lifetime giving to the . . . university past $1B. . . .”  Allow me to translate this into consumer product equivalents: that’s $500M donated for each pair of working shoes he owns.  But don’t look for Mr. Bloomberg’s generosity to generate much press coverage.  To do otherwise would go against the grain of the popular theme of “the evil rich.”  As a matter of fact, the newspaper coverage of Mr. Bloomberg’s latest donation was 2″ X 3″, or just 6 square inches.  That the equivalent of approximately $58.3M per square inch!

Recognition is not a major ereason why most affluent people support noble causes.  It has much to do with the satisfaction they receive from helpiing others, especially in terms of enhancing the growth and development of generations to come.

3 thoughts on “Donor of $1 Billion Wears Resoled Shoes!”

  1. While I agree with concept presented here, I think something needs to be clarified. I currently own three pair of work shoes, one pair which need to be resoled. Shoes that can be resoled are not inexpensive. There is a sizable cost up front to purchasing a pair of shoes that can be resoled. Plus, having the shoes resoled costs more than some inexpensive shoes. If the point you are making is that he doesn’t go out and buy new shoes everytime his wear out, then you are right on target. If you are saying that it is a cheaper alternative to resole your shoes than to purchase new ones, that is a relative point and there are many shoes that cost less than the cost of resoling.

  2. As an engineer, I own Johnson & Murphy and Allen Edmunds for the office – comfort and quality are important. I also own Red Wing boots ($200) USA for field work and here again comfort and quality are paramount in the woods. Paying up front for quality is a better value over the long term.

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