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.