Friend's lifestyle is uncomfortable. Another belief that UAWs have is that "money is the most easily renewable resource". Money is more easily spent now than it is saved. In America it is easier to generate a high income than it is to accumulate wealth. When it comes to spending habits, UAWs are everything but frugal.
A typical UAW tends to live in luxury, style, and above all, comfort. One example of a million dollar choice is to smoke. Smokers and drinkers tend to be UAWs because instead of building net worth, they spend their income to purchase alcohol or cigarettes.
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Another hypothetical example given in The Millionaire Next Door explains how a small purchase of cigarettes over a long period of time can accumulate a large sum of money. They smoked at least three packs of cigarettes a day during the week. The value of a small amount of money over a long period of time is amazing.
A UAW makes choices that, although financially insignificant at the present value, have a very significant future value. Choices such as drinking two cases of beer a week, smoking several packs of cigarettes a day, and buying large amounts of unnecessary food and objects are some examples of typical UAW choices. These choices are not necessarily large financial purchases right now, but over a long period of time, the opportunity cost of that money is very expensive.
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According to the authors, a common UAW drives a current model car, purchased new, and may have financed it on credit. PAWs rarely purchase new model cars and are less likely to own foreign or luxury vehicles. An example from the book details a UAW that spent roughly 60 hours researching, negotiating and purchasing a new car.
In the end, while the car was purchased "near dealer cost," in the long run the UAW's time and money could have been more efficiently spent creating wealth rather than collecting possessions notorious for depreciating in value. Wealth is usually obtained through investment strategies that maximize unrealized nontaxable income and minimizes realized taxable income. Appreciating investments such as a k or an Individual Retirement Account IRA constitute tax-deferred growth and produce an unrealized income for the individual holder. Maximized realized income minimizes unrealized income, increases taxes paid, and produces low portfolio values.
Active traders move from stock to stock to try to maximize capital gains on investments based on daily fluctuations of the stock market. This investment strategy is very risky, but has potential for some enormous capital gains. UAWs also are more prone to being swindled out of money from cold callers. Cold callers, usually brokers who in fact know very little about the stock market, target high income earning families and persuade them into purchasing investments with them.
Doctors and lawyers are especially susceptible. A vulnerability to cold callers can subject individuals to lose trust in the stock market and eventually become a UAW. Then there are UAWs that have relatively low risk tolerance for investments. Then there are some UAWs who have considerable knowledge of the specific market of a company or type of investment, but do not utilize that knowledge to their advantage. The Millionaire Next Door uses Mr. Willis as an example. He is a six-figure, very successful executive for Walmart. He has been employed there for 10 years, during which the company has been explosively growing.
Stock prices have shot up in this year period of time. During this enormous growth period, Mr. Willis bought zero shares of the company he worked for, although he had firsthand knowledge of its success. Although UAWs exist in all career fields and have obtained different levels of education, some professions are more likely to lead to a UAW lifestyle.
Doctors, physicians, lawyers, and dentists are among the top professions with a high UAW concentration of individuals. First, because these professions require advanced degrees, individuals get a delayed start in the accumulation race. Most of the income during these educational pursuits is used to fund tuition, housing, and student loans rather than investment. The second reason is that American society has prescribed a lifestyle to these professions.
Doctors are expected to live in an upscale neighborhood with multiple cars, a boat, and other luxury items. With doctors having a high propensity to be a UAW as evidence, there is an indirect relationship between the level of income an individual earns and the net wealth that one accumulates. The same holds true for those that have lower levels of income. They are more likely to accumulate more in relation to their level of income. More often than not, the children of high income UAWs become more devout believers in the UAW system than their parents.
The children grow accustomed to extreme luxury and believe that they too must possess the same luxury as their parents, even if their income is much less. If the Friends had invested the money they had been consuming, they would have been considered PAWs; however, the standard of living that their son, Mr. Friend, grew up in would have been diminished. Economic Outpatient Care EOC is a term used to express when an affluent parent provides money to an adult child.
For this reason they purchase homes in upscale neighborhoods that exceed the recommended value according to their incomes. These offspring also purchase and consume the EOC rather than invest it. Expenditures are then calculated with the anticipation of a regularly scheduled dose of EOC.
The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans
Income is a poor indicator of well-being. On the other hand, wealth is a good indicator of the financial independency or financial dependency of individuals. Unfortunately society has an almost unlimited number of ways to consume income and limited ways to save income; therefore, individuals are more prone to spend than save.
That eventually results in an adoption of a UAW lifestyle. Nassim Nicholas Taleb criticised the premise of the book on the basis of two instances of survivorship bias : that there is no mention of the accumulators who have accumulated underperforming assets, and that the United States had just gone through the greatest bull market in its history at the time of the book's publication. He suggested that the authors should lower the net worth of the observed millionaires to compensate for the effect of the unobserved losers, and to consider the fate of accumulators following prolonged periods of recession such as in or Marketing to the Affluent 2.
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The Old Money Book
The Old Money Book details how anyone from any background can adopt the values, priorities, and habits of America's upper class in order to live a richer life. This entertaining and informative work reveals for the first time the Core Values that shape the discreet--but truly affluent--Old Money way of life. Author Byron Tully then details How Old Money Does It, offering time-tested advice on everything from clothes and cars to finances and furnishings.
Related The Old Money Book: Living Better While Spending Less - Secrets of Americas Upper Class
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