Whats the definitive difference between being rich and being wealthy?

Whats the difference between being rich and being wealthy?

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Whats the difference between being rich and being wealthy?

Shaq is rich, but the white man who signs his check is wealthy. Oprah is rich, but Bill Gates is wealthy. If Bill Gates suddenly woke up with Oprahs money, hed slit his throat. – Chris Rock,Bring The Pain, 1996

The examples are a little out of date, so lets clarify a bit. Dr. Jerry Buss, the former Lakers owner who signed Shaqs checks, died in 2013 with an estimated net worth of $600m. If he were alive today, you can add at least $2b to that $600m, considering the L.A. Clippers was sold for $2b in 2014. Shaq isnt doing too shabby either his net worth is estimated to be $350m. But the real winner here is Oprah, whodefinitelybecame wealthy and joined the billionaires club, currently standing at 569 with $2.9b. They key for Oprah? She stopped working for others and became her own boss with her own TV channel, aptly named OWN.

Chris Rocks message remains relevant, even if the numbers dont. Contrast Shaq with his contemporary,Allen Iverson, whose career earnings exceeded $200m but is now completely broke and behind on his alimony and child support payments. Iverson squandered his money ondepreciating assetslike cars and custom jewelry; and generally threw cash away on night clubs and on supporting friends and family (i.e. sycophants and bloodsuckers).

Shaq, on the other hand, did make a substantial $292m in his career, grew his net worth to $350m (note the $292 was taxed and didnt come in a lump sum). He probably took a page from Magic Johnsons playbook and invested in a diverse range ofincome-producing assets:150 car washes, 155 Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchises, 40 24 Hour Fitness gyms, and numerous real-estate deals.

Allen Iverson certainly wasrich, a term that carries a negative connotation. Athletes, along with inheritors and lottery winners, falsely believe theyhave enough,fail to view themselves in terms of a sustainable business and thinkin terms of balance sheets, income statements and cash-flow statement. The wealthy, on the other hand, are a hyper-vigilant about constantlyimproving their finances, seeking new business opportunities, and living with the fear that it could go away.

A lot of the wealthy are also mindful of the legacy they will leave behind. Just a few days ago, theChan Zuckerberg Initiative announces a $3 billion investment to cure disease. these kinds of significant philanthropy is what truly separates the wealthy from the merely rich.

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