Ode to The Wealth Report

Turns out, that post from the WSJ’s Wealth Report that suggested that the rich work harder, which I discussed last month, was the last ever Wealth Report post.

I will miss it. Although not the largest producer of grist for my mill, it contributed its fair share. And I never did quite figure out who its intended audience was. Apparently, the blog aspired to being something for theKeyboard a-Michael Maggs wealthy to read. I am betting that is what the WSJ editors, salivating over potential ad revenue, had in mind. But in practice it had more of a gawking tourist in Richistan tone.

It inspired posts from me such as The Truth About the Economics of Investment Help and Millionaires as Role Models. I even got a little mileage out of the Wealth Report’s shocking revelation that people who make $300K do not feel rich.

Alas, no more.

There was a valedictory final post on the Wealth Report that signed off and listed its all time 10 most popular posts. In the finest BMA tradition, I will repeat the list here, with one last snide comment attached to each.

1 – Will Facebook Really Create 1,000 Millionaires? – On paper, and for about six hours, yes.

2 – Oprah: It’s Great to Have a Private Jet – News you can use.

3 – The Perfect Salary for Happiness: $75,000 Based on the work of two economists, one of whom is quoted saying “Giving people more income beyond 75K is not going to do much for their daily mood … but it is going to make them feel they have a better life.” In other words, they will not be happier, they will merely feel happier.

4 – The Rich-O-Meter – Plug in your income or wealth, press the “Rank Me” button and become either triumphant or resentful.

5 – Tin-Can Collector Died A Millionaire – An inspiring story of a total nutjob.

6 – World’ Richest Man: “Charity Doesn’t Solve Anything.” – Carlos Slim, another nutjob, has this crazy idea that building businesses that create jobs is a better idea.

7 – “Struggling” on $350,000 a Year – Turns out, no matter how much you make, you can spend it all and want more. Especially in New York. “I’m not living high on the hog and going to St. Barts. I mean my summer rental is bare bones, it’s not the Hamptons.” Clearly, these people need to cut the salary back to $75K.

8 – How Does a a Four-Year-Old Spend $46,000 a Month? – He cannot, but his divorcing Mom (supermodel Linda Evangelista) can spend that much of Dad’s (billionaire Francois Henri-Pinault) money on him if she sets her mind to it. Curiously, the link for this one is broken on the Wealth Report post and the search it dumps you into does not find it.

9 – How Rich Are You? – Not enough. $75K does not even cover two months of child support.

10 – The Rich Cut Back on Payments to Mistresses – Remarkably, based on actual survey data. Of private jet owners. Still, if she’s on salary “mistress” is not exactly the right term.

I am beginning to worry that my best wells of material are drying up. Brett Arends hardly writes any more. Queercents (We’re here, we’re queer, and we’re not going shopping without coupons) is just a shadow of its old self. Even the reliably clueless New York Times has cut back on personal finance stories.

At least I still have SmartMoney. They recently published the sentence “The cost of Napa Cabernet grapes rose 35% last year, even as the region’s total grape supply fell 8% short.” So there is hope.

[Photo – Michael Maggs]

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