Article Reviews

Article Summary: Secret Fears of the Super-Rich

Just read this article published by The Atlantic (link to original article here) titled Secret Fears of the Super-Rich.

The article wrote about results from a survey of the wealthy conducted by Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy. Most of the respondents have at least $25 million in assets, meaning that they pretty much have complete financial security. The study is titled The Joys and Dilemmas of Wealth.

Here’s the list of grouses that the wealthy shared.


  • Financial security
    • Do not consider themselves financially secure; for that, they say they would require on average 25% more wealth.
    • Worry about losing their money.
  • Self-worth
    • Inheritors worry that they will lack the motivation to accomplish anything in life, or to escape the shadows of their parents. Inheritors can drift throughout life without a career or purpose.
    • Doubt their own abilities since there is no career advancement to use as a yardstick.
  • Feelings
    • Knowing that many despise or envy them.
    • Felt that they have lost the right to complain about anything, for fear of sounding ungrateful.
    • Can’t find sympathy from anyone other than people in the same situations.


  • Children
    • Worry that their children will become trust-fund brats if their inheritances are too large, or will be forever resentful if those inheritances are given away.
    • Worry that their children might get a sense of entitlement, be robbed of ambition, and does not develop empathy and compassion.
    • Worry that men in their daughters’ lives would feel “powerless” as they don’t serve as “providers” anymore.
  • Love
    • Wariness of gold diggers which introduces mistrust into relationships
    • Uncertainty over when to tell someone you are dating that you are wealthy.
  • Family
    • Intergenerational feuds over inheritance


  • Career
    • Co-workers may resent them for “taking away the jobs of people who need them”, or view their work as a charade.
    • Take too much risks because consequences of failure are minimal
    • Take too little risks because they feel assured in their financial well-being.
    • Jump from one line of work to the next, and realize that when they got to 50, they just have the resume of a dabbler. Realize that they need to stop hitting that reset button.


  • Keeping up
    • Spending money at a higher rate when socializing with “peers” who are much more wealthy.
    • Comparing oneself with other more wealthy people
  • Miscellaneous
    • Don’t look forward to holidays because they are expected to give really good presents.



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