Yesterday, Aaron and I completed the annual regulatory paperwork for Kennon-Green & Co. It made us reflect on our lives and careers over the past few years.
More than generation ago – all the way back in 1996 – the late Dr. Thomas J. Stanley released a book called The Millionaire Next Door that detailed how actual wealth accumulation differed from people’s incorrect assumptions. I think the formula for future generations of self-made millionaires will be slightly different.
You Cannot Understand the Rise of Wealth Inequality Without Acknowledging the Role of Interest Rates
In August of 2014, I wrote a post called Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics. I penned it because, at the time, I was seeing a lot of situations in the media in which data was being used to push a political agenda on either the far right or the far left. I’m now seeing this same sort of deception in discussions about wealth inequality.
As many of you know, Elizabeth Warren has been getting a lot of press lately after proposing a wealth tax equal to 2.00% on fortunes above $50 million and 3.00% on fortunes above $1 billion. As an academic exercise, it’s useful to consider what that would mean for the United States.
The Federal Government Collects More Absolute Tax Revenue Than During Any Other Period in American History
In recent years, the United States Federal Government has found itself in the fortunate position of collecting more inflation-adjusted, real purchasing power tax revenue than it has during any other period of its 242 year history. For the government’s 2019 fiscal year, tax receipts at the Federal level are expected to balloon to an almost unfathomable $3.422 trillion.
As the top 20% and bottom 80% further divide, one of the things I’ve found interesting over the past few years is the difference in how both groups use something called the subjunctive mood in their speech and writing. The top 20% nearly always uses it correctly. I suspect it’s become a sort of subconscious signaling code without the people doing it even realizing what is happening.
I’ve been thinking about the next 25 to 50 years; mapping out plans for my personal life, my family, the firm, and, to some degree, certain societal changes that I think are important and worthy of significant political and financial investment. Part of this involves estate planning and how we think about leaving money to our future children.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday! This year, Aaron and I did something we haven’t done since college: we didn’t cook or bake for Christmas, instead catering it so we could focus on work.
Despite living in Southern California for several months, and being only a short distance from the beach, Aaron and I had not, yet, taken the time to go stand in the ocean because of our work relocating the global asset management firm to the West Coast. We made a point to go do that today.
After writing about the incredible Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar, I thought it was only fair to point out that Aaron and I also enjoy a place called Armstrong’s Garden Center in Newport Beach. The business can trace its roots to 1889 and holds a storied place in the history of the global rose industry (and you know we love our roses!). A few months ago, we stopped in and spotted a Monarch Butterfly hanging out on some flowers. We took a video …