In 2009 it took $77.4 million in adjusted gross income to make the top 400. That might sound like a lot, but it’s down from $109.7 million in 2008 and significantly down from a record high of $138.8 million in 2007. A mere $77.4 million only got you in, though; the average earnings were $202.4 million, a lot of money but well down from the $334.8 million average in 2007. (via How to Get Rich | Business | TIME.com)
Where it gets interesting is how the top 400 made their money:
- Wages and salaries: 8.6%
- Interest: 6.6%
- Dividends: 13%
- Partnerships and corporations: 19.9%
- Capital gains: 45.8%
The top 400 averaged $92.6 million in capital gains income–16% of the total capital gains reported by all taxpayers. (Do the math and the whole 1% thing seems like an overestimate.)
- Working for a salary won’t make you rich.
- Neither will making only safe “income” investments.
- Neither will investing only in large companies.
- Owning a business or businesses, whether in part or partnership, could not only build a solid wealth foundation but could someday…
- Generate a huge financial windfall.