The True Definition of Wealth

Having money means different things to different people


It means respect. Or the ability to give to charity. And have happiness. Maybe be a role model. Or just do some spending.

A new study by Barclay's Wealth and Ledbury Research had surveyors go around the globe and ask 2,000 people from 20 countries what having wealth means to them. They agreed on the fact that money gives you freedom of choice in your life and allows you to have some nice stuff. But what did they disagree on?

Being wealthy:



Allows me to get respect from family and friends







A person shouldn't respect you for the wealth you have. They might respect you for the hard work that went into becoming rich, but someone who warms up to you just for having a thick wallet is not somebody you want around you anyway.


Allows me to give to charity







This is where good stewardship really shines. If part of your motivation to have money is so you have more to give away, that's a good mindset. As Andrew Carnegie said, "Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community."


Makes me happy (red flag!)







Money buys fun, not happiness. Eat enough lobster and it tastes like soap. If you start building your happiness level around how much money you have and what it buys, your senses will eventually become dulled to it. When that happens, nothing will make you happy. Basing happiness on money is a trap to avoid!

Sets an important example for others to be successful







You should always want to set a good example, regardless of your net worth. Whether it's your child, a boss or someone who just admires you, someone is always watching the example you set. You don't need money for that. If you think you do, that's already setting a bad example.

The old saying goes, "The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money." That's so true. Real riches aren't the money you have. If they were, then one bank error could turn you into a worthless human being. Obviously, that's not true.

It's important to have money so you can provide for yourself, your family and others. But money must be kept in perspective. Being wealthy for its own sake isn't good. What you can do with your cash—from giving it away to changing your family tree—is what gives money its worth.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Reader Comments (1)

Nice, simple truths..Eye-opener.
Member at 5:57 AM, June 05 2010