I live in arguably the crappiest house in the one of the richest towns of Minnesota. Desperate to escape the city, the crime, and the unexplainable property taxes, not to mention the leftist culture (which if you know Seward, you know precisely what I'm talking about), I escaped the city and found a cheap place in a suburb far, far away.
However, though I am not rich by any means, nor am I part of the culture, I reside in an area where Mercedes are standard, Lotuses are common, and the cops have on more than one occasion immediately turned around and tailed my donk (1990 Chevy) late at night until they realized I lived here. This has given me an unexpected perspective and insight into the world of the "rich." Combine that with the fact I've worked for several local banks and I've seen the financial statements of a fair amount of these "rich" people and I have a pretty good grasp of what is going on.
For the most part, "rich" people are not "rich."
They borrow money.
Invest it in assets of varying levels of legitimacy, a disproportionate percent of which are dubious.
List inflated values on their personal balance sheets when looking to borrow more.
And brag either in words (by talking up dumb bimbos at bars) or in toys (by buying cars they can't afford with other people's money).
Out of all the "rich" people here, I would have to say only 15% of them are legitimately rich, with positive net worths. Take out trust fund babies and you can knock off about another 5-10%.
Regardless, it calls into question those that are really "rich" in this world.
How many of them ever made money in the first place? How many had positive cash flows in their global operations? How many of them have assets that are worth anything in the first place? And with a nearly 25% drop in "high net worth individuals" it tells you that "wealth" in this world is not based off of income, or cash flow, or profits, but rather asset prices, which is basically worthless paper gains.