The Self-Made Don’t Fear the Recession

| March 4, 2009

“If I made it once, I can make it again,” is a common refrain I hear from the self-made wealthy. And I don’t think it’s classic success bravado, either. The self-made see the recession through a slightly more optimistic lens because no matter what the economy throws their way, they believe they can weather the storm. For one thing, as I found in my research for The Richest Man in Town, the self-made rich loathe leverage, so they don’t have creditors knocking at their doors. Perhaps more fundamental, though, is their self-assurance that they could so it all over again if they were so forced. In fact, most of my self-made multimillionaires have done just that.

The Rich and the Recession

| February 27, 2009

No one feels sorry for the rich, but the rich are people too, and this financial crisis has shaken them to the core, just as it has the less fortunate—all of us really. I’m not suggesting that you pick up the violin for the top 1 percent—those who still control over 35 percent of the nation’s total wealth, albeit dwindling; I’m simply reporting that their pain is real, too. They’ve seen their stock portfolios ravaged, their real estate values decline and their companies (the source of most of their wealth) affected by this economic tsunami. So how are they reacting?