Entries in wealth (9)


Harvard Tops List of 15 Schools with the Wealthiest Alumni

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The old adage, "It's not what you know, but who you know," may ring true when it comes to the universities with the largest number of wealthy alumni.

Research firm Wealth-X compiled a list of the global universities with the largest number of living alumni worth $30 million or more, or ultra high net worth individuals, as they are called.

Based on Wealth-X's research, Harvard University blows the competition out of the water with 2,964 alumni worth a collective $622 billion. That's nearly twice the alumni of University of Pennsylvania, which follows with its 1,502 alumni of ultra high net worth individuals.

"Relationships and networks are so important in terms of career path success and prosperity," said David Friedman, president of Wealth-X.

Only three public universities made the top 15 list, composed of all U.S. schools, which Friedman said has implications for educational opportunities for low-income and middle class families.

"It shows public universities have a great opportunity to build on their strategy," Friedman said about alumnae efforts.

Interestingly enough, the majority of wealthy alumni of both public and private universities were "self made."

"That speaks to the entrepreneurial spirit of individuals attending these schools who are leveraging the robust alumni networks to pull themselves into these networks," he said.

Friedman said this is the first time a group has published a report of such granular data.

Only three universities outside the U.S. -- Oxford, University of Mumbai and University of Cambridge -- made it to the top 20 list.

Here is a list of the 15 universities with the highest number of alumni worth $30 million or more:

1. Harvard University; Private

The oldest university in the country, Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., also has the wealthiest alumni. The 2,964 ultra high net worth individuals from the Ivy League school are worth $622 billion and include 52 billionaires, the highest number of all the universities in Wealth-X's list.

2. University of Pennsylvania; Private

Based in Philadelphia, UPenn's wealthiest alumni are worth a combined $242 billion.

3. Stanford University; Private

In Silicon Valley's Palo Alto, Calif., Stanford's wealthiest alumni, presumably in the tech sector, are worth $171 billion.

4. Columbia University; Private

Attending an expensive Ivy League school in one of the priciest cities in the country had better yield results for Columbia University alumni. Its wealthiest alumni -- who include Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett -- are worth a combined $116 billion.

5. New York University; Private

Boasting a network of business graduates from its Stern School of Business, NYU's wealthiest alumni are worth a combined $110 billion.

6. University of Chicago; Private

University of Chicago's notable alumni include Credit Suisse CEO Brady Dougan and Morningstar Inc. founder Joe Mansueto. Its wealthiest 658 living alumni are worth a combined $144 billion.

7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Private

The wealthiest alumni among MIT's Beavers -- engineers in nature and the school's mascot -- are worth a collective $172 billion. The ultra high net worth alumni from MIT, based in Cambridge, Mass., have the highest average net worth of $257 million.

8. Yale University; Private

Yale can boast of graduates like Meryl Streep and five U.S. presidents as well as having the eighth highest number of ultra high net worth alumni. The 568 wealthiest alumni from Yale, based in New Haven, Conn., are worth a collective $125 billion.

9. Cornell University; Private

In Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell's 528 wealthiest alumni are worth a combined $60 billion.

10. Princeton University; Private

The wealthiest alumni from Princeton University in Princeton, N.J. are worth a collective $70 billion.

11. University of Virginia; Public

The highest-ranked public university in the list is UVA, based in Charlottesville, Va. Its wealthiest alumni are worth a total of $31 billion. UVA has the highest percentage of self-made ultra high net worth individuals. Notable alumni include talk show host Katie Couric and comedian and writer Tina Fey.

12. Boston University; Private

Boston University's 491 wealthiest individuals are worth a combined $38 billion. The university's notable alumni include radio personality Howard Stern and actresses Marisa Tomei and Julianne Moore.

13. Northwestern University; Private

Northwestern's 451 wealthiest alumni are worth a total of $46 billion. Based in Evanston, Ill., Northwestern's famous Wildcats include a slew of actors like Warren Beatty, plus Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf.

14. University of California, Berkeley; Public

Formerly a liberal stalwart of the hippie generation, today Cal is known for its engineering and business programs. Its wealthiest 447 alumni are worth a combined $72 billion.

15. University of Michigan; Public

The University of Michigan's 410 richest alumni are worth a collective $70 billion.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


As Americans Get Poorer, Members of Congress Get Richer

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- While millions of Americans saw their incomes decrease, their job opportunities dissipate and their home values drop as the economy dipped, the 535 men and women they elected to represent them in the U.S. Congress were not only shielded from the economic downturn but gained during it.

The average American’s net worth has dropped 8 percent during the past six years, while members of Congress got, on average, 15 percent richer, according to a New York Times analysis of financial disclosure.  The median net worth of members of Congress is about $913,000, compared with about $100,000 for the country at large, the Times’ analysis found.

This wealth disparity between lawmakers and the people they represent seems to be continually growing. Nearly half of Congress -- 249 members -- are millionaires, while only 5 percent of American households can make the same claim.

Even among the super rich, members of Congress fare better than other wealthy Americans. While the net worth of the richest 10 percent of Americans has remained stagnant since 2004, lawmakers’ net worth has seen double-digit growth, the Times reports.

Members of the House have fared especially well. From 1984 to 2009, the average net worth of the 435 House reps more than doubled, from $280,000 to $725,000, not including home equity, according to a Washington Post analysis of financial disclosures.

And while lawmakers in the “people’s house” grew significantly richer, the people they represent became slightly poorer, with the average wealth of an American household dropping from $20,600 to $20,500 over the same time period, the Post reports.

This growing disparity may be due, in part, to the rising cost of campaigning, which may deter less-affluent citizens from seeking public office.

To win a House seat, candidates spent an average of $1.4 million in 2010, four times as much as was spent in 1976, according to the Federal Election Commission. Winning a Senate seat is nearly 10 times as expensive, with the average successful Senate campaign shelling out nearly $10 million in 2010.

Unquestionably in Congress' favor: security trading laws. While all Americans -- including those in the so-called "1%" that even some on Capitol Hill malign as "fat cats" -- are beholden to insider trading laws, Congress members are not, allowing them and members of their staffs to trade on insider info about economic data, patents, and other market-shaking information.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Poll: Americans Better Off Than Their Parents

Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A majority of Americans say they are better off financially than their parents were at the same age, though seniors are more positive about their wealth than younger people, according to a Gallup poll.

Of 1,012 adults surveyed, 69 percent said they're better off financially than their parents, down from the 74 percent who said so in 1998, the last time Gallup asked this question.

Gallup asked adults age 18 and older: "Think of your parents when they were your age. Would you say you are better off financially than they were, or not?"

"Most Americans still think they are doing better financially than their parents did when they were the same age," Elizabeth Mendes, deputy managing editor at Gallup, wrote in a blog post. "This is positive news, given the difficult state of the U.S. economy over the past several years -- with millions of Americans seeing their home values deteriorate and jobs evaporate."

Homes in the U.S. are expected to lose $681 billion in value in 2011, according to Zillow. Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate is 8.6 percent, the lowest this year but still higher than many economists had hoped. Unemployment has remained persistently high since the recession began in 2008, with the country witnessing the longest stretch the jobless rate has stayed over 8 percent since 1948.

Older Americans were more positive in their response than younger respondents for the survey. The poll of Americans 18 and older was taken Nov. 28 to Dec. 1.

For respondents age 65 and up, 78 percent said they were better off than their parents while 64 percent of those aged 18 to 29 said so.

The Gallup poll results echo a survey from Pew Research Center last month which indicated wealthy older Americans are better-off than those three decades ago in income, employment, homeownership and housing values.

Pew analyzed the economic well-being of older and younger adults and found that the age-based wealth gap, comparing the net worth of those over 65 with those under 35, skyrocketed. In 1984 it was 10:1, and in 2009 it jumped to 47:1.

Wealthier Americans said they were better off than their parents than poorer respondents. Eighty percent of those making $75,000 or more per year said they were better off than their parents. Of those making $30,000 per year or less, 52 percent said they are better off.

Gallup said the age and income patterns in this year's survey are "the same" as they were in 1998.

There are generational differences in perceptions of wealth. Earlier this month, Gallup released the results of another poll asking, "how much money per year would you need to make in order to consider yourself rich?"

While the overall median response of the 1,012 adults was an income of $150,000, younger respondents age 18 to 49 had a median amount of $160,000. Those 50 and older said they would feel rich with $100,000.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Poll: Americans Need $150K Income to Feel Rich

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- How much do you need to consider yourself “rich?” Americans say they would need an annual income of $150,000, according to a Gallup poll this week.

Gallup asked, “Just thinking about your own situation, how much money per year would you need to make in order to consider yourself rich?”

The median income figure of the telephone responses was $150,000. However, 30 percent said less than $100,000 would be enough. Only four percent said earning $1 million or more would make them feel rich.

Americans’ perceptions of the income needed to be rich were a bit higher than in 2003, when Gallup last asked the question. Eight years ago, $120,000 was the median Americans said they would need.

In a separate question asking how much in net worth, or savings in cash, stocks, real estate and other investments, they would need to consider themselves rich, the median figure was $1 million, the same as in Gallup’s 2003 poll on the same issue.

Gallup published the survey amid discussion over tax cuts and Occupy Wall Street’s criticism of the richest one percent of Americans.  Gallup said the results suggest Americans would need “quite a bit less” than what the wealthiest “1 percent” of Americans earn to consider themselves rich.

The survey showed a noticeable difference in answers by respondents’ gender, age, education and of course, income.

The median annual household income in the country is around $50,000 per year, according to the Census Bureau.

Gallup surveyed 1,012 adults who were 18 years or older from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1.

Incomes Needed for Survey Respondents to Feel Rich

  • Less than $60,000:  18 percent
  • $60,000 to $99,999:  12 percent
  • $100,000 to $150,000:  23 percent
  • $150,001 to $299,999:  18 percent
  • $300,000 to $999,999:  14 percent
  • $1 million:  11 percent
  • More than $1 million: 4 percent
  • Median: $150,000

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Steve Jobs' Death: Where Will His Fortune Go?

Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- The ever-private Steve Jobs was famously secretive when it came to Apple's new products. As with his personal life, the future of Steve Jobs' wealth will also stay under the radar.

While the Apple co-founder's salary was $1 in 2010, Jobs' net worth estimate is at least $6.7 billion as of Sept. 6, according to Bloomberg News. Jobs owned 5.5 million shares of Apple stock, worth about $2.1 billion. The 56-year old Jobs had led the company since 1996, after co-founding the company in 1976 and then resigning as chairman and leaving Apple in 1985.

Tim Bajarin, president of technology consulting firm Creative Strategies in Silicon Valley's Campbell, Calif., said Job's wealth first began to accumulate after he founded Apple. While Jobs' computer company, NeXT, was not notably profitable, Baharin said Jobs' acquisition of Pixar was.

The bulk of his wealth came from his 7.4 percent stake in The Walt Disney Co. -- 138 million shares -- worth $4.4 billion. Jobs acquired Pixar in 1986 and Disney bought the computer animation studio in 2006, placing Jobs on Disney's board of directors. According to Bloomberg, Jobs' Disney stock paid him at least $242 million in dividends before taxes since 2006. Jobs was the single largest shareholder in Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

Given Jobs' vast wealth and penchant for privacy, he likely set up private trusts for his family and charitable purposes, according to Danielle Mayoras, estate planning attorney and co-author of the book Trial & Heirs. Mayoras said it is likely Jobs carefully planned his estate, given his wealth and length of his illness, though there are also individuals who do "not do the proper planning" regardless of one's circumstances.

Attorneys usually help individuals create private trusts, which leave almost no public record, to describe the terms of an inheritance.

"If you do do a trust, there's nothing that goes through the probate court and no public documents," she said. "Unless his family comes forth publicly, we're not going to know how he is distributing his wealth."

Jobs and his wife, Laurene Powell, married in 1991 and had three children: Reed Paul, Erin Sienna, and Eve.

One of the mysteries of his estate is whether he left money for his other family members. He had another daughter, Lisa Brennan Jobs, born in 1978 with his high school girlfriend, Chris Ann Brennan. As an adoptee, Jobs never met his biological father, Abdulfattah John Jandali, who is an executive at a hotel in Reno, Nev.

Mayoras said careful planning would have clearly spelled out who his heirs were and would have minimized any potential conflicts over his estate.

Though Jobs was not public about his financial giving like other wealthy magnates such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, Mayoras said it is likely Jobs included charitable giving in his estate planning, in part because of the tax break donations provide. His wife is a board member of Teach for America, The Global Fund for Women, among a handful of other non-profits. In 1986, Jobs started the Stephen P. Jobs foundation but closed it after a year for reportedly not having enough time, according to the New York Times.

This year, an individual can give away $5 million with no estate taxes. If Jobs properly planned, he and his wife could pass on $10 million without estate taxes. Outside of that limit, depending on the charitable planning, his estate could be taxed at 35 cents on the dollar, said Mayoras.

Jobs and his family lived in the small, wealthy town of Woodside, Calif., about 17 miles from Apple's headquarters in Cupertino in Silicon Valley.

In February, Jobs demolished his Spanish colonial mansion to make way for a smaller residence, despite attempts from a preservation group to relocate the 86-year old historical home. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Jobs bought the mansion in 1984, lived in it for 10 years, rented it, then left it vacant since 2000.

Jobs was not known to have a luxurious lifestyle, often donning his signature black turtleneck, jeans and sneakers during most product presentations.

Bajarin said Jobs' home was beautiful but "not extravagant."

In 1993, Jobs told the Wall Street Journal: "Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me…Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful…that's what matters to me."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Report: The Recession’s Impact on Household Wealth by Race and Ethnicity 

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Hispanic household wealth fell by 66 percent from 2005 to 2009 -- the largest percentage drop amongst all racial and ethnic groups according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends project.

Hispanic median household wealth fell from $18,359 in 2005 to $6,325 in 2009. The median household wealth among blacks declined 53 percent, and 16 percent among white households during the same period.

The Pew Research report finds plummeting house values to be the main reason for the decline of wealth, and Hispanics were the ethnic group hardest hit by the housing market downturn.

The median wealth of white households is 18 times that of Hispanic households, and 20 times that of black households.

The findings are based on data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), an economic questionnaire distributed periodically to tens of thousands of households by the U.S. Census Bureau, as analyzed by the Pew Research Center.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


More Wealthy People in Asia Than Europe, Says New Report

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Asia can now claim more millionaires than all of Europe combined, and the rapidly climbing number wealthy people in places like China is closing the gap with North America's number of millionaires and billionaires, according to the latest annual Merrill Lynch-Capgemini World Wealth Report.

Altogether, the number of millionaires and billionaires in the world was up 8.3 percent from 2009 to a total wealth of $42.7 trillion in the hands of the richest people in the world in 2010.

Although the average yearly income in many Asian economies is still very low -- in China it is still only $3,600 -- the number of high net worth individuals (HNWI) in the Asia-Pacific region expanded 9.7 percent to 3.3 million.

In Europe, there are 3.1 million HWNI's. North America still leads the pack of millionaires and billionaires with 3.4 million, but our growth rate is significantly lower than Asia's.

Along with those rising numbers of wealthy people comes a rising number of millionaires spending those millions.

"China's rich people have become what they are now only in the past 10 to 15 years," Chinese demolition tycoon and philanthropist Chen Guangiao, told ABC News last year.

"The thing that's unusual is that 30 years ago, there really weren't people of great wealth, so what you have is first-generation fortunes," billionaire Bill Gates said at a news conference in Shanghai last September.

One of the ultimate symbols of success is a private executive jet. Not surprisingly, sales are taking off in Asia, especially in China.

A $1.4 billion yacht port is currently under production in the Chinese city of Tianjin. The port, to become the largest in China at its completion, will hold 750 berths to accommodate luxury yachts up to 295 feet long.

However, the United States remains the world's largest yacht market with 17 million privately owned recreational boats, but that may change in the current trends in the movement of the world's wealth continue.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rich Keep Getting Richer, New Report Claims

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The world's rich continued to get richer over the last year, according to a report from The Boston Consulting Group issued Tuesday.

Their figures show that globally, there is about $121.8 trillion in global wealth around the world today, up $20 trillion since the depths of the financial crisis. The firm, which looks at investable global wealth assets like cash, money market, stocks and bonds, excludes from their calculations the value of a person's owned businesses, homes and luxury goods.

According to BCG's data, millionaire households represent just 0.9 percent of the global population, but control some 39 percent of the planet's wealth -- up from the 37 percent the group represented in 2009.

The U.S. has the largest population of millionaire households (5.2 million), but Singapore has the densest population of wealth with 15.5 percent of the city-state’s population qualifying as super rich.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Survey: Four Out of Ten Millionaires Do Not Feel Wealthy

Adam Gault/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- The nation's millionaires have spoken, and the magic number above which they feel wealthy is $7.5 million. Four out of 10 millionaires surveyed say they do not feel wealthy, even though they reported an average of $3.5 million in investable assets.

Among the 58 percent of responders who do feel wealthy, they said they began to feel so at $1.75 million in investable assets.

Gail Graham, an executive vice president in Fidelity Institutional Wealth, the group that conducted the survey, said the she believes different definitions of "wealthy" are can be attributed "how much retirement influences how people feel."

While their near-term confidence in the U.S. economy remains negative, their outlook is at the highest level since Fidelity began tracking millionaires' views in 2006.

Graham said the attitudes of millionaires are both a "leading indicator and a causal factor" of the direction of the economy. Representing 56 percent of the nation's wealth, she said the millionaires "have the power to make what they believe happen."

The survey of 1,011 financial decision makers in U.S. households with investable assets of at least $1 million, excluding any real estate holdings and workplace retirement accounts, was conducted online Oct. 18-29, 2010.

The average millionaire who participated in the survey is 56 years old, male, and has $3.5 million in investable assets with an annual household income of $379 thousand. The majority -- 86 percent -- have college degrees, and 46 percent hold graduate degrees.

Those surveyed represent only 5 percent of U.S. households. Sixty percent of participants were male, while 40 percent were female.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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