5 Reasons Boston May Be The Wealthiest City in the U.S.

I read a news article recently that stated that 1 in every 5 residents of Boston has a net worth of over $1 million.  I shared the news with a friend of mine who had visited the city recently. She was incredulous.

She noted the lack of expensive sports cars on the street, the conservative and understated dress of the general populace, and sad state of affairs regarding what she termed “the club scene.”

All of this, in her mind, added up to a metropolis that could not possibly be affluent. I shrugged off the assessment, and then decided to add up the reasons why Boston just may be The Wealthiest City in America.

  1. It’s the money. Actually, 1 in 5 people in Boston do have a net worth of over $1 million dollars. It’s not a preposterous as it sounds, as government estimates now show that 1 in 20 to 1 in 25 American households now have assets of over $1 million.
  2. One and done. The divorce rate in Boston hovers around 10 percent, well below the national average. This means that family wealth has a better chance of being preserved and passed on to future generations.
  3. Book ’em. In 2012, it was estimated that 39.2 percent of 18 to 34 year-old residents held at least a bachelors degree from college. This probably contributes to higher earning potential, and the ability to hold on to wealth once it is acquired. With over 100 institutions of higher learning in the greater Boston area, the culture of higher education is strong and large.
  4. Bling is not our thing. Conspicuous consumption is still regarded as distasteful in most of the city. Bostonians are busy getting things done. High fashion is a concept that the locals do not understand and one the climate does not encourage. When you don’t spend money on that foolishness, you save it, invest it, and grow richer.
  5. History and culture count. Boston’s important contributions to America and the world in the areas of political thought, the arts, and literature are self-evident. The city’s 40 museums, numerous libraries, and countless historical monuments testify to its vital role in our country’s progress.

In short, a preponderance of Old Money Values still permeate the city. The results speak for themselves.

  • BGT
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The Boston Brahmins


I love these guys. “Dickens is so messy…”

  • BGT
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A Better Tomorrow

CIRCA 1960s:  President John F. Kennedy looks thoughtful behind his sunglasses circa the early 1960s.  (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

CIRCA 1960s: President John F. Kennedy looks thoughtful behind his sunglasses circa the early 1960s. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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Join The Ultimate Aristocracy

We all like to belong to something: a club, a peer group, a fraternity or sorority, a secret society, a family.

With that in mind, I’d like to invite you to join the Ultimate Aristocracy. I know it’s quite a garish and provocative invitation here in America, where we say we don’t have royalty or nobility. But hear me out.

The aristocracy I’m inviting you to join has no membership requirements that relate to the circumstances of your birth. You need not own land. You don’t need initials at the start of your name or Roman numerals at the end of it.  Your religious, political, or cultural affiliations are of no concern whatsoever. A college degree is not required. The threadbare and the well-heeled are equally welcome.

The Ultimate Aristocracy I’m referring to is the one based on Values. I’ve detailed these Core Values in The Old Money Book. They are timeless concepts that elevate and ennoble the individuals and families who revere them. They include Health, Family and Marriage, Educations, Manners, Financial Independence, Privacy, and the Work Ethic.

To adopt, preserve, and promote these values is the mission of the Ultimate Aristocracy.

Since no aristocracy in history has had a website, we won’t have one, either. No official titles can be conferred or adopted. No applications will be accepted. There will be no membership dues. I haven’t exactly thought of any exotic rituals, initiations, or secret handshakes, but, you know, give me time.

The only requirement for membership is to lead by example.

If by chance you should encounter other members of the Ultimate Aristocracy, you will recognize them by their discreet but presentable attire, their modesty and manners, their articulate speech, and their gracious demeanor.

They may be the last one to leave the office at night and the first one to open a door for you. They may be the person who pours you a drink or the person who owns the distillery.

You never know, so you simply have to be polite to everyone and keep an eye out for fellow Aristocrats. They may be anywhere and, once the word gets out, hopefully they will be everywhere.

After a while, you’ll know them when you meet them.

So remember: Always Be The OMG.

  • BGT
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Old Is Good – Part 2

Old Volvo - old is good

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Cicero, Old Money Guy

Cicero, wearing  the oxford cloth button down shirt of his day, I'm guessing.

Cicero, wearing the oxford cloth button down shirt of his day, I’m guessing.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, as you may know, was a famous Roman orator, philosopher, and politician.  He was also an Old Money Guy, growing up in a wealthy household outside Rome that was overseen by a bookish father and managed by a thrifty, no-nonsense mother.

Here are some of his quotes that will endear him to OMG’s everywhere:

“Not to be covetous is money. Not to be avid to buy is revenue.”

“The whole thing is to be master of yourself.”

“To me indeed all things seem more praiseworthy which are done without ostentation and without public witness.”

“Not by calculation of your income, but by your manner of living and your culture, is your wealth really to be reckoned.”

Some people get a kick out of how much things change. I get a kick out of how much they don’t.

  • BGT
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Old Money and Elegance

“I have a different idea of elegance. I don’t dress like a fop, it’s true, but my moral grooming is impeccable.

“I never appear in public with a soiled conscience, a tarnished honor, threadbare scruples, or an insult that I haven’t washed away.

“I’m always immaculately clean, adorned with independence and frankness.

“I may not cut a stylish figure, but I hold my soul erect.

“I wear my deeds as ribbons, my wit is sharper then the finest mustache, and when I walk among men I make truths ring like spurs.”

  • Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac
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