Gap Between Ultra Rich and Regular Rich Continues to Grow

by Justin Weinger on April 18, 2007

We spend a lot of time talking about the growing gap between the haves and the have nots, but it turns out the gap between various levels of the wealthy may be growing at just as rapid a pace.

According to an article published in The Wall Street Journal Online, a recent survey conducted by the Spectrum Group showed that the number of households with a net worth greater than $5 million grew by a rate of 23% during 2006, while the total number of households with a total net worth greater than $500,000 grew by only 9%.

Translation: the richest of the rich are growing their wealth faster than their less wealthy counterparts.

Results of the Spectrum Group’s survey showed the number of households with net wealth of $5 million (excluding the value of their primary residence) grew to 1.14 million households during 2006, while the number of households with a net worth of greater than $500,000 grew to over 15 million.

Considering the fact that we’ve experienced a bull market in stocks for the better part of the last three or four years, it would seem to me that this is where most of the wealth growth is coming from. 

However, with the fact that during the past two years the average American consumer has spent more money than they have earned, it completely blows my mind that there are 15 million households out there that have $500,000 in cash, stocks, bonds and other investments.

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