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10 shocking wealth facts

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Monday, February 11, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

Looking for some interesting tidbits about wealth and investing to share at your next dinner party? The Motley Fool accumulated 100 startling facts about the economy; we give you 10 that are guaranteed to raise some eyebrows.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has earned $100,000 every hour he's been alive.

1. Adjusting for inflation, Warren Buffett was a millionaire by age 25.

2. In 2011, Asia had more millionaires than North America for the first time ever, according to RBC Wealth Management.

3. If you divide their net worths by their age, Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world, and Microsoft's Bill Gates have each accumulated more than $100,000 in net worth for every hour they've been alive.

Giving

4. U.S. charitable giving was $298 billion in 2011, according to the Giving USA Foundation. That's more than the gross domestic product of all but 33 countries in the world.

5. Since 2008, Americans have donated $19.1 million to the U.S. Treasury to help pay down the national debt. These are actual citizen donations, not taxes.

Investing

6. Including dividends, Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 135 percent from March 2009 through January 2013, during what people remember as the "Great Recession." It gained the exact same amount from 1996 to 2000, during what people remember as the "greatest bull market in history."

7. According to Bloomberg, "Americans have missed out on almost $200 billion of stock gains as they drained money from the market in the past four years, haunted by the financial crisis."

8. As of January 2013, there are 16 people left in the world who were born in the 1800s, according to the Gerontology Research Group. With dividends reinvested, U.S. stocks have increased 28,000-fold during their lifetimes.

9. According to a study by Harvard professor David Wise and two colleagues, 46.1 percent of Americans die with less than $10,000 in assets.

10. Franklin Templeton asked 1,000 investors whether the S&P 500 went up or down in 2009 and 2010. Sixty-six percent thought it went down in 2009, while 49 percent said it declined in 2010. In reality, the index gained 26.5 percent in 2009 and 15.1 percent in 2010.

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37 Comments
jhowa
February 19, 2013 at 1:16 pm

i brew my own beer and wine, therefore I am rich beyond all means.

sburleson
February 19, 2013 at 11:33 am

I think you are a Democrat.

AR Grover
February 16, 2013 at 11:31 am

Part of the problem is too many people watch tv and listen to the media rather than going out and seeing for themselves what is going on in the world. Go talk to the people on the streets of your area or where you bank and shop and eat.. ask them if they are better or worse and ask them if they have more money. And while it is great Bill has made so much during his lifetime, as I am one of the ones whom made him so, I like Bill G. because he trys to help others and plays a mean air guitar. As for the rest of the econmy, everyone makes it like its about the money- its not about the money, its about the people- when the people are happy they spend money with reason when the people are not happy they spend money they do not have and so if you drug up a whole country then boom you have a whole lot of unhappy drugged happy people whom act as such. But hay, thats just my opinion and the article? It was interesting to read but really holds no other interest or information which I was not already aware of. I think the "Market" is not really anything but a card game and you will never win every hand.

chris desanctis
February 16, 2013 at 9:52 am

a horse is a horse, a horse of course, unless of course the horse is the famous mr. ed!

Bob Decker
February 16, 2013 at 9:36 am

The term "Great Recession" refers to the US Economy. The term "Greatest Bull Market In History" refers to the US stock market. These are two separate and very diffenet things!!!! This author is not a financial wiz!

Nicholas Fasola
February 16, 2013 at 9:18 am

11 shocking wealth fact: Conserving water can provide a 500% return-on-investment within the first year with lower utility bills. To learn how Google; Water Conservation - State of New Jersey Under Water Conservation click Technologies.

Randy
February 15, 2013 at 2:11 pm

135% from March 2009 through Jan 2013-- but if you had begun investing 10 months earlier in May of 2008, your return to date would have been less than 1/10 of that 135% or less than 4% per year.

PEM
February 13, 2013 at 5:57 pm

I guess Mr Neuhauser can not read. There was nothing in this fact
sheet regarding aid.

ed knapp
February 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Thought that you might like this. Moe

Ronnie Neuhauser
February 13, 2013 at 10:09 am

It's important to realize that we give less than one percent of our Budget in aid and much of our aid comes with strings attached resulting in some countries even refusing our aid. The US ranks around 11-13th in giving aid even though it is the richest country in the world. And even with total money given toward aid we are only 4th. You incredibly misrepresented aid by the US establishment. It's been used heavily as a weapon to steal resources and even overturn democratically elected leaders.