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Get fat on Wall Street

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Posted: 1 pm ET

Not only have stock market gains rebounded this year, beefing up the portfolios of investors who didn't pull out when the market tanked in 2009, but the payoff is big if you work on Wall Street.

The New York Times reported last week that finance-industry salaries in Manhattan rose 20 percent in the first quarter of 2010, far more than other areas of the country. In fact, Manhattan earned the distinction of fastest-growing county in the U.S. in terms of year-over-year gains in income.

First-quarter bonuses made up a lot of the surge at the beginning of the year, and the Times reports that bonus amounts were much higher than they were in 2009.

So how can you gain wealth if you're under-invested in the market and don't work on Wall Street? Most of the earned wealth in this country comes from the sale of a successful business. If you're not entrepreneurial, you'll have to consider these options:

Stay out of debt and save money, but in this dismal yield environment saving by itself won't provide too many gains;

Invest what you can in a more aggressive stock portfolio, but you have to be able to ride the stock market roller-coaster without panicking;

Find a high-earning job, though, once again, this economic environment is making that tough.

Your best bet may be a combination of all three.

Readers: Do you have other thoughts and ideas about how to build wealth?

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