You can all stop worrying about the economy: rich people are feeling great. Five years out from the financial crisis, families making over $800,000 a year are feeling positive about their stock portfolios and economic growth. According to a survey by the American Affluence Research Center, the wealthiest 10 percent of families' economic confidence has jumped to score of 93. That's almost back up to levels before pre-2008 levels.
Rich people still know they're supposed to budget, however. According to the survey, they'll be cutting back on holiday shopping this year: "Affluent households plan to spend an average of $2,175 on holiday gifts, a 2.8 percent decline from 2012." The Wall Street Journal points out that $2,175 is almost four times the amount the National Retail Federation forecasts the average holiday shopper will spend.
Minor spending limits aside (just drop Aunt Marge from the holiday shopping list!), it's a great time to be rich. The wealthiest 10 percent of families got half of all American income last year, for the first time in history. The top 1 percent's average income grew by 31 percent — economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty are calling it a new "Gilded Age." And if you're a rich Democrat, the Clintons are back to be very nice to you.
So things have gotten much better since the bleak days of the financial crisis and Occupy Wall Street. It was not fun to be a rich person then! Take it from the guys on Wall Street who got smaller bonuses when the economy was in the tank. Alan Dlugash, a partner at accounting firm Marks Paneth & Shron LLP in New York, told Bloomberg in early 2012,
"People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress. Could you imagine what it’s like to say I got three kids in private school, I have to think about pulling them out? How do you do that?"
Another banker had to give up his yearly Aspen trip. One family had to postpone the upgrade they wanted for their 1,200-square-foot Brooklyn duplex. But since wealthy people are rebounding way better than everyone else from the crisis, those troubles are almost over.
The only downside is that, according to Thought Catalog, poor people might judge you for being rich.