Rich Like Me

"The affluent market, as defined by the wealthiest 10% of US households, is composed primarily of people with middle class backgrounds who continue to pursue a somewhat middle class lifestyle with middle class values. They are not conspicuous or ostentatious consumers. They spend conservatively and save carefully." -- Ron Kurtz president of the American Affluence Research Center, on information gleaned from the the newly released Mendelsohn Affluent Survey 2008,

If you make your living on the luxury market, as I do writing for luxury magazines, you'll want to read this survey carefully. Kurtz makes some interesting observations from the survey including the idea that many of us have been misunderstanding what "luxury" means to the most wealthy (households that earn $100,000 or more annually) because our assumptions are flawed. 

Some things to ponder: Last year, 84.9 percent of the richest 10 percent in the country spent their money at Target, while only 4.6 percent bought from Louis Vuitton. 68 percent bought at Macy's, but only 13.5 percent spent at Neiman Marcus. 80.2 percent bought at Wal-Mart, while only 2.4 spent at Prada followed by 1.9 at Cartier. (Turn to page 18 of the survey to see more results)