Money Strategies for the Fiscally Confused

Simple Strategies You Can Use to Jack Up Your Net Worth

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Rich Is So Relative


I laughed the other day when I read how golfer Phil Mickelson handed out two $100 bills to a fan whose watch band Phil broke with an errant tee shot. People in the sports media made a big deal about it, probably because most athletes wouldn't make the effort to reimburse someone for an accident like that. One writer thought it incredible that Phil would even have a couple of C Notes in his pocket while playing.

C'mon! At last count, Mickelson makes more than $20 million per year in prize money, endorsements and appearance fees. What's a couple of hundred bucks? I thought about it, and here's exactly what it means to him: Two Dollars.

It's actually less than that if you compare him to the average American. But two dollars is a nice round number, and it fits my formula, so that's what I'm going with.

If a person pulls in $200,000 per year, he or she is making some pretty good dough. Actually that person fits into about the top 1% of earners in America. Mickelson makes 100 times that amount. So, flipping a couple of Franklins out of his pocket on the golf course is the equivalent to a high-earning person flipping two Washingtons from his or her pocket.

Money is crazy when you stop to think about it. It's all relative, and someone's always going to have more than you.

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