Originally Posted by SUNOFSPARTA
I know lots of very wealth people, and they all got that way by either stealing it or saving it. Those who stole, were bureaucrats ,politicians and swindler. Those who saved, were business owners, who worked and sold their business to accumulate their fortunes.
"I went to a high class school in Switzerland. Not that we were rich, but in the class there were several very well-to-do Swiss family members. Of the children of these families, most have no more money.
One still has a lot of money because his grandmother was studying in Paris in her youth and took a liking to the 1910-1920s impressionists. So they have Van Goghs and Renoirs and Matisses — even in the bathroom they have so many of them. The appreciation in value of these paintings was fantastic.
Another one is well-to-do because he inherited money from an uncle of his. So it’s funny that entrepreneurial families that were – at that time — either in construction or the textile industry, are essentially all gone. The largest wealth of my school friends came from inheritances.
I liked Asia when I first came there in 1973. I went to Hong Kong because people were very entrepreneurial and risk takers. They like to gamble and they’re not afraid. In Switzerland everybody is always afraid of losing money.
In Asia, they take risks and some of the entrepreneurs have become immensely rich — immensely rich starting from zero. These are people that were frugal with themselves. They worked very hard and they also benefited from asset inflation. In Hong Kong, property prices went ballistic over the last 30, 40 years. So anyone who owned properties became very rich."
The Zurich Axioms
by Max Gunther
"What the Axioms Are and How They Came to Be. Consider the puzzle of Switzerland. This ancestral home of mine is a rocky little place about half the size of Maine. It has not one inch of seacoast. It is one of the most mineral-poor lands on earth. It possesses not a drop of oil to call its own, barely a bucket of coal. As for farming, its climate and topography are inhospitable to just about everything.
It has stayed out of European wars for 300 years, chiefly because, in all that time, there has never been an invader who really wanted it.
Yet the Swiss are among the most affluent people in the world. In per capita income they rank with the Americans, West Germans, and Japanese. Their currency is among the world's soundest.
How do the Swiss do it?
They do it by being the world's cleverest investors, speculators, and gamblers."