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Financial Quotes

Wealth Quotes

  • "Richness, the ideas of having plenty of money, is not … an absolute state. Richness is about the amount of money you have compared to the people you see around you. It is about where you are in relation to others, and where they are in relation to you … and whether you can have the things you want and other people have."
    John Lanchester (1962–), British journalist and novelist
    Source: Speech. “Enough” (December 12, 2010)
  • "Making rich people richer doesn't make the rest of us richer."
    Ha-Joon Chang (1963–), South Korean economist and author
    Source: 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism (2010)
  • "As recently as the 1970s, the idea that the point of life was to get rich and that governments existed to facilitate this would have been ridiculed: not only by capitalism’s traditional critics but also by many of its staunchest defenders."
    Tony Judt (1948–), British historian and author
    Source: Ill Fares the Land: A Treatise on Our Present Discontents (2010)
  • "Contrast 1968, when the CEO of General Motors took home, in pay and benefits, about sixty-six times the amount paid to a typical GM worker. Today the CEO of Wal-Mart earns nine hundred times the wages of his average employee. Indeed, the wealth of the Wal-Mart founder’s family in 2005 was estimated at about the same ($90 billion) as that of the bottom 40% of the US population: 120 million people."
    Tony Judt (1948–), British historian and author
    Source: Ill Fares the Land: A Treatise on Our Present Discontents (2010)
  • "A nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous."
    Barack Obama (1961–), US president
    Source: Presidential inaugural address (January 21, 2009)
  • "In short, it's a great economy if you're a high-level corporate executive or someone who owns a lot of stock. For most other Americans, economic growth is a spectator sport."
    Paul R. Krugman (1953–), US economist
    Source: New York Times (July 14, 2006)
  • "Someday I want to be rich. Some people get so rich they lose all respect for humanity. That's how rich I want to be."
    Rita Rudner (1953–), US comedian and writer
    Source: Quoted in Ten Commitments to Your Success (Steve Chandler, 2005)
  • "Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth."
    Rex Stout (18861975), US writer
    Source: Quoted in 500 of the Most Witty, Acerbic, and Erudite Things Ever Said About Money (Philip Jenks, 2002)
  • "If you are not happy while getting rich, chances are that you will not be happy when you do get rich."
    Robert Kiyosaki (1947–), US author
    Source: Rich Dad's Rich Kid, Smart Kid (2001)
  • "Someone will always be getting richer faster than you. This is not a tragedy."
    Charlie Munger (1924–), US investor
    Source: Annual general meeting of Berkshire Hathaway (May 15, 2000)
  • "The old foundations of success are gone … The world's wealthiest man, Bill Gates, owns nothing tangible: no land, no gold or oil, no factories … For the first time in history the world's wealthiest man owns only knowledge."
    Lester Thurow (1938–), US economist, management theorist, and writer
    Source: Building Wealth: New Rules for Individuals, Companies, and Countries in a Knowledge-Based Economy (1999), Prologue
  • "When I got my statement in January, I was worth $2.2 billion. Then I got another statement in August that said I was worth $3.2 billion. So I figure it's only nine months' earnings, who cares?"
    Ted Turner (1938–), US founder of Turner Broadcasting Systems and CNN
    Referring to his decision to donate US$1 billion to the United Nations over a decade.
    Source: Speech, United Nations Association of the USA, Marriott Marquis Hotel, New York (September 19, 1997)
  • "It is inconceivable that anyone will divulge a truly effective get-rich scheme for the price of a book. There is ample opportunity to use wealth in this world, and neither I nor my friends, nor anyone else I have ever met, has so much of it that they are interested in putting themselves at a disadvantage by sharing their secrets."
    Victor Niederhoffer (1943–), US hedge fund manager and statistician
    Source: The Education of a Speculator (1997)
  • "Part of the loot went for gambling, part for horses, and part for women. The rest I spent foolishly."
    George Raft (18951980), US film actor
    Explaining how he spent $10 million
    Source: Quoted in The Perfect Business (Michael Lebeouf, 1997)
  • "In our society, the best predictor of a man’s wealth is his wife’s looks, and the best predictor of a woman’s looks is her husband’s wealth."
    Steven Pinker (1954–), Canadian-born US psychologist and author
    Source: How the Mind Works (1997)
  • "I have no interest in celebrities. If all the superrich disappeared, the world economy would not even notice. The superrich are irrelevant to the economy."
    Peter F. Drucker (19092005), US management consultant and academic
    Source: Quoted in “Seeing Things As They Really Are,” Forbes (Robert Lenzner and Stephen S. Johnson, 1987)
  • "Having money is rather like being a blond. It is more fun but not vital."
    Mary Quant (1934–), British fashion designer
    Source: Quoted in the Observer (London) (November 2, 1986)
  • "If you can count your money, you don’t have a billion dollars."
    J. Paul Getty (18921976), US entrepreneur, oil industry executive, and financier
    Source: Quoted in The Great Getty (Robert Lenzner, 1985)
  • "Purchasing power is a license to purchase power."
    Raoul Vaneigem (1934–), Belgian philosopher
    Source: The Revolution of Everyday Life (1967)
  • "In the affluent society, no useful distinction can be made between luxuries and necessities."
    J. K. Galbraith (19082006), US economist and diplomat
    Source: The Affluent Society (1958)
  • "Wealth is not without its advantages and the case to the contrary, although it has often been made, has never proved widely persuasive."
    J. K. Galbraith (19082006), US economist and diplomat
    Source: The Affluent Society (1958), ch. 1
  • "Short of genius, a rich man cannot imagine poverty."
    Charles Pierre Péguy (18731914), French writer
    Source: “Socialism and the Modern World,” Basic Verities (1943)
  • "Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshipped."
    Calvin Coolidge (18721933), US president
    Source: Speech, Boston, Massachusetts (June 11, 1928)
  • "A society which reverences the attainment of riches as the supreme felicity will naturally be disposed to regard the poor as damned … if only to justify itself for making their life a hell."
    Richard Tawney (18801962), British economic historian and social critic
    Source: Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (1926), ch. 4, sect. 4
  • "The millionaires are a product of natural selection … the naturally selected agents of society for certain work. They get high wages and live in luxury, but the bargain is a good one for society."
    William Graham Sumner (18401910), US economist and sociologist
    Sumner was the leading US advocate of Herbert Spencer's Social Darwinism, the survival of the fittest.
    Source: The Challenge of Facts and Other Essays (Albert Galloway Keller, ed, 1914)
  • "In every well-governed state wealth is a sacred thing; in democracies it is the only sacred thing."
    Anatole France (18441924), French novelist
    Source: Penguin Island (1908)
  • "Not evil, but good, has come to the race from the accumulation of wealth by those who have the ability and energy that produce it."
    Andrew Carnegie (18351919), US industrialist and philanthropist
    Source: “Wealth,” North American Review (June 1889)
  • "There are three ways by which an individual can get wealth—by work, by gift, and by theft. And, clearly, the reasons why the workers get so little is that the beggars and thieves get so much."
    Henry George (18391897), US economist
    Source: Social Problems (1883)
  • "What is really desired, under the name of riches, is essentially, power over men … this power … is in direct proportion to the poverty of the men over whom it is exercised, and in inverse proportion to the number of persons who are as rich as ourselves."
    John Ruskin (18191900), British art critic and writer
    Source: “The Veins of Wealth,” Unto This Last (1862)
  • "Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only."
    Henry David Thoreau (18171862), US writer
    Source: Walden, or Life in the Woods (1854), Conclusion
  • "Wealth is like sea-water; the more we drink, the thirstier we become; the same is true of fame."
    Arthur Schopenhauer (17881860), German philosopher
    Source: “What a Man Has,” Parerga and Paralipomena (1851)
  • "As long as there are rich people in the world, they will be desirous of distinguishing themselves from the poor."
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (17121778), French philosopher and writer
    Source: Discours sur l'Économie Politique (1758)
  • "Prosperity tries the souls even of the wise."
    Sallust (8635? bc), Roman historian and politician
    Source: Bellum Catilinae (41? bc), ch. 11
  • "A man who has a million dollars is as well off as if he were rich."
    John Jacob Astor (17631848), US entrepreneur and financier
    Source: Attributed
  • "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
    New Testament, second part of the Christian Bible
    Source: Matthew 19:24

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