An entrepreneur who built an automation giant is now the richest person in Japan – and his company is known to pay some of the highest salaries in the country

Keyence
Takemitsu Takizaki generally keeps a low profile. His company Keyence was recently chosen to be included in Japan’s blue-chip stock index.

  • Takemitsu Takizaki, the founder of sensor-making manufacturer Keyence, is now Japan’s richest man.
  • Keyence, which Takizaki founded in 1974, was recently chosen to enter Japan’s blue-chip stock index.
  • His employees are some of the best-paid in Japan, earning an average $170,000 a year.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The richest man in Japan is now Takemitsu Takizaki, the founder of automation sensor manufacturer Keyence, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.

His fortune has grown to $38.2 billion, surpassing that of Uniqlo mogul Tadashi Yanai, who lost $9.7 billion this year so far and is now worth $35.5 billion, the index shows.

While Yanai’s fashion empire has taken a hit during the pandemic, Takizaki’s manufacturing company Keyence has seen its shares skyrocket by 93.6% since the start of 2020.

Takizaki, 76, keeps a low profile. He started his Osaka-based company in 1974 and never attended college, according to Bloomberg.

One of his successes was helping to invent precision sensors for assembly lines that produced cars for Toyota and chips for Toshiba. The sensors are a staple product for Keyence, which also makes barcode scanners and microscopes.

“He’s a very rare type in Japan,” Mitsushige Akino, an executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management Co. in Tokyo, told Bloomberg in 2015. “He valued profit margin over sales and grew the company steadily.”

Takizaki’s Keyence is so successful partly because it outsources production – sending raw materials to component suppliers, then taking those components and sending them to assemblers before performing final inspections, according to The Financial Times. By splitting up the production chain, the company lowers the risk of its suppliers learning from its operations and eventually becoming its competitors.

Keyence, which has offices in 46 countries, also has a reputation for paying its employees well, with monthly bonuses based on their profits. Its employees earn some of the highest salaries in Japan, at an average $170,000 a year, per The Times.

It’s a salary model that an expert called “one of the best examples of meritocracy in Japan,” according to The Times.

When Takizaki retired from his role as the company chairman in 2015, his fortune stood at $7.2 billion and he was the fourth-richest man in Japan, according to Bloomberg. But over the next six years, his wealth would see a more-than fivefold increase.

That growth has partly been fueled by a boom in demand for factory automation in Japan, as the pandemic forces companies to seek ways to keep production going without in-person contact.

To top that off, Keyence was also one of three companies to recently be chosen to enter the Nikkei 225, Japan’s blue-chip stock index, alongside video game maker Nintendo and electronic component manufacturer Murata.

As a result, Takizaki, who is now Keyence’s honorary chairman and owns 21% of Keyence according to Bloomberg, added $5.9 billion to his fortune this year.

Keyence did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment for comment for this story.

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7 tips from ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ that may help you save up quickly

dollar bills in a wallet
  • Reading is a fundamental step when attempting to improve your personal finances.
  • One of the most acclaimed books is Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which includes tips to help you save money.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

There are some must-read books in personal finances that will help you develop good saving habits.

Undergoing training and taking the time to read can help you improve economic control so you can become more financially literate and, ultimately, increase your financial freedom.

While many manage perfectly well relying on their intuition to guide their spending habits, it can also be useful to expand your knowledge and set up a budget, an emergency fund, or ensure you have a financial contingency plan in the event of something unexpected.

One way to get on the right track with your money is by reading.

There is a wide range of reading material that can help you apply a better philosophy to your finances.

One of them is Rich Dad, Poor Dad, a must-read if you want to learn about personal finance.

GettyImages 847741824
Laughing and getting in the sun are two ways to release endorphins.

It offers smart ways to escape the vicious circle of working hard for others your whole life while failing to save anything.

Here are seven helpful lessons you can apply from the book to your own life.

1. The rich make their money work for them

You must have heard the phrase “live to work or work to live”.

This is one of the basic concepts addressed in the book.

Most work to survive. If they have money problems, they ride them out or ask for a raise.

This is the vicious cycle most middle and working-class people fall into.

Generally, people with fewer financial resources study to get a good education to qualify for more relevant jobs so they can then earn more money.

They tend to avoid taking risks for fear of not being able to pay their debts, being fired, or not having the money they need to survive.

On the other hand, rich people make money and don’t work to earn it.

In other words, they buy assets that generate income. This is one of the book’s most important lessons.

2. Financial education is your greatest asset

According to this book, money isn’t your greatest asset.

If people are prepared to be flexible, have an open mind, and learn, they will tend to get richer.

If a person thinks capital solves all their problems, they will usually have problems their whole lives.

“Intelligence solves problems and produces money, and money without financial intelligence is quickly lost,” says Robert Kiyosaki, author of the book.

The book recommends having knowledge of accounting, investing, markets, law, bidding, marketing, leadership, writing, public speaking, and communication.

3. Don’t work to earn money; work to learn

Another of the book’s great teachings is that work is to be used as a platform to improve the skills you have.

“Find a job where you can learn the above skills,” says Kiyosaki.

A man in red sunglasses reading a red book on a towel on a beach

He stresses that learning can make you much more knowledgeable and can provide you with unique skills to improve your professional situation.

4. Know the difference between assets and liabilities

“An asset is something that puts money in your pocket and a liability is something that takes money out of your pocket,” the book explains.

In this sense, rich people acquire assets (securities and investments) and poor people add liabilities (commitments and obligations).

This is the main difference that can punctuate the future development of an individual’s personal finances.

5. Reduce your spending as much as possible

This lesson is closely linked to the previous one.

The author advises having as little debt load as possible because, in the end, it hinders the financial freedom you want to achieve.

“Reduce your liabilities” is one of the most repeated phrases throughout the book.

compromises buying home

You have to keep in mind, however, that there is “positive” debt, like a mortgage, and then “negative” debt, like quick loans.

6. Reinvest the profits you make

The profitability created by your assets should be reinvested in other assets, according to the book.

“Don’t think about how to earn more income; look for more valuable assets – that’s how you should repeat the cycle,” says Kiyosaki.

7. Don’t rely exclusively on financial advisors

The book’s final piece of advice is that every individual has great insights into the capital that makes up their own personal finances.

Getting help from a financial advisor can be useful, but you also need to have control over your own money.

“Learn how to invest because nobody will do it better than you,” says Kiyosaki.

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US billionaires’ collective wealth grew enough during the pandemic to pay off the $1.7 trillion student debt crisis

Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos (left) and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

  • A new report found US billionaires collectively got $1.8 trillion richer during the pandemic.
  • That’s enough wealth to pay off the entire $1.7 trillion student debt crisis.
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk, for example, got $150 billion – or 600% – richer.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The pandemic brought significant financial hardships onto the US, but the ultra-wealthy remained relatively unscathed. So much so, in fact, that billionaires in the country collectively got $1.8 trillion richer – enough to pay off the entire student debt crisis, and then some.

Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) and the Institute for Policy Studies Program on Inequality (IPS) released a report on Tuesday that revealed how much wealth billionaires gained during COVID-19 as of August 17. It found that their combined wealth skyrocketed nearly two-thirds, or 62%, to $4.8 trillion since March 2020, after starting off the pandemic just short of $3 trillion.

According to the report, Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s wealth increased by $150 billion during the pandemic – a 600% gain – and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ wealth grew $75 billion in the same time frame.

“The great good fortune of these billionaires over the past 17 months is all the more appalling when contrasted with the devastating impact of coronavirus on working people,” the report said. “Over 86 million Americans have lost jobs, almost 38 million have been sickened by the virus, and over 625,000 have died from it.”

This report came after a ProPublica report in June that detailed how the wealthiest Americans, including Bezos and Musk, managed to pay little-to-nothing in federal taxes.

The student debt crisis continues to grow

As US billionaires’ wealth grew during the pandemic, so did the student debt crisis, which now stands at $1.7 trillion. Although President Joe Biden has canceled $8.7 billion in student debt for certain groups of people, that is less than 1% of the entire student debt burden, and borrowers across the country are struggling to keep up on their payments as their debt continues to grow.

Student debt payments, along with interest, have been on pause for the duration of the pandemic, and Biden recently announced a “final extension” of the pause through the end of January to give borrowers additional time to prepare restarting payments.

But, as Insider previously reported, while the pause has provided significant relief for borrowers, they will still not be ready to start making payments again come February and feel that without student-debt cancellation, there is no way out of their student debt.

“I’ve paid back almost all of my loans, but I still owe the full amount,” Alexendria Mavin, who graduated $117,000 in student debt, has paid $70,000 of it, and still owes $98,000 told Insider. “It’s a never-ending cycle.”

That’s why Democrats like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren are calling both for $50,000 in student-debt cancellation for every borrower and a wealth tax to create a tax code that is fair for everyone.

“America’s billionaires have done great during this pandemic,” Warren wrote on Twitter. “America’s working families? Not so much. It’s time for a #WealthTax on the ultra-rich to raise the revenue needed to invest in child care, expand health care coverage, and fight back against climate change.”

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Meet the millennial New Yorkers dropping as much as $45,000 on interior designers to help pimp out their pandemic pads: ‘Time is the biggest luxury’

paige desorbo
After upgrading apartments for a steep discount, a subset of millennial New Yorkers are turning to interior designers to help them create a pandemic sanctuary.

A 2,000-square-foot apartment is a unicorn in New York City, but when Rachel Martino nabbed such a gem last June, she didn’t know what to do with it.

“I was so excited to start decorating, but I realized I was a bit in over my head because it was such a big space,” the 31-year-old influencer told Insider. The open, industrial loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was a far cry from her prior apartment on the bottom floor of a townhouse, demanding much bigger furniture to make it feel full.

By March, she decided to bring in outside help: an interior designer. She likened it to using a wedding planner.

“I wasn’t spending money on vacations or experiences in the same way I did the previous year,” Martino said. “It felt like a good investment in my day-to-day life to kind of put that back into the place I was spending all my time, which obviously is at home.”

A post shared by Rachel Martino (@rachmartino)

Flush with quarantine savings, high off of scoring once-in-a-lifetime pandemic apartment deals, and entering into a new phase of adulthood, wealthy millennial New Yorkers like Martino have been investing big bucks in their pandemic-era sanctuaries. In a year when the comfort of home has become more important than ever, interior design has taken on huge importance for a certain subset that can afford to hire out to someone who can navigate widespread supply shortages and design a home that would feel good during tough times – and look that way on social media.

A pandemic design boom

Short on time and long on money, interior designers were already a part of the wealthy millennial starter pack before the pandemic.

Davita Scarlett, a 33-year-old Brooklyn-based television writer, hired designer Beth Diana Smith in 2019 to touch up her mom’s new, post-retirement apartment in Brooklyn because she struggled with making the space feel “homey.”

“I have a busy life, and an interior designer is helpful with getting things done and making sure things are ordered without me having to add that to my plate,” she said. “If I had to do it by myself, this probably wouldn’t get done for years.”

Smith, owner of an eponymous interior design firm in the tri-state area, helped Scarlett pull together a laid-back style in a neutral palette with subtle island vibes. They had to extend their plans into 2020 as manufacturers slowed production during the pandemic, the same time that Smith said she saw an uptick in interior design across all ages, causing her wait list to hit an all-time high of five to six people in January.

beth diana smith
Interior designer Beth Diana Smith.

Millennials tend to believe it’s worth the money to hire experts for certain things, rather than trying to do it themselves and making mistakes, Smith said. That’s where interior designers come in – to create the space of their dreams.

Smith, who charges a flat fee based on the scope of the project and her $250 hourly rate, said she felt millennials realized they couldn’t run away from home during the pandemic. “It almost became the things that they wish they had already done, which meant everyone was on this mad dash to get it done,” she said.

This realization fueled a design boom that’s part of what’s called the homebody economy, which went mainstream during lockdown as spending on homebound or private matters surged. A McKinsey report from the second quarter found that the homebody economy persisted as the economy reopened, and will continue to do so in the medium term, with consumers continuing the investments they made in their home life as Delta surges. Home improvement spending was still up in mid-August, 22% higher than two years before, when spending wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

Interior designer Emma Beryl, who is based in New York but works with clients across the US, said that people fell into a now-or-never mindset as they felt the pressure of things opening back up during the summer.

That’s partly because millennials are too busy themselves. Lindsay Boswell, designer and co-founder of LABLstudio, said many clients she’s had recently are younger CEOs of tech companies or “finance bro-type clients” who moved into a new place, but don’t have time to make it as nice as they want.”I’ve never been busier,” she said.

“Time is the biggest luxury.”

“Time is the biggest luxury,” she said. “There’s so much that everyone’s trying to figure out right now in the world, or like once for the past year that they’re like, ‘Can you just make this look good?'”

Maximizing a pandemic haven

The pandemic resulted in millennial homeowners who bought their first place in the suburbs and renters alike suddenly living in newer, bigger spaces than they’re used to.

Beryl, who is currently working with 13 people, said most of her millennial clients during the pandemic were overwhelmed first-time homeowners moving out of the city. Hollis Loudon Puig of Hollis Loudon Design said at first, she saw clients who had bought homes in Westchester and Greenwich from which they could work remotely. But as prices began to drop, she saw a shift to clients staying in the city.

Rents across all boroughs plunged amid a surplus of supply during the pandemic, hitting their largest year-over-year declines on record in January – 15.5% in Manhattan and 8.6% in both Brooklyn and Queens. Young professionals jumped on discounted luxury apartments that were previously out of their budget.

Television personality and fashion influencer Paige DeSorbo upgraded her Upper West Side studio for a two-bedroom apartment in Midtown back in April, only to feel lost trying to organize a bigger place.

The 28-year-old enlisted Puig, a childhood friend, for help in creating a purpose for each space: a bedroom for sleeping and relaxing, an office for work, and an organized closet. “I wanted to walk into my apartment and feel accomplished,” she said.

paige desorbo
Fashion influencer Paige DeSorbo’s dressing room doubles as her office.

Without an interior designer, DeSorbo felt she would have been decorating her apartment for the whole year. “She really took the stress out of it,” she said. “I knew I wasn’t going to sit online at the end of the day and look for a credenza.”

Puig said millennials like DeSorbo want to maximize their space so they can utilize it in several different ways, whether it’s for entertaining, exercising, or working. Before the pandemic, it was easier to dine out and exercise outside the home.

“Now they want a large chef kitchen,” she said. “They want a whole designated area for their Peloton.”

“Now they want a large chef kitchen. They want a whole designated area for their Peloton.”

Puig, who works with clients on a $45,000 minimum budget charging a set project management fee of 20%, helps them pick out everything from flatware to sheets, things she said didn’t matter much pre-pandemic. They’re looking for things that were previously an afterthought, she added, like a Herman Miller desk instead of sitting at their counter to work.

“People who never thought their home would really be their ‘sanctuary,'” she said, “this is where they’re spending all their time.”

Investing in an adultlike home

After upgrading their spaces, many millennials looked at their new apartments as a long-term investment.

They may have been content with something from Ikea pre-pandemic, Puig said, but now they’re looking for forever pieces that they can transition from renting when they buy a home.

That was the case for Megan Falvey, who moved into a two-bedroom apartment in the Lower East Side with her hedge fund analyst boyfriend last July. Because living with a partner for the first time felt like a milestone, she said, she wanted to invest in long-term pieces and create a wholesome space that captured both his industrial taste and her boho style.

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Having someone who would “take care of everything was one of the luxuries of working with an interior designer,” Megan Falvey said.

“I didn’t want everything to be piecemeal together,” she said. “Living in New York, you want to have your own little sanctuary.”

Busy with work as the founder of a holistic education and tutoring firm, but wanting to have fun with the design and a quarantine hobby, she turned to Puig.

While her last apartment had college dorm vibes, as Falvey described it, her new apartment now feels like a home. “It’s like when I go home and visit my parents and everything is clean and comfortable and put together,” she said. “It’s kind of like coming into adulthood.”

Skipping the supply shortage

Some people have to be pushed into adulthood, though, and likewise, people who could afford to hire designers were pushed into their arms by the great supply crunch of the pandemic. Backlogged shipping ports, unpredictable consumer behavior, factory shutdowns, and some production-halting storms resulted in tight capacity and low inventory across many retail goods.

The ensuing furniture shortage sent the wealthy urban millennial into the hands of interior designers, Puig said, adding that they may have an eye for design but can’t find things they can get ASAP.

hollis loudon puig
Hollis Loudon Puig has worked with many millennial clients who struggled furnishing their places thanks to the supply shortage.

“Like with any New Yorker, everyone wants everything done yesterday,” she said.

“Like with any New Yorker, everyone wants everything done yesterday.”

“They’re moving into these places and they’re realizing that there is absolutely nothing out there that they can get to ship immediately.”

She said she’s stepped in as a sourcing agent to find something comparable that is available or have something made domestically in New York. Many people are bringing in interior designers to find what they can’t find on their own, but also to expedite the process so that they can more quickly utilize the space.

All the designers Insider spoke to mentioned that the supply shortages have resulted in longer lead times. A typical lead time of 90 days with a client for Puig has turned into six-month-long projects.

Smith said she ordered a client’s love seat in November, but it’s been pushed back at least three times, now expected to arrive in September. “Now that everything under the sun is on back order, all projects are probably taking twice as long,” she said.

The power of social media

For millennials, interior design is about more than just creating a pandemic-optimized home – it’s also informed and inspired by social media.

“Millennials are very into design and very aware of what’s around, because we’re all on social media all the time,” Beryl said. “Whereas when I have older clients, it’s a little bit easier to impress them because they haven’t necessarily been exposed to it.”

Boswell noted she’s seen a shift towards a more streamlined design, partly because a cleaner aesthetic is more refreshing and appealing after being home for so long, but also because it’s what’s popular on Instagram.

For influencers like DeSorbo and Martino, a good home space also serves as a big content piece, making interior design an investment in itself. Martino even found her designer on Instagram.

A post shared by Rachel Martino (@rachmartino)

The social media platform was another big reason why DeSorbo, the fashion influencer, brought Puig in. “People are always taking pictures in their apartment,” she said. “You want it to look cool.”

For DeSorbo, that would be a simple, chic, and clean design that could serve as a neutral background for her Instagram photos. “That was very high up on our list of making sure everything would match any outfit basically,” she said.

She added, “I can put an outfit together in a second, but if you ask me what matches the couch, I have no idea.”

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Meet the typical Gen Xer, America’s ‘forgotten middle child’ who earns more than everyone else but has the most debt at $136,000

gen x
Gen X is often overlooked.

If you haven’t heard much about Gen X, it’s because they’re known as “the forgotten generation.

Born between 1965 and 1980, Gen X has fallen to the wayside of the media darlings they’re bookended by – millennials and baby boomers. But Gen Xers are part of a resilient generation that’s expected to outnumber boomers in 2028.

They came of age as “latchkey kids” and, as adults, experienced three recessions and a technological transformation from the dot-com boom to social media. Now turning ages 41 to 56 this year, America’s “middle child” is in the middle of it all – mid-age and mid-career, juggling jobs with taking care of both children and aging parents.

This life stage means that Gen X is in their prime working and earning years, with the typical Gen X-led household earning more than any other generation. But it also means a lot of stress. It’s a prime time for buying big ticket items, like cars and houses, and with larger than average households, Gen X spends the most on consumer goods. It’s left them juggling more debt than other generations and unprepared for retirement.

Because of how they grew up and their mid-life commitments, most Xers feel confident in their ability to withstand crises and in their desire for a stable life.

Here’s what life looks like for the typical Xer.

Sandwiched between millennials and boomers, Gen Xers are America’s forgotten generation. Although smaller, they’re just as significant.

gen x

The Pew Research Center dubbed Gen X America’s “middle child” back in 2014 since they’re bookended by larger, very different generations. Millennials are the largest generation in the US, with 72.1 million members, whereas boomers are numbered at 71.6 million. There are only 65.2 million Gen Xers.

“Gen Xers are a low-slung, straight-line bridge between two noisy behemoths,” Pew stated.

As the media shines a spotlight on the larger two generations, Gen X often gets left in the dark. In a 2018 post for Forbes, Angela Woo, a Gen Xer, called her generation “the forgotten generation.” 

“Here we sit in this powerful time with money, resources, and influence, and we still aren’t in the mainstream conversation,” she wrote. “We’ve watched the culture interest shift from boomers to millennials like we’re a flyover state.”

The term Generation X itself was popularized in Douglas Coupland’s 1991 novel “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture,” which focuses on characters born after 1960 who don’t identify with the baby boom.

 

Their life experiences, which include beginning careers during the dot-com boom and living through three recessions, have made the typical Xer risk averse and cynical.

gen x

As Insider Xer Rebecca Knight wrote, “In the way that millennials love avocado toast and boomers are self-absorbed, Gen X is a group for whom cynicism is a love language.”

Xers, she said, were raised in the shadow of an economic downturn and in the era of “stranger danger.” They’ve also been shaped by three recessions: the dot-com bubble, the financial crisis, and the pandemic.

“They had their own brand of trauma, whether it be the recession or being latchkey kids who were left in front of the television or the fact that they were unable to get the kinds of jobs and career paths that their parents enjoyed because the economy had run out of steam,” Larry Samuel, the founder of Age Friendly Consulting, told Knight.

Gen X’s trademark cynicism and risk aversion has deep roots, Jason Dorsey, who runs the Center for Generational Kinetics, a research firm in Austin, Texas, also told Knight.

“Gen X came of age when all kinds of commitments and promises were broken,” he said. “Gen X saw their parents get laid off and all kinds of benefits get cut. Gen X is skeptical of whether or not Social Security will provide for their needs — or if it will even exist by the time they retire. There’s a lot going on with this generation because of what they experienced growing up.”

The culture of Gen X took cynicism mainstream as early as the late 1980s, when Gen X icon Winona Ryder deconstructed the high-school movie in “Heathers.” In the 1990s, Gen X culture glorified an attitude of skepticism, as with Richard Linklater’s film “Slacker” and Ben Stiller’s “Reality Bites,” and the alternative-rock boom led by Nirvana and other Seattle-based bands.

The typical Xer was hit hardest during the Great Recession wealthwise, but has also recovered the best.

brunch

Housing is a key way to build wealth, and Gen X homeowners suffered the most in home equity during the Great Recession, according to a Pew analysis of Fed data. But while the generation was disproportionately impacted, their wealth rebounded more than other generations as the economy recovered.

Pew attributes this to several reasons: Gen X’s home equity has doubled since 2010, their financial assets had a stronger recovery, and they’re still in their prime earning years. 

But some Xers felt they were still recovering from the financial crisis when the pandemic hit, per a 2020 poll by TD Ameritrade.

 

In the COVID recession, the typical Xer is struggling. Many lost at least some income during the pandemic.

Gen X retirement savings

Large numbers of Xers have lost income either partially or entirely during the pandemic. It explains why many have been struggling to keep up with routine household bills. US Census Bureau data from December showed that nearly 13 million Xers found it “very difficult” to pay bills. 

 

But the typical Gen X household earns more than any other generational household does – $106,173. That’s because they’re in their prime working and earning years.

Gen X

That refers to median income before taxes, per the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s 2019 Consumer Expenditure Survey (the most recent data available) . The typical boomer household earns the second most at $86,251, while the typical millennial household earns $79,514.

Still of prime working age, Xers are in their peak earning years, which enables them to save and boost their wealth. Gen X also has an above-average number of earners in their family, according to Insider Intelligence.

And they have a net worth of $168,600.

gen x men

That’s for a household led by someone in the 45-to-54 age bracket, per the Fed’s 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances (the most recent data available). While that only accounts for a portion of Xers, this age bracket still makes up the majority of the generation.

This number exceeds the overall household income median of $121,700, but falls short of the figures for boomers — $212,500 for 55-to-64 year-olds and $266,400 for 65-to-74 year-olds. Further data from the Federal Reserve Board for the third quarter of 2020 showed Xers hold 26.8% of total US household wealth, barely half the 53.2% held by boomers. 

That said, boomers have had more time to accumulate wealth. And Gen X still has more money than younger generations will have for years to come, according to Insider Intelligence.

This all means they have money to spend, and they do. The typical Xer drops an above-average amount of money in consumer categories, which reflects their large household size.

grocery shopping

An Xer household’s average annual expenditures totals $76,788, compared to the $63,036 total households spend. But they’re careful spenders — half reported cutting back on discretionary spending during the pandemic, and they’re always on the lookout for discounts.

Gen X is at a life stage where people can’t help but spend substantial amounts, and they also have more members in their household — 3.1, compared to the standard US household of 2.5 members, according to Census data.

 

It partly explains why Gen X has more debt than any other generation, which sits at an average of $136,869.

house for sale

In 2016, that average debt load was $124,972, according to a LendingTree report that analyzed over 140,000 credit reports for the four oldest generations. But over the next three years, Gen X increased their average debt burdens by nearly $12,000, equivalent to 10%.

Separately, an Insider and Morning Consult survey from 2019 found that more than half of Gen X has credit card debt. An Experian report from the same year found that the generation carries higher average balances than any other generation across all major debt categories except for personal loans.

Half of Gen Z is “caught in the middle of heavy-debt years,” the report states. It found that total average debt balances peak at age 44 and remain that way until age 48, when debt balances begin to shrink.

Gen X is currently in a life stage when people buy houses and cars, and some even still have student debt. Kristi Rodriguez, senior vice president of the Nationwide Retirement Institute at Nationwide Financial, told Insider Intelligence that some Xer parents are handling student debt for their kids, while others went back to school during the financial crisis to change their career path.

Pew noted that while debt signals access to credit and indicates financial security, Xers’ debt is heavier than that of the generations before them — especially without higher assets to offset it.

 

It’s no wonder, then, that the typical Xer is generally pretty stressed about their finances, particularly when it comes to credit card debt.

GettyImages 1084723604
Miami Beach, Tropical Beach Cafe credit card scanner.

Of the 54.5% of Gen Xers who carry credit card debt, 64.3% are stressed about it, per the Insider and Morning Consult survey. More than half of Xer respondents said that they were stressed “some” or “a lot” of the time when it comes to any type of debt, whether it be credit card, personal loan, or student loan debts.

The stress has given some members of the generation a negative outlook on their finances. When asked how they would rate their financial health, slightly more than 41% of Gen X said it’s not very good or not good at all. 

 

Financial stress may also stem from the fact that the typical Xer is a caregiver to either their children, their parents, or both.

genx quarantine

According Pew, 47% of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent over age 65  and are either raising a young child or providing financial support to a child over age 18.

Gen X caregivers are typically employed, with most saying caregiving has had at least one impact on their work, according to AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving. It’s also impacting their finances more so than older caregivers — many said they’ve stopped saving, dipped into savings, or taken on more debt.

Caregiving was an especially burdensome task during the pandemic, as parents had to homeschool children during remote learning and worry about their aging parents, who are in the high-risk group for coronavirus.

Gen X is so busy trying to do it all that they haven’t had much time to prepare for retirement. The typical Gen X household has about $64,000 saved for it – not nothing, but not enough to generate a lot of income.

gen x

This median retirement savings is according to The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS) in the last quarter of 2019, which found that 41% of Xers are afraid of outliving their money. Only one-quarter of Xers reported having $250,000 or more in retirement accounts.

The pandemic hasn’t helped. Three in ten Xers have said the pandemic has had a severe impact on planning for retirement.

An April 2020 supplement to the TCRS poll found more than a quarter of the generation weren’t saving for their retirement at the time. And a Morning Consult poll the following August found that only one-third of Xers rated their saving for retirement as “on track,” per Insider Intelligence. Many also raided their retirement accounts to cover expenses when the pandemic first hit.

Lack of retirement planning has a lot to do with budgeting, but Rodriguez said it’s also about Gen X’s lack of time.

“They are truly in the middle of their prime working years,” she said of Gen Z. “They’re trying to take care of their adult children and sometimes younger children. They’re also taking care of individuals older than them.”

Because they’re in the middle of all these middle-age commitments, the typical Xer prefers stability and the status quo. They feel their upbringing has made them able to weather the pandemic better than any other generation.

gen xers

Gen X were the among the least likely to have moved during the pandemic, the least likely to have lost a job, and the best at adapting their current jobs to remote work.

While some millennials embraced the YOLO economy and boomers rushed to exit the workforce during the pandemic, Xers decided to stay put, according to Insider’s Knight.

“Gen Xers aren’t making many seize-the-day decisions post-pandemic because of our stage of life and constraints,” she wrote. “We have kids firmly ensconced in schools, spouses or partners who also work, aging parents to care for, and home equity that’s needed for looming college-tuition payments.”

While some are moving, switching jobs, or going back to school, she added, the majority see post-pandemic life as business as usual. Megan Gerhardt, professor of leadership and management at Miami University, told Knight millennials and boomers have more freedom and flexibility during their current life stages.

In an opinion piece for NBC News, she wrote that Gen X is best equipped for the pandemic for three reasons: They’ve had experience riding out historic crises; weren’t raised with the overscheduled life of millennials, which has left millennials feeling directionless in a pandemic; and are well-incentivized to stay home to serve as a role model for the parents and children they’re caring for.

Alison Huff, an Xer who lives in Ohio with her husband, two kids, and elderly mother, told Knight she wouldn’t dream of moving or scaling back. “I sound like an old fogey, but I want stability,” she said. 

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Crypto’s reputation as a bank-free zone is pulling in LGBTQ and Black Americans who want to build wealth, report says

lgbtq rainbow
  • Crypto appeals to marginalized groups of Americans as a way to build wealth, USA Today reported Sunday.
  • In the LGBTQ community, 25% own crypto, compared with 23% for Black Americans and 13% overall, a Harris Poll found.
  • These groups feel traditional banks exclude or exploit them, and crypto is seen as an independent channel for investment.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Crypto is proving attractive to marginalized groups in the US who feel traditional financial institutions shun or take advantage of them, USA Today reported, citing data from Harris Poll.

Among the LGBTQ community, 25% own cryptocurrencies, compared with 13% of the general US public, the newspaper reported Sunday. For Black Americans, the figure is 23%, while for Hispanic people it’s 17%, but just 11% in the white population. The findings are from surveys conducted by Harris in June and July.

The survey found a significant proportion of such groups felt the banking and loans industry was unfair in how it treated them – 43% of Black people and 39% of LGBTQ people, compared with 28% of Americans overall.

In addition, a majority of Hispanic (66%), LGBTQ (59%), and Black (58%) Americans said they did not feel welcome in traditional financial institutions. They described those channels as “not meant for people like me” and agreed that cryptocurrencies give them a way to hold and build wealth elsewhere.

“There has been a long history of discrimination in investments,” Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema told USA Today. “And that could be why we have seen a wide demography of interest and inclusivity in crypto – because it’s new, open and seemingly has fewer barriers to entry.”

Digital currencies like bitcoin are decentralized, which means they do not have a central body governing their operations as most organizations do. That sets them apart from investments such as stocks or savings accounts, which are easier to track and regulate as they are offered by centralized financial service providers.

What is steering LGBTQ Americans to adopt crypto in higher proportion to the other marginalized groups appears to be their trust in crypto as a store of value. Only 20% of LGBTQ Americans said they are very concerned about the value of their crypto dissipating, compared with 50% of Black owners, 30% of white holders and 33% of the general public.

Digital payments provider Square is among companies backing efforts to educate marginalized groups about finance and to ensure access to financial services is open to them. In June, CEO Jack Dorsey’s fintech gave a grant of 1 bitcoin to Black Bitcoin Billionaire, which promotes education about crypto and wealth accumulation.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Family office launch guide: who to know when you’re opening or hiring for a family office

Todd Angkatavanich, Natasha Pearl, Bill Bjiesse, and Lisa Featherngill on a pink background.
Todd Angkatavanich, Natasha Pearl, Bill Bjiesse, and Lisa Featherngill.

  • As global wealth surges, more people want to start family offices to take control of their finances.
  • Insider spoke to more than a dozen industry insiders to compile a list of 21 must-know experts.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Whether they’re rags-to-riches entrepreneurs or old-money heirs, many of the wealthy have created their own family offices to oversee their assets.

Citi estimates that as many as 15,000 family offices have been created in the past two decades alone.

Insider spoke with more than a dozen family-office professionals to find out who the wealthy go to when deciding to set up their own shops. Whether they’re lawyers or wealth managers, here are 21 must-know family-office experts.

You can read our full story if you’re an Insider subscriber: These are the 21 advisors, accountants, and lawyers to know if you’re thinking about starting your own family office

Insider also rounded up some of the must-know executive recruiters in the space, as hiring top talent is key to maintaining wealth that lasts for generations.

Meet 8 top recruiters scouting talent for family offices as the secretive wealth managers to the world’s richest look to supercharge their investing prowess

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Joel Osteen’s taxes: What’s probably true and what isn’t

joel osteen lakewood church
This April 24, 2010 file photo shows Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen at Dodger Stadium during his “A Night of Hope” in Los Angeles.

  • Famed megachurch pastor Joel Osteen sparked ire online over claims he doesn’t pay taxes.
  • But he probably does pay taxes, especially on income made from his books.
  • Wealthy people in roles like Osteen’s often inspire backlash over their fortunes and positions.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Celebrity pastor and author Joel Osteen is drawing ire online over a Ferrari. Twitter users are up in arms over the car’s hefty price tag, which some claim is a whopping $325,000 (Osteen reportedly owns a Ferrari 458 Italia, according to the Houston Chronicle).

It also ignited debate over the summer’s hottest topic: taxes. Following the Ferrari incident, #TaxTheChurches started trending, alongside claims that Osteen does not pay taxes. Turns out, these claims probably aren’t exactly true.

“Joel Osteen pays lots and lots of taxes because his book sells,” Ryan Burge, a pastor and an associate professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University, told Insider.

Osteen, one of the country’s most famous pastors due to his wide-reaching broadcasts, books, and celebrity worshippers, hasn’t taken a salary from the Lakewood Church since 2005, according to the Houston Chronicle. Instead, royalties from his cadre of bestselling books likely pay for his lavish car and home, and experts told Insider that he likely pays taxes on them.

Rumors of his failure to pay taxes are likely conflated with the fact that his church – which reportedly can bring in upwards of $80 million in donations and has had $90 million in operating expenses – is largely exempt from paying taxes. The hullabaloo over Osteen’s car is another example of backlash, amidst historic inequality in the US, against the ultra-wealthy pastor, who is one of the most famous figures associated with “prosperity gospel” or the idea that financial success is the result of faith in God.

Joel Osteen Ministries did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Osteen makes a lot of money off books, and probably pays taxes on that income

The annual salary for Osteen’s role would be $200,000, according to the Indy Star, but he hasn’t drawn that in over a decade.

Osteen’s larger-than-life lifestyle is likely propped up by speaking engagements and royalties from his books, the first of which came out in 2004 and sold more than 8 million copies, according to Publisher’s Weekly. The Christian Post reported that the multi-million dollar deal for his second book was greater than the $8.5 million Pope John Paul II got.

In addition to his Ferrari, Osteen owns a $12 million home according to an extensive profile in the Houston Chronicle. He and his wife reportedly paid $247,000 in property taxes in 2017.

Churches pay little in taxes in the US

Churches like Texas’s Lakewood Church are largely tax exempt with the exception of paying payroll and social security taxes to their staff, according to Burge.

Jared Walczak, the vice president of State Projects at the Tax Foundation, said that clergy do pay taxes on their income. The only tax benefit open to clergy that most other people can’t take advantage of is a “parsonage allowance” – essentially a housing allowance.

“It is possible to exclude a certain amount from gross income if it is structured as either providing a parsonage for a pastor or providing an allowance for housing for a primary minister,” Walczak said. But he noted that that generally benefits ministers at smaller churches. According to the Chronicle, Osteen’s home is not designated as a parsonage.

The outcry over Osteen’s fortune is part of increased pressure on the wealthy to address widening gaps

While Osteen is probably paying taxes, the outrage over wealth inequality and unfair taxation comes during a moment of reckoning.

The pandemic revealed – and, in many cases, worsened – the gaps between the wealthiest and poorest members of American society. While millions of Americans lost their jobs (and, in some cases, the unemployment benefits keeping them afloat), it was revealed that the wealthiest taxpayers had been hiding billions from the IRS.

Osteen’s church saw its own finger-pointing amidst the debate over who, or what, merited government subsidies when it came under fire for receiving a $4.4 million loan from the Paycheck Protection Plan. The news inspired backlash, especially amidst Osteen’s accumulation of personal wealth and the church’s operating budget and donation apparatus.

In a statement to media outlets, David Iloff, a spokesperson for the church, said that the church hadn’t applied for assistance at first, but eventually sought it out as pandemic-induced closures dragged on. Iloff said that the church was able to pay out salaries and health benefits to employees with the loan.

Walczak points out that service organizations like religious institutions or nonprofits are often obvious targets of anger over “ostentatious wealth.”

“You will always have individuals, whether they are ministers or leaders of other organizations who attract negative attention for this, and that’s unsurprising. But that doesn’t mean that there is a tax issue.”

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Meet the typical 40-year-old millennial, who has $128,000 in debt, is not nearly as wealthy as their parents were, and is known as ‘geriatric’

millennial
The oldest millennials turn 40 this year.

The oldest millennials enter middle age this year.

The generation turns ages 25 to 40 in 2021, per the Pew Research Center’s definition. Like everyone, millennials are aging. But it’s a hard concept to grasp when the media narrative has painted millennials as young, frivolous 20-somethings who love selfies and can’t afford anything because they spend too much money on avocado toast.

It’s an inaccurate picture of the entire generation, which has been shaped by technological advancements and a broken economy. But the typical 40-year-old millennial especially doesn’t quite align with this image. Many feel they embody some characteristics of both Gen X and millennials, having experience with both analog and digital worlds.

Millennials are known for battling a series of economic challenges, from student debt to the Great Recession. The typical 40-year-old millennial bore the brunt of the financial crisis, leaving them with less wealth and more debt than past generations at their age. But, compared to their younger generational peers, they have less student debt and are more likely to own homes and have kids – a sign that many have been able to recover from the financial fallout.

Here’s what life looks like for the typical 40-year-old millennial.

The typical 40-year-old millennial was one of those hardest hit by the Great Recession.

40 year old millennial

When the 2007 financial crisis began, the 40-year-old millennial was 26, an age at which most of the generation hadn’t yet accumulated substantial wealth. It’s this cohort that bore the true brunt of the financial crisis,which left lingering effects a dozen years later when the coronavirus recession rolled around.

From the very beginning of their careers, they entered a dismal labor market that set them up for a long recovery.

“Millennials have lifelong damage, given the severity of the Great Recession,” Mark Muro, a senior fellow and policy director at the Brookings Institution, previously told Insider, adding that “older millennials were squarely hammered.”

 

Their early post-graduate years were marked by a tough job market that led to wage stagnation. The typical 40-year-old millennial earns $73,000 a year.

office worker

Boomers earned around $72,000 at that age, while Gen X earned around $68,000, according to a Bloomberg analysis of Federal Reserve data. That is all to say: wages have remained stagnant since 1989.

Wages haven’t kept up with soaring living costs for everything from healthcare to housing, creating a financial imbalance that’s been difficult for the 40-year-old millennial to rectify.

 

It’s made building wealth difficult. With a net worth of $91,000, the typical 40-year-old millennial is only 80% as wealthy as their parents were at their age.

Stressed woman

At age 40, Gen X was worth $94,000. Boomers held $112,000 in wealth at that age, per Bloomberg.

But the oldest millennials are catching up. A 2018 St. Louis Fed study originally found that those born in the 1980s have median levels 34% below older generations, causing the Fed to deem them at risk of becoming a “lost generation” for wealth accumulation.

“Not only is their wealth shortfall in 2016 very large in percentage terms, but the typical 1980s family actually lost ground in relative terms between 2010 and 2016, a period of rapidly rising asset values that buoyed the wealth of all older cohorts,” the 2018 report read.

A follow-up study in 2021 found 1980s millennials gained some ground, narrowing their wealth deficit to 11%. “It turns out that millennials may not be as ‘lost’ as we once thought,” according to the report. 

 

 

They also have $128,000 in debt. While some of this may be from student loans, they don’t carry the weight of student debt as much as younger millennials

Student loan debt

This debt is way more than what Gen X and boomers had at age 40 — $94,000 and $112,000, respectively, per Bloomberg.

One might first look to student loans as the source of this debt. College tuition has more than doubled since the 1980s, and student-loan debt reached a national high of $1.5 trillion in 2019. Many millennials are shouldering their share of this burden.

The typical 40-year-old millennial entered college in 1999, and graduated in 2003 (under a typical four-year plan). According to an analysis by the research team at Education Data, 73% of students graduating that year took out a student loan. That year, the average debt at graduation per student was $16,070, equivalent to $22,170 today.

But that’s not as much as the typical youngest millennial, who turns 25 this year. They graduated with about $29,500 in student debt.

 

It’s likely a good chunk of that debt comes from a mortgage. The typical 40-year-old millennial owns a home.

house

According to an Insider analysis of 2019 American Community Survey microdata from the University of Minnesota’s IPUMS program, 61.9% of 40-year-old millennials (who were 38 when the survey was taken) own a home.

However, that’s still lower than previous generations at that age: 68% of Gen X and 66% for boomers. As housing prices climbed over the years, millennials began renting longer and buying later. While some have finally been able to afford a house amid low interest rates during pandemic, the demand has exacerbated a historic housing shortage that has pushed homeonwership further out of reach for other millennials.

The homeowning life stage means that most 40-year-old millennials have a mortgage. It aligns with previous findings from an Insider and Morning Consult survey, which found that’s it not just student-loan debt millennials are swimming in. A mortgage is typically their biggest debt, according to the survey. 

 

They also have kids. Achieving these standard life milestones is a sign that many have caught up from the delayed effects of the Great Recession.

mother baby

“The oldest millennials delayed many of the traditional markers of adulthood, such as marriage, kids, and buying homes, as they went through the eye of the Great Recession and the long and uneven recovery afterward,” Jason Dorsey, a consultant and president of the Center for Generational Kinetics, previously told Insider

As millennials delay marriage and homeownership, they’ve delayed childbearing until they they felt more financially sound. More women are having kids at a later age than ever.

But as of 2019, 66% of 40-year-old millennials (who were 38 at the time), have kids, according Insider’s analysis of 2019 American Community Survey microdata from the University of Minnesota’s IPUMS program.

But the typical 40-year-old millennial dissociates from their generation. Caught between Gen X and millennials, they almost feel generationless.

older millennial

As Alisha Tillery wrote for Shondaland, being the oldest millennial “is to be an outlier of sorts, to really have no generation to identify with at all, yet be perfectly okay with not fitting into one box or the other.”

“We are caught in a tight space that remembers the days of old (before Google, Facebook, and YouTube), but is also intrigued by the future and a new way of doing things,” she added.

Jessica Guinn Johnson, an attorney in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, born in 1981, told Tillery, “I never found that I fit in the millennial mold, but identified more with Gen X.”

Robert L. Reece, a University of Texas-Austin sociology professor, told Tillery there’s validity in classifying oneself as a millennial but not identifying with the typical characteristics of the generation.

It explains why the 40-year-old millennial is largely seen as being part of a microgeneration, for which there have been many names.

geriatric millennial

As Tillery wrote, some millennials feel they better identify with the cusper (someone who straddles two generations) term Xennial. It describes a micro-generation “that serves as a bridge between the disaffection of Gen X and the blithe optimism of millennials,” Sarah Stankorb wrote for Good Magazine in 2014.

In a Medium article that went viral in the spring, author and leadership expert Erica Dhawan called the micro-generation that the 40-year-old millennial falls into “geriatric millennials,” which she defines as those born between 1980 and 1985. What sets them apart, she recently told Insider, is their experience with technology.

 

The typical 40-year-old millennial remembers PCs, the days of early dial-up, and MySpace, but also feels comfortable on TikTok and Clubhouse.

clubhouse app

Whereas younger millennials don’t know a world without digital tools as a primary form of communication, the eldest millennials remember when they were very primitive.

“They were the first generation to grow up with a PC in their homes. They joined the first social media communities on Facebook and MySpace. They remember dial-up connections, collect calls, and punch cards,” Dhawan previously told Insider, adding they also remember things like Napster for burning CDs, as well as the regular flip phone. 

But while they’re fluent in the early days of the internet and digital technology, they’ve also been able to easily adapt to newer forms of digital media, like TikTok, which may be unfamiliar to older generations like baby boomers and commonplace among younger generations like Gen Z.

“This is a unique cohort that straddles digital natives and digital adapters,” Dhawan said.

 

But straddling a digital divide means the typical 40-year-old millennial is an asset in the workforce.

business meeting

With the skills of both older and younger generations, Dhawan said, they can bridge communication styles in the workplace.

For example, she said, a geriatric millennial would know to send a Slack message to a Gen Z co-worker instead of calling them out of the blue, which they might find alarming. But they would also know to be mindful of an older co-worker’s video background and help walk them through such technology.

“They can help straddle the divide,” she said. “They can teach traditional communication skills to some of those younger employees and digital body language to older team members.”

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I own 2 Hamptons hot spots that have been booked solid for a month. People will do just about anything to snag a table, from flashing cash to pretending they know me.

Provided by Zach Erdem restaurant owner the Hamptons Blu Mar 75 Main
Since reopening in June, restaurant owner Zach Erdem says demand in the Hamptons has skyrocketed.

  • Zach Erdem is the owner of 75 Main and Blu Mar, two hotspot restaurant and bar destinations in Southampton, New York.
  • His restaurants reopened at full capacity on June 1, and have been booked solid ever since.
  • Here’s what it’s like running his restaurants post-pandemic, as told to freelance writer Jenny Powers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Reopening my restaurants felt as if we’d all suddenly been released from a year-long cage, and now everyone is trying to make up for lost time.

The Hamptons are filled with people who aren’t used to hearing ‘no.’ With much fewer restaurants, bars, and clubs than places like Manhattan or Miami, the demand has skyrocketed beyond belief, and people are going to greater lengths to get in and be seen. I’ve never seen anything like it.

On a typical weekend at 75 Main, we serve between 1,200 and 1,400 people a day, and still manage to have a packed bar and a line out the door.

75 Main the Hamptons Zach Erdem crowd
A typical line during the weekend outside of 75 Main.

Reservations are filled weeks in advance for 75 main, and at Blu Mar every weekend all summer is already fully booked. Walk-ins can try their luck and hope for a cancellation – some people wait for over an hour for the chance to score a table.

For the first time ever, I’m telling servers to not even suggest coffee or dessert unless the party specifically requests it. I’ve also instructed servers to drop the check off shortly after the entree comes out on weekends to speed up turnover.

These days everybody claims to know me – women come in and pretend they’re my sister or girlfriend.

Zach Erdem Blu Mar
Erdem says complete strangers claim to know him to try to get into the restaurants.

Strangers come to the door and insist they’ve been coming here forever. Sometimes I’m standing right there, and they don’t even know it’s me because they have no idea what I look like.

I have a code with the staff. If I give them a thumbs up, they can let them in but if I raise two fingers, it’s a no. Let’s just say there’s more raised fingers than thumbs up this season.

One of the more creative ruses to get into Buddha Lounge at Blu Mar happened recently when a guy approached the doorman, showing him a fake text conversation supposedly between me and him along the lines of “Skip the line and tell the doorman I said to let you know in to VIP, no cover charge.”

It worked, but later that night the doorman pointed out my so-called friend and I’d never seen him in my life. I walked up, introduced myself, and said while I was impressed with his resourcefulness and he was free to enjoy his night, he should never come back again.

While making up stories and offering tips to gain entry is nothing new in hospitality, people are taking it to a bold new level this season.

Blu Mar the Hamptons  Zach Erdem
A busy weekend brunch hour at Blu Mar.

People have gone so far as to ask staff for their Venmo handle to send them money, or ask what their favorite store is and then drop off a gift card to curry favor.

I had a gentleman come into 75 Main one weekend and request a table for four for dinner. The dining room was completely packed, so I told him he could wait at the bar for a table to open in an hour or so.

He asked if he bought the most expensive bottle of wine we had, which was $1,500, could I find a way to seat him right away? I wasn’t sure he was serious, but he purchased the wine and no sooner did we uncork the bottle than a table opened up. I cut the line and gave him the table. Everyone was happy.

Flashing cash is just the tip of the iceberg – we have one diner who regularly gives our hostesses vintage jewelry she no longer wears.

Other guests have offered private helicopter rides, jaunts on million-dollar yachts, and even weeklong stays in lavish guest homes.

When it comes to our regulars, I’ll do anything I can to accommodate them. When they get served and I get paid, it’s a win-win. I want to ensure my loyal customers are happy because at the end of the day, we’re planning on sticking around for the long haul.

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