The one thing most self-made millionaires do when they wake up

Following is a transcript of the video.

Tom Corley: What I found in my research is that in the morning, this is where self-made millionaires really create a lot of their wealth. They invest in themselves in the morning and what do they do? They do things like meditation. They do things like brainstorming – they’re brainstorming over obstacles, problems, issues that they are having either in pursuing their dreams or their goals or in their business or in their career.

They’re also reading what I call facts. They’re studying facts. And the reason to why they study the facts is they do this so that they can maintain their knowledge base and improve their knowledge base. They’re also trying to read uplifting, motivational, inspirational things to get them in the right mindset and this is so important. I’ve mentioned several times in my articles, if you have a positive mental outlook, then you have a greater chance of being successful in life and in order to get that positive mental outlook, sometimes you got to do certain things to put you over the top and one of them is meditation, the other one is reading inspirational, uplifting information.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in December 2017

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The Fed didn’t just make America’s rich richer during the pandemic. The world’s wealthy class got a boost.

Jerome Powell reads document while speaking in front of the Senate.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell testifies about the CARES Act report on December 1, 2020.

  • It wasn’t just rich Americans that profited from Fed-fueled market rallies. The global elite benefitted, too.
  • Rate cuts sparked a buying spree in the housing market and led investors to bid stocks higher.
  • As the Fed goes, so goes the world’s economy, and the fortunes of the global elite.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Federal Reserve saved the economy during the pandemic, and, in doing so, made America’s wealthy class wealthier.

But they aren’t alone. The entire global elite benefited from the actions America’s central bank took to prevent economic catastrophe.

The global rebound from virus-fueled recession has featured extraordinary rallies across asset classes. Global stocks surged 33% above pre-pandemic levels and home prices rocketed higher all across the globe.

Both trends were largely powered by the Fed. The central bank pulled interest rates close to zero and started buying Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities in March 2020 to bolster financial markets and encourage spending.

The emergency actions indirectly boosted major markets. Expectations for years of easy monetary conditions led investors to furiously bid stocks higher. The rate cuts also kicked off a homebuying frenzy as people rushed to lock in rock-bottom mortgage rates.

The Fed led the way, and similar outlooks from other central banks saw such activity spread around the world. Global home prices rose at the fastest pace in four decades and show “little sign of stopping,” JPMorgan economists led by Joseph Lupton said Monday. Intense home-price growth emerged in the US, Turkey, Russia, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and Czechia, they added.

The global stock and housing rallies padded the pockets of those best prepared to weather the pandemic. The world’s wealthy class has the most exposure to both markets. And unlike the late 2000s, the global elite is benefitting from two market surges at once.

JPM
Chart via JPMorgan

Not quite déjà vu

The Great Recession saw home prices nosedive as the US housing bubble popped. JPMorgan’s home-price index nearly halved through the crisis before recovering over several years.

Things are different this time.

Instead of plummeting like in 2008, home prices in developed economies bounced to fresh highs throughout the pandemic. And while global stock prices have retraced some of their recent gains, they still sit well above their pre-COVID highs. Central bank policy, then, is serving to prop up the global wealthy class more than in the late 2000s.

That surge brings new risks to central banks already in crisis mode, JPMorgan said. For one, leaping home prices could lift housing-service prices and drive inflation to uncomfortable highs.

Periods of outstanding home-price appreciation are also associated with greater borrowing and heightened risk. That could raise fears of another market bubble just as central banks are looking to pare back their aid, the bank said.

“With the Global Financial Crisis still fresh in central bank thinking, the ongoing surge in house prices with little sign of abating adds to the risk of an earlier removal of monetary policy supports,” the team added.

And while the Fed hasn’t yet changed its policy stance, some officials have raised concerns around how easy money is affecting the housing market.

The Fed’s purchases of mortgage-backed securities could be having “some unintended consequences and side effects,” Robert Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said in May.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard was even clearer in his worry.

“Maybe we don’t need to be in mortgage-backed securities with a booming housing market,” Bullard said on CNBC in June. “We don’t want to get back in the housing bubble game that caused us a lot of distress in the 2000s.”

Finally, there was one striking example of the wealthy possibly benefitting from monetary policy decisions made by the central bank: stock trades by Fed officials themselves.

Kaplan and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren announced last week they would sell all of their individual stock holdings by September 30 after disclosures of their trading during the pandemic prompted ethics concerns. Kaplan caught flak for several trades worth at least $1 million, while Rosengren held stakes in four real estate investment trusts. Nonetheless, the trades happened amid a stock boom the Fed helped create.

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Wealthy millennials are blowing their pandemic savings on $200,000 postponed weddings

weddingg
Wealthy millennials are spending big on their delayed weddings.

Finally ready to have the wedding they put on the back burner last year, some wealthy millennials are now doubling the price tag of saying ‘I do.’

It’s partly out of desire and partly out of necessity, reported Jeanna Smialek for The New York Times: They’ve been able to save discretionary money during the pandemic to blow on celebrations, but vendors are also inflating prices to recoup their losses after the wedding industry hit pause in 2020. It’s fueling a wedding boom that experts expect to last through 2023 as couples compete with one another for venues and vendors amid a backlog of nuptials, she wrote.

“People were postponing, and now they have more savings,” New York wedding planner Magdalena Mieczkowska told Smialek. She said that her clients typically spent $100,000 per event before the pandemic. Now, some are spending at least $200,000 for a weekend.

Prices for catered meals and cutlery rentals are also higher, she added: “Everyone is trying to make up for their financial losses from the 2020 season.”

While the economy was shut down, six-figure earning millennials fortunate enough to retain their jobs during the pandemic spent a year tucking away excess cash that normally would’ve been spent on brunches or plane tickets. A financial adviser told Insider last summer that clients of this ilk were saving as much as $3,000 a month in some cases.

Coupled with the fact that wealthy millennials are part of a generation that is America’s largest and that holds the most spending power, these hefty savings have put the cohort in a prime position to help drive the US’ economic recovery. Spending lavishly on weddings is just one way they’re stimulating the economy.

Wedding expectations – and costs – are on the rise

Weddings have never been cheap, becoming increasingly expensive alongside the rise of social media. In 2019, prior to the pandemic, the average cost to get married in the US was $38,700. But that differs based on location. In the New York City metro area, for example, the average wedding cost was $50,000.

And multiple wedding ceremonies – a rising pre-pandemic trend among wealthy millennials who had a destination wedding or came from different cultural and religious backgrounds – easily threw those numbers into the six-figure range.

That doesn’t even include the cost of the engagement ring and the honeymoon, which clock in at an average of $5,000 and $4,500 respectively. The latter is yet another way wealthy millennials are set to help boost the economy. They’re most likely to spend their pandemic savings on travel, so it only makes sense that they’d be willing to splurge on an equally lavish honeymoon.

To be sure, the Delta surge could put a halt to such travel plans. It’s also, on the other side of the spectrum, prompted couples to plan smaller weddings.

Marvin Alexander, a makeup artist in New York City, told Smialek that many of the last minute wedding bookings he’s done have been for more “modest” and “smaller” events. “I’m starting to see a few people being more comfortable about 2022, even with the Delta variant strong on our heels,” he said.

But regardless of whether millennials are tying the knot in ways big or small, that they’re even getting hitched at all this year is acting as one piece of the economy’s recovery.

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Under Biden’s plan, the top 1% of Americans would pay an extra $100,000 in taxes every year

biden amtrak
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.

  • Biden wants to increase taxes on the highest-earning Americans to offset his spending plans.
  • His proposed increases would basically only impact the top of 1% of Americans, according to a report.
  • Biden’s tax proposals aren’t final, and his proposed capital gains increase may not go up that much.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Under President Joe Biden’s proposed tax increases, the top 1% of Americans could soon see their tax bills grow by about $100,000 per year.

A new report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) finds that only the highest-earning Americans would see their taxes change if President Biden’s proposed increases to the income tax rate and capital gains rate pass. That change is concentrated amongst the top 1%, defined as those with an income over $681,600 (their average income is $2,167,700). The bottom 99% of taxpayers would see a 0% tax change, it said.

On average, the highest earners would see an increase of $104,130 in taxes, coming in at around 4.8% of their income. For those making between $276,200 to $681,600 – an average income of $404,100 – the average tax increase would be $20 a year.

Some states will be hit harder than others by tax increases

In a few states, a larger share of the population would feel the impact of proposed tax hikes. The report highlights that in five states – and the District of Columbia – a more than 1% share of the population would feel a hit.

Those are New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, California, and New York. In Massachusetts and New Jersey, 1.2% of the population would be affected by tax hikes. The wealthiest New York City residents will soon have the highest tax rate in the country regardless, per Insider’s Hillary Hoffower.

Biden’s proposals target the wealthy, but they’re not final

Biden’s latest tax proposals explicitly target the highest-earning Americans to offset the costs of multibillion-dollar investments in childcare, education, and paid leave. He’s also proposed raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% to offset investments in infrastructure like roads and bridges.

Beyond increases, the IRS could also get about $80 billion in funding to ramp up enforcement on the wealthiest taxpayers, as Biden is proposing. A recent study by IRS researchers and academics found that the top 1% of Americans may be hiding billions from the IRS; Biden’s increased IRS funding could raise $700 billion over a decade, which would still leave the wealthy hiding hundreds of billions.

Of course, the package still has a long way to go before becoming law. A Morgan Stanley research note looked at Biden’s proposals versus what they predict as possible, and said the corporate tax rate and rate on capital gains will ultimately come in lower. However, the income tax rate increase and IRS enforcement will likely be as Biden proposes.

“Look, I’m not out to punish anyone. But I will not add to the tax burden of the middle class of this country,” Biden said in a Wednesday speech to the joint session of Congress.

He added: “When you hear someone say that they don’t want to raise taxes on the wealthiest 1% and on corporate America – ask them: whose taxes are you going to raise instead, and whose are you going to cut?”

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Richer countries have most available vaccine doses as the global recovery becomes K-shaped

vaccination
A woman receives the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the US, which is ahead of vaccination compared to other countries.

  • The wealthiest countries are vaccinating 25 times faster than the poorest countries, per Bloomberg.
  • Wealthier countries were snapping up doses in November, creating a vaccine shortage.
  • Poorer countries may not have enough vaccine supply until 2024, a Duke University analysis found.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The vaccine race has intensified wealth inequality across the globe.

Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker found that the world’s wealthiest countries are vaccinating at 25 times the rate of the poorest countries. The database has thus far tracked more than 726 million doses administered in 154 countries.

So far, per the tracker, about 5% of the global population is able to get fully vaccinated. But the vaccines have been unevenly distributed, with 40% going to 27 wealthy countries that comprise 11% of the global population and 1.6% going to the countries comprising the poorest 11%.

Consider Pakistan. It has 2.7% of the world’s population, but has only received 0.1% of the vaccines. Meanwhile, the US, which accounts for 4.3% of the world’s population, has nearly a quarter of the world’s vaccines.

As of Thursday, the US has vaccinated nearly 20% of its population. It’s set to have enough vaccines for 75% of Americans by the end of June, per Bloomberg.

The pandemic has widened many wealth gaps

Patchy vaccine distribution is just the latest way the pandemic is exacerbating wealth inequality. In the US, the divide between the rich and the poor deepened as the economy’s recovery turned K-shaped, with higher-earning Americans recovering and lower-income Americans continuing to struggle.

From nabbing coronavirus tests when there was a shortage during the first stages of the pandemic to taking advantage of loopholes to get vaccinated early, the system has been working for the wealthy since the pandemic began.

The same dynamic has manifested on a global scale. While the global economy is expected to grow by 6% in 2021, according to IMF’s World Economic Outlook, that growth is projected to be uneven. Lower-income countries are expected to see an average annual loss of 5.7% per capita GDP from 2020 to 2024, but advanced economies will see a smaller loss of 2.3% in the same time frame.

“Recoveries are diverging dangerously across and within countries,” wrote Gita Gopinath, chief economist for the IMF.

Wealthier countries were snapping up “billions of doses” as early as November, reported The Washington Post’s Emily Rauhala, creating a supply shortage for poorer countries that could last until 2024.

She cited an analysis from researchers at Duke University’s Global Health Innovation Center that suggested these priority-supply deals between countries and drug manufacturers were undermining the World Health Organization’s initiative to equitably distribute vaccines.

The Biden administration committed $4 billion in February to Covax, a global vaccine alliance dedicated to ensuring equitable vaccine distribution, to help bolster the worldwide vaccine effort. More than 190 countries are participating.

“It’s unconscionable,” Zain Rizvi, an expert on access to medicine at Public Citizen, told Rauhala in a follow-up story. “Many countries will be lucky if by the end of the year they are close to where the US is now.”

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Millionaire New Yorkers are now set to pay the highest taxes in the country

wealthy new yorkers
The wealthiest New Yorkers might see their tax rates increase to the highest in the country.

New York City millionaires will soon be subject to the highest tax rate in the country.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders finalized a $212 billion budget proposal for 2022 on Tuesday that’s set to raise an extra $4.3 billion a year by raising income and corporate taxes, The New York Times’ Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Jesse McKinley reported. The proposal calls for two new personal income-tax brackets, set to expire by the end of 2027, per exclusive details given to the Times earlier this week.

Those earning between $5 million and $25 million will be taxed on 10.3% of their income. That increases to 10.9% for those earning more than $25 million. And individuals raking in over $1 million and couples bringing in over $2 million will see tax rates climb from 8.82% to 9.65%.

These tax rates hit especially hard for New York City’s highest earners. The city already has a top income-tax rate of 3.88%, which means they’ll now be shelling out between 13.5% and 14.8% in both state and city taxes. That exceeds the highest top marginal income tax rate in the country: 13.3% for top earners in California.

However, they may not be the highest taxed for long if Hawaii’s legislature passes a bill imposing a 16% tax on residents earning over $200,000.

New York is dealing with economic pain

Cuomo said in January he planned on raising taxes if the White House didn’t help the state recover from its $15 billion deficit, Insider’s Grace Dean reported. It’s the highest deficit in New York’s history, exceeding the previous high of $10 billion, which Cuomo said was “very, very hard” to manage.

In an address, Cuomo attributed New York’s deficit to the state being “assaulted by the federal government” in recent years as well as to the cost of COVID-19, which caused the state’s revenues to fall by $5.1 billion.

As the epicenter of the US’ first wave of COVID-19, New York City was slammed with small-business closures and saw many of its top-earning residents move to take advantage of lower taxes in other states. Urbanism expert Richard Florida told Insider the flight of the wealthy caused a lot of financial pain for superstar cities like New York.

Cuomo called for the federal government to provide New York with emergency pandemic relief. He said that if Washington gave the state only $6 billion in a “worst-case scenario,” he would hike taxes to cover the difference.

“We have a plan in place, a strength that we have not had before and I believe our future is bright, but Washington must act fairly if we are to emerge on the other side of this crisis,” he said.

While Democrats considered raising more than $7 billion in new revenue for the state, The Times reported, such discussions fell to the side when President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package was approved, which included $12.9 billion in direct aid for New York state. It also included $5.6 billion for New York City, which Insider’s Juliana Kaplan reported might have saved catastrophic cuts to the city budget.

Cuomo has resisted raising taxes for years out of fear it would drive businesses and the wealthy to other states. If all of the wealthiest New Yorkers fled the city, they could take more than $133 billion with them. That’s how much the top 1% of New Yorkers earned in income in 2018, a report from Bloomberg found.

The Times attributed Cuomo’s change of mind to the economic fallout of the pandemic, a growing progressive influence in the legislature, and the governor’s own “waning influence.”

The budget proposal is finalized as Biden reportedly gets even more serious about taxing the wealthy. He’s said that Americans making over $400,000 will see a “small to significant” tax increase and high-earning Americans could see their top income-tax rate increase to 39%.

If Biden’s tax proposal is enacted now that Cuomo’s has been, that means some of the richest New York City dwellers could be paying out more than half of their earnings in taxes.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Millionaire New Yorkers could soon be paying the highest taxes in the country

wealthy new yorkers
The wealthiest New Yorkers might see their tax rates increase to the highest in the country.

New York City millionaires are about to fall under the highest tax rate in the country.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders are coming close to agreeing on a 2022 budget proposal that would create an extra $4.3 billion a year by raising income and corporate taxes, The New York Times’ Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Jesse McKinley reported. The proposal calls for two new personal income tax brackets set to expire by the end of 2027, per exclusive details given to the Times.

Those earning between $5 million and $25 million would be taxed on 10.3% of their income. That increases to 10.9% for those earning over $25 million. And individuals raking in over $1 million and couples bringing in over $2 million would see tax rates climb from 8.82% to 9.65%.

These tax rates hit especially hard for New York City’s highest earners. The city already has a top income tax rate of 3.88%. If the budget proposal is approved, they would be shelling out between 13.5% and 14.8% in both state and city taxes, per the Times. That exceeds the country’s current marginal income tax rate high: 13.3% for top earners in California.

New York is dealing with economic pain

Cuomo said in January he planned on raising taxes if the White House didn’t help the state recover from its $15 billion deficit, Insider’s Grace Dean reported. It’s the highest deficit in New York’s history, she wrote. The state’s biggest deficit prior to this was $10 billion, which Cuomo said was “very very hard” to manage.

In an address, Cuomo attributed New York’s deficit to the state being “assaulted by the federal government” over recent years as well as to the cost of COVID-19, which caused the state’s revenues to fall by $5.1 billion.

As the epicenter of the US’ first wave of COVID-19, New York City was slammed with small business closures and saw many of its top-earning residents move to take advantage of taxes in other states. Urbanism expert Richard Florida told Insider the flight of the wealthy caused a lot of financial pain for superstar cities like New York.

Cuomo called for the federal government to provide New York with emergency pandemic relief. He said that if Washington only gave the state $6 billion in a “worst-case scenario,” he would hike taxes to cover the difference.

“We have a plan in place, a strength that we have not had before and I believe our future is bright, but Washington must act fairly if we are to emerge on the other side of this crisis,” he said.

While Democrats considered raising more than $7 billion in new revenue for the state, the Times reported, such discussions fell to the side when President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package was approved, which included $12.9 billion in direct aid for New York state. It also included $5.6 billion for New York City, which Insider’s Juliana Kaplan reported may have saved catastrophic cuts to the city budget.

Cuomo has resisted raising taxes for years out of fear it would drive businesses and the wealthy to other states. If all of the wealthiest New Yorkers fled the city, they could take more than $133 billion with them. That’s how much the top 1% of New Yorkers earned in income in 2018, a report from Bloomberg found.

The Times attributed Cuomo’s change of mind to the economic fallout of the pandemic, a growing progressive influence in the legislature, and the governor’s own “waning influence.”

The budget proposal is due to be finalized as Biden reportedly gets even more serious about taxing the wealthy. He’s said that Americans making over $400,000 will see a “small to significant” tax increase and high-earning Americans could see their top income-tax rate increase to 39%.

If both Biden and Cuomo’s tax proposals are enacted, that means the richest New York City dwellers could be paying out more than half of their earnings in taxes.

Read the original article on Business Insider

7 signs you’re rich, even if it doesn’t feel like it

business woman
  • “Rich” doesn’t necessarily mean owning a huge mansion or taking luxury vacations.
  • You’re wealthy if you can afford to save money every month and are on track to retire when you want to.
  • Another sign you’re wealthy is being able to make choices based on what you want, not just your financial needs.
  • Visit Personal Finance Insider’s homepage for more stories.

“Rich” is relative.

Maybe you think it means being in the top 1% of earners in some of the wealthiest cities in the US. Maybe it means being able to buy a flashy mansion or spend your life flitting from luxury vacation to luxury vacation.

But former investment banker Kristin Addis told Insider she feels richer earning about 40% of her previous six-figure salary while she travels the world. Nick and Dariece Swift, who also left their jobs to make a fraction of their former income, said they’re happier earning less. The self-made millionaire stars of “West Texas Investor’s Club” say their relationships are more valuable than the money they earn.

Ultimately, “rich” can be just as subjective as “happy” – it’s different for everyone. However, there are a few universal indications of wealth, no matter how you view it.

1. You can save money

“Most people fail to realize that in life, it’s not how much money you make. It’s how much money you keep,” writes Robert Kiyosaki in “Rich Dad Poor Dad.”

At the end of the day, money does not solve financial problems – in fact, it often exacerbates them. Consider the lottery winners who lost it all within a few years, or the professional athletes who made millions in their 20s and wound up broke.

“Money often makes obvious our tragic human flaws, putting a spotlight on what we don’t know,” says Kiyosaki. “That is why, all too often, a person who comes into a sudden windfall of cash – let’s say an inheritance, a pay raise, or lottery winnings – soon returns to the same financial mess, if not worse, than the mess they were in before.” 

If you can hold on to a portion of the money you earn, you’re in good shape.

2. You can live comfortably below your means

Living below your means is one of the major tenets of responsible money management: spending less than you earn, however much that may be.

Self-made billionaire Anthony Hsieh told Insider that learning to live within his means was a lesson he learned from his parents, who immigrated to the US from Taiwan.

The habit “has helped me quite a bit and that’s one of the reasons I’ve survived and flourished in consumer lending for 30 years,” he said. “My career spans four different economic and housing cycles and I’m still sitting at the table as a key executive in consumer lending. I think part of that is my discipline of making certain that the company and myself don’t overspend.”

Living within your means might not sound like a big deal if you’re already doing it, but not everyone can manage. A 2019 report released by GOBankingRates found that a third of Americans surveyed are living paycheck to paycheck.

3. You will eventually be able to pay for the things you really want 

If you can go out and buy a yacht in cash today, most people would agree that you’re rich. However, if you can go out and buy that same yacht five years from now after setting a savings goal and socking away money on a monthly or annual basis, guess what? You’re probably still rich.

Survey after survey turns up the same dispiriting result: Americans aren’t saving all that much. The same GOBankingRates survey reported that 45% of respondents had no household savings, and an estimated 40 million households have no retirement savings whatsoever.

Which brings us to our next point …

4. You’re going to be able to afford to retire as planned

Retirement is expensive. Experts say that to live lavishly in retirement, you need to replace about 70%-80% of your current income (although that number is disputed). Even if you’ve downsized, and maybe even relocated to an area with a low cost of living, retirement is still a prolonged period of supporting yourself on little or no income. 

Traditionally, “retirement age” is 65, but that’s changing as more Americans find they’re unable to float 20-plus years of living without a paycheck. Data from a 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics report found that nearly 20% of Americans age 65 and older are still working.

If you can afford to retire when you want to, it’s a luxury.

5. You aren’t motivated purely by money

One common thread you’ll find among self-made millionaires and those who study them is that “rich people” tend to focus on something other than the dollar signs: They’re solving a problem, or following a passion, or striving to build their business as much as possible.

That, right there, is a luxury. If you can’t make ends meet, you can bet you’ll be focusing on the dollar signs over the intellectual fulfillment of your job.

This doesn’t mean you can’t be happy to earn a sizable paycheck or you can’t be excited to watch your investments grow, but money isn’t your chief motivator or source of joy. If you have the luxury to focus on something other than the money, you’re in a good place.

6. You view money as an ally

“Most people have a dysfunctional, adversarial relationship with money,” writes self-made millionaire Steve Siebold. “After all, we are taught that money is scarce – hard to earn and harder to keep. If you want to start attracting money, stop seeing it as your enemy and think of it as one of your greatest allies.”

The reason wealthy people earn more wealth is because they’re not afraid to admit that money can solve most problems, Siebold says: “[The middle class] sees money as a never-ending necessary evil that must be endured as part of life. The world class sees money as the great liberator, and with enough of it, they are able to purchase financial peace of mind.”

If you aren’t scared of money – if you view it as an ally, and a tool that can help you achieve what you want in life – you’re ahead of the game.

7. You aren’t stuck

“What I have realized over time is that in many ways, money spells freedom,” self-made millionaire and NastyGal founder Sophia Amoruso wrote in her book, “#GIRLBOSS.” She continued:

“If you learn to control your finances, you won’t find yourself stuck in jobs, places, or relationships that you hate just because you can’t afford to go elsewhere. … Being in a good spot financially can open up so many doors. Being in a bad spot can slam them in your face.”

Kathleen Elkins contributed reporting.

Related Content Module: More Personal Finance Coverage

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Waldorf Astoria has unveiled a private island in the Maldives for the ‘privileged few’ at $75,000 a night – take a look around

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

  • Waldorf Astoria has unveiled its Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.
  • The island can be booked for $75,000 a night for up to 24 guests.
  • The hotel chain has another resort nearby, but wanted to unveil a private island for the “privileged few.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

If you’re looking for a lush and expensive getaway distanced from other people, Waldorf Astoria’s latest private island offering may be the perfect place for you.

The luxury hotel chain already has a nearby $1,700-a-night resort in the Maldives that was launched in 2019, but if you’re looking for more exclusivity and luxury, head to its latest Ithaafushi private island instead

Here, social distancing should be no problem, especially since you and whoever you travel with will be the only guests on the island (accompanied by a personal concierge team, of course).

Read more: Wealthy parents are investing in high-end, ‘backyard’ camp experiences and private excursions to give their kids a taste of summer in light of COVID-19

“We have launched the private island for discerning travelers during this time when we know that safety and security are a top priority amongst the evolving needs of travellers,” Etienne Dalancon, general manager at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, told Insider in an email interview. “The Ithaafushi private island offers a high level of exclusivity and natural social distancing. “

“The main focus of Ithaafushi private island was to offer an escape where guests can have their own private haven that connects with nature, offering more outdoor spaces so they can enjoy holistic activities in distanced spaces,” Dalancon told Insider.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
The two-bedroom villa at Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

Waldorf Astoria has done just that with this new island.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

The Ithaafushi private island is the hotel chain’s “crown jewel of their luxury portfolio in Asia Pacific,” Nils-Arne Schroeder, vice president of luxury and lifestyle at Hilton’s Asia Pacific segment, said in a statement.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
The three-bedroom beach villa at Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

Source: Hilton

According to the hotel chain, Ithaafushi is Dhivehi for “pearl island.”

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

The island is a 40-minute yacht ride away from Malé, Maldives.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

Don’t worry about providing your own boat: guests can take one of the resort’s six yachts.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
The two-bedroom villa at Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

If you’re prone to seasickness, the island can also be accessed via a 15-minute seaplane flight.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

The private property spans 344,445 square-feet, providing space for up to 24 guests.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
The four-bedroom residence at Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

Upon stepping foot on the island, visitors will be greeted by a concierge team.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

Despite its isolation, the private island houses plenty of activities, including watersports and diving.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
The beach swing at Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

Not much of a water person? Yoga enthusiasts can head to the yoga pavilion or gym, where guests can also request a personal trainer or classes.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
The fitness center at Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

There’s also a wellness concierge and a spa for those who need some more relaxation time on the private getaway.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
The yoga pavilion at Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

The island may be surrounded by an ocean, but its occupants can instead choose to swim in one of the island’s five pools, which includes an almost 115-foot infinity pool.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

No need to travel by foot around the Ithaafushi private island: guests can take a bicycle or one of the buggies.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

Accommodations on the Ithaafushi private island include two villas and a four-bedroom home.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
The four-bedroom residence at Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

The first two-bedroom villa come with two primary bedrooms, dressing rooms, and a living room

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
The two-bedroom villa at Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

The villa also has an infinity pool and jacuzzi.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
The two-bedroom villa at Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

When it’s time to clean off, the villa’s occupants can either use the indoor or outdoor rain showers.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

The other villa, which has three bedrooms, has direct beach access and two swimming pools.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
The three-bedroom beach villa at Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

The final four-bedroom unit is made up of two king and two queen bedrooms.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
The four-bedroom residence at Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

Like its smaller counterparts, the four-bed home has a living area, jacuzzis, and easy beach access.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
The four-bedroom residence at Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

When it’s time to eat, the on-island culinary team can prepare your meals. But if that’s not enough, guests can take a speed boat to the main resort and dine at one of its 10 eateries.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
The entertainment center at Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

This getaway is perfect for a variety of people, from a wedding party to a group of loved ones to a work trip for clients, according to the hotel chain.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
The entertainment center at Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

And if you’re planning on bringing children, they can spend time on the island’s children’s pool or gaming section.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
The entertainment center at Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

Despite its high nightly price, all of these amenities have caught the eyes of several potential visitors.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
The three-bedroom beach villa at Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

According to Dalancon, the hotel chain has already seen a “significant number of requests” for the private getaway.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

“We are committed to making the Ithaafushi private island a highly sought after, world-class destination for the privileged few,” Dalancon said in a statement.

Waldorf Astoria's Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives
The yoga pavilion at Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi private island in the Maldives.

Source: Hilton

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Meet ‘Bling Empire’s’ haute couture collector, who’s bringing wealthy Asian American Angelenos to Netflix

Christine Chiu
Christine Chiu.

  • Christine Chiu is a producer, philanthropist, collector of haute couture, and cofounder of Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery, with her husband, Dr. Gabriel Chiu.
  • Chiu typically attends at least 30 fashion shows a year, and tries to buy something from each (haute couture can cost over $100,000).
  • Her lifestyle will be on display in her Netflix show, “Bling Empire,” which chronicles the lives of wealthy Asian Americans in LA.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

One day, Christine Chiu was speaking to a friend, telling her how much she loved an outfit she’d seen during a fashion show. It was a piece of haute couture, of course. Each one of those is unique, one-of-a-kind, and therefore can only be sold once. It’s also usually quite expensive. Chiu had to get her hands on it.

“I discovered later that [my friend] had changed her appointment time with the fashion house ahead of mine so that she could purchase it first,” Chiu told Insider. “I learned quickly that all is fair in love and couture.”

Not every company can say it makes haute couture. In France, it’s regulated by the Ministry of Industry, which chooses which brands are true emblems of the craft. 

Read more: Inside wealthy kids’ weird, pricey pandemic purchases, from $1,000 Patagonia fleeces to a $31.8 million T. rex

Chiu attended her first haute couture show at the age of 26 and remembers it clearly. She was bright-eyed and filled with excitement. “I was immediately transported to an era of ultimate luxury and refinement,” she said, “and fell in love with these museum-worthy pieces of wearable art.”

During the pandemic, Chiu said her methods for shopping haven’t changed, but her perception of what it means to responsibly consume luxury has. She said she found herself with a great incentive to spend money on brands that took a moral stance. 

For example, Chiu paid close attention when Burberry used its trench coat factories to make hospital gowns, and when Valentino and Balmain donated millions to the COVID-19 relief effort. She also watched to see how companies responded to the Black Lives Matter protests. 

There are rules to this haute couture game

A typical, non-pandemic year sees Chiu attending about 30 shows a year – or about 15 shows per fashion season. She usually buys something from each show and has amassed a collection that includes gowns, capes, accessories, and even shoes. 

Christine Chiu
Christine Chiu attends the ‘Stephane Rolland’ Paris Shows-Fall/Winter 2017-2018 show as part of Haute Couture Paris Fashion Week.

Pieces of couture can easily cost over $100,000 and Chiu said, without naming a price, that her most expensive pieces cost “more than the median cost of a home in the US.” That was more than $300,000 as of the summer of 2020. They cost “less than a Jeff Koons piece of work,” she clarified – the most recent of those just publicly sold for $91 million

A glimpse of her jet-set lifestyle can be seen on her new Netflix show “Bling Empire” which premiered on January 15. The show chronicles the lives of successful Asians and Asian Americans, from various cultural and professional backgrounds, living in Los Angeles. It will feature DJ Kim Lee, investor Kane Lim, and Jaime Xie, daughter of billionaire Fortinet founder Ken Xie.

Chiu is a producer on the show and told Insider that she wanted to show the journey of herself and her husband – with whom she founded Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery in 2006 – in balancing western expectations with eastern values and traditions. 

Chiu’s journey began in Taiwan, where she was born. (She moved to the United States when she was 5 years old.) Her husband, on the other hand, is from Hong Kong, and he came to the US at the age of 2.

“Bling Empire” will show the Chiu family as philanthropists, raising awareness for their favorite charities and organizations; as world voyagers living a jet-set life, and of course, in lots of couture. “It was an incredible experience full of laughter and tears for me,” Lee told Insider about her experience working on the show, adding that Chiu “definitely knows how to throw the best parties.”

Knowing how to throw a good party is a staple skill on the jet-set circuit. In fact, Chiu said one of the main reasons she buys haute couture is for events – weddings, red carpets, film festivals. That’s all changed with the pandemic, however. But let’s pretend, just for a moment, that it’s the year 2019. 

This would see Chiu in New York, London, Milan, and Paris. Those are just the big named fashion cities, not including the trips that come in between. Each city has its own fashion houses, and each house – whether it’s Chanel, Givenchy, Armani, or Christian Dior – has its respective traditions, and desired protocols.

Christine Chiu
Christine Chiu attends the Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2019 2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week.

Generally, Chiu said, the experience of buying haute couture starts like this: each house gives a presentation, commonly known as a fashion show. From there, the game begins.

Clients of haute couture have to be invited, as reported by The Wall Street Journal’s Christina Binkley, and they are usually introduced by someone who knows someone super well-connected to an haute couture house.

During fashion weeks, these invite-only individuals are allowed to book private appointments to get a second look at what was shown at the presentations. 

“Some houses would hire a model [to] ‘re-model’ the client’s selected pieces,” Chiu said. “While in other circumstances, the designer walk meets with clients to discuss [their] inspiration and make personal recommendations.”  

Once the potential buyer selects their favorite look, they can suggest further customizations to the outfit.

After a deposit is put down, the person waits six to 12 months for the piece to be produced.

During this time, there are at least two to three fittings to make sure the look is all coming together as desired, Chiu said. 

Read more: MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, gave away more than $4 billion over the last 4 months to help those affected economically by the pandemic

There are a few rules to the game, however. For one, it’s a faux pas to ask about price – or discounts, for that matter. And sometimes fashion houses will only sell one look per country. Chiu told Harper’s Bazaar that when she can’t get an outfit as an American, then she’ll try to buy a Taiwanese citizen, promising to only wear the outfit in that country.

Trying to buy haute couture with morals 

Before the pandemic, Chiu said she always tried to find a way to use fashion to highlight social justice causes. Even before the pandemic, she said she would request fashion houses to donate a percentage of her purchase to an organization they both support, which, she said, has led to contributions to further AIDS research, education, and increased access to medicine for impoverished communities.

Her Netflix show is also being used as a vehicle to highlight some of her favorite charities and organizations, she said. The show went into development in early 2018 and upon its premiere, became one of the few shows to have an all-Asian ensemble. Participants hail from various cultural backgrounds, including Vietnamese, Singaporean, and Korean.

Christine Chiu
Christine Chiu alongside her husband and her son.

Chiu said the original premise of the show had nothing to do with showcasing wealth; rather, it was primarily about revealing the cultural pressures, morals, values, and expectations Asians living in the United States are often confronted with. That doesn’t mean wealth won’t be on display, however, even if the scenes on-screen are much different than the reality Chiu finds herself living. 

Snuggled up in Los Angeles, there isn’t sweatpant couture, yet. Chiu said she’s buying sunglasses, bathing suits, sneakers, and exercise attire. She’ll be, probably on the couch, watching her show like the rest of us, sporting high-quality, sustainably sourced, comfort clothing.

“After all,” she said. “The thought of running through Erewhon [Market] in platform Louboutins, lugging a Himalayan Birkin is very much a thing of 2019.”

Read the original article on Business Insider