There are 3 ways people get rich, but only one way they hold on to their wealth


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Wealthy people typically come by their fortunes in a few different ways.

In "The Thin Green Line: The Money Secrets of the Super-Wealthy," author Paul Sullivan makes a distinction between being rich and being wealthy.


Rich people, he says, have a lot of money. Wealthy people have the security that comes with knowing how to manage however much money they do have so that they'll still have money tomorrow.

Sullivan, who is also the New York Times Wealth Matters columnist, characterizes wealthy spenders into three types:

Dissipators get rich young through something like a professional sports contract or the sale of a company and will never earn that much again. Their money dissipates as they spend it.

Accumulators "amass a pile of money doing something that is intellectually interesting or challenging but wait until much later to spend it on something they are passionate about."


Make-and-spenders let money come in and go out as they make what they need and buy what they want.

But the ones who remain wealthy are the ones who recognize their wealth is limited.

In a chapter called "Spending Tips From People Who Spend a Lot But Aren't Broke," Sullivan speaks to Adam Carriker, a former defensive end for the St. Louis Rams.

After getting a five-year, $14.5 million contract in 2007, Carriker missed a season because of injury and was then traded to another team across the country, having to sell his local home at a loss.

"The best line I've heard was, 'Don't live like a king for a little bit, live like a prince forever,'" he told Sullivan. "Once they've lived like a king, it's gone."


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