Hooray! Ultra-Rich Still Buying Expensive Things


Despite the recent crop of articles urging those people who still have copious amounts of cash on hand to refrain from shopping extravagantly—or at least not talk about shopping extravagantly—because it’s unseemly in these troubled times, there are still some rich people who have no shame. God bless ’em!

Bloomberg: Some wealthy shoppers continue to splash out on exotic-skin bags, fine jewelry and custom-made pieces while the U.S., Japan and the 15 European nations using the euro slip into a recession, cutting the value of their assets. Their purchases may offer some consolation to the 175-billion-euro luxury goods industry bracing for the worst holiday shopping season since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Most people worth at least $30 million “are not facing a personal liquidity crisis and expect to spend as much or more this holiday season than they did last year,” said Russ Prince, the president of Prince & Associates Inc. The private-wealth researcher surveyed 518 people, each of whom own at least one jet.

“They aren’t cutting back because of some kind of moral rationale,” Prince added. “They don’t feel guilty about spending.”…

….”Wealthy consumers will continue to buy luxury,” said Milton Pedraza, chief executive officer of the Luxury Institute, a New York-based research firm. “People who were worth $10 million now are worth $7 million. That’s a big drop, but they still have a significant amount of money.”

60 per cent of those in Prince & Associates’ survey “don’t care about how much they spend” on luxury goods, said Prince. While they may reduce spending on items such as yachts and helicopters, they “will still buy the $200,000 necklace for the wife.”