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The New Elite: Inside the Minds of the Truly Wealthy Hardcover – September 10, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (September 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814400485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814400487
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #367,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Marketing consultant Taylor and branding specialist Harrison mine success stories of the truly rich to learn how they acquired their fortunes, whether it has changed them and how they live their lives. Arguing that the wealthy are poorly understood by the average American, the media and marketers of high-end products, the authors contend that accurately understanding this group is critical for success in the marketing, sales, product development, branding and advertising fields. They dispel the myth that most of the rich have inherited their money and reveal the socioeconomic factors behind their self-made rises to success. Exploring how the rich spend their money and what influences their buying decisions, the authors identify the five classes of the newly wealthy with distinct reactions to the value and purpose of money—neighbors, wrestlers, patrons, mavericks and directors—groups that greatly differ in their lifestyles and financial attitudes. Charts and graphs throughout distill key data into easy-to-grasp nuggets, lending clarity to this book whose fresh take on the habits of the American economic elite will be indispensable to marketers. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Whom would you label as “truly wealthy”? According to market researchers Taylor and Doug Harrison, who have studied more than 6,000 individuals in four years, the answer is a cool $5 million in liquid assets. But that’s where the commonalities end. Emphasizing their roots in marketing science, the authors spin a fascinating, statistically illustrated narrative of the—surprise!—hardworking, middle-class small-business owners, beginning with a retrospective of the four historical phases of American wealth creation: agrarian, industrial, corporate, and entrepreneurial. They delve into shopping and acquisition tendencies, discuss offspring’s attitudes toward work and wealth, and validate the growing philanthropy of the wealth boomers. Yet differences exist, as in their five lifestyle typologies: neighbors, who don’t change their lives; wrestlers, dealing with paradoxes; mavericks, using the motto “In Me I Trust”; directors, who consider money as essential to living the good life; and patrons, giving back to civilization. Throughout, the charts and percentages are enlivened with real-people stories, including Jim McCann, head of 1-800-FLOWERS, who realized $20 million after the company’s IPO. Great reading, even better inspiration for millionaires-to-be. --Barbara Jacobs

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
The book serves two broad purposes.
Kevin Hogan
This is by far the most interesting and best written book on this subject that I've read and I highly recommend it to you.
Susanna Hutcheson
Most interesting is the research into what the wealthy are like compared to the beliefs of marketeers.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on December 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
You are likely in for a shock when you read this well written and well researched book on the rich. Donald Trump and Paris Hilton are the image many people hold of the elite. But the research reveals the very wealthy are quite different from these images.

First off, there has been an explosion in the number of the wealthy, not only in the US, but world wide. And having a net worth of one million only puts you in the affluent range; you need at least 5 million to have arrived at real wealth.

Most interesting is the research into what the wealthy are like compared to the beliefs of marketeers. Marketeers believe only about half of the very wealthy are married; the truth is that 83% are. And while fully 48% of the wealthy consider luxury items such as expensive watches and cars as a "waste of money" (p 19), marketeers think only 18% of the very wealthy would agree.

Further shocks: about 36% grew up in either poverty or lower middle class circumstances. Both the wealthy and the children of the wealthy believe strongly in hard work, in school and later. And they like to shop at places like Walmart and Target. The very wealthy named Ralph Lauren and MAC cosmetics as among their favorite brands, brands which are available in most malls.

The area that has seen the biggest growth in the wealthy is in Africa. The area that has seen the least growth is Europe (p 157). In the US,so many people are now well off, if not wealthy, that luxury has pervaded the US. "Once exotic items, such as sushi and refined organic products, are now found on grocery store shelves" (p 94).

Full of eye opening information.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Susanna Hutcheson TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It has been said that the wealthy are different. Well, not so much. In fact, according the in-depth study done by the authors of this book, the wealthy came not from wealth but from middle class backgrounds. They therefore have all of the middle class ethics and needs, wants and desires.

Yet within the wealthy, there are differences. From first becoming wealthy to having had wealth over a decade or more, money brings different meaning to the groups within the wealthy.

If you're a marketer, you should read this book. I came to it as someone who makes a living understanding different groups and how to sell to them. To that end, I got a good deal of useful information from the book.

You'll learn what they read, what they buy, how they feel about their wealth and money in general. You'll learn far more about them by reading this book than anything you might see on television.

It is full of research. It has lots of facts and figures and very little editorializing, which I like. This is by far the most interesting and best written book on this subject that I've read and I highly recommend it to you.

- Susanna K. Hutcheson
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47 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Hogan VINE VOICE on September 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've spent the last 18 months researching academic journals, scientific and popular literature about how those who achieve the top 5% of wealth end up where they are. I've gone through three dozen books, of which four were quite good and the others were brutally poor.

The New Elite by Taylor, Harrison and Kraus stands head and shoulders above the rest.

The book serves two broad purposes.

1) You learn how wealthy people think and who they really are.
2) You learn the fundamentals of how they will perceive your marketing to them. (Are they interested in what you have to sell?)

Either of the two is a good enough resaon to pick up and devour this book.

THK have undertaken their own research which asks all the right questions. Their analysis is spot on and what readers of every income bracket can gain from what is here could be life changing.

This is not a self help/how to be successful book. It does not set out to accomplish that, but if you simply read between the lines...

Five stars.

Kevin Hogan
Author of The Science of Influence
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Dzialo on September 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very good book on information about the Elite. There is much information on how they become what they are, who they are, and how wealth has changed them. Most feel that wealth has not changed them, and most came from Middle Class, and still hold Middle Class Ethics.

There is a quite a bit of information on the explosion of wealth across the world. As another review mentioned, in Africa and Asia.

It also does shed light that many Americans do not think of the class divergence in today's society. Many are too busy thinking about what new items to buy or hanging out with friends. Though the middle and lower class do wish they had more money, they often don't understand how much the Elite own. The top 10% of America's population owns more then 75% of American Wealth... and to think 90% of other American's share the other 25%.

There is also some good information on the Elite and Politics. Most people spend their life climbing the political latter, while the Elite use their wealth to insert them self into high-politics. One would be surprised that the Elite only obtain elected offices 20% of the time, despite often spending 10-30M million on campaigning. At least people today will somewhat vote on good values and character and not ones wealth.

Very Good Book! Read it in one day!
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