London At Risk Of Becoming A ‘Ghetto Of Wealth’

England, London, Piccadilly, Rough Sleeper

London has been labelled an “epicentre of the elites” and a “ghetto of wealth” as social mobility in the U.K. capital plummets to new lows.

“London is essentially off-limits to ambitious people from poorer backgrounds who grow up outside the capital,” says Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust, which released research on Wednesday showing how people who move to London from elsewhere in the U.K. are less likely to thrive.

Just one in eight of those born between 1975 and 1981 have “experienced long-range mobility,” a report from the Trust shows. This ratio has steadily worsened since the 1950s according to data analyzed by the London School of Economics (LSE).

The Sutton Trust defines “mobility” as “moving into a higher professional or managerial job from a working-class background.” The aspiring mobile are statistically better off staying where they grew up, rather than moving to the U.K.’s capital, the research shows.

London is often celebrated as the capital of wealth, not just in the U.K. but the world. Last year it was named by global real estate consultancy Knight Frank as the world’s leading wealth center. A month later, the European Banking Authority found the U.K. to be home to Europe’s best-paid bankers and fund managers, with most of them living in London.

Another report earlier this month said London was the seventh most expensive city globally, and the priciest in Europe.

All of this means that people moving to London from other parts of the country struggle to get ahead in their careers. More expensive house prices, living costs and tougher job competition compared to the rest of the U.K. have made mobility especially difficult for millennials aged between between 30 and 36.

“The ‘Dick Whittington’ concept of moving to the capital to move up in the world has dwindled,” says Lampl. Instead, children who are either bought up in the capital or are “economically privileged” have a higher chance to excel.

This keeps wealth within a closed loop as the highest paying jobs go to people who are already settled in the capital, or have the means to attain those jobs through other means, like unpaid internships.

Meanwhile, the top earners themselves are “surrounded by numerous other people like themselves,” says the report, meaning this loop can be reinforced through simple ignorance.

A Wealth Ghetto In The Making

Valerie Edmond, an actor who has featured in the second season of HBO’s Succession, a series about extreme wealth, recalls moving to London from Glasgow in 1998: “It became apparent early on that the algorithm of life in London worked out at double the cost of living for half the quality of life compared to Glasgow, but we were young and daft and talented so we took the odds.”

The London she has seen since making the move has changed rapidly, she says, as other creatives talents have started to stay away. “And that’s a real worry because what you’re left with is a ghetto of financial wealth builders instead of a celebration of culture and art and artists.

“My worry in London is that there will one day very soon only be a version of the truth left. A version created exclusively by wealth.”

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I write about the vast fortunes of Europe’s wealthy amidst the continent’s political ups and downs. I cover where their money ends up: The charities and philanthropic endeavours of the rich; the music and arts they support; the sports clubs and hobbies they accumulate. Having previously advised governments, companies and charities on the behaviours of the wealthy, I bring a unique perspective of this hidden and curious world. You can follow me on twitter @ollieawilliams or email me at ow [at] oliverwilliams.me

Source: London At Risk Of Becoming A ‘Ghetto Of Wealth’

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New Psychological Studies: How The Wealthy Really Are Different From Everyone Else

"The rich don’t go with the flow"

The author F. Scott Fitzgerald is credited with saying: “The rich are different from you and me.” And Ernest Hemingway is supposed to have responded: “Yes, they have more money.” In fact, the actual words Fitzgerald used in his short story “The Rich Boy” (1926) are: “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft, where we are hard, cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand.”

People have always suspected that the rich are somehow ‘different,’ not only in terms of what they possess, but in their personalities. However, there are not many scientific studies that can either confirm or refute this thesis – neither in the United States, nor in Europe. Now, a team of six German economists and psychologists has conducted a large-scale study: They interviewed 130 wealthy individuals and used the results to derive a psychological profile, which they compared with the population as a whole.

Big Five Test

Of the various models developed by psychological researchers to describe personality types, it is the Big Five model that has largely come to dominate over the past few decades. This latest wealth study used a condensed version of the Big Five test to distinguish between five core personality traits:

Conscientious: Describes people who are thorough, meticulous, diligent, efficient, well organized,  punctual, ambitious and persevering.

Neuroticism: Individuals with a high degree of Neuroticism tend to be nervous and frequently worry about everything and anything that could possibly go wrong. They tend to react impulsively and, overall, are not particularly psychologically stable.

Agreeableness: Individuals with high levels of Agreeableness have a pronounced desire for harmony; they have a tendency to back down too quickly and are frequently too trusting.

Extraversion: Individuals with high Extraversion are talkative, determined, enterprising, energetic, and courageous.

Openness to Experience: Individuals with high Openness to Experience are imaginative, creative, and curious.

When you compare the personality traits of the general population with those of the researchers’ wealthy interviewees, the following patterns emerge:

  • The rich are emotionally more stable, and therefore less neurotic
  • The rich are especially extraverted
  • The rich are more open to new experiences
  • The rich are less agreeable, which means they less likely to shy away from conflicts
  • The rich are more conscientious.

In addition to the Big Five test, the researchers also investigated two other personality traits: narcissism and internal locus of control. Their findings:

  • The rich are more narcissistic
  • The rich exhibit a stronger internal locus of control. This means that they are more likely to agree with statements such as “I determine how my life turns out” than they are with statements like “What you achieve in life is mainly a question of luck or fate.”

What Makes the Superrich Tick

The results of this latest wealth study are consistent with those of my doctoral dissertation on “The Wealth Elite,” which was based on interviews with 45 wealthy individuals. With only a few exceptions, most of the interviewees were self-made millionaires, and the ‘poorest’ were worth between 10 million and 30 million euros. Most, however, were worth significantly more, between 30 million and one billion euros, and some even more.

This study on the psychology of the superrich also came to the conclusion that the rich are psychologically very stable (i.e. not very neurotic). It also showed that they are particularly open to new experiences, more extraverted, more conscientious – but not necessarily agreeable.

In contrast to the recent survey of 130 wealthy individuals mentioned above, the study of the superrich involved in-depth interviews of between one and two hours each. In addition, the superrich interviewees not only completed a condensed version of the Big Five test, they took the detailed version with 50 questions.

One of the key findings was that the superrich are frequently nonconformists. They enjoy swimming against the prevailing current and have no problem contradicting prevailing opinion. Another result: the superrich are more likely than others to make decisions based on gut feeling. They tend to rely more on intuition than on detailed analysis.

And, most importantly, they have a completely different approach to dealing with defeats and setbacks than most people. Across the population at large, people like to take credit for their successes while looking to assign the blame to others for defeats and setbacks. In this, the superrich are quite different, as the interviews showed: They seek to identify the causes of setbacks in themselves, not in external circumstances or other people. This gives them a feeling of power: “If the fault lies with me, I can change it. I am in control of my own life.” There are many reasons why some people succeed in becoming rich and others don’t, but the specific combination of personality traits that both studies identified is certainly one of the reasons. Rich people become rich because they act differently from others. And they act differently because they think, make decisions and react differently than most people. Apparently, Fitzgerald was right: “The rich are different from you and me.”

I was awarded my first doctorate in history in 1986 and my second, this time in sociology, in 2016.

Source: New Psychological Studies: How The Wealthy Really Are Different From Everyone Else

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