AUTHOR RICHARD WATTS, advisor to the richest families in America, takes you into the world of the super wealthy, revealing the reality of being super rich and the unavoidable complications money brings. Pulling back the brocade curtain, Watts reveals the emotional grit behind the million-dollar glitz. After reading Fables of Fortune, you may discover you are actually richer in relationships, satisfaction, and fulfillment than those you may dream of being.


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Simply because when we don’t have more, we can hope for a better future—an improvement over what is and a dream for what could be.


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The divorce rate soars among the rich to almost seventy percent, with the majority of marriage casualties happening in the second and third generations of wealth.


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My wife labeled this phenomenon as a “clash of expectations.” Those of modest backgrounds have realistic expectations for one another; they are open and willing to reach out to strangers. They easily establish friendships that become the source of much fun and fulfillment. Rich people tend to be very leery of other people; every introduction or gesture of friendship is met with intense scrutiny.


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One person usually begins with some claim to fame. I call this “boundary staking” because it reminds me of an animal in the wild defining its territory. Both parties begin to drop names or identify the charities they support. This royal cockfighting escalates quickly into something plainly pedantic and boastful. Onlookers like me become tense and feel themselves taking deep breaths.


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“My wife and I share our time and dollars with the local Performing Arts Center. We serve on the board and are members of the Benefactors Group.” This piece of information signals a donation of $1 million or more. Impressive.


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Many of the rich who have run dry of spiritual capital because they have been exhaustive in fulfilling personal wants choose a cause and become philanthropists.


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Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of its filling a vacuum, it makes one. If it satisfies one want, it doubles and trebles that want another way. That was a true proverb of the wise man, rely upon it: “Better is little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure, and trouble therewith.” —Benjamin Franklin


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inverse relationship between spirituality and the increase of one’s wealth. Two factors contribute: the focusing of more time on preserving and increasing wealth, and the distraction of materialism and self-promotion.


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fortune. Each time the pile increased you would delight in the mental survey of the next level of consumables you could now buy.


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If you have $10 million, then you set your goals on $50 million. If you have $100 million, you target $500 million.


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But does it give them a high? Not for long.


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King Midas loved gold more than anything in the world. He was granted one


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“big picture” essentials of your life always involves asking the question, “How is this thing I am considering going to affect every other thing in my life?”


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Once the money starts to increase, the question ought to be, “What will this money allow me to do that I wouldn’t have time to do without it?” If that question can’t be answered, then you are on the road to making the means of making money your end. If you ever believe accumulating wealth is the finale,


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If you want it but can’t afford it, you have to wait. But for the super-rich, if you can think it, you can have it. The distance between wanting and having is narrow. With little thought process the wealthy change directions, and (poof!) new homes, new cars, new boats, and extravagant trips—and sometimes new family, new wife, new life. Before we can meaningfully survey our course and goals, there must be a pause.


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Large purchases should require a longer pause.


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Find what you are taking away. When you buy them a new car, realize you take away experiencing the effort it takes to earn enough money to buy a car, new or used … balancing the value of a new versus a used car … the process of discovering how to earn money … the development of skills it takes to interact with a boss and coworkers on the job


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Living below the world’s radar allows you freedom to explore, to make mistakes unnoticed, to take yourself less seriously, and to create your own life story without uninvited social editors.


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The richest person is not who has the most … but the one who needs the least

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