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Luxury vacations, cars and private foundations

By Dian Vujovich

When it comes to money, the wealthy do have the upper hand.

CNBC wealth reporter, Robert Frank, recently published a story titled, “Millionaires plan to spend $13,00 on vacations this year”. Really? Sounds a little puny to me. After all, a trip for a family to Disney has got to run close to 1000 bucks a day. And based upon the size of the crowds, folks heading into the Magic Kingdom sure aren’t all 1 percenters. But I digress.

A family I know that live in the Midwest doled out about $250,000 for their Tanzania safari holiday this summer. Sure the group numbered 12, flew business class from Chicago to Dubai, on to Africa and back home and yes, grandpa paid. But it’s also not the only trip various members of this family will take this year.

Data for Frank’s piece came from a BMO Private Bank study that revealed things like: the average millionaire will take six pleasure trips a year; spring and fall are their favorite times of year to travel; and the wealthy now prefer spending more on travel and experiences rather than just buying stuff. Maybe that’s because they’ve got all the material stuff they need. But I digress, again.

Speaking of the material, millennials, the group born from the early 1980s to early 2000s, apparently like their rides. And the fancier the better.

Research shows that this cost-conscious group leases more cars than the rest of the car leasing population, Why? Because leasing a vehicle means you can drive a snazzier car than out right purchasing one would allow. Boomers, however, have known that for decades. Another digress.

What cars are the millenials choosing to lease? The top five are the Lexus IS, Mercedes C Class, Infinity Q50, Lexus RX and the BMW 328.

And then there are private foundations.

If one of your dreams is to have a private foundation with assets totally into the multi-billions, the U.S. leads the world in doing so.

Of the 10 largest ultra-high-net-worth private foundations in the world, six of them are home grown, according to Wealth-X research.

In the No.1 slot is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with assets of $43.4 billion. It’s followed by the Li Ka Shing Foundation with assets of $8.1 billion in Hong Kong.

In third and fourth position are the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, $6.4 billion, and the Bloomberg Philanthropies with its $5.4 billion in assets, both located in the U.S.

In seventh, eighth and tenth positions are the Open Society Foundation, $3.3 billion;the Carlos Slim foundation, $2.6 billion; and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundations, $2.2 billion.


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