This is a question we hear many times from clients when planning their future. In our experience, most doctors having enjoyed a vocation of ‘giving back’ and witnessing the impact of health rather than wealth on quality of life, are not hell-bent on becoming billionaires. Their long-term financial goals are more closely related to funding aspirational holidays, charitable projects or security for loved ones.
Latest figures from Oxfam (pre-scandal) reveal that last year, 82 per cent of the wealth created worldwide went to the top 1 per cent. We also saw the biggest increase in billionaires in history, one more every two days. In 12 months, the wealth of this elite group has increased by $762bn which the charity says is enough to end extreme poverty seven times over.
New data from Credit Suisse suggests that just 42 people now own the same wealth as the bottom 3.7 billion people on the planet and that the richest 1 per cent continue to own more wealth than the rest of humanity.
It is difficult to put a price on how much one person is worth. In today’s service-based economy reward is not often linked to endeavour. Evan Spiegel, the man behind social media photo-sharing app Snapchat, was the highest paid chief executive of 2017, taking home over $638m. The 27-year-old’s net worth is estimated at $3.8bn. And he doesn’t save lives for a living. No wonder more than 60 per cent of young children want to grow up to be online vloggers. How many still want to be a doctor?
But easy come, easy go. Last month, global ‘personality’ Kylie Jenner, half-sister of fellow limelight grabber (I can’t find an actual job description for either of them) Kim Kardashian, wiped $1.3billion from the value of Snapchat’s parent company after tweeting that she no longer used the social tool.
Now rumours circulate that Snapchat has paid Ms Jenner to use its app to publicise the photos of her baby in order to get back in favour with her 24.8million ‘followers’.
Back in the real world, most of us realise that life involves hard work and hopefully hard play, with time in our later years to really enjoy the fruits of our labours if we have taken the time to plan our finances carefully.