Historical Millionaires, Billionaires, and Trillionaires

When we first reached ‘millionaire status’ I was pretty excited. As I wrote later, while our inflationary world doesn’t mean we live like Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, or other millionaires of old, it still put us in the top 0.56% of the world, in terms of wealth.

Related:  FIRE Milestones – Reaching Millionaire Status

I hope it’s not too crass to compare oneself to see where one falls in the world on this measure (check out Globalrichlist.com to see where you fall), but the concept of wealth inequality isn’t new at all. After all, 250 years ago, 99% of all people on the planet lived in what we would today call abject poverty and were divinely ruled by less than a dozen king’s, queens, emperors, and tsars.

Many of these folks were among the richest of all time and I thought this chart (from TitleMax) was an interesting look at global wealth through history. How would you like to be Augustus Caesar’s financial planner and keep a 0.5% share of his trillions as an annual fee?

Image Credit: Pixabay

2 thoughts on “Historical Millionaires, Billionaires, and Trillionaires

  1. This was eye-opening, Chief. First, I never realized that Caesar was the richest dude ever. So much for Crassus, once known as “the richest man in Rome.” Second, I tried out the Globalrichlist. Depending on lifestage, assets, and location, I imagine lots of our peers and contemporaries would be surprised to know how blessed we are. Though in the bigger pond, I’m but a small fish, there is much more I can do to help others. This is a worthy goal to devote time and energy in 2020, seeking ways to do so over time, in a manner consistent with my beliefs and values.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure there are historians who can debate the estimates, but the list is pretty interesting. I agree that few of us realize how relatively fortunate we are in our age. Many think it’s up to ‘rich people’ or ‘smart people’ to get things done in this world without realizing that they are part of that group. A college degree and $75,000 in income a year make you part of the world’s elites!

      Liked by 1 person

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