1990: Diamond Dealers Must Get Smart to Sell Diamonds
Trade Book Review The Millionaire Next Door – March 1999
As a seller of luxury items, any jeweler or diamond dealer must do his homework – study the demographics of the area to pinpoint the best source of potential customers and direct the advertising & marketing dollars to the proper targets. The first source for this information is the U.S. Census Bureau,its wealth of information broken down to the very neighborhoods in your state. One would also do well to add The Millionaire Next Door to your bookshelf. Not knowing where to find the money is bad for business!
The primary focus of The Millionaire is to explode the myths American’s hold about wealth. If you, like most of us, think the guy driving a Rolls, wearing a $6,000 suit and a $3,000 watch is a millionaire, watch out. Sure, he’s living high and may also be a high-earning individual, but the chance that he has accumulated any kind of wealth, much less millions, is very slim.
The Millionaire is replete with tables, facts and figures. Discussed are the ancestry of groups of millionaires – showing, surprisingly, Russians and Scots as the top two for millionaires; the economic lifestyle of millionaires (clothing, cars, homes) – the myth of fancy living vs. wealth; contrasts of spending and saving habits of PAWs (prodigious accumulators of wealth) and UAWs (under accumulators of wealth). Based on research developed studying more than 500 millionaires and 11,000 high-net worth and high-income individuals, the research shows that the basic tenets of wealth accumulation are still true and can make one a millionaire. Most embarrassing to those of us not millionaires is that over 80% of America’s millionaires are first-generation and self-made: they did it themselves – no winning the lottery, no playing first-base for the Yankees, not even by working at extremely high paying jobs, but by the simple principles of: 1) saving & investing more than they spend and, 2) living very frugally. Jeweler beware: these are not people who buy 7 carat diamond rings for their wives. So where is the money? The Millionaire began as a study of the wealthy in order to target selling. In the process of the research, the authors discovered that those who make the luxury purchases, the big-ticket buys are not millionaires, but the millionaires’ children! While Mr. & Mrs. Millionaire sent their kids to public school, lived cheaply and saved their pennies, Mr. & Mrs. Millionaire, Jr. send their kids to expensive private schools, drive a Mercedes (or two), are gourmets and live to impress their neighbors. Now that’s good for business! So get smart! Sell a diamond…but to the children of millionaires!