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Investors Answer the Question: Can Money Buy Happiness?

Younger investors and the wealthiest investors are more likely to think money can buy happiness.

| BY Kent McDill

While it is true that you need money to make purchases, there are no stores selling happiness.

Philosophers for years have argued the point that money cannot buy happiness, and Spectrem research shows that affluent investors agree. Even among people who have money, it is generally believed that money cannot buy happiness.

Asked to state their position on the statement “Money Can Buy Happiness”, 54 percent of affluent investors surveyed by Spectrem disagreed. That included 26 percent who strongly disagreed and 28 percent who disagreed.

Only 17 percent of affluent investors agreed with the statement either simply or strongly. Only 3 percent of the people surveyed strongly agreed with the position that money can buy happiness.

Overall, 29 percent did not take a position on the statement.

Does having money affect one’s position on the statement “Money can buy happiness”? The Spectrem survey seems to indicate that it does, as 25 percent of investors with a net worth of over $5 million agreed with the statement, and only 43 percent of that segment disagreed.

Among investors with less net worth, the survey indicated no greater believe in the power of money. Only 18 percent of investors with a net worth of less than $100,000 said money can buy happiness, and that dropped to 14 percent among investors with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million.

The big difference came in the age segments. Thirty-seven percent, more than twice the overall percentage, of investors under the age of 40 agreed with the statement “Money can buy happiness”. Only 15 percent of investors over the age of 60 agreed with the statement.

There was virtually no disparity in opinion based on political affiliation, and only a slight variation based on social positions, with 19 percent of social liberals agreeing with the statement and only 14 percent of social conservatives agreeing.

Among investors who identified themselves as “fiscal liberals”, 25 percent agreed with the statement, while only 16 percent of those who identified themselves as “fiscal conservatives” did so.

From a professional standpoint, 31 percent of those identified as Business Owners said money can buy happiness, while 21 percent of Corporate Executives agreed.

About the Author

Kent McDill

Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.