How wealthy are you?
How wealthy do you think you are? Do you have lots of the above bank notes stashed away in a bank? Did you take £10,000 worth out of the bank and buy a fancy kitchen for yourself? Does your food taste any better?
Money or to be more precise "fiat money" is not wealth. Fiat money is an agreement whereby something, in this case bits of paper, is deemed to represent wealth. But in no way is fiat money actual wealth.
The rich 1% who possess the majority of real wealth don't have much fiat money. Yes, they could cash in and obtain fiat money but they know they would be fools to do so. Instead they foist their paper IOUs on us and keep the real wealth for themselves.
I have thought long and hard, and have come up with seven forms of real wealth. Six are physical and one isn't. They are...
1) Land - Not your house sitting upon it. Sell off the bricks and timber that constitute your house and you will be lucky to get £1000 for it. You can throw that £10K kitchen into the bin. It is worthless. And as a friend once said, "They don't make land anymore so keep a hold of any you can get. It's price can only go up."
2) Water - Without it we will turn toes up. The years to come will see us fighting over it, in the same way we fight over oil today.
3) Wood - Timber is a basic building material. You can be sure the richest 1% will have a few forests in their portfolio.
4) Food - Again, toes up if you don't get any. Each day there are more mouths to feed and less farmland upon which to grow food. Already sovereign wealth funds such as the Chinese government's are buying up large parts of Africa upon which to grow China's food.
5) Metals and Minerals - Precious or otherwise. Gold and silver are better stores of wealth than any piece of paper. An ounce of gold buys the same amount of stuff it does now as it did 200 years ago. A shilling would buy you a meal in 1811, it doesn't today.
6) Oil - For as long as it lasts, our economies depend upon it and so it makes my list of 6 physical stores of wealth for now. Without it the modern world ceases to be, as it gets more scarce it's value increases.
7) Happiness - Why else are we on this planet, other than for the pursuit of happiness. And the more of the other six you posses the happier you will feel. Sure you can have millions in bank notes and waste it on junk but you won't be any happier.
If you are lucky enough to put yourself in a position to gain numbers 1 to 6 then grab as much as you can. Some land upon which you can grow food and timber, build a small self-build house, with access to water and you are most of the way to gaining a lot of number 7.
Take a bank note out of your wallet. Let's say it is a £5 note. Yesterday, it was worth more than £5 in today's terms, today it is £5 and tomorrow it will be worth less than £5. Everyday the Bank of England churns out more and more £5 notes but the true wealth of the nation never catches up with the supply of money and so everyday your money is worth less and less.
The richest 1% know this basic fact, which is why they make, break and bend rules to make sure they keep the real wealth and make sure that we are obsessed with bits of worthless pieces of paper.