It turns out the other half — or at least the tiny slice who live at the top of the wealth pyramid — are not sleeping any better than the rest of America.At a closed-door meeting of advisers to family offices — which serve families who typically are worth more than $500 million — I learned that the super-rich are just as concerned about the future as everyone else.Even though the stock market has rebounded from its March 9 low, the family office advisers said many of their wealthiest clients were bracing for more bad news and wondering how it would affect their family unity…When the super-rich get cold feet, the rest of America gets swine flu. They are, after all, the people who might finance new companies that create jobs, make big investments to support existing companies and spread their wealth throughout the economy.
By Paul Sullivan, Oct. 3, 2009 NYT

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“The basic issue for them is deciding what they want to do as a family now that they realize they cannot do everything. “You’re worth $500 million one day and wake up the next and it’s $350 million and you’ve pledged $100 million to the Met,” said Rob Elliott, senior managing director at Bessemer. “What are the family’s goals? Is it philanthropy or bringing along the next generation?””