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Jun 23, 2007

How much money do I need to be rich?

The Edge, June 23, 2007

About a century ago, Ernie Einstein—Albert’s younger brother—formulated an accounting equation that works out how much money any one person needs to be considered rich: R=mc0. The equation “R=mc0” means rich (R) is your money (m) counted (c) plus an extra zero (0).

Here are some practical examples:
  • A $1,000,000,000 balance has so many zeros that it confuses people, to the point of thinking they have less money than they actually have. They desire that extra zero to ensure they have enough money to put their 10 chihuahuas through university.
  • A $1,000,000 balance brings the desire of the extra zero so people can separate themselves from those who won their million from TV game shows.
  • A $100,000 balance makes people want the extra zero, to be invited to parties where they can get the autograph of those they saw win a million dollars on TV game shows.
  • A $10,000 balance brings a one-chance investment decision. Having the extra zero would mean 10 chances to invest wisely and allow for accidental investments in MP3 duplicating machinery.
  • A $1000 balance means a person can think of 10 things they could buy with that money—problem is they can have only one of them, so the extra zero is craved.
  • A $100 balance is great if you want to take your partner out for dinner, but to really impress them you need that extra zero to be able to aff ord enough roses to show them how much you truly love them.
  • A $10 balance leaves one desiring the extra zero so they can skip the budget “blotchy wash” and get the deluxe carwash that includes laser eye treatment and fl ossing.
  • A $1 balance means that to be able to buy a “minimum of chips” every day in the coming week, and feel rich indeed, an extra zero is required.
  • A $0 balance is literally having nothing. People like this are more common in developing countries. The extra zero brings their total worth to $0.0, which they already have, so are indeed the only ones who, according to the formula, consider themselves rich.

Thus, it seems those with no money are more content than those with it, and therefore richer than those with more.

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