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How the Pandemic Has Changed Attitudes Toward Wealth

Several key metrics of defining wealth had fallen in the previous three years. In 2018, 65 p.c of respondents felt that wealth gave them peace of thoughts, however that quantity had fallen to 53 p.c by this spring. Half of the respondents equated wealth with happiness, 4 proportion factors decrease than in 2018.

In one other shift, extra folks mentioned wealth meant success in life — that was as much as 50 p.c, from 40 p.c final time.

“A big component of success is still making money, but it’s just not making money to increase your financial capital,” Mr. Baker mentioned. “It’s accomplishing something in the process, to build other things, to take some of that financial capital and put it into something else.”

Mr. Norton mentioned his priorities had shifted to focusing extra on the folks round him, so he determined to pay the first half of his company’s Christmas bonus to staff in May. “I did it just to make sure they were OK,” he mentioned. “I focused less on my net worth and income and more on making sure we’re doing the right thing for our clients but also making sure my staff and my family was OK.”

For others, although, the mandated isolation targeted their thoughts. Douglas Swets, an angel investor in early-stage start-ups, mentioned the pandemic introduced larger readability and focus to the investments he and his companions have been making.

“After a year of Zoom meetings, I can have a lot more meetings and it’s improved our due diligence,” he mentioned. “We can have more people doing reference calls. You get all the questions answered.”

At the identical time, Mr. Swets, who’s married with two grownup youngsters, mentioned the investments that he reviewed weren’t essentially higher given the further time. If something, they have been really riskier, however the pandemic gave him a distinct view on investing.