Victus Spiritus


Where are You on the Financial Food Chain

02 May 2010

The Almighty Dollar

As I payed for breakfast this morning I couldn't resist the temptation to wonder how a bill captures an essential communication of value and trust. Consider how diverse our relative perception of value must be.

Let's look at a brief list of pay scales and buying power to get a feel for relative income. Let's call a single low end standard of living a Life Wage to compare across categories.

Click for a larger graphic of the relative annual earnings on a logarithmic scale:

So pondering this list I wondered how Warren Buffet could possibly value a single dollar the same way that the 100 thousand medium income folks, or 500 thousand low income earners who match his yearly income value that same dollar. To put it into perspective what takes a minimum wage worker an hour to make, takes Warren under 8 micro seconds to earn. Imagine how many burgers he can flip an hour? He's that fast. Of course the trick is not to flip burgers, but to grow wealth.

Staggering numbers like these simply do not compute, except when you consider compounded wealth. Warren didn't always make 500,000 times the minimum wage.

After doing a little background reading about W.B. his view on compounding wealth makes sense. He doesn't see it so much as dollars earned, but as percentage of wealth growth. His thinking and maneuvers are longer term. And he consistently pursues a strategy that pays off shifting entire markets and economies with his investments. Here's a tip of the hat to bizzaro world earnings. Hope you enjoyed this list and thought riff as much as me. Good luck consistently growing wealth!


*= Success in engineering requires a very specific credential hierarchy, or managerial mastery. I like to think of the non-managerial leads as the technorati.