Poor little rich people

A Vancouver survey finds that having lots of money might not be all that it's cracked up to be. Yeah, whatever.

The Rolling Stones sing that you can't always get what you want. But if you have a lot of money, it's sure a lot easier. However, getting what you want may not be all it's cracked up to be, at least according to a new survey of ultra-wealthy Canadians.

Commissioned last year by the Vancouver-based T. Stenner Group of CIBC Wood Gundy of private advisers, the survey of 165 Canadians whose net worth is at least $10 million found that a mere 52% of those interviewed agreed with the statement: “As I have gotten wealthier, I have gotten happier.” And with wealth, it seems, comes worry.

Many of those interviewed were actually worried their wealth might be damaging to their children or grandchildren. About 38% of the respondents said that the top challenge of wealth was “maintaining a strong work ethic and sense of values in my family.” Ensuring that family members do not succumb to “affluenza”– the lack of ambition or aspiration brought on by a life of wealth and privilege–ranked much higher than other challenges, such as keeping up with inflation (15%) or avoiding excessive taxation (3%).

While survey respondents may not believe that money can buy happiness, it certainly can buy luxury goods, with 53% of the respondents owning at least one Mercedes-Benz automobile. Maybe those who stated that wealth causes them worry or unhappiness should consider taking American actress Bo Derek's advice: “Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping.”