Are all millionaires and billionaires powerful people

The discreet world
the billionaires

Does money make you happy? What does money do with people? And how do millionaires and billionaires differ from the general population. A scientific study and two documentaries that can now be seen in the cinema and on TV deal with questions like these. A film by Lauren Greenfield leads deep into the world of the rich, beautiful and powerful, which, according to the announcement, "depicts the excesses of the global turbo-growth economy, the corrupt American dream, narcissism and greed". The theatrical release is planned for January 31st. The rbb report will then take you to the world of billionaires in Germany on February 11the “Right at the top - The discrete world of billionaires”, which will be shown from 11 p.m. in the series “The Story in the First”.

Millionaires are more emotionally stable, performance-oriented, and narcissistic than the average person. Existing stereotypes about millionaires in the general population reflect these real personality differences - but in an exaggerated way. These are two of the main results of a current study by psychologists from the Universities of Mainz and Münster and economists from the German Institute for Economic Research, which was published last year in the “British Journal of Psychology”.

Even higher up are the billionaires, of whom there are currently around 180 in Germany, and the trend is rising. But there is hardly any other country in the world where the super-rich are so shy. Year after year, manager magazin tries to shed some light on it and publishes a special issue with a list of the 1000 richest Germans. Grimme Prize winner Florian Opitz accompanied the editors and also undertook a journey into the discreet world of money himself in “Ganz oben” and met old and new money in the process: financial advisors with an 800-year family tradition, billionaires like drugstore king Dirk Rossmann, the Mail order heir Michael Otto and self-made entrepreneur like Rainer Schaller, the founder of the fitness studio chain McFit. He spoke to them about money, justice, the origin of their wealth and the fear of the rich of the German envious society.

And how do you research this clientele scientifically? The team around the two scientists Jun.-Prof. Dr. Marius Leckelt (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz) and Prof. Dr. Mitja Back (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster) concentrated in their study on the so-called "Big Five" - ​​the basic personality traits neuroticism, extraversion, openness, tolerance and conscientiousness - as well as the more specific traits narcissism and beliefs in control.

They made a unique survey of millionaires (“High Wealthy People in Germany”; HViD) as well as population-representative data from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP, German Institute for Economic Research) and the “Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies” (PIAAC -L). The combination of these data sources made it possible to compare millionaires and the general population directly using the same established test procedures, according to the press office of the University of Münster. The results showed that millionaires “were more extroverted, more achievement-oriented, and more eager for narcissistic admiration. In addition, they were less prone to stress and were more convinced than the general population that they had control over their own lives. ”The general population, however, viewed millionaires as significantly more rival and less prosocial than the general population, even if these differences were actually small.

The American photographer and director Lauren Greenfield has been working with money, wealth and people who live in abundance for 25 years. In her documentary “Generation Wealth” she immerses herself in the world of beauty contests for little girls. She speaks to the former hedge fund manager Florian Homm from Hessen, who was on the FBI's “most wanted” list. “Greenfield shows students, single parents and families who go into high debt for the purchase of luxury items. She takes us into the houses of Russian oligarchs and the nouveau riche class of China who want to acquire the status of a new aristocratic elite by accumulating luxury items. She shows us plastic surgeon operating rooms in Brazil, where women want to create thinner, younger and better versions of themselves. It shows what happens when excess becomes weariness, ”the announcement said. (rd)

Generation Wealth is also the title of an exhibition of photos by Lauren Greenfield, which will be shown in Hamburg's Deichtorhallen from March 31 to June 23, 2019.