Tuesday 5 August 2003

Cashing in your chips

In The Millionaire Next Door Thomas Stanley and William Danko explain how most rich people make their money in basic, unfashionable businesses.

The typical millionaire:

....is a businessman who has lived in the same town for all of his adult life. This person owns a small factory, a chain of stores, or a service company. He has married once and remains married. He lives next door to people with a fraction of his wealth. He is a compulsive saver and investor. And he has made his money on his own. Eighty percent of America's millionaires are first-generation rich.
Well, it looks as if the same rules apply here in Scotland:
THE award-winning Anstruther Fish Bar has changed hands in a deal worth more than £1.5 million.

The business, which is in the Gourmet Guide to Fish and Chips and has twice been named Fish and Chip Shop of the Year, has been sold by the proprietors, Ian and Ann Whyte, and their business partner, Colin Cromar.

It has been bought by another Anstruther man, Robert Smith and his family, who also run the Argo Fish company in nearby St Monans.

Not only have the sellers managed to get £1.5 million for a fish and chip shop in a small east coast town but the purchaser is another local entrepreneur in the same line of business. Good for the Whytes and their partner: they have earned their retirement. How unlike our friends in local government:
SCOTLAND’S local authority pension funds have lost more than £1.5 billion over the past year, The Scotsman can reveal, leaving a £2.4 billion black hole which may have to be filled by cuts in services or council tax rises.
If business owners screw-up, their pensions are reduced or even lost completely. When government workers pensions are threatened - as a direct consequence of the Chancellor's policies - no problem: just "cut services or increase council taxes." That's not right. Government workers' pensions should be reduced in line with the average in the private sector.