Does Wealth Equate to Quality of Life?

CA - 2016-7-6 - Wealth vs. Quality GraphIf you want to see a fascinating chart, take a look at this graphic which charts each country’s GDP per capita with its “social progress,” defined by a cumulative measure of economic opportunity, access to quality healthcare and education, tolerance of minorities and general quality of life.  This is a subjective measure, but if you look at the countries toward the bottom of the chart, you’ll see that the Social Progress Index mostly gets it right.

What’s interesting is the correlation between economic wealth and social progress.  Interestingly, the article describing this chart (see here: from the U.K. Business Insider focuses on the fact that some countries (like Finland, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands) are enjoying more social progress with less wealth, while others (United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia) have more wealth and less social progress.

But if you look at the line that curves through the data, and especially if you imagine that the line were curved a bit higher on the top end, you see that the correlation between the two is pretty close.  The other interesting thing is how the United States, while high on the scale, ranks behind at least a dozen other countries on the Social Progress Index.  Is it really less pleasant to live in the U.S. than Slovenia?

Culture clearly plays a part in the rankings, which tells us that wealth isn’t everything.  The Scandinavian countries, Canada, New Zealand and Australia clearly put more emphasis on quality of life than on per-capita wealth, while many Arab nations plus Russia have relatively high incomes but fall below the Social Progress curve.



About Objectively Speaking

Tom Batterman, founder of Vigil Trust & Financial Advocacy and Financial Fiduciaries, LLC is in the business of representing the best financial interests of his clients. Having provided objective, fee-only financial management services for over two decades, he specializes in managing the investment and related financial affairs of individuals and mutual insurance companies who do not have the time, interest or expertise to manage such matters on their own. As an objective, unbiased professional who takes on a fiduciary responsibility to his clients, he guides clients to the financial decisions they would make themselves if they had years of training and experience and the time and expertise to fully research and understand all of their options. Founded in 2010 as an outgrowth of Vigil Trust & Financial Advocacy, Financial Fiduciaries, LLC is a financial management solution for individuals and mutual insurance companies who recognize they do not have the time, interest or expertise to properly attend to their financial matters on their own. While there are many financial “advisors”, most of them have investment products to sell and the “advice” they provide is geared toward getting their clients to engage in a purchase. As one of the rare subset of advisors known as “fiduciary advisors”, Financial Fiduciaries does not sell any investment product so its guidance is not compromised by conflicts of interest which plague ordinary advisors. Prior to his employment in the financial industry in financial advocacy and trust positions, he worked at a private law practice in the Wausau area in the areas of estate planning, tax, retirement planning, corporate organizations and real estate. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the UW-Madison Law School and has during his career held Series 7, 24 and 65 securities licenses. A longtime resident of the Wausau, Wisconsin Area, Tom is active in the community. He enjoys golf, curling, skiing, fishing, traveling and spending time with his family.
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