Monday, May 19, 2014

The secret to becoming a millionaire: Go to university and get a degree, according to official British figures which show one in five graduates are worth £1m or more

Mostly due to increases in property values, however

One in five graduates who hold at least one university degree goes on to become a millionaire, according to new data.

Official figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 20 per cent of all adults who complete higher education, which is equivalent to more than two million people, have a wealth of £1million or more.

In contrast only three per cent of people who have assets totalling more than £1million have no formal qualifications.

The figures also reveal that education is becoming more important to becoming a millionaire as in 2006-07, only 16 per cent of graduates were worth more than £1million.

David Willets, the universities minister said the new study revels why going to university is a very good deal, despite rising tuition fees.

He told the Telegraph: It shows why it’s fair to ask graduates to pay back the cost of their higher education, and why increasing the number of people who go to university will spread wealth and opportunity.’

In addition, Britain’s richest families own almost half of the country’s household wealth.

The wealthiest 10 per cent of households hold 44 per cent of the total money tied up in property, pensions, possessions and hard cash.

Amazingly more than one in 10 people own a second home and a similar proportion can call themselves millionaires.

In 2010-12 the combined wealth of all private households in Great Britain was £9.5 trillion, up by almost 12 per cent £8.4 trillion in 2006-08 as the financial crisis hit.

The average household total wealth stood at £218,400 in 2010-12, up from £196,700 in 2006-08.

Even after the financial crash, wealth is skewed towards the richest 10 per cent, who held 44 per cent of all wealth.

By comparison the poorest 50 per cent of households owned just 9 per cent of total aggregate household wealth, the Office for National Statistics said.

Overall 9 per cent of households have more than £1million, the same proportion who have less than £12,500.

The gap between rich and poor also appears to be widening. In 2010-12, the wealthiest 10 per cent of households were 4.8 times wealthier than the bottom 50 per cent.

The wealthiest 20 per cent of households had 105 times more than the least wealthy 20 per cent, up from 92 times more in 2008-10.

Rachael Orr, Oxfam Head of UK Poverty Programme said: 'This is another shocking chapter in a tale of two Britains, further evidence of increasing inequality at a time when five rich families have the same wealth as 12 million people.

'We need our politicians to grasp the nettle and make the narrowing gap between the richest and poorest a top priority. It cannot be right that in Britain today a small elite are getting richer and richer while millions are struggling to make ends meet.'

Private pensions and property each account for 38 per cent all wealth, with financial wealth making up 14 per cent and physical wealth – possessions – just 12 per cent.

The value of physical wealth – including furniture, clothing and gadgets – varies widely. Around two per cent have household contents worth more than £100,000, while 52 per cent say their poseesions are worth less than £30,000.

There are also variations across the country. Average household wealth in the South East stood at £309,700 in 2010-12, more than double the £142,700 in the South East.

The impact of the financial crash in 2007 has also been more dramatic in the north and Midlands. Between 2006-08 and 2010-12, household wealth in London rose by 31 per cent, but it fell by 10.1 per cent in the North East, and barely rose in the West Midlands (0.8 per cent) and East Midlands (0.5 per cent).

Three-quarters of families own a car, and 4 per cent have a motorbike. Meanwhile 7 per cent have a personalised numberplate, up from 5 per cent in 2006-08.

Separated men and women were the most likely to live in households with total wealth of less than £12,500 (23 per cent and 21 per cent respectively), the ONS said.

Married men and women were the most likely to live in households with total wealth of £1 million or more (14 per cent and 13 per cent respectively).

The ONS added: ‘Compared with single and cohabitating individuals, married individuals are on average older.

‘Knowing also that the earnings of older workers are higher than those of younger workers and that those older individuals will have had longer to accumulate wealth might go some way towards explaining these differences.

‘Compared with single individuals, those who were married might have accumulated more wealth if they were both working and in receipt of a higher joint income.’

The under-35s were most likely to live in households with the lowest amounts of total wealth.

In 2010-12, 13 per cent of 0-15 year olds and 14 per cent of 16-24 year olds and 25-34 year olds were living in households with a total wealth of less than £12,500.

Just 4 per cent of people aged 55-64 years or over-65 lived in households in this lowest total wealth band.

However, 22 per cent of all 55-64 year olds were living in households with total wealth of £1 million or more.

The ONS said: ‘Individuals in this age group still find themselves in the wealth accumulation phase, and income, such as earnings from employment, enable opportunities to increase total wealth.’

There was also a small increase in the percentage of households who own an extra property is up from 10 per cent in 2008-10 to 11 per cent in 2010-12.

This included 3 per cent with a second home, 4 per cent with a buy-to-let and 3 per cent who own land or property overseas.


Inside the Mormon prom: The dance where students keep a respectable distance, short skirts are banned and parents party in a nearby room

Keeping a respectful distance on the dance floor, no short skirts and no alcohol-fuelled after-parties: this is no normal prom.

In fact, it's the eighth annual 'Mormon Prom' in Morristown, New Jersey, a night of modesty at a decorated basketball court at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Nearly 300 students aged between 16 and 18 gathered at the hall on Saturday - some traveling from outside states to attend - for a night of good clean fun.

The event, which started after local teens complained about lewd behavior at their schools' proms, was open to students of any religious affiliation, not just Mormons.

But all had to abide by its rules - no drinking, inappropriate clothing or alcohol.

'There is no pressure to do anything immodest or reckless, like party or drink afterwards,' Anna Jensen, a Mormon who attended the dance with two Catholic friends, told the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

'The music was clean and the dancing was also clean. Overall, it was just a group of kids, Mormon or not Mormon, that wanted to enjoy themselves without being influenced by what our modern society believes to be the norm.'

The students were encouraged to skip the usual pricey practices, such as buying new dresses or arriving in a limousine, and most were taken by their parents, who then socialized together in a separate room.

Some students like Anna and junior Matt Norton said they would also be going to their school's prom, while others attended instead of their school's event.

'I'm going to my school prom in May,' Norton, a fellow Mormon who attends Morristown High School said. 'The types of dancing and music will be very different. It will be more inappropriate at the school prom.'

And he added: 'Girls still look good in modest dresses.'

The prom began eight years ago when students complained to their parents about their high school dances, the Star-Ledge explained.
Respectable distance: Mckenzie Alvarez, 16, and Joe Cicon, 16, share a dance at the Mormon prom - an event that began 8 years ago when teens complained about their lewd school dances

Respectable distance: Mckenzie Alvarez, 16, and Joe Cicon, 16, share a dance at the Mormon prom - an event that began 8 years ago when teens complained about their lewd school dances

Two local Latter-day youth leaders, Cindy Manchester from Pompton Plains and Heidi Elton from Short Hills, joined together to address the concerns their daughters and other students had with their school dances, including steep prices and immodest clothes.

They approached their church leaders and their plan was approved, with the first prom being held in 2006. Mormon churches across New Jersey sponsor the prom.


Teen protests suspension over T-shirt with image of AK-47

A Hinsdale Central High School student is challenging a suspension he said he received for wearing to school a T-shirt that depicts an AK-47.

Senior Chris Borg, 18, of Hinsdale, appeared before the Hinsdale Township High School District 86 school board Monday to make the request that the suspension he received on May 6 be removed from his record.

Borg told the board that he wore a T-shirt with the outline of an AK-47 depicted on the back, a url for the website of a Kentucky armory club that supports gun rights and the words "TeamAK" on it. He said the shirt did not identify the gun as an AK-47 in writing.

Borg said he was stopped for wearing it by hall monitors. He said the dean of students, Kimberly Dever, offered him the chance to turn the shirt inside out, wear another shirt or be suspended for the day.

"I decided to go home for the day because I felt it was a infringement of my First Amendment right to freedom of expression," Borg told the board.

Supt. Bruce Law said the T-shirt is a violation of the dress code outlined in the school's handbook.

The handbook states that students are subject to disciplinary action when they wear clothing that "is deemed vulgar, inappropriate, unsafe or disruptive to the educational process (e.g., advertising/display of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, sexual innuendo).

Borg said he was told the T-shirt was unsafe and disruptive.  "Pictures of firearms can be found in our history textbooks, but you don't see people freaking out about that," Borg said. He also pointed out that the school's team mascot, which is a Devil, holds a trident, which is a weapon.

Law contends that schools have the right to restrict students from wearing offensive clothing.  "Every school I've ever worked at has restrictions on what a student can wear when it's offensive or could be predicted to be offensive, when it promotes drugs, alcohol or violence," Law said.

Law said he does not plan to investigate the suspension. He said Borg has the right to seek to have the suspension removed from his record. The decision on whether the suspension should be removed would be made by the school's principal.

Borg's father, Kevin Borg, said he supports his son's quest to have the suspension expunged.  "He's not advocating violence. He's an Eagle Scout. He's a straight-up kid," Kevin Borg said.

Kevin Borg said if he'd known his son was going to wear the T-shirt to school he probably would have suggested that he not wear it.  "But he's 18. He makes his own decisions," Kevin Borg said. "I respect his right to express his feelings."

Kimberly Dever referred questions on the suspension to the district office.


No comments: