One week after the accidental death of the author of best-selling book The Millionaire Next Door, Helaine Olen writes in The Baffler that the object of the book – a self-made small business owner who, by frugality and savings, joins the ranks of millionaires - is increasingly a mythical creature. She points to a 2013 survey by U.S. Trust which found that “a third of Baby Boomers worth more than $3 million claim to have grown up in a lower middle class home, versus 18 percent of Generation Xers, and 12 percent of Millennials. Why the change? In our increasingly class stratified society, it takes money to make money—frugal habits be damned.”
Who can fill 85-year-old Jack Bogle’s shoes? Nobody, according to the Vanguard Group founder. “I think it’s crystal clear that nobody, nobody, plunges into this battle to build a better industry with any more enthusiasm than I do,” Bogle told BloombergBusiness recently. Still, the piece takes a closer look at possible contenders—folks who some say are following in Bogle’s footsteps. It includes Research Affiliates’ Rob Arnott, iShares’ Mark Wiedman, Vanguard’s William McNabb, Bogle Investment Management’s John Bogle Jr., AQR’s Cliff Asness, WisdomTree’s Jeremy Siegel, and AlphaSimplex’s Andrew Lo.
Your business is worth more if it can run without you. But how do you step back? Taking one’s name off the front door is a great start, but there are deeper cultural issues that need to be addressed. In a recent article for Inc., entrepreneur Matt Shoup says the process of creating an independent business is about allowing employees to stand on their own—owners need to stop hovering over employees and instead take a vacation and, if it comes to it, let them fail.