Every year, the American Affluence Research Center (AARC) looks at the brands that all rich people want. They research items that people buy when money is no object. Specifically, they look at the purchasing habits of the 10% richest Americans, which are some 11 million households. Those 11 million households represent around 50% of all consumer spending and income in this country, 70% of all American’s personal wealth, and a third of the entire economy of this country. Every year, Michael Briese looks forward to this list to see what’s hot and what’s not.

Michael Briese and the AARC Results

For lady’s fine watches, the top brands were revealed to be:

  • Tag Heuer
  • Cartier
  • Rolex

For men’s wine watches, the top brands were:

  • Seiko
  • Tag Heuer
  • Rolex

For lady’s fine jewelry, the top brands were:

  • David Yurman
  • Cartier
  • Tiffany

For automobiles, the top three makes were:

  • Lexus
  • BMW
  • Mercedes

Home appliances were also on the list and they included:

  • Viking
  • Sub-Zero
  • General Electric

Cruise liners were next on the list, with the following three being more popular than the unattainable luxury brands, which came as a surprise:

  • Princess
  • Holland America
  • Royal Caribbean

What was clear from the results as well, was that level of wealth, age, and gender all played a role in differences, particularly towards less frequently named brands.

For fashion, women’s preferred brands were:

  • Jones of New York
  • Armani
  • Ralph Lauren

For men, the brands were:

  • Chanel
  • St. Johns

The survey was completed by interviewing 346 men and women from across the nation, all of whom were part of the 10% wealthiest in the country. The average income was $369,000, and the average net worth was $2.7 million.

The survey showed a lot of interesting things, not in the least that people are willing to pay more for names, even if they are not necessarily the highest quality. When comparing the results to crime data, for instance, it also became clear that most of the brands of jewelry in particular were most likely to be counterfeited. Indeed, many people have been busted wearing copied brands. And during a jewelry heist, it is also more likely that these brands find themselves to be stolen. Perhaps the risk and danger associated with the brand, therefore, gives these pieces and extra feeling of being special.

That being said, using Facebook and email, people like Michael Briese are casting a doubt on these results as well. While they may be representative of 10% of the American population, they are therefore not representative of 90% of the same population. The fact that these brands cost a lot, and are made with excellent quality and true craftsmanship, still does not mean that everybody wants to have them. Not every individual aspires to be as wealthy as the top 10% of Americans and, if they somehow managed to enter that top 10%, they may not have the same interests, likes, and dislikes. But the results are interesting nevertheless.