Have you ever wondered what the wealthy do for fun?
If you have, you probably pictured them lounging on the deck of a yacht, taking a private jet to some exotic tropical location, or bathing in hot springs somewhere in Iceland.
Reality, however, is something very different.
In my five-year study of individuals with an annual income of $160,000 or more and a liquid net worth of $3.2 million or more, I discovered their recreational activities were not very much different from the rest of us.
It's how they do them that's a little different: We golf, they belong to a golf club. We ski, they own a ski house. We collect postcards, they collect wine.
Mostly, they favored these five activities:
1. The wealthy like to golf.
By far the most common recreational activity of the wealthy was golf. 51% regularly played golf. It was, by far, their number one favorite recreational activity.
45% of our wealthy golfers were members of a private golf club and the rest hoofed it at local public clubs. 37% who played golf combined their love of golf with business, killing two birds with one stone.
2. The wealthy like to boat.
Water activities seem to be a favorite common recreational activity of the wealthy. 38% of the wealthy in my study owned a boat and used their boat for weekly excursions, typically with family but also with friends and business associates. 68% used their boats for various water sports activities such as waterskiing, tubing, water trampolines, jet skiing, fishing, swimming, or sailing.
21% of the boats owned by the wealthy were yachts.
3. The wealthy like to play tennis.
38% of the wealthy played tennis one or more times a week. Many were members of more than one competitive league. 60% of our wealthy tennis players were members of a private club and the rest were members of one or more local public tennis clubs.
4. The wealthy like to collect things.
Perhaps the most surprising recreational activity I uncovered in my study was that the wealthy liked to collect things. 36% of the wealthy in my study were collectors. Art, cars, boats, wine, and sports memorabilia were among their favorites.
5. The wealthy like to ski.
Perhaps the one recreational activity most associate with being rich is skiing. And my study did not disappoint.
Skiing rounds out the top five recreational activities of the wealthy. Of the 33% of those who like to ski, 12% owned a vacation home by a ski resort.