By: Daniel Gross

THE WEEK April 7, 2006

To the rest of us, millionaires may all look alike, said Daniel Gross in But market researcher Larry Samuel, known as the Margaret Mead of plutoctats, says that to understand this strange species, it’s helpful to sort them out, based on “habits and behavior” in their “natural habitats.”

Samuel’s first category of millionaires is “thrillionaires.” These “conspicuous consumers” buy objects to boost their self-esteem. Think Donald Trump. On the other end of the spectrum arc “realionaires,” value- minded types who tend to keep their fortunes under wraps. Warren Buffctt is the archetype. Then there are “coolionaires.” These wealthy aesthetcs funnel their dough into fine art or daring architecture. Money manager and “utopian community developer” Boykin Curry typifies the breed. Closely related are the “wellion-aires,” those who go in for “therapy, New Age thinking, and alternative medicine.” In a word, Oprah. Finally, there are the “willionaircs,” folks such as David Rockefeller and other “social entrepreneurs” who dole out their stockpiles to the needy. Truly outstand-ing specimens, Samuel notes, often transcend these categories and ascend to a different stratum. They are called ”billionaires.”

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