America’s rich like to spend money. In fact, the top 10 percent are responsible for half of all consumer spending in the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal. And this holiday season, they are projected to spend even more than usual. Of course, the wealthy do not spend their money at Walmart but buy the luxury items through specialized channels. 24/7 Wall St. looked at some of the most expensive holiday gifts the wealthy buy one another.
According to the American Affluence Research Center, the rich will increase their spending this holiday season even more than they usually do. They will spend $23.5 billion on holiday gifts, an increase of 2.3 percent compared to last year. Spending among the average consumer, on the other hand, is expected to decrease.
The rich do not spend their money at the same places as the average consumers. Luxury gifts do not come from Target. They are purchased directly from top tier companies and are often available only in select cities. A Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega Grande Complications watch, for instance, is available only by special-order and only in New York or Geneva. Similarly, many high-end collections from designers such as Stefano Ricci are only available in a small number of stores in major cities, such as New York and Beverly Hills. This is doubly the case for airplanes, yachts and luxury automobiles.
One reason luxurious goods are so expensive is because they are less common. Only a few hundred luxurious sports cars, for example, are made for many models. Many of the finest cigars, wines and scotches are also produced in limited quantities. This rarity shortens supply, drives demand and ensures that the products are available only to a certain class of people.
To compile this list of the eleven holiday gifts Americans cannot afford, 24/7 Wall St. looked through the recommendations of Robb Report magazine, the self-ascribed “definitive authority on connoisseurship for ultra-affluent consumers,” and chose one of the most expensive items in eleven categories. We then looked at what it is that makes each item luxurious.
1. Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport
The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport, which is capable of producing 1,001 hp and 922 ft-lbs of torque, took more than five years to develop. The automobile reaches 60 mph in a mere 2.5 seconds and is capable of exceeding speeds of 250 mph. Better still, the top comes off.
2. Airbus A380 Prestige
The A380 is the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Although not a common gift, Airbus has reportedly sold at least one of the massive jets to a private buyer. The A380 has the capacity to carry 525 passengers in a comfortable three-class configuration, and up to 853 in a single-class configuration. Interested customers will have to spend nearly $350 million on the aircraft.
3. Arturo Fuente Fuente OpusX
Price: $36.95 per cigar
Due to its limited production, the Fuente OpusX is one of the rarest cigars in the world. It is the first all-Dominican puro, with each cigar aged for two or more years. According to Robb Report, “only the very best rollers are permitted to make the OpusX, and a separate OpusX room, reserved solely for the creation of these cigars, has been set aside at the Santiago factory.”
4. Alfa Nero
Category: Boating & Yachting
The Alfa Nero superyacht includes an office, dressing area, bathroom with a steam shower and hot tub, and a private outdoor patio with a second hot tub. And that’s just in the boat’s master suite. Better still, the yacht includes a rear pool area that converts into a helipad or dance floor, a sun bathing deck, a gym, beauty salon, and a cinema. One can rent the yacht for more than $1.1 million per week. To purchase, the yacht costs $177,238,602.
5. Goldmund Media Room
The Goldmund Media Room is a “media room home theater speaker system.” The audio/visual system is custom built and configured for each customer’s unique theater space. The starting price is $300,000, and it includes 128 aluminum-enclosed speaker drivers, each with its own amplifier. Of course, there are plenty of options for upgrade.