My colleague yesterday jokingly referred to his absence from The Sunday Times Rich List but in so doing revealed one of its flaws – namely the reluctance to exposure of some of the very rich.
Other flaws in its compilation are the absence of debt and the unreliability of valuations.
I think it was Robert Maxwell who descended from the Rich List to his estate being revealed to be denuded of worth after his death in one year.
Charles Saatchi (grouped for some reason with his brother Maurice) has his art collection valued at £200m but try getting that in today’s market where there are no live auctions nor Art fairs.
Yet for all its flaws – and it is much more detailed on categories and age groups of of wealth than breaking it down – it remains almost an institution.
Certainly its the only time I buy The Sunday Times. I suspect the reason for this has nothing to do with wealth and everything to do with advertising. Anything capturing and captivating wealth must attract advertisers. The front cover is sponsored by Smallbone of Devizes and within the glossy pages, you will not be surprised to learn, are adverts for CAF the Charities Aid Foundation and Cancer Research.
This year there were more glamorous daughters of super rich fathers featured. It’s ostentatious but I still read it and I’m not alone.