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What is Wealth?

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Wealth is a store of value. This includes things that have value, create future value or that can be used to pay future expenses. Wealth can be measured for nations, communities, organizations, families and individuals. The following are illustrative examples of wealth.

Capital

Capital is property that produces value such as a factory, data center or bridge.

Natural Capital

Nature itself is a form of capital that is often a common good that isn't owned by anyone. For example, the oceans and atmosphere are natural capital.

Governments

Governments are a form of wealth assuming that they provide valuable services that meet the needs of a nation.

Money

The legal currency of a nation secured by its ability to collect future taxes.

Commodities

Precious commodities such as gold and silver.

Organizations

Businesses and non-profit organizations that produce value.

Securities

Tradable financial assets such as stocks.

Real Estate

Property, buildings, structures and land improvements.

Tangible Assets

Physical things that have value such as infrastructure or products.

Intangible Assets

A non-physical entity that has value such as a brand. This includes digital assets such as software and data.

Intellectual Property

Symbols and creative works such as copyrights, patents, trade secrets and trademarks.

Culture

Cultural things such as a historical building or work of art.

Talent

The talent of an individual that has potential to produce future value. Likewise, an educated population is a component of the wealth of nations. This is often referred to as "human capital."

Health

The health of an individual is valuable to them. It also tends to increase future productivity.

Social Capital

The value of social relationships to a firm or individual such as a brand with many advocates or a salesperson with many contacts.

Cultural Capital

Cultural capital is the ability of an individual to influence within the context of a culture or social group. For example, a sales person who knows how to influence German technology CEOs.

Economic Security

Economic security is the ability of a system to sustain a standard of living. For example, capabilities in areas such as water security and disaster preparedness can be considered wealth.

Quality of Life

Anything that makes people more satisfied with life such that it has value to them. All else being equal, a city where people are generally happy is arguably more wealthy than a city where everyone is unhappy.

Traditional Wealth

Traditionally, wealth is defined as an asset that can be used to pay future expenses. This includes capital and infrastructure that generates value. It also includes assets such as real estate, securities, precious metals and cash. Anything that is difficult to place a cash value on such as quality of life aren't traditionally considered wealth. Intangible assets aren't traditionally included as wealth unless you bought them from someone, thus establishing a cash value.

Net Wealth

Net wealth are the total financial and non-financial assets of an entity minus all liabilities such as debt. This is based on traditional wealth such that only things with an unambiguous dollar value are included.
Overview: Wealth Definition
Type
Definition (1)
A store of value.
Definition (2)
Elements that have value, create value or that can be used to pay future expenses.
Definition (3)
The tangible financial and non-financial assets of an entity.
Related Concepts
Next: Examples of Wealth

Wealth

This is the complete list of articles we have written about wealth.
Abundance
Brand Equity
Capital
Commodities
Common Goods
Finance
Human Capital
Income
Social Capital
Talent
Tangible Assets
Wealth
Wealth Definition
Wealth Effect
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Wealth

The common types of wealth.

Households

The definition of household with examples.

Abundance

The definition of abundance with examples.

Gold Things

A list of common gold things.

Socioeconomic Factors

An overview of socioeconomic factors with examples.

Finance

A guide to finance.

Wealth Examples

An overview of wealth with examples.

Debt

An overview of debt with examples.

Financial Literacy

An overview of financial literacy with examples.

Gold Uses

A list of the common uses for gold.

Recession Definition

A few definitions of recession.

Factors Of Production

Examples for each of the four factors of production.

Financial Industry

An overview of the financial industry with examples.

Financial Outcomes

An overview of financial outcomes with examples.

Economic Life Of Assets

An overview of the economic life of assets with examples.
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