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Atherton is wealthiest community in nation, Bloomberg says

Original post made on Apr 2, 2018

It makes a certain amount of sense - Atherton, the town repeatedly found to have the most expensive real estate in the country, also has the highest average household income in the country, at least according to Bloomberg.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, April 2, 2018, 11:55 AM

Comments (17)

Posted by PVPeep
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Apr 2, 2018 at 12:22 pm

Never been so pleased to fall off a list in my life.

Have at it, Atherton.


Posted by 10 acre
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 2, 2018 at 2:55 pm

Wait tll trumps tax cuts for tge 1percent actually kick in...


Posted by Citizen
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 2, 2018 at 8:03 pm

Congrats Atherton.... the richest and cheapest.....that’s why you have so much money....$$$$$$$$$


Posted by POrtola Valley resident
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Apr 2, 2018 at 8:16 pm

Portola Valley and Woodside are not on the list because each town has less than 2000 families. Obviously they would be in the top if the survey was more holistic.

Shame on the almanac for not noting this


Posted by Portola Valley Resident
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Apr 2, 2018 at 8:24 pm

Also, highlighting Menlo on this list is laughable. It isn’t even comparable to its neighbors in terms of average income. In fact, Portola Valley’s per capita income is double that of Menlo park. It’s a shame that the almanac thinks it’s a worthwhile fact to even bother reporting.


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 2, 2018 at 8:30 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Wow. The one upsmanship; "We really make more than x" How do you people look yourselves in the mirror? Is this really that important in your lives? Seriously? If so, you people are really sad little people. Reminds me of Trump and his focus on the size of his hands. Who gives a s***?


Posted by So much more
a resident of another community
on Apr 2, 2018 at 9:00 pm

Wealthiest city is a good accolade, but Atherton has so much more. Some of the kindest and most altruistic residents around. Certainly one of the most efficient city governments with firm fiscal management of resources, tolerant and embracing of differing views to enhance the common sense decision making they are known for. An award winning police department that stays out of the limelight of controversy, quietly improving quality of life, and at a bargain when considering compensation. The level of wealth isn’t very important when looking at the whole picture.


Posted by Not a PV Res
a resident of another community
on Apr 2, 2018 at 9:00 pm

Let us remember, though: If it weren't for the wealth of Silicon Valley, Portola Valley would be nothing more than another Clearlake, but with better scenery.


Posted by Don't Care Don't Care
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Apr 3, 2018 at 12:59 pm

@ "Not a PV Res": I wish. How I wish. I'd give a lot to have none of the Silicon Valley thing going on here.


Posted by Not a PV Res
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2018 at 2:01 pm

@Don't Care Don't Care: Well, guess what, sport -- you (and your fellow PV residents) don't have a choice in the matter.

Live. With. It.

Or become one of those communities out in the sticks, where you have to deal with meth heads trying to steal anything that isn't nailed down every single night.


Posted by PV Res
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Apr 3, 2018 at 2:20 pm

Agree with commenter above—Portola Valley has enjoyed the benefits of the tech boom. I think we should remember how fortunate we are to live in such an affluent and bucolic community, being surrounded by nature and in such a peaceful crime-free town. It’s good, not bad.

And also unfortunately a small minority will always envy those who are more successful.


Posted by George
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Apr 3, 2018 at 7:31 pm

I personally think quality of life is more important. On that aspect, we are way ahead of Atherton.


Posted by Atherton realism
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 4, 2018 at 1:54 pm

With an average family income of $443,000 in Atherton, and down payment of $500,000, the typical household there can afford a mortgage and house of about $2.4M.

So why is the average listing price currently over $8 million?

Oh, yeah, stock, options, and golden parachutes. Income and assets are 2 very different things. So the typical home buyer has 6-7 million in investments?

That is especially painful for the rest of us trying to rent or buy with just income and savings, but no massive stock payouts.





Posted by Atherton realism
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 4, 2018 at 2:09 pm


"And also unfortunately a small minority will always envy those who are more successful."

It's not envy, it's anger towards the systematic ways that the 1%, or .01%, have been rewarded by systemic privilege, education & opportunities that others can't afford, lawyers and financial advisors that others can't access, a tax system rigged to let them keep more of their wealth, and the list goes on for miles.

If people truly believe they are successful entirely based on their own hard work, they are delusional.

I don't begrudge people their wealth. I begrudge the self-righteous attitude and lack of effort to equalize opportunities for others not so lucky.

It starts early. Many wealthy kids are surrounded by "enrichment" opportunities, travel, exposure to people and education that 90% of the rest do not have. Then there's racism, gender inequality, class based discrimination. Learning disabilities. Parents caring for relatives, working multiple jobs. Single parents.

A few can overcome disadvantages. The majority cannot. Every disadvantage a person didn't have to deal with improved their odds of making it to the top.


Posted by Res
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Apr 5, 2018 at 6:53 am

Again, it’s really too bad that some who are lazy find ways to blame others (often who are more successful) for their own failures. Everyone in this town is very hard working and truly has accumulated wealth through hard work. I think you are the one who is delusional, Atherton realism


Posted by Millionaire Next Door
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2018 at 8:45 am

@Atherton Realism

Most American millionaires don't get that way due to luck. It's not even due to the fact their parents are rich or have connections. It's really about self-control.

Most millionaires in the US are self-made. And most of them don't have high income jobs. What they have in common is discipline. They have good incomes, not necessarily great. Very importantly, they don't try to keep up with the Joneses. They spend mostly on their needs, not much on their wants, and save the rest. That's when compounding interest/returns take over to turn a small nest egg into a really big one.

What makes most people poor is that live close to or beyond their means. They buy things they can't afford. High income people make this mistake. There are lots of high income people with negative net worth because they live an extravagant lifestyle.

Why I say it's not luck is that discipline can be taught and internalized. All of I said is not conjecture, but actually backed up by academic research. The name under which I've posted should be a hint on the source.

Real financial security is possible for almost every American. It does require changing how most Americans approach money from a spend first attitude to a save first attitude.


Posted by Realism
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 9, 2018 at 1:18 pm

If you read Malcolm Gladwell and other published papers, you'll learn the fact that it takes (at least) four things to be successful.

1) Hard Work +
2) Opportunity +
3) Skill +
4) Luck

Again, no one can be successful without help. Help comes in the form of college that is paid for by parents or affordable. Help comes from connections and network. Help comes from tax advantages.

Luck might mean health for you or your family. People that struggle with illnesses cannot devote 60-80 hours a week to a job or pursuit. People that have relatives they have to take care of can't either. It's luck to be born in a supportive, two parent family and the advantages that conveys, that you have no control over.

Opportunity might mean being in the right place at the right time.

Of course it takes hard work and personal skill. But that's not enough.

I live in Woodside and am truly lucky to be in the position I'm in. But I would never claim I did it completely by myself, with no systemic advantages. I didn't have to fight racism, poverty, debt, illness, etc.

It's truly obnoxious to call people lazy when you don't know their circumstances. And even if you do.

Name calling may be the favorite tact of our so-called president, but do you really want to be like him?


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