Picking the Right Place to Live

manhattan-dsIf you want to make some money it is best to live in a rich city.

When people strike out to make their fortunes they either move to rich cities or they move to new frontiers that are teaming with natural resources.

Nobody moves to Jerkwater, Indiana to build wealth but people move to New York City, London, Los Angeles, Singapore, Berlin, Toronto, Tokyo, Paris and Sydney to build wealth.

Why do people move to those cities to make money? Because that’s where the money is. Just to live in those cities you must make a decent amount of dough.

What’s the secret to building wealth?

Making a lot of dough and not spending it haphazardly. Earning like a King but spending like a pauper.

3rd world Asian immigrants do it all the time. They move to a rich city, they work hard owning a store or a shop, they live cheap, they all live together, they save their dough, they invest in business and real estate and by the time their kids have grown up they’re driving a Mercedes and attending Harvard.

(Note: The opposite is also true. In cheap cities you can live like a King and spend like a pauper. Here is a nice little “hack” to getting the most bang for your buck: Make your dough in a rich city and spend it in a poor one. Example: Bangkok.)

Top 10 Richest Cities in the United States (source)

  1. New York
  2. Los Angeles
  3. San Francisco 
  4. Chicago
  5. Washington D.C.
  6. Houston
  7. Dallas
  8. Atlanta
  9. Boston
  10. Seattle

Top 10 Richest Cities in the World (source)

  1. Zurich
  2. Geneva
  3. Copenhagen
  4. Oslo
  5. Sydney
  6. Stockholm
  7. New York City
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Munich
  10. Los Angeles
If money has been hiding from you, perhaps it is time to go where the money can be found.
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  1. pete smith says

    I have been to most of those cities in the US. I have also been to Switzerland and my fuck is it expensive.

  2. pete smith says

    I loved New York, except for the hotel prices. But, most of those cities have so much to offer. I just remember having such a great time in NY, probably because it was one of my first solo ventures, not to mention I was young at the time, and not yet well-traveled.

  3. Russ says

    Zurich is an awesome city to live in but it is so expensive. The right place to live is in Asia, at least for the foreseeable future. I have a long term ambition of starting a tech company in China, assuming my current software company pans out. What’s your view of China as a place to live and do business?

    Also, what’s your view of the location independent lifestyle? Assuming you had a thriving software company and were making bank.

    • Victor Pride says


      My view of Asia is one of contradictions. Should you go to Asia? Yes and no. Should you live and work in China? Yes and no.

      “What’s your view of China as a place to live and do business?”

      I can’t really answer a broad question like that, there are so many variables. I could fill up the entire page trying to answer that question. I will tell you one thing – China is an adventure. If I were to move to China again I would go to Shenzhen for five reasons. 1) It is in the south so it has nice weather. 2) It is a business and manufacturing center and it is near to Guangzhou, the largest manufacturing area in China. 3) It is near to Hong Kong (on the border) and Macau and an easy flight to Southeast Asia for some R&R. If you are on a tourist visa you can stay for only three months before you have to do a visa run. 4) The girls are pretty a-ok looking. 5) It is inexpensive. Shanghai is the most expensive in China and Beijing is dirty, drab and cold.

      Location independent life is ok for a while but it gets old being a nomad. It really depends on personality though. I like travel and at the same time I like a home base.

  4. pete smith says

    Russ, yeah, Zurich is a cool city. I was there during the summer. People were lining the streets drinking coffee outside cafes, as well as laying along the river in skimpy outfits, much to my delight. That said, the city and Switzerland in general, albeit beautiful, are far too expensive. There is certainly a lot of wealth there. Unfortunately, accompanying wealth is often an attitude of snobbiness, and i certainly found that to be the case there, especially in some of the mountain resorts.

    • Russ says

      Seconded. Jim Rogers is one smart cookie who’s right on the money. I’ve read all his books. Also, he’s doing the family thing the right way.

    • says

      I’ve been living in Indonesia for the last 7 years. For anyone who wants to plug into a BOOMING economy and get rich, I recommend this place too!

      • Victor Pride says

        G, I’ve only just returned from Indonesia 36 hours ago. Bali, Bandung, Jakarta. Personally, not a place I would ever want to live.

  5. says

    Hi Victor. Thanks for your comments on China. I’m planning to move to the Guangzhou or Shenzen from South Africa. China has a bright future economically and I also want to explore living in a foreign culture for at least 3 years. Who knows what will happen.

  6. Dabs says

    Philippines. :) Cheap haircuts. Submissive and obedient wives. And Balut. Also, lots of MMA if you’re into that.

  7. Avi says

    Victor, I love your blog and pretty much agree with everything you say. I live in Singapore, and I would like to say a few things. “Earning like a king and living like a pauper” is a really amazing way of doing things, but a very important thing to consider when choosing a particular city is “buying power”. Singapore for instance ranks rather low in buying power so the average guy HAS to spend a large amount of money on necessities, and this makes the city not as amazing as say Zurich which ranks 1, I think.

  8. speaking my mind says

    Quick comment before I leave and not comeback unless i get on trt (ha!)

    I just moved outta the ‘burbs’ 2 weeks earlier than I planned to, and into the city “SEATTLE”

    damn I was looking for this post IVe needed to re read this and I could not find it, oddly enough it happen to have new comments(just after taking action, minimalizing a bunch and moving) just in time before I take on a self-proposed ultimatum. (of getting on trt or never returning to B&D)