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Grand Rapids on the Forbes 400 List

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http://www.forbes.com/lists/2007/54/richli...igan_7Rank.html

I thought this list was worth a thread because the GR area now has two people on the Forbes 400 richest list. It is interesting that Meijer and family went from being worth less than 1 billion last year to now being worth 2 billion (although this is an estimation by Forbes, take it for what it is worth). What did they do to increase their wealth by so much since 2006? Also, we are pretty lucky, for the most part, our first families are very generous. And for the record, Forbes is showing an increase of 100 million from 2006 to 2007 for Devos.

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http://www.forbes.com/lists/2007/54/richli...igan_7Rank.html

I thought this list was worth a thread because the GR area now has two people on the Forbes 400 richest list. It is interesting that Meijer and family went from being worth less than 1 billion last year to now being worth 2 billion (although this is an estimation by Forbes, take it for what it is worth). What did they do to increase their wealth by so much since 2006? Also, we are pretty lucky, for the most part, our first families are very generous. And for the record, Forbes is showing an increase of 100 million from 2006 to 2007 for Devos.

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Indeed, Forbes is merely taking a wild stab at personal worth in many cases. It is also worth noting that ya have to be pretty publicly visible to even merit their curiosity. Truth is, the very quiet Gordon family (of Gordon Food fame) could arguably be on one of Forbe's lists. One only needs to ponder the scope of their operations to venture a guess as to their worth. That being said, I personally find it very admirable how the Gordons manage to be quite philanthropic without getting their names mentioned any where. They're writing checks - but doing it very quietly - and as far as I can tell - only for causes with absolutely unquestionable merit. Pretty honorable if ya asks me. They certainly deserve to be on any list of local philanthropic leaders.

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According to Forbes, The Meijers had an absence from the list. How could you accurately measure his or anyone else's worth without disclosure? I always thought the Meijers were the wealthiest in GR.

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There are so many factors at play in a person's cash flow that it would be extremely difficult to wealth other than poor, middle, and rich, with out a disclosure. Pay scales of two similarly sized companies could be vastly different I.e. the CEO of A, Inc may earn less than than the CEO of B, Inc. Or a bigger company may pay its owner less than an owner of a smaller company. Also the Meijers and say Devoses for example are two completely different animals. Meijer has earn most of its wealth from the founding and continued operation of Meijer, Inc. The Devos Family has its fingers in Multiple ventures from Alticor to its portfolio of GR hotels including the JW Marriott. The Meijers is supposedly now worth 2 billion dollars while the Devoses I believe are worth nearly twice that. So these differences play a factor in how wealth is earned. Then there are other countless details such as stock investments and methods of savings. All of these variables and more makes text like the Forbs Article much like the "which is the best city to live in" boosterism articles found in Readers Digest.

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