What is new money?

New Money has several meanings. It may refer to wealth that was not inherited – the ‘rags-to-riches’ of self-made people. The term nouveau riche also means new money in this sense but tends to include the notion that the person or family had previously been poor and lacked the worldly experience, refined taste, and value of old money.

New money, which is the opposite of ‘old money’, may describe successful entrepreneurs, shrewd investors, entertainers, actors, and famous sportspeople.

New money may refer to the money or the self-made people themselves, as in “The Smiths are new money, rather than the socially more elite old money.”

Opportunities have widened

In the 18th and 19th centuries, new money came almost exclusively from successful businesses and investments. Since then, the opportunities have widened considerably.

This broadening of avenues has also shifted societal views, often challenging traditional notions of wealth accumulation and the socioeconomic mobility afforded by the digital age.

According to Cambridge Dictionaries Online, new money has two meanings:

“Money that is available to be used for the first time,” or “money owned by rich people who have not always been rich, or the people themselves.”

QFinance says new money means financing provided by a new issue of stock (shares), or the transfer of funds from one account into another.

Private banking providers say it is much more difficult to build long-term relationships with self-made millionaires, compared to their ‘old money’ customers, who have been brought up to think several decades ahead.

Money that is available to be used for the first time may also be called new money, as in: “The Federal Reserve System has created unprecedented amounts of new money.”

A rags-to-riches story – Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Aldelson, the son of a Boston cabdriver (father) and knitting shop manager (mother), was born in a poor neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, in 1933.

At the age of 12 he borrowed $200 dollars and started selling newspapers. He later worked as a mortgage broker, financial consultant and investment adviser.

Inspiring example of new money
Sheldon Aldelson’s life story is an inspiration to budding entrepreneurs across the world.

He dropped out of high school and studied voice as a teenager.

After being discharged from the army he set up a toiletry kits business, and then established another called De-Ice-It, which sold a spray to clear frozen windshields.

In the 1960s he started a charter tours business and soon became a millionaire, However, in his thirties he lost his fortune twice.

It was in trade shows and casinos in Las Vegas and other countries that Adelson made his massive fortune.

According to Forbes, by 2007 Adelson had a net worth of $26.5 billion.

Ten more icons of new money

Below, we showcase the profiles of ten remarkable individuals who ascended the wealth ladder through relentless hard work and exceptional entrepreneurship:

  • Jeff Bezos

Born: January 12, 1964
Place of Birth: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Founded Amazon.com, which started as an online bookstore and expanded to a wide variety of products and services, including cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

  • Jack Ma (Ma Yun)

Born: September 10, 1964
Place of Birth: Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China
Co-founded Alibaba Group, a multinational conglomerate specializing in e-commerce, retail, internet, and technology.

  • Mark Zuckerberg

Born: May 14, 1984
Place of Birth: White Plains, New York, USA
Co-founded Facebook, the world’s largest social networking service.

  • Oprah Winfrey

Born: January 29, 1954
Place of Birth: Kosciusko, Mississippi, USA
Became wealthy through her career as a talk show host, producer, and philanthropist.

  • Dietrich Mateschitz

Born: May 20, 1944
Place of Birth: Sankt Marein im Mürztal, Austria
Co-founder of Red Bull, the energy drink company that became a global brand synonymous with extreme sports and energy drinks.

  • Larry Ellison

Born: August 17, 1944
Place of Birth: New York City, New York, USA
Co-founded the software company Oracle Corporation.

  • J.K. Rowling (Joanne Rowling)

Born: July 31, 1965
Place of Birth: Yate, Gloucestershire, England
Authored the Harry Potter series, which became an international literary phenomenon.

  • Masayoshi Son

Born: August 11, 1957
Place of Birth: Tosu, Saga Prefecture, Japan
Founder and CEO of SoftBank, a multinational conglomerate holding company with stakes in various telecommunications and technology companies. He is known for his aggressive investment strategies and vision of a technologically-driven future.

  • Elon Musk

Born: June 28, 1971
Place of Birth: Pretoria, South Africa
Co-founder of PayPal; founder, CEO, and chief engineer of SpaceX; CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; founder of The Boring Company; and co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI.

  • Mukesh Ambani

Born: April 19, 1957 Place of Birth: Aden, Yemen (his family later moved to India)
Chairman and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries Ltd., known for significant contributions to refining, petrochemicals, and telecommunications, notably with Jio.

Two Videos

These two educational videos come from our YouTube channel, Marketing Business Network. It explains the meanings of “New Money” and “Old Money” using straightforward and easy to understand language and examples.

  • What is New Money?

  • What is Old Money?