Where the "Rich" Live... And How You Can Join Them

“The more you make, the more you think it takes to be rich,” observes UCLA political science professor Lynn Vavreck.

That’s borne out in a survey from the research firm YouGov. It sought out 1,000 Americans and asked them what kind of annual income would qualify someone as “rich.”

The answers depended on the survey respondent’s income…

As a Person's Income Rises, So Does the Income Level He Considers Rich

The demographic breakdown was intriguing, writes professor Vavreck: “Among city-dwellers, 28% thought there was at least a small chance they might one day become rich, while 18% of people who lived in the suburbs felt this way and only 5% of those who live in rural areas. But roughly three times as many rural Americans (about 7%) and twice as many suburbanites (4%) thought they were already rich relative to those in cities.”

So if you live in the city, it’s more likely you think you’ll be rich one day. But if you live in the country, it’s more likely you consider yourself rich already. How ’bout that…

Crude is hanging in there today… a barrel of West Texas Intermediate is fetching $106.26 as we write.

The situation in Iraq? Still bad. And ambiguous:

  • The country’s biggest oil refinery, in Baiji, is under attack by the berserkers from ISIS. The government claims its forces have beaten ISIS back. Hmmm… As former Shell CEO John Hofmeister quipped in our virtual pages on Monday, “Hydrocarbons don’t work well with exploding rocket grenades and tracer bullets”
  • Exxon is supposedly carrying out a “major evacuation,” according to an Iraqi government official. Which is really strange because Exxon’s operations are in the south of the country, hundreds of miles away from the fighting.

Whether Exxon is scrambling for the exits or not, it only reinforces our Byron King’s long-standing guidance — steer clear of oil stocks with heavy Middle East exposure. Especially when so many promising players are making new fortunes in the United States.

Elsewhere in the energy patch, Canada is moving to send some of its oil sands energy to China.

Yesterday, the government approved plans by the big pipeline firm Enbridge to build the Northern Gateway pipeline — stretching from the Alberta oil sands to British Columbia’s Pacific Coast. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has been pushing for the project while President Obama hems and haws about the Keystone XL pipeline extension that would bring Alberta oil down to the Gulf Coast.

Map of the Planned Northern Gateway Pipeline

“Now there’s some pressure on Obama to approve Keystone,” says Matt Insley of our energy desk. In April, the feds kicked the can indefinitely — or at least until after the November midterm elections. We’ll see whether the prospect of Canadian crude bound for the Middle Kingdom might change that…

Regards,

Dave Gonigam
for The Daily Reckoning

P.S. Clearly while the US oil boom is starting to feel its stride, something like this could put a kink in its step. But for savvy investors, there is a way to profit along with the US energy renaissance no matter what happens in Canada. And in today’s issue of The 5 Min. Forecast, I gave readers a chance to get in on a massive new story that’s churning out up to 100 new “wildcatters” every day. Sign up for The 5 Min. Forecast right here and start getting these kinds of opportunities, every single trading day.