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Wealth is everything that can be exchanged for money, goods, or services. Originally meaning a state of wellbeing, it has come to signify material comfort. Thus, it includes material goods and rights to material goods or services represented by money or other financial assets. An individual's or a family's wealth is the dollar value of its assets minus its liabilities at any point in time. Income, on the other hand, is a flow of money. Thus, wealth can be thought of as accumulated income.

The oldest source of wealth was land, which for centuries was the basis of the great European estates. Because of its solidity and permanence, land can be handed down through generations and kept in a family more easily than other forms of ...

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