A rare opportunity to learn about wealth, class, and capitalism from someone with generational wealth, writing with transparency

A recent happy moment in Rome in front of the Trevi fountain

My parents were wealthy as were their parents. I had a 40 year career in finance that preserved my generational wealth. I have always lived within the Manhattan bubble from which I’m trying to escape intellectually. Join me in my journey.

If these issues are of interest to you, subscribe and receive a weekly post each Saturday. I have no paywall.

About Me

I’m 62 years old, married 38 years, three adult children (two married,) one grandchild, and one Shih Tzu named Sophie.

Read more here…

Two recent examples: 

My Candor Writing About Wealth Comes With A Price

A Much Needed Adjustment To My Factory Settings ON Marriage And Children

A very personal post begins:

“On the morning of my daughter Lauren’s wedding, I was in the Frank E. Campbell funeral home haggling over the price of caskets for my mother who had died the night before. It was Saturday, March 21st, 2020, and New York City had been shutting down in stages all week. My mother’s body too had shut down in stages.”

With over 2,800 subscribers, Sparks From Culture is recommended by more than 80 other Substack writers, including M.E. Rothwell, John Halbrooks, Jay Adler, Mary Tabor, Eleanor Anstruther, and Martha Nichols.

I have an active Comments section (usually 100+) that adds valuable perspectives from my diverse reader base

I love comments, especially those that broaden my own thinking. I especially love when subscribers get to “talk” to each other.

While I think posting public comments is great so everyone benefits from your thoughts, many of my subscribers feel more comfortable emailing me directly. So, here’s my email: robertsdavidn@gmail.com

There’s No Such Thing as a Free Subscriber

To a writer, there's no such thing as a free subscriber. Subscribers devote some portion of your most precious resource––your time––to reading my posts and often commenting on them. I am truly grateful for your attention, and it’s more than enough for me. It’s why I write. 

That said, I want to be supportive of Substack, whose revenue model is based on paid subscriptions. So, here’s my solution.

I offer both a free and a paid option, but there is no difference in content or access between paid and free.

As well, all paid subscription revenues will be donated by me to The Robin Hood Foundation, a leading poverty fighting organization in New York City. Robin Hood has a thirty year history of doing innovative and highly impactful work, helping hundreds of not-for-profit organizations with both funding and advice.

The standard paid subscription price is $30 per year.

I asked my friends at Robin Hood what impact a $30 contribution to Sparks From Culture could have on people living in poverty. This is what they came back with:

  • $30 provides 15+ meals at a food bank.

  • $30 covers 10 subway rides enabling a mom in shelter to take the subway to find housing and employment.

And in case you want to consider a larger contribution:

  • $100 pays for 1,000 diapers for a baby in shelter.

  • $300 will provide health care to an uninsured New Yorker.


So far, about 130 subscribers have elected the paid option.

To find out more about Robin Hood, go here.

Subscribe to Sparks from Culture by David Roberts

An authentic look at the many dimensions of wealth—including class, capitalism, and generational privilege


Writer of the Substack Sparks From Culture; zealous fan of my family, my Shih Tzu, all things Substack, NYC (lifelong resident); retired partner from investment firm Angelo Gordon