I came across this article in a blog recently and found it very useful. It certainly reflects what I’ve found when I’ve looked into how our wealthiest clients accumulated their wealth.
There are 7 common factors to those who build net fortunes of one million dollars or more. In America, there has never been more personal wealth than there is today; yet most Americans are not wealthy. Amazingly, a mere 3.5% of our households own almost one-half of the wealth in the United States! Although we may be hard working, educated, moderate to high-income earners, why are so few of us affluent?
In studying the affluent, I found a pattern that the wealthy follow. It is more often the result of planning, hard work, perseverance, and self-discipline that determines who become wealthy. The factors compiled here are summarized from the research done by Thomas Stanley Ph.D. on over 1,100 actual millionaires (many are multi-millionaires) in the U.S. today. You can do these!
1) Live Well Below Your Means
Don’t be fooled. The ‘average’ millionaire doesn’t look like a millionaire! The key word here is frugal, frugal, and frugal. The typical person is America is a consumptionist. It’s in our blood. We work hard, make money, and spend it well. Not the typical millionaire! They play great defense (saving and investing) as well as offense (making money). Just like in football – great offense is exciting…but great defense wins games. An interesting note: Millionaires on average claimed their spouses were as frugal or more than they were. It’s a family affair: Sacrifice high consumption today, for financial freedom tomorrow.
2) Spend Your Time, Energy, and Money in Ways that Build Wealth.
Although the road to Millionaire’s Ville takes a frugal path, they pay well for training and advice. Do investment planning. Go to seminars. Hire good attorneys, tax accountants, mentors and coaches. Learn to identify and invest in assets that produce income. The wealthy spend money when the investment will protect and grow their assets. Millionaires also know the details: How much is spent each month and on food, clothing, and shelter. The non-wealthy say they don’t have time to plan, while the wealthy make time to plan. But here’s the shocker: The average millionaire spends 8.5 hours per month planning, while the non-affluent spend 4.5 hours or less planning. How can 4 more hours per week impact your future? Make it happen and the odds are in your favor of joining the truly wealthy!
3) Choose Financial Independence over Displaying High Social Status
The wealthy run highly efficient operations both in business and at home. Most live in average neighborhoods, and drive average cars. They’re not interested in keeping up with the Jones’ – because the Jones’ aren’t financially free. It takes lots of energy to consume big mortgages, change homes every few years, buy the most recent model cars, and wear the latest fashions. The wealthy drive typically American made cars! Japanese cars come in 2nd place; half of these are Toyota Camrys. Yes, significant value per dollar is the key here. The Millionaire’s Motto: You aren’t what you drive. The status cars – Lexus, BMW’s, Mercedes? At 6.4% or less per each brand.
4) Don’t Accept Economic Support from Your Parents once Outside the Home
Sounds painful doesn’t it? It’s a fact that has taught the wealthy how to earn, keep, and invest money. Parents of the wealthy do not, or cannot, provide “economic outpatient care”. The results are clear: The more dollars the adult children receive, the fewer they accumulate. Those who are given less are motivated to accumulate more on their own merits. An amazing fact: 80% of millionaires are first generation millionaires; they have made their money on their own, in their lifetime. Many of these folks have been immigrants to the U.S., starting out with minimal cash on hand. Work hard to learn and generate wealth-it CAN be done, and happens in America every day.
5) Teach your children to be economically self-sufficient to foster a “Wealth Mind-Set”
Provide your children fish and they will eat for a day. Teach them to fish and they will eat for a lifetime. As you might guess, children who grew up to be affluent, who had affluent parents, were taught to be disciplined and intentional with their money. Robert Kyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, didn’t cave in when his son asked for a car at 16 years old, even when the neighbor kids were being given cars by their parents. He gave his son $3000, and a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, and a few books on investing in the stock market. Now Rich Dad’s son watches more CNN than MTV. He has the motivation, and is getting an education that will provide him for a lifetime, well beyond his first car purchase.
6) Become Proficient in Targeting Market Opportunities
Find your niche, like the wealthy do. Follow where the money flows, and look for specialized opportunities. Why not target the wealthy themselves? Yes, they are frugal, especially first generation self-made wealthy. BUT…they spend openly on investing in themselves and their families. Investment advice and services, business training, software, tax advice, legal, medical, dental, health, real estate, and education are top priorities. They pay well for products and services that protect and grow their assets. Remember the majority of the wealthy are self-employed entrepreneurs. Followed by medical professionals and business executives.
7) Choose the Right Occupation
You now have a good idea of what the affluent do. 20% are retirees. Of the remaining 80%, most of these are self-made businessmen and women. Keep in mind that entrepreneurs are 4 times more likely to become millionaires than those who work for others. There is no one business, or group of business more likely to breed millionaire-hood. Some are lecturers, others medical professionals, farmers, small manufacturers, and corner mom and pop stores. The most important predictor is the characteristics of the owner, than the type of business. It’s the winning combination of skills and attitude that hit’s the wealth target.
NOTE: The affluent attribute being honest with all people as the most important characteristic in their businesses, tied with being well disciplined. The vast majority of the wealthy were not stellar students, or born into money. They have made it through following a few simple principles and being consistent.
About the Author – The 7 Top Ways Millionaires Become Wealthy
Steven enjoys writing and teaching others on the special topics of wealth, health, and human potential. Steve left a lucrative career in biotechnology to fully pursue his passions in 2000. Now he writes, trains, and coaches full time in San Jose, CA.
Here is a link to Steven’s site: http://www.teleclassinternational.com/catalog.phtml?keywords=info01
By David Gibson