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I spent 5 years studying rich people, and here's what they tend to have in common

Photo: Shutterstock.

In my five year study of the rich, I got to know the substance of their lives very well. They have a lot in common.

Below is a snapshot of a typical millionaire from my study:

They’re really rich. They are worth at least $3.2 million. 16% of them are worth more than $5 million. They make at least $160,000 a year. Half of them make close to $500,000 a year.

They’re not young. 80% of them are 50 years of age or older.

It took them a long time to accumulate their wealth. On average, it took 32 years to get rich.

They like their jobs. 86% of them like what they do for a living. 61% of them pursued a dream or something they were passionate about. Those of them who did pursue some dream became millionaires in only 12 years and they have a net worth of $7.4 million.

The richest among them had success mentors who taught them what to do and what not to do.

They read every day to learn. 88% of them read every day to increase their knowledge for their job. 85% of them read a minimum of two books a month. 63% of them listen to audio books or podcasts while they’re commuting to work, exercising, or working in their backyards. They don’t read for entertainment. They consider that a waste of time.

Most of them are self-made. They inherited nothing from their parents. 31% of them were raised in a poor home. 45% of them were raised in a middle-class home. Only 24% of them inherited money from their parents.

They have many good habits and few bad habits. 73% of them got their success habits from their parents.

They’re competitive. 63% of them played sports in high school.

They’re in good health. They exercise almost every day. 76% of them exercise at least 30 minutes a day, four days a week. They like to jog, run, or bike. They watch what they eat every day. They don’t eat much junk food. They don’t go to fast food restaurants. They don’t eat candy. They don’t get drunk. They don’t do drugs. They floss every day. They sleep at least seven hours a night. They don’t smoke.

They like to mentor others. They like to help others succeed in life.

They’re charitable with their time and money. 72% of them volunteer five hours or more a month at local non-profits. They also give money to these same charities.

They all have financial advisers. They bounce everything off their CPA. They also have attorneys. They like to pick their investments themselves and then bounce them off their financial advisors.

They’re happy.

Same home, same wife, and same car. 64% of them own modest homes. They have owned their home for at least 20 years. Very few of them get divorced. They drive old cars. They hardly ever lease a car.

They plan their days. 81% of them keep a to-do list.

Crosswalk businessmen commutersShutterstock

They vote. 83% of them vote at every election.

They don’t spend a lot of money on vacations. 96% of them spend less than $6,000 a year on vacations. 41% of them spend less than $3,000 a year.

They wake up early every day. 44% of them wake up at least three hours before their work day actually begins.

They’re the boss at work. 91% of them are decision-makers. They’re one of these: small business owner, CEO, senior executive, CPA, attorney, doctor, financial adviser, or salesman.

They’re frugal.

They went to college. 68% of them went to college. 56% of them worked their way through college. 25% of them went to graduate school.

They’re not afraid to take risks. 63% of them took a risk in order to become rich. 27% of them failed at least once in business.

They work a lot. 73% of them work an average of 58 hours a week.

They love to pursue goals. 80% of them are focused on one major goal at any given time.

They don’t get mad or angry.

They hang out with other successful people or people who are upbeat and optimistic and have something on the ball.

They don’t hang out with negative people or people who complain all the time. They avoid them like the plague.

They hardly ever gamble. 84% of them never gamble.

They believe in the American Dream. Their parents instilled that in them. They are living the American Dream.

Wealthy champagne toast land roverMatt Cardy / Stringer / Getty Images

They obey the laws. 99% of them have never been arrested.

They built teams to help them succeed. 84% of them have a team of individuals they rely on every day.

They are savers. 94% of them have been saving 20% of their income from the first day they started working. All of them have retirement savings.

They have more than one source of income. 65% of them have three streams of income. 45% of them have four streams. 29% of them have five streams.

They don’t watch TV. 67% of them watch less than an hour of TV each day.

They’re optimists.

They don’t lie. They’re honest.

They aren’t exceptionally smart in school. 77% of them were either C students or B students in school. But they got smart after school. They self-educated themselves. They never stopped learning their entire adult lives.

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