What are the 4 types of millionaires and the habits that allowed them to build their fortunes

Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, Bill Gates, the fourth, and Jeff Bezos, the second

There are two types of millionaires: those whose fortune is inherited and millionaires who took it upon themselves to build their wealth from scratch. In the latter he noticed Thomas Corleywhat investigated 225 of them for five years. He interviewed them in depth, followed his lifestyle, his financial habits.

The research of Corley, who is an accountant and financial planner, resulted in a book titled Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Rich People. Released in 2009, it was a bestseller and became a classic.

Corley's work was premised on a seemingly simple question: Why are the rich so rich?”. Why, 85% of millionaires in the United States were not born rich, but rather it was something they did to become so.

It wasn't an act, like a lucky break. On the contrary: it was something they did regularly. The rich have, the author found, the habits of the rich.

“Wealth is not a byproduct of luck, education, hard work, or inheritance. Financial success is a foolproof process."warned Corey, who poured his conclusions into his “Rich Habits Program”a sort of guide that has been updated since 2009 and has a website.


In general, the millionaires interviewed by Corley were business owners, entrepreneurs, investors o geniuses who had created some unique product or service.

Each of them fell into one of four categories: savers-investors, business climbers, virtuous y dreamers, this specialist recently wrote in a note to Cnbc.

The first group identified by Corley is that of the savers-investors. They are people who are characterized by being constantly thinking of smart ways to grow your wealthaccording to Corley. These millionaires make the saving and investing are part of your daily routine, regardless of the work they do.

The first steps of the 100 richest men in the world
The first steps of the 100 richest men in the world

The second group includes those that Corey defines company climbers”. They are that they work for a big company and dedicate all their time and energy to climb the corporate ladder until they get an executive position with an extremely high salary.

The third group is that of thevirtuous”. They are those people who excel at what they do, and earn large sums of money for their knowledge and experience. They are generally highly qualified people, with degrees obtained in the best universities. This is the case, for example, of eminences in the fields of medicine or law.

The fourth group is that of the dreamers: those people who they became millionaires after following a dreamas start your own businessbecome a actor, musician o writer successful. “Dreamers love what they do for a living and their passion shows in their bank accounts”Corley wrote.

Tom Corley conducted a five-year investigation to understand why the rich are rich.  (richhabit.net)
Tom Corley conducted a five-year investigation to understand why the rich are rich. (richhabit.net)

It took the average millionaire in Corey's study between 12 and 32 years to accumulate a net worth of between $3 million and $7 million. "88% of millionaires I interviewed said that saving in particular was critical to their long-term financial success," he noted.


Corey's book, which is rich in case narratives, also presents some of the "rich habits" that promises its title. Among them, these are some of the most important:

1. They save 20% of salary every month

Los savers-investors interviewed by Corley consistently saved 20% or more of their take-home pay, every month. They typically put 10% into retirement accounts and the other 10% automatically went into a separate savings account.Many have achieved this by automating the withdrawal of a fixed percentage of their take-home pay,” Corley said.

In addition, savers-investors would transfer their accumulated monthly savings to an investment account

According to this expert, even if you can't save 20% of your salary, Saving a smaller percentage on a consistent basis can help you reach your financial goals.

“With your first check, I got into the habit of saving something—10%, 5%, or at least 1%. The point is to set some savings goals and stick with it. This creates the habit of saving”, suggested the specialist to Business Insider.

2. They regularly invest part of the savings

Because the savers-investors they constantly invested their savings, their money accumulated over time. When they started, this compound interest was not very significant. But after 10 years, began to accumulate significant wealth, with an average wealth of US$3.3 million.

Regarding the millionaires known as "dream-entrepreneurs", although in the first stage of the search for their dreams they did not have the capacity to save, once they achieved success they immediately turned around and started investing their profits.

Also. those who were born into the middle or lower classes and became millionaires were not limited to a single source of income. “They developed multiple currents”, Corley wrote. “Three seems to be the magic numberAccording to my study: 65% had at least three streams of income that they had created before reaching the first million dollars”. Stocks, rental properties and side businesses are some of the different sources of income that the wealthy turn to.

3. They are extremely austere

One of the common denominators of the millionaires studied by Corley is that they were all extremely austere. According to the expert, being frugal requires being aware of how money is spent, spending money on quality products and services, and spending as little as possible looking for the lowest price.

“Most of the rich people in my study were raised by poor parents or middle-class parents who were trying to instill good habits in them. Being austere was one of those good habits that they carried with them into their adult lives."Corley noted.

be austere “It will allow you to save a greater amount of moneyCorley recommends. “And the more you have saved, the more money you can invest.”

Stocks, rental properties, and side deals are just a few of the many sources of income that the wealthy tap into, never putting it all on one person.  (REUTERS/Kim Kyung Hoon)
Stocks, rental properties, and side deals are just a few of the many sources of income that the wealthy tap into, never putting it all on one person. (REUTERS/Kim Kyung Hoon)

4. They keep your expenses low

self-made millionaires always seek keep expenses as low as possible. Their strategies include:

-Do not spend more than 25% of net salary on housing.

-Do not spend more than 15% of net salary on food.

-Do not spend more than 10% of salary on entertainment, which includes bars, movies, restaurants.

-Do not spend more than 5% of annual pay on vacations.

-Never play. In case of betting on lottery or casino, that comes out of the entertainment budget.

6. They avoid spendthrift friends.

One of their hallmarks is the conscious effort they make to associate with like-minded people. “They avoid spendthrifts like the plague”Corley emphasized. According to him, those who seek friendships who share the desire to have a life without excesses are "highly likely" to see good money habits replicated.

On the contrary, the rich “are always looking for goal-oriented individualss, be optimistic and enthusiastic and generally have a positive mental outlook”.

Nearly 90% of millionaires spend at least 30 minutes a day building rich relationships.

It took the average millionaire in Corey's study between 12 and 32 years to accumulate a net worth of between $3 million and $7 million.  (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)
It took the average millionaire in Corey's study between 12 and 32 years to accumulate a net worth of between $3 million and $7 million. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

7. They marry the right person

"One of the reasons why self-made millionaires are millionaires is that they choose correctly who they marry"said the expert. They find a person who shares their values ​​and money habits and end up merging into a very efficient team when it comes to saving, spending and investing.

8. read constantly

“88% of wealthy people spend 30 minutes or more each day educating themselves or improving themselves through reading”Corley wrote. "The majority do not read to be entertained, but to obtain or maintain knowledge." The fact that they read to improve themselves "separates them from the rest of the competition," he explained: "By increasing their knowledge they can see more opportunities, which means more money. In comparative terms, only one in 50 people with financial problems do this type of daily self-training reading, and consequently the poor do not grow professionally.

Three groups stood out among the types of books millionaires read, he observed: biographies of successful people (58%), personal development (55%) and history (51%). On trips to their offices, 63% listen to audiobooks and 94% find out about current affairs. Only 11% read for entertainment. 86% believe that improving through education is a lifelong programagainst 5% of those who do not have resources.

9. They do not participate in games of chance

“Every week, 77% of those with financial difficulties play the lottery. Hardly anyone who has money gambles. Rich people don't trust their wealth to good luck.: create your own good luck”, emphasized the author of Rich Habits.

A Mega Millions lottery ticket. According to Corley, hardly anyone with money gambles. "Rich people do not trust their wealth to good luck: they create their own good luck" (REUTERS / Brendan McDermid / file)

10. They never give up

Financially successful people share three characteristics, according to Corley's study: “Concentration, persistence and patience”. They never stop pursuing their goals, even if they suffer setbacks: “Those who became millionaires are persistent. They never give up on their dream. They would rather drown as the ship sinks than give up," he wrote.

More than a quarter of their respondents said that he failed at least once in his business, and he got up and moved on. "If we want to be successful in life, we have to resist adversity even if it seems endless," she concluded.

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