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MILLIONAIRES HAVE SOME GOOD HABITS

A popular game show asks the question
"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" The
answer, of course, is obvious: everybody.
Except perhaps Bill Gates, Ross Perot and
a few others, who would rather be
billionaires.

But what does it take to be a millionaire?
Superior intelligence? Hard work? A job at
Microsoft?

Thomas J. Stanley provides some
surprising answers in his new book,
"The Millionaire Mind," which is based on
an exhaustive survey of 1,300 millionaires,
almost as many as play in the National
Football League.

The typical millionaire did not inherit his
wealth from his parents, graduate from an
Ivy League college, or invest all his money
in Viagra. No, he created his wealth himself,
without the slightest bit of help from Ed
McMahon.

Millionaires generally made B’s and C’s in
college and were considered as
intellectually gifted as a baked potato. Their
names were more likely to appear on a
bathroom wall than the Dean’s List.

But nine out of ten millionaires graduated
from college, proving once again that a
college education, no matter how much it
costs, is not hard to get. Yet it’s fairly
important to economic success. At least
that’s what I keep telling myself.

Millionaires don’t rely on natural intelligence,
but choose careers that match their abilities,
Stanley says. If they’re good at numbers,
they go into accounting. If they’re good at
speaking, they go into broadcasting. If
they’re good at acting, they go into politics.

That makes a lot of sense, yet many people
enter the wrong fields, partly because
they’re too eager to make big bucks.
They’re unwilling to pay their dues, which is
why they often get in trouble with their union.

Millionaires tend to be creative and
practical. Focused on a goal, they take
calculated risks and work harder than most
people. And hard work, to them, is not
defined as "surfing the Internet on a slow
computer."

The average multimillionaire in Stanley’s
study was a 54-year-old man, married to
the same woman for 28 years. That’s
surprisingly similar to the average
multimillionaire in Hollywood, who’s a
54-year-old man, married to a 28-year-old
woman.

Though millionaires live in homes worth an
average $1.4 million and earn more than
$700,000 a year, they’re careful in their
spending habits. They’re more likely to shop
at Wal-Mart than Saks Fifth Avenue, more
likely to buy second-hand underwear than a
copy of "Monica’s Story."

Millionaires "don’t depend on consumer
goods to enjoy life," Stanley writes. "Their
pleasures and self-satisfaction have more
to do with their families, friends, religion,
financial independence, physical fitness
and perhaps a bit of golf." And with friends
like them, who needs banks?

Millionaires are not as money-minded as
one might expect. Among a list of activities
they participated in during a particular
month, the top two were socializing with
children/grandchildren and entertaining
close friends. Rolling around in piles of
cash was not even in the top twenty!

Almost none of the millionaires in Stanley’s
study credit their success to intelligence.
Far more important are integrity, discipline,
getting along with people, having a
supportive spouse, and hard work.

That's not a bad formula to copy. Even if it
doesn’t bring us loads of money, we’d be
rich in a lot of other, more important ways.

Maybe these millionaires are pretty smart
after all.


                                                        

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