I’m in the midst of an interesting book, Everyday Millionaires, by financial guru Chris Hogan.
The book is based on a survey of more than 10,000 U.S. millionaires. Using the data, Hogan dispels many of the images we have of the wealthy, and argues — quite strongly — that a seven-figure net worth is within reach.
Who are the millionaires?
Hogan found the vast majority of millionaires earned their wealth through hard work and by prioritizing savings — living well below their means — and that they continue to follow these habits.
Hogan spends considerable time debunking the myths of how people became millionaires. Most came from humble beginnings. Seventy-nine percent received no inheritance from their parents, and eight out of 10 came from families at or below middle class.
Education matters, as 88 percent earned a college degree. Incidentally, 68 percent of the graduates never took out a student loan.
Somewhat surprisingly, the key to wealth isn’t landing a high-paying job. Hogan found that less than one-third earned more than $100,000 a year. Can you guess the top three occupations of millionaires? Engineer, accountant, and teacher.
Keys to success
So, what is the path to wealth? Hogan identified several characteristics. Topping the list are discipline and consistency. The tortoise definitely beats the hare on the path to $1,000,000.
Hogan found that millionaires:
- Save consistently, largely by living below their means.
- Avoid unnecessary risk and get-rich-quick gimmicks.
- Practice patience, realizing that it takes time to build wealth.
- Believe that they control their own destiny (but also ask others for advice and guidance).
- Invest in retirement plans. This was identified as the biggest contributing factor.
- Establish and reach financial goals.
Whether or not you fit these criteria, the book is a worthwhile read. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find yourself in the next millionaire survey!