Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wealth Survey: Discover what The Wealthy Have in Common

Most people (including me) want to be wealthy. But, we set out to achieve this goal in different ways. Yes, we all venture out into different roads, in search of that "brass ring." Once in a while, it's smart to pause and evaluate our progress. In this way, we would ascertain whether we're on the right track or not. Since we share the same goal, I thought a wealth survey would be helpful.

A survey was given to 5,000 people. The questions in the survey were divided into 4 categories:
  • Financial attitude and behaviours
  • Goals
  • Personality
  • Non-financial behaviors
The responses to all the questions asked were used to map out the difference between the wealthy and those at the bottom of the economic ladder. The responses to the questions revealed that there were 4 main economic groups of people in the U.S.:
  • The wealthy (3% of the population)
  • The financially comfortable (27% of the population)
  • The paycheck-to-paychecks (54% of the population)
  • The further-in-debtors (15% of the population)
Permit me to call the bottom group - "broke." However, it doesn't mean the paychecks-to-paychecks are safe.

That said. According to the survey, 20 factors distinguish the wealthy from the broke and everyone else. The following factors help the wealthy climb to the top of the economic ladder:
  • They have reduced outstanding debt
  • They have invested for retirement
  • They feel stocks are worth the risk
  • They save regularly for emergencies
  • They devote money to personal savings each month
  • They aim to retire comfortably
  • They want to be financially comfortable during their working years
  • They always knew what they wanted to do
  • They made it a goal to accumulate $1 million
  • They want to own a home
  • They're confident
  • They're happy
  • They're optimistic
  • They're leaders
  • They're competitive
  • They have a college degree
  • They socialize with friends once a week
  • They read newspapers regularly
  • They're married
  • They exercise at least 2 to 3 times a week
The survey reveals that you need only ten (10) of the above factors to be financially comfortable and twelve (12) to be wealthy. Is that too much to ask?

Before you move on to another article on this blog or before you quit, endeavor to sincerely grade yourself, based on the above factors. In this way, you'd know what needs to be done in order to move up the economic ladder. Depending on your present position on the ladder, movement can either be from broke to pay-check-paycheck, or from pay-check-paycheck to financially comfortable (this is alright) or from financially comfortable to wealthy (highly recommended). Note that I do not completely rule out the possibility of a reverse movement.

More information about the survey can be found in the book entitled, The Difference: How Anyone Can Prosper in Even the Toughest Times by Jean Chatzky.

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