I have recently read the millionaire study(1) by Dave Ramsey. It is a treasure trove of invaluable statistics from real life millionaires. It is a good complement of the Millionaire next door in revealing the habit of the wealthy. The main purpose of the study was to confirm that everyone can become a millionaire. But, from reading in the stats,I do not arrive at the same conclusion. Secondly, the study make me doubt at the efficiency of the self-improvement toward money goal. Finally, there is a wide gap between the general belief in what is needed to reach millionaire status. What is needed to be a millionaire is simply savings and investing your money.
Being uneducated drastically reduces your chance to be a millionaire. The study shows that only 2% of the millionaires have only a high school diploma and 0% without it. Thus it seems that for reaching millionaire status it is a prerequisite that you have at least a 4 year college degree (84% of millionaires). Intelligence, or at least having the skill set to pass exams seems to be highly sought as most of the millionaires (55%) were « A » students.
One of the harsh reality of the study is that many of the self-improvement movement seems meaningless in order to achieve wealth. Setting personal goals like many self improvement books is irrelevant on the path to millionaire status as exactly the same proportion of millionaires and in the general population does it. Similarly, both millionaires and the general population strive to always try to improve their habits at similar proportions. The millionaire reading habit is a tad bit higher than the general population, but as earlier mentioned , most are highly educated, so I would not be surprised if it was simply a reflection of this. Another belief in the self improvement movement is to seek wisdom from mentors. It seems that millionaire disagree as slightly less than the general population reach for mentors wisdom.
The main difference the general population has versus millionaires is the knowledge of how to attain millionaire status. The general population believes in the need to come from a rich family(77%), take big risks with your money(67%), inherit it (62%)or have a 6 figure salary (62%). Millionaires disagree with these beliefs. This is probably illustrative of their own path to wealth. Only 31% believe in the need to come from a rich family, 16% to take big risks, 35% to inherit it and 35% to need to earn a 6-figure salary.
In conclusion, it seems that being good at school & savings/investing is the path to wealth. You can skip the self improvement book as it sadly does not seem to help.
(1)The National Study of Millionaires – Finding From the Research Study Behind Chris Hogan’s Everyday Millionaires (2019). Research by Tony Lemonis, Jameson Murray, Tim Smith and Natalie Wilson