“Why are some people poor and others rich?”
The answer to this question was the focus of a national survey of 1,504 adults conducted earlier by the Pew Research Center. Only about 4 in 10 (38%) of the respondents indicated that the rich are rich “because he or she worked harder than others.”
But how do millionaires, the people who are actually wealthy, explain their own economic success? Nearly 9 in 10 (88%) rate “hard work” as a very important/important factor. [See for example Table 2-1, Millionaires’ Success Factors, The Millionaire Mind].
In the same Pew study, 51% of the respondents were of the opinion that the rich are rich “because he or she had more advantages than others,” while 50% indicated that the poor are poorer because of “circumstances beyond his or her control.” Contrast these results with the fact that 80% of millionaires in this country are self made. Also note that 95% of millionaires rated “being well disciplined” as a very important/important component in explaining their economic success.
The wide contrast in the beliefs of the general population as opposed to those of millionaires has many implications especially within the political arena.
Assuming that the Pew study was representative of the adult population in America only about 4-8% of the respondents were millionaires, if that many. How valid therefore are the opinions of those surveyed in this study in explaining the variations in wealth accumulation in this country? The typical American household has a net worth of just over $90,000 and an annual income of approximately $52,000. What do these people really know about how to become rich?
If your objective is to become financially independent, you may find it more productive to follow the ways, means and lifestyles of America’s self made millionaires as opposed to those of the population in general.