Things the rich do that the poor don’t

A certified financial planner and CPA Tom Corley wrote a book entitled “Rich Habits,” where he breaks down a five-year study on 233 wealthy people (defined as having an annual income of $160,000 or more and a liquid net worth of $3.2 million or more) and 128 poor people (defined as having an annual income of $35,000 or less and a liquid net worth of $5,000 or less). In his book he was able to separate out rich habits and poor habits. He explains that everyone has some rich habits and some poor habits, but we should strive for more rich than poor. Here are a few of his findings.

They always keep their goals in sight

“I focus on my goals every day.”
Rich who agree: 62%
Poor who agree: 6%

Similarly, 81% of wealthy people create daily to-do lists, compared to 19% of the poor. Corley says that successful people are goal- oriented and are constantly creating goals even throughout the day.

They keep their cool

“I’ve been known to lose my temper”
Rich who agree: 19%
Poor who agree: 43%

Corley concluded that those who are poor tend to not be able to control their emotions. Having the ability to keep a cool head in any situation can pay off in the end.

They don’t watch a lot of TV

“I watch TV one hour or less per day.”
Rich who agree: 67%
Poor who agree: 23%

Similarly, only 6% of the wealthy watch reality shows, compared to 78% of the poor. An interesting figure, though if Netflix counts as TV, then I personally may be poor forever.

They read, but not necessarily for fun

“I love reading.”
Rich who agree: 86%
Poor who agree: 26%

Rich people do love reading, but they favor nonfiction. More specifically they are reading self-improvement books, 88% of them for 30 minutes each day, compared to 2% of poor people.

They go above and beyond in the office

“I do more than my job requires.”
Rich who agree: 81%
Poor who agree: 17%

This is the easiest to identify correlation to wealth of all Corley’s questions. Those who go above the call at work are often recognized and rewarded to continue earning more.

They monitor their health

“I count calories every day.”
Rich who agree: 57%
Poor who agree: 5%

Corley says that wealthy people value their health, and even shared a client’s explanation of why. His wealthy client admitted he exercises and eats healthy because he knows that the end of his career will be his biggest earning years.

They watch what they say

“I always say what is on my mind.”
Rich who agree: 6%
Poor who agree: 69%

A few conclusions could be drawn from this statistic, but I am reminded of a quote often attributed to Roger H. Lincoln. “There are two rules to success: 1) Never reveal everything you know.”