By in Wealth | 13 comments

EXCITING NEWS: I was selected to deliver a national training in San Francisco this November entitled: Personal Finance Solutions for Busy Mental Health Professionals. This 3 hour workshop includes material from my upcoming INVESTING ebook. Stay tuned to get first crack at the NEW EBOOK. And it’s FREE to my readers.

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” Abraham Lincoln

Many researchers have stated that taking control of ones’ own life, maintaining a positive attitude, and being resilient in the face of setbacks are the keys to success. Who can argue with the long lasting contributions of Abraham Lincoln?

MAIN TOPIC: Do you have these qualities of the RICH?

When El Carino (my hubby) approached me with enthusiasm over a Money Magazine article, I KNEW IT HAD TO BE FABULOUS.  Thus I rushed to read, Do You Have What It Takes To Be Wealthy?  from the September issue of Money. The article lists the qualities of the RICH and supports them with research.

Sound too good to be true? Just gain these qualities and you are on your way to the bank! Hold on, not so fast. No offense to El Carino, it is way too simplistic. Tell me what you think!

Wealthy Americans possess these attributes (according to Money Magazine):

Optimism: But not an over the top, Pollyanna attitude.

Loaded parents: Wealthiest 20% of families have a 55% chance of staying in that bracket.

Healthy: Chronic health problems are associated with financial problems.

Intelligent: But not too much-don’t need to be MENSA smart! The top 2% of the population (IQ>130) have a tough time keeping their cash!


College degree-gain $450K in lifetime wealth

Graduate degree-gain $570,00K in lifetime wealth

Thin, tall, & attractive: Earn more (2 out of 3 isn’t too bad) 🙂

Only children earn the most: Ostensibly because they receive more parental attention

Married one time & stay married:

93% wealthier than unmarried

Divorce reduces wealth by 77%

Married-no kids: Wealthiest, next those with one offspring

Personality traits:

Persistence-the best

Materialistic-the worst

Niceness-not much

Exercise & no smoking: Not a huge surprise here

Men earn more than women: Traditional men (with stay at home wives) earn the most

Entrepreneurs are the wealthiest

Frugal lifestyle: Correlates with wealth (Go personal finance bloggers!)

PRACTICAL APPLICATION; Take this Article with a Grain of Salt

Many of the wealthy traits reflect qualities totally out of your control; wealthy parents, birth order, intelligence, appearance, height, and gender. This is not helpful! If you can’t control these qualities, then what difference do they make? Furthermore, there was minimal data to indicate the actual percent that these qualities contribute to wealth. For example, if 10% of the wealthy are married with no kids, who cares. Plus, some might argue that kids (not teenagers) add to one’s overall wealth!

Isn’t it common sense that persistence is an attribute of the rich? No smoking and exercising indicate discipline, another obvious success trait! If you don’t know men earn more than women and have more financial success then you must be living in a cave. If you are relatively intelligent, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that you will probably be richer than someone less brainy.

The more I write this post, the more frustrated I am with the Money article. This article definitely goes in the “tell me something I don’t already know” category!

My unscientific OPINION: Control what you can in life and forget about the rest. Set the goals that are important to you. If you desire wealth, make a plan, break it down into manageable steps, persist in spite of obstacles, and be patient. Focus on the PROCESS, the outcome will follow. Although Money is one of my long term favorite magazines, skip this article.

What do you think? Am I just being cranky or does Do You Have What It Takes To Be Wealthy?  adds very little to the pool of knowledge related to wealth?



Set some personal success goals. Make them specific and quantifiable. For example, present 2 new ideas to the boss every other week, commit to saving 15% of your income, brain storm ways to earn extra cash.

Follow this action step and take control of your future, don’t leave it to your birth order!

Read these articles by my personal finance colleagues with more ideas for getting wealthy; there’s something for everyone!

  • Mike at Oblivious Investor writes about one of the greatest investors of all time, Benjamin Graham on Asset Allocation
  • Neal at Wealth Pilgrim tells how to Make Money During Retirement
  • Matt at Dividend Monk tells you 8 Reasons to go with Dividends

BarbaraFriedbergPersonalFinance around the web this week:

image credit: Anadelmann



  1. I loved reading Money Magazine as a young college age kid! Now, I’ll occasionally skim the issues from the library (I no longer get subscriptions to the magazine), after all, it’s still a good read.

    I never seem to fit their description of their average reader, and the articles always seem targeted to a more income affluent reader.

    Sounds like a interesting article though, I’ll have to check it out the next time I’m at the library!

    Now, I’m off to check out the first site on your list: “Eventual Millionaire”, followed by the rest! 🙂

    Money Reasons

    August 18, 2010

  2. “Control what you can in life and forget about the rest.” It’s sometimes so hard to do this, though. If something seems unfair, then it seems unfair, whether you have the ability to control it or not.

    I do agree with you, though. We’ll gain more value by being persistent in changing what we can, rather than complaining about what we can’t… 🙂


    August 18, 2010

  3. @Money Reasons, I have subscribed forever to Money Mag. & since I read a lot of “scholarly finance” writings for my work, I kind of look at Money as my “lite” reading. It’s got great graphics, stories, ideas & useful money news!
    Welcome to my site-Thank you for the comment 🙂
    @Kevin-As usual, you continue to add to the discussion. Thanks for stopping by.


    August 18, 2010

  4. I might as well hang it up, because my parents aren’t rich, I am not tall, I am not an only child, etc. It is common sense that divorce will lead (most likely) to less riches. The part I did like is the emphasis on education. I don’t know how many youngsters read money magazine, but maybe it will help people understand the importance of education.

    Everyday Tips

    August 19, 2010

  5. Hi Everyday Tips, So I take it you agree with me 🙂 that this article is a bit simplistic and pessimistic? Go education! The rest…. height, gender, parents and all the stuff you can’t control, forget about it and move on! With goals, persistence, dedication, a plan, and patience, almost anything is possible. Thanks for the comment.


    August 19, 2010

  6. I’m with you; many of these tips are ridiculous and out of one’s control! For instance, I’m short. So that makes me less able to become wealthy?! I’m a woman, so again I guess that puts me in the “your not going to be wealthy” category. This article doesn’t seem to try to be teaching anyone how to make the most of one’s money. Instead, it’s mostly based on the luck of the draw!

    Little House

    August 19, 2010

  7. Cool post! That was really interesting, I’m looking forward to when I will be receiving my Money mags. I picked on up at the dentists office a few weeks back, came home, and ordered it! Such good stuff in there!

    Very interesting about the Married families with one kid are the richest. My logic would lead me to believe that married with no kids would be richer.

    I also like to hear the non-smoker and fit part of the list! I knew there were additional reason I bust my butt everyday!:)


    August 19, 2010

  8. I used to love to read Money magazine when I used to respect Wall Street. But I seem to not have many of the things on the list, but I seem to be doing fine. I agree that the list is a bit simplistic. But for lite reading its entertaining. The magazines advice is contradictory from month to month. Also the greatest use of the magazine is to advertise brokerage houses and mutual funds. The hyping of a particular stock. Even though the magazine is put together months before publication, its looked at as current news. It also is a form of Jim Cramerizing investing.


    August 19, 2010

  9. @Little house-I agree-so much better to maintain an “optimistic & action oriented focus.” What can I do to achieve wealth. The rest is irrelevant!
    @MFO-Yes, you are correct- Money stated that married with no kids are the wealthiest.I agree wrt to exercising-grit your teeth and do it (if I thought about it too much I’d just stay on the couch).
    @50-Really good insight about Money Mag. I sometimes liken it to reading “People magazine” for finance enthusiasts.
    Thanks to all for continuing the conversation.


    August 20, 2010

  10. I agree with the list. Now if I can talk
    my husband into to being a stay at home


    August 20, 2010

  11. On the topic of loaded parents, with the statistics given, I am more alarmed to know that 45% of the wealthiest 20% of families end up falling out of the bracket.

    Also, wealthy people are more likely to stay tall, skinny and attractive as they can afford the best lifestyle enhancements. Even if they are not, wealth actually creates a perception of attractiveness with proper grooming and the way they carry themselves. So I am not sure if this causal relationship is accurate


    August 20, 2010

  12. @Marie, Good luck with the hubby- I’d be happy to talk with him 🙂
    @Arohan, Fascinating stats, aren’t they? Statistics can certainly be interpreted in a variety of ways and as you suggested, correlation does not necessarily imply causation.
    Thank you for stopping by.


    August 21, 2010


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