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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Working Class Millionaires ?

Russ Alan Prince, author of The Middle-Class Millionaire, has been trying to understand a new sub-class of Americans called the “working rich”. Prince defines them as those with net worths between $1 million and $10 million, but who still work for a living. After conducting a survey of both middle-class millionaires and those just plain “middle class” (defined as having income of $50,000 to $80,000 and net worth under $1 million), he distilled these differences into 9 traits for Forbes. Apparently, middle-class millionaires:
1.)     Work Longer. The average middle-class millionaire puts 70 hours a week into the job. They take 12 vacation days a year, seven fewer than the average middle-class worker.

2.)     Value Networking. More than 60% say knowing “many, many people” is very important in achieving financial success.

3.)     Take Risks. Over 90% of middle-class millionaires admit to having made a major career or business decision that had a bad outcome.

4.)     Avoid Vanilla Corporate Jobs. Over 80% own their own business or a have a stake in a partnership.

5.)     Do It For The Money. 74% say that choosing a career “for its potential financial rewards” is very important to achieving success.

6.)     Don’t See Themselves As Rich. Fully one-third of those worth $1 million to $10 million think of themselves as middle class (the other two-thirds consider themselves upper middle class). Meanwhile, 21% of middle-class people (making $50,000 to $80,000 annually) call themselves members of the upper middle class.

7.)     Put Family First Over Community. The values the mass affluent place the most importance on are ethics, responsibilities to loved ones, parenthood and children’s education.

8.)     Pay For Help. Half of them have hired personal or career coaches.

9.)     Put Family First In Vacation. Over 60% of middle-class millionaires say that spending time with family is an important component of a vacation. By contrast, only 28% of middle-class workers think so.

Overall, there are some interesting differences. But I personally don’t see these as a “how-to” template - There’s no way I’m consistently working 70 hours a week - the whole point of being smart with money for me is to work less. Also, I feel like some information is missing. Are working millionaires older than average? Being a working millionaire at 30 is a lot different than at 60.