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9 Things the Rich Do That The Poor Do Not

things the rich do that the poor do notThe richest 1% of the world currently control 48% of the world’s wealth. The top 80 wealthiest people in the world control approximately $1.9 trillion, which just so happens to be the amount controlled by 3.5 billion people on the other end of the spectrum. Can you believe that? There are 80 people in this world that collectively share the same amount of money as 3.5 billion people! (…This is why it’s so important to learn the things the rich do as soon as possible.)

Global inequality continues to be a hot-button issue with many of us as we realize that we’re in the bottom 99%. In fact, the Occupy Movement originated in 2011 for this very reason.

Many individuals who did not have wealth were disgusted by the richest 1% who “are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing our future.”  Is this true? Are we victims? Or are we all just too chicken to create wealth on our own, and therefore demand a handout from those that earned it with their blood, sweat, and tears?

9 Things the Rich Do That The Poor Do Not

While many of us would like to believe that each one of these 80 wealthiest people inherited their wealth, in actuality only 11 did. The other 69 have built their immense wealth from very little. Look at Warren Buffett, for example. He grew up as a middle class child, but got addicted to the world of business and investing at a very young age. Today, he is worth $72.3 billion (with a “b”).

Nobody gave him this money. He earned it because he has always took actions like the rich would and avoided the actions of the poor. Since he has so much wealth, should he be required to give his money to the rest of us just because we haven’t become as successful? I don’t think so. Instead, we should all be studying the things the rich do and should be actively doing them ourselves!

things the rich do1) The Rich Believe in the Law of Income

The rich believe that they will be paid in direct proportion to the value that they deliver to the marketplace. In other words, if they are integral in forming a product that nearly everyone in the world wants/needs, then they should be compensated accordingly. I personally know the inventor of the self-dimming rear-view mirror which is now in almost every car in America.

Do you think it would be fair to only pay him $15 an hour for the time he put into this invention? Or, since his product has been an amazing success, perhaps he should receive a portion of the proceeds from each sale? I believe in capitalism and am a big fan of the latter.

Poor people believe that we should all be paid the same amount, regardless of the outcome that we produce. With this mentality, innovation would likely cease to exist and the poor would still be poor, and on top of this everyone else would be poor along with them. I don’t know about you, but this is not the future I want for my children.

2) The Rich Focus on Opportunities, Not Obstacles

There once was a shoe salesman that found himself in a far-away country, trying to sell shoes to the natives. The only problem was, nobody there wore shoes and the sale was often quite difficult. The salesman soon gave up in frustration and decided to leave the area. On his way out, he met another shoe salesman. “Don’t bother entering this town.” said the first salesman, “These people don’t even wear shoes.” The eyes of the second salesman grew wide, “No one has shoes?? Then I could sell a pair to everyone in town! How fortunate we are to stumble upon an untapped market!”

It’s all a matter of perspective. The poor often see obstacles and quickly give up, while the rich see the the opportunities and enter arenas that many wouldn’t dream of.

things the rich do3) The Rich Associate with Positive, Successful People

Rich people know that attitude is everything. If they continually hang out with people that complain about the weather, bad-mouth the government, and speak negatively about the state of the economy, then they will likely start doing the same thing! If, however, these same people start hanging around individuals that continuously talk about success, opportunity, and the positive things in life, chances are that they will see the world from an entirely different perspective!

Instead of the world being a terrible place to live, it suddenly becomes a glowing land of success and opportunity. A great example of this is United States citizens vs. immigrants into the States. Immigrants are 4x more likely to become millionaires than those of us that grew up here. The main reason? We talk about the negatives of living in this nation, while immigrants see it as the land of opportunity. Quite frankly, it is what you make of it.

things the rich do4) The Rich Are Willing to Promote Themselves and Their Value

Rich people aren’t afraid to tell you what they’re great at. Most of the time, they aren’t embellishing. It’s the truth. Poor people might be great at many things, but they always seem to downplay them into nothing (either because they think negatively of salespeople or because they’re not confident in themselves). Therefore, you assume their skills are just that – nothing. If you want to be wealthy, you must learn how to become a salesperson and at the very least, sell yourself.

5) The Rich Grow Bigger Than Their Problems

The poor see a problem and they chalk it up to bad luck and quit trying. The rich run into problems and might scratch their heads for a while, but they don’t give up. They’ll work and work until they discover a solution to the problem so they can win in the end.

A few years ago I heard a compelling story that fits this idea perfectly. There was a plot of land for sale that had always been classified as “residential”. Many investors in the area knew that the value of the property would be worth 25 times the selling price if the property were commercial, but all had tried and failed at this appeal, so the property remained for sale at a severely discounted price.

But then one brave woman took on the challenge. She purchased the property, hired a team of lawyers, and after a few months of painstaking efforts, was able to get the land classified as a commercial property. Even with the cost of the team of lawyers, she earned 20 times her investment (in just a few months mind you). By tackling and overcoming the problem, she became a very wealthy lady.

things the rich do6) The Rich Think Both, the Poor Think Either Or

Economists came up with the term, “opportunity cost” long ago. Put simply, this means that if you choose one thing, then you are ultimately forgoing something else. In other words, if I have $5 and I buy an $5 ice cream cone, then I am ultimately giving up that pack of gum that I wanted as well.

This is how poor people think too. They have a set amount of money and they think that they can either spend it one thing or another, but not both. It sounds logical doesn’t it? But the rich focus on how they can get both.

Following along the same lines as the example above, let’s give a rich person $5. They too want both ice cream and a $5 pack of gum, but instead of thinking either or, they decide to go for both. To do this, the rich mindset would not buy the ice cream or the gum initially, but might instead buy a 24 pack of water for $5. They walk down the road a ways, sell each water bottle to passers-by for 50 cents and earn a total of $12. Now they can enjoy their ice cream, gum, and still have $2 left to spare! The rich have a “both” mentality, not “either or”.

7) The Rich Focus on Net Worth, Not Working Income

Poor people often talk in terms of hourly pay, whereas wealthy people know that an hourly income is not nearly as important as someone’s net worth. One can earn quite a lot of money per hour, but if they don’t learn to keep any of it, they will still be broke in the end. The rich person knows that a large net worth will net many opportunities and will create more wealth in the future.

Related: What Should Your Net Worth be at Your Age?

things the rich do8) The Rich Constantly Learn and Grow

Many kids today think that they’ll be able to work just hard enough to earn their degrees, and then they won’t have to pick up another book for the rest of their lives. They might turn this dream into a reality, but they’ll likely be poor forever.

The rich starve for knowledge because they know that the more they learn, the more likely they are to succeed. The average millionaire reads one non-fiction book a month because they want to grow themselves into the person that they want to be. The average broke person will read nothing and will never change. As I like to say, “the rich constantly learn and grow, and the poor think they already know.”

9) The Rich Don’t Mind Taking the Hard Road

The poor often stay poor because they take easy road after easy road, until they find themselves in bum-town. As an example, one person might have the option to work at the local grocery store for $8 an hour and could learn from the very wise businessman that owns the place. But instead, this person decides that making $8 an hour is for chumps and they start dealing marijuana for $200 an hour instead…

The hard road could have made them into a successful business person, but they instead chose the easy road and eventually got addicted to drugs and ended up in prison.

The wealthy don’t mind taking the hard road because they have a long-term mindset. The current life might be difficult, but they know their actions today could benefit them tremendously in the future, so they trudge along and keep their eye on the future prize. By staying focused and doing the things the rich do, many of them will become successful and wealthy as well.

Are You Ready to Become Rich? It’s Your Decision!

The rich believe in themselves and never make excuses. They understand that their failures are a result of their actions, and not of outside forces “that are keeping them down”. Every decision of the rich takes into account what it will do to them not just tomorrow or the day after, but years from now – often decades are considered before making any sizable decision.

The choice is yours.

If you want to be rich, then you’d better start doing the things the rich do! But you know what? If you’d rather stay poor, then just keep doing what you’re doing…

Recommendations for Building Wealth

  • Personal Capital – If you don’t yet track your net worth religiously, I suggest that you start with Personal Capital. They make it as easy as, but also offer additional tools to help you succeed with your investments as well! The service is completely free and easy to use.
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Battle of the Mind Grow Rich Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. 1000% agree with you. Really well said. This is the best article I’ve read in awhile, will be sharing this one for sure.

    People tend to feel so entitled. I always say, Attitude is everything.

    Thanks for this great article, I’ll be bookmarking this one.

    • Glad you liked it Mr. SR! Looks like you’re not the only one. This article has been HUGE already today! I guess it’s not all that surprising though – people want to be rich, not poor, so they may as well read a measly 9 points to help them figure out how to do it.

  2. of course, the rich are rich because daddy handed them billions (Waltons). The $8.00 an hour job with the business mentor just means they are going to f***ed over on a zero hour contract, then dumped when the return on investment in that low pay job is less than 50%. The poor are poor because the education system failed them, the social security net failed them, business and industry failed them, and people like you fail them by telling them their attitude sucks.

    Shame on you.

    • I think you missed that part of the article, Peter. Only 11 out of the top 80 richest people were handed their money. The rest of them made it all on their own. To your point – certainly, some schools are better than others and some individuals might have to work a little harder given their situation and social status, but we all have the ability to learn and grow on our own. I grew up in the lower-middle class and could be poo-pooing the system just like you. Instead, however, I have worked unbelievably hard in life and have put myself in a position to become truly wealthy in the next 10 years. It might happen, it might not, but I have the opportunity. Many of us do, but most of us fail to realize it.

  3. this article sucks. The rich are not so different than most others. First you discount the biggest factor in being wealthy which is opportunity. I am from SC Nebraska and farming has been very good. Timing is the key. My grandfather worked harder than every single uncle yet they all are far richer. The only one who doesn’t have assets over 10million is the youngest by 20 years. He got in after land was expensive so never acquired so much land.
    The kids with the most money from my home town all inherited it except the one whose family connections got him a wall street job. I was the HS valedictorian and I make a very good income in medicine but the truly rich that I know mostly had many breaks and started on 2nd or 3rd.
    My grandfather, who died when my dad was 10, was a businessman. He had a stroke in about 1937 and my father was 10 a few years later when he died. A few years of bad health, the depression and my dad grew up poor and went to work at 16.
    There are rich who work harder and are smarter but you discount opportunity.

    • Kelly, in my opinion, opportunity is everywhere. The only problem is that it’s dynamic, not static. At one point (as you mentioned), farming was an excellent opportunity. Today, it is more difficult to become wealthy as a farmer. It can still be done, but we don’t hear of it as often.

      While it is true that some kids may have a slight head start compared to others (btw, I consider myself part of the “other” category), everyone still has the opportunity to become wealthy. Some kids in my class had the opportunity at 20 years old. I had to struggle and work incredibly hard, but I have landed myself the opportunity at age 30. I may be a bit behind, but I can still become quite wealthy.

      Best of luck to you, Kelly.

  4. I feel the need to say it again….. attitude is everything. Just saying.

  5. This article has some very valid points. However in my opinion it seems that the writer speaks from a political point of view stance as well as a narrow view. For a judge to be great he must look at and listen to and examine both ends of the story. This article does not do that. This article basically says that if you don’t think like this then you will be broke. There are various paths to wealth. You used a drug dealer as an example? Let me grow your mind a little more may I suggest you watch (Planet Rock).

    You sound as though you have all the answers yourself on how to get rich.I respect your point of view and love reading your blog. I just wanna know have you ever been to a bad place?, around poor people? ,Talk to poor people about their circumstances?, to a poor country? What do you know about a struggle? How far have you come from were you were once at? Your article has some very valid points like I said earlier, but I think when you can answer those questions and actually seek to do them then your article will have more substance……

    Attitude is everything…but everyone’s circumstances are not the same….

    • Hi TT – thanks for the comment (even though you obviously didn’t love it ;)). Totally agree with you on part of your point though – not everyone’s circumstances are the same. BUT, almost all of us have resources today in order to better ourselves (library, the Internet, etc.). If you want to improve and earn more money, you can certainly do that. All it takes is for you to learn from those that have done it already and replicate the steps. Sure, there are some that have it so bad (you mentioned developing countries) that their options are severely limited, but I still believe there are options.

  6. So happy I stumbled on this article. I abhor the whole wealth re-distribution philosophy that the Occupiers as well as our president advocates. My mother and father were far from rich. After he died, she eventually remarried to a contractor. The two of them worked together and built an estate of rental properties which put them in the millionaire category. Why should anyone be given any of those properties when they did nothing to help build them? BTW, I notice a couple of negative commenters prove your point about excuses…..

    • Thanks Kathy! I’m with you. In the next 10 years there is a pretty good chance that I will become a millionaire – because I earned it. Nothing was handed to me and I likely won’t receive an inheritance, but there is also a chance that by that time the government will decide to take it all away from me because someone else didn’t work as hard and voted to do so. Hopefully that won’t happen, but it’s always a possibility unfortunately. Thanks again for the great comment.

  7. As someone already pointed out, this seems more of a political/”think positive” post with a clickbait headline.

    It looks like you missed the main agenda of the occupy movement as well:
    “prime concerns deal with how large corporations (and the global financial system) control the world in a way that disproportionately benefits a minority, undermines democracy, and is unstable.”

    It is not about the redistribution of wealth, but about the fact that the corporations and 1% are using hired lobbyist and “sponsored” politicians to adjust tax laws to their benefit.

    1.”Poor people believe that we should all be paid the same amount” generalizing nonsense. You’re confusing poor with the those who believe in communist ideology.

    2. Some people don’t have the opportunity, and are stuck. Thats where social net comes it, and I’m not talking about handouts… I am talking about better education, libraries, and other incentives made for people by people.

    3. Most Immigrants who come to US legally come here with education and drive/hope for the better life, and while thinking positive is always good, it has little to do with their success.

    6. When you have 5$ and you have a hungry family that needs food NOW you will spend $5 and eat…avoiding risk of “getting rich” scheme that might leave you starving.
    If you’re rich, and you have $50, then of course you’re free to use extra cash to double it and get even richer.

    Not even mentioning the 9… selling drugs is an easy road? the easy one is to get on Welfare sir, which might be abused in this country… Hard road earning $7.25/hour working two shifts to make ends meet? You bet.

    Anyway, your post is pretty misinformed about what being a poor person is like.

    • Hi Sean. If you had $5 and were hungry, wouldn’t you take an extra 15 minutes to double your food supply? I would. Long-term thinking my friend – that’s what creates wealth. If you constantly think about the here and now (even if the circumstances are lousy), then you’ll always be stuck in the here and now… Not the best of options.

      • Derek, I can see that you’re trying to motivate people to learn/be positive/think ahead/spend wisely. Which is great.

        However the particular form you chose to put your motivation in (Rich vs Poor) is pretty unrealistic, ignorant and simplified.
        The examples you’re giving works only if person in question is single, healthy, has no debt, and knows that if his “water” endeavor does not go through, he will get another $5 in no time. (Which sounds a lot like you in your bio).

        However, if the person has hungry baby to feed NOW (do you have kids?) there is no way he will risk spending his last $5 on an opportunistic investment, while his family is starving… this is gambling.
        People should invest only if they are OK with loosing the investment without damage to their family.

        It would really help to reedit the post to “9 things to do to be successful” and remove the Rich/Poor juxtaposition (because things are not so simple). Voila!

        • I wanted to say I agree with you, and although the writer thinks he was part of the “other” people, he appears blind to reality; unless a person is at the bottom, or close to it, that person will likely think everybody lives like them, or better; you do not see a poor person living in an upper class neighborhood, so they do not see it. Personally, I did not grow up poor, but I was close enough to see it (upper-lower-class.)

          And the thought what some think about “redistribution of wealth” really peeves me off; people just want the opportunity to not be exploited. Reminds me of Mitt Romney talking about a woman in China saving for college, when she is not making enough to even feed herself; they don’t get it, and likely never will.

          • Thanks for the comment, Snoglydox. It definitely is no cakewalk for a person in poverty to become rich, but it is possible. Personally, I’m doing my best to help these people see a way out. Sometimes it’s easier to see from the outside looking in than the inside looking out (or inside looking in for that matter).

          • I wholly agree with Sean and Snoglydox. I appreciate the sentiment of motivation people to take control of their finances, and am lucky enough to be in a position to be able to implement the advice given here. However, it is no excuse to blame the poor for their poverty, and that is exactly what you are doing.

          • Thanks for stopping by Eugene. This article doesn’t solve the problems of everyone in this nation – no article can. This is merely a tool to improve oneself beyond where they are today. I only wish that I would have read an article like this when I was 18 years old.

          • Why? What happened when you were 18?

  8. @Kathy
    If Me and your parents were in the middle of the desert almost dying of thirst and I was the only one with water because I packed water before we went. Why should I have to give them any of my water? you get it? Humanity….

  9. I like this article a lot. I grew up very poor, but am now making a middle class income and growing my net worth. In particular, I think 2, 3, 7, and 8 are super important if you want to succeed financially. Focus on opportunity, associate with people who believe in themselves and don’t suck the energy out of you, track your net worth, and constantly become a better version of yourself. It’s simple, not easy. Thanks for a good read.

    • You’re welcome TBD! Glad you enjoyed it and congrats on walking the road to wealth!

  10. Great list! In regards to #2 on the list, I’ve found that looking at things as opportunities can really impact your happiness too! Finding opportunities in everything is exciting and encourages growth!

    • I totally agree, Heather. Viewing challenges as opportunities can certainly improve your happiness! The poor would view a challenge as a roadblock, which would of course cause sadness and failure. But, a challenge that is overcome leaves us feeling empowered and happy!

  11. Love the article! 1. 3. 7. 8. 9. I personally think are the most important. My life changed when I started having a long term mindset because I feel it takes away alot pressure to perform from the now and I find myself more prepared for things in the future.

    • Glad you like it, FI! Long-term thinking is definitely key. If we didn’t think for the long-term, then leasing cars and buying mcmansions wouldn’t even be a second thought!

  12. None of these are easy, but ALL of them are necessary!

    • Totally agree, Brian. Thanks for the comment.

  13. I enjoyed the article and I’m not surprised how angry some of the people are who commented.

    People who have not achieved do not want to be told it might be a result of their choices. Of course everyone starts with different opportunities and abilities with upbringing and intelligence being big ones. Having said that there has never been a time in history with more opportunity thanks to technology and education providing incredible opportunity for those that are willing to work for it.

    Many will not achieve no matter what opportunities present themselves and I don’t think we can do much to change that.

  14. Great article! When the haters start to come out, that’s how you know you’ve wriiten something good :-). I think for me, switching to a net worth mindset was the big turning point on our journey. Once we figured out that it matters far less what you earn than what you keep, we started working super hard to keep as much as possible. We also started focusing far less on acquiring “things,” choosing instead to focus on acquiring assets like rental real estate that will bring in money for years to come.

    • Haha, that’s exactly what I said to Liz! It’s not always fun to get haters, but that’s how you know you wrote a good one. 🙂

      Focusing on net worth is huge, especially if you’re in the market for a car. Suddenly, that new car (that will depreciate like a cliff dive) suddenly won’t seem so appealing! Thanks for the comment, Dee!

  15. Excellent post, Derek! Once one learns that the difference between the rich and the poor is primarily about mindset, then they understand that anyone can get the tools they need to increase their income.

    • Exactly! Thanks for the comment, Laurie.

  16. Excellent article. The opportunities are there; it is how we use them. Or how much effort we put into reaching our goals. A lesson every generation must learn. My parents grew up during the Depression, both having come from families who were upper middle class and then lost everything. The stories told to me focused on the positives and what they learned to overcome, rarely the negatives. It wasn’t until my own children were learning about that period in history was I told a story that showed how terrible it actually was. The story? Not having food on Saturday and Sunday’s dinner being a plate of lima beans.

    That said, they believed in sharing and helping BUT only to those that attempted to help themselves. My father died a millionaire, and not once did he give any of his 5 kids a handout or pay for their college or their 1st car or anything else like that. We had to work for it ourselves and achieve our own goals. A roof over our head, food in our belly (and not lobster or steak either), clothes on our backs (just the basics, thank you), shoes on our feet (sneakers & 1 other pair), and a sounding board to talk things thru…..that is what my parents gave us. And only gave us until we graduated HS — after that we were expected to get a job, pay rent, and pay all our own expenses.

    Do I resent any of this? Heck no. I thank them for it.

    • Well said, Kathy! My parents gave me a very similar experience. I paid for my own car, insurance, gas, maintenance, phone bill, etc. Whatever I wanted, I was expected to pay for, simple as that. It didn’t seem too fun at the time, but they were teaching me to be self-sufficient, as all parents should. Today, I definitely thank them for it. Thanks for the awesome comment! Hope to see you around here again soon.

  17. Derek

    More then 100% agree with you. Really good writen article.and one of the best I’ve read in awhile.

    • Thanks! I am still overwhelmed by the response, but am glad that so many were touched by it!

  18. Great points in this article Derek. One’s attitude and clear thinking make an enormous difference in the results one gets in life. However, I do agree with some of the commentators that painting life in “black” and “white” “rich” and “poor” is an oversimplification that disservices you in the end. While one should be rewarded for hard work and good sound principles in life, some come from overwhelming environmental challenges.

    Still, anyone can benefit from these guidelines. In fact, I think we could all do more in “leveling” the basic playing field we all start from (better access to education and ideas like this, basic health care affordability). The rest, is up to us to achieve.

    • Great comment NW Guy. Sure, I understand that there are many facets to this topic, but there’s just no way I can cover all of them. If someone strives toward achieving these 9 points, they will likely do very well for themselves.

  19. Thanks. A great article. Especially Number 9 opened my eyes.

    I used to always think like that, why should I waste my time doing less-pay jobs, instead I should do the things that will pay me BIG money. But now after reading this article, I’ve realized that I was wrong.

    Will work on that part of me and do the things differently now onwards.
    Thanks once again !

    • The key is to look into the distant future. What will your work today do for your future? If the payoff is just some quick money initially, then perhaps that’s not the wisest road. But, if your work today could yield $10 a day for the rest of your life, then it’s probably worth pursuing! Basically, the rich strive for passive income and the poor strive for income NOW. Thanks for the comment, Abhishek. Hope to hear from you again soon!

  20. This article is inspiring especially in my country Zimbabwe – we complain about our economic situation and blame the outside environment rather that tapping the opportunities of making a difference in the way we used to doing things. Focusing on growth through innovation and facing current challenges with a different perspective I’m sure could make us turn around our economy. I loved the article – it’s an eye opener and a motivator too.

    • Excellent Cathrine! Thank you so much for expressing your viewpoint as well (as I have had some haters come out of the woodwork lately). Using a different mindset is incredibly powerful, especially in more difficult situations. While you may not have all the tools that someone in a different country might have, I am certain you can improve your current earning status tremendously. Best of luck to you. I wish you all the best!

  21. I think you’re a little ignorant about your situation. You’re a white man and as you mentioned in a few comments above you had parents who taught you about self sufficiency and planning. You also mentioned that most people have access to the internet and libraries as resources to better themselves. This demonstrates an enormous lack of understanding of different situations.

    Sure a lot of urban people have access to the internet and libraries, but what about rural people? What about people whose schools didn’t have access to computers? What about people who are currently working multiple minimum-wage jobs (and raising families? living paycheck to paycheck?) and don’t have time to pursue further education? People with psychological disorders, learning disabilities, or criminal pasts?

    Have you heard of the prison-industrial complex or the school to prison pipeline? I think your article is perhaps differentiating between the uber-rich and the upper middle class white population, not the poor.

    Here’s some reading on the school to prison pipeline:

    I hope you’ll broaden your perspective a little and stop publishing this insulting nonsense on the internet.

    • Hi there Emily. No one’s situation is the same, but the long and short of it is that we can all become a better person tomorrow than what we are today. I have once ridden my bicycle 50 miles round-trip just for fun. I’m sure people in the rural areas can access some form of a library within a 25 mile radius. For many, it’s a matter of will – and opening their minds to possibilities other than what they’ve been taught growing up. Some will, some won’t. That’s just how it is.

  22. “I personally know the inventor of the self-dimming rear-view mirror which is now in almost every car in America.”

    You know the guy who patented that in 1963 and died in 1999? I think you’re a liar.

  23. I’ll take this article at face value and assume it’s not just a fantastic trolling exercise. Here goes,

    “The poor often stay poor because they take easy road after easy road…”

    A few wildly influential people who died poor: Van Gogh, Nikola Tesla, Edgar Allen Poe, Socrates, Gutenberg, Joe Louis, William Blake, Oscar Wilde, Emily Dickinson, Charles Goodyear, Eli Whitney…

    The list goes on and on. I guess these people just didn’t work hard enough.

    • Did they aspire to be wealthy?

  24. Hello,

    We have complied to your instructions and sent you a message here to discuss the possibility of featuring more of your articles on our website. Thank you. 🙂

    • Got it Henry. Thanks!

  25. Hi Derek,
    I think a lot of people are annoyed by the fact that you call out those traits as being that of the rich. Actually, they don’t seem to belong to the rich because by your own research, Warren B wasn’t rich but had those traits. The 3.5 Billion people you talk about aren’t really the ones who are well off. They form the majority of fisherman, farmers, et al from whom their livelihood was snatched because of legal & governmental backing. There are 3 “clubs” to which people belong, IMO, – the 1st club has it so raw that merely making it through another day or a week itself is a challenge, the 2nd club has basic necessities & an access/awareness of what more is in store & the 3rd club has had it easily made for them & they always have access to all that they wish to have (the 1%). Clubs 1 & 2 aspire to make it into 2 & 3 while club 3 can only survive by directly or indirectly exploiting club 1 & 2 (wealth, as a resource, is limited). In each club there are strata of “rich”. The traits you outline are what any determined person has. You are essentially saying that poor people have no determination? You don’t seem to be a person raised in poverty to have a clue about what poor people possess & don’t. While the rich whine & exploit, the poor celebrate each small gain & share. Surely you can imagine a counter-article blowing your rich people out of the water. If you care to educate yourself, then please read these, as starters:

    To pass judgement on a fraternity that you have never been part of is the trait of the ignorant, rich or poor…

    • Hi Anand,

      …but Warren Buffett IS rich…. did you just disprove yourself? I appreciate you stopping by though. Keep reading – maybe you’ll learn to be rich someday too.

      • “Look at Warren Buffett, for example. He grew up as a middle class child, but got addicted to the world of business and investing at a very young age.” Which means he wasn’t rich when he exhibited all those qualities you listed above & became rich. Hence… ? Did I disprove myself?

        • Right. I didn’t start out rich, but am becoming rich by implementing these 9 things into my life each day. This is how the rich get there – they definitely don’t need to start rich. Thanks for following up though! Have a good one, Anand.

  26. The shoe salesman example is perfect! By looking at things from different angles, the rich are able to make strategic decisions to increase profits. It seems the poor more commonly look at situations from only the perspective presented, and don’t view other angles to maximize opportunity.

    • Yup, exactly. Glad you enjoyed the article, Brian!

  27. After reading this, I would like to inform the negative commenters that to take the value of new information is so much more productive than pointing out flaws. People nowadays are so quick to espouse their opinion and make it seem like it’s a fact. I, for one, saw many good points in your article. I’m an immigrant from a 3rd world country. I came to this country with nothing but a backpack of clothes to live with relatives, because this is the land of opportunity. I worked minimum wage jobs and saved enough to apply to community college where I saw many classmates waste time by having poor grades and not attending classes. I graduated and got a job at a hospital. I chose to wait to get married and have children because I did not want to create a life of burden by not prioritizing my goals. In addition, I saved all my earnings, ate a lot of ramen noodles and spaghetti, so I can pay a lawyer to handle my immigration. Not once did I apply for government aid. I survived on $20/week on groceries. It can be done. I chose to look at everything in my life as stepping stones to get where I need to be. I know poor. I knew I didn’t want to stay poor. For people who claim to be on welfare/government aid and own smartphones, I say to them, your choices are what’s keeping you in the poor mindset and not just your circumstances. Fast forward 20 years, I am married with children, will pay off my home in less than 15 years, have an emergency fund of 6 months, fully funded my 401K, own a car but no auto loans and will still eat spaghetti and ramen noodles because it reminds me of how far I’ve come.

    • Awesome comment Mrs. H! You know, it’s funny how many cynical comments I get from middle class citizens regarding this post, but I have received so many positive comments and emails from people like you (that have actually lived poor) that say, “This is absolutely true” and point out all the positive takeaways of the article. Congrats to you Mrs. H! I really hope I get to meet you someday and get to hear your story first hand.

  28. I think there are very true elements of this article about why rich people who do not inherit money become rich. However, I think some of the why people are poor is very simplistic and doesn’t focus on root causes or systemic issues. Do some poor people get stuck in a pattern of thinking that limits their financial potential? Yes. However, it’s often related to environment, influences and opportunities to access resources.

    I would argue the majority of people who become rich are granted access to a better quality education, mentors, guidance and resources than someone living in a 3rd generation poverty situation. It’s hard to reach a book a month like millionaires do if you attended a poor school that did not have books or did not provide you with a great education to know how to read. A strong emphasis here is playing off motivation rather than equal access and opportunity.

    This article touches very briefly on notable traits, but fails to recognize their are larger systemtic issues that play into why some people become rich and others do not. Working in education, I have met a lot of motivated people who have not had the right access to resources or opportunities to truly capitalize on changing their futures financially.

    • Thanks for the comment, Brittany! Education (or lack thereof) does play a large role in poverty – I definitely agree with you there – but there are other ways to create avenues for oneself. I, for instance, worked as a caddie at the most expensive private club in town. I spoke with the members, gained an understanding of what they did for a living, and questioned what I would need to do to achieve their success in life.

      The starting point definitely plays a role in the end result, but all hope is not lost just because you don’t receive a private education when you’re young.

  29. I think that the rich be strong to create their life, they map to their goal and dream. But the poor afraid all thing, they can not change and choose something new. they only work for money to support family. They have no passion and dream.

    • And they aren’t afraid to fail! Too many of us are too scared of what other people think and end up becoming nothing because of it.

  30. There are millions of people that have the traits of the rich, but guess what they are not but they are working professionals with a career. Some are independent workers or work for America Inc. They own their home with a lien, they might own a small piece of rental property. Upper income, upper middle class you name it. BAMAPHD is a must have 4 many, but some get by with a GED/HS education running and owning a small business. They might be worth millions but it’s tied up on paper with their business and investments. Nope, they lack that liquid capital of several millions that would make them among the rich. As Bunker Hunt said a million is not worth what it was. In the San Francisco it might buy one a nice condo but not with a tony address.

  31. “The same water that softens the potatoe hardens the egg. It’s not your circumstance, but what your made of” – born and raised dirt frigging poor by a single mother in a City nicknamed “Killadelphia”. I am now a successful entrepreneur with a thriving and growning business in a male dominated industry. I’ve almost lost my house and so much more while trying to make this business into what it’s finally becoming. And all on a GED and raising 3 kids while trying (unsuccessfully) to keep a 20 year marriage going. Yet here I am. Not everyone will understand that the game and rules may constantly change and yes some people will have better circumstances and chances, but either way, life is what you make it. And you shouldn’t compare your journey to that of others. Excuses are easier to come by than self awareness and real personal reflection on what your doing to hold yourself back. The opportunity is there. The real question is, are you willing to do what it takes? And do you have the discipline you will need to make your dreams come true?…Quit bitching and figure it out, because it’s not just going to happen. Only you know what your made of and what you’re capable of. So?…

    • Thanks for the awesome comment! Dang, your story sounds inspirational. I need to hear more!

  32. Insightful and absolutely relevant.

  33. I am reading a lot about fixing my life. I am in debt and I was sick for 7 years. I managed to survive on a $700 a month check. I am better now health wise and I found a part-time job. I am learning from all of you how to think positive and how to fix my finances. I have little support from family and my ” friends” I don’t find them now lol. I have learned many things that are going to help me in getting back all I lost. It’s hard for many people, I know. I also went through divorce but I asked my husband for nothing just to help me with our girl. I understand many people now more. I have a long way to go, but I am willing to work hard and spend less!

    Thank you to all for sharing and for the advices.

    May God bless us.

    • You’re welcome, Mabel. Best of luck to you and your future!

  34. For me saving money always kept me with a cheery attitude and peace of mind. But the day I got married all that changed. I’ve become grumpy and irritable. Why? She spends it all. Oh she won’t take the money out directly. She’ll use her credit cards and max them out. Then when she has trouble making the payments, she’ll pull from our savings account draining what I have been saving. A continuous cycle going on for 40 years.
    A lot of couples would have been divorced over that. But we love each other dearly.
    It’s only money I keep repeating that to myself over and over and over. lol

    • Dang Don, that’s tough. My ex and I struggled the exact same way…only, our marriage lasted just 3 years. I was in it for the long haul, but I just don’t think she could handle my constant need for saving and investing. She was definitely a spender and didn’t see the need for having more than $100 in a savings account… Drove me nuts!

  35. This article is laughably bad.

    “Poor people believe that we should all be paid the same amount”


    “The Rich Associate with Positive, Successful People”


    I don’t need to read any more to realize how out of touch the author is with their fellow humans.

    Money does not scale with happiness: having sufficient money to not have to worry about finances is usually where happiness and money caps out. Wealth hoarding is a sociopathic mental illness that removes that wealth from society (since it is hoarded and unused) and deprives those at the lower end of the ever-increasing wealth gap of essential human services.

    • Thanks for reading, John. No thanks for the comment. 😉 I should also add, “Rich people aren’t critics. They’re champions that look to develop other champions.” You, my friend, are a critic. I feel bad for you.

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