NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Millionaires can often be seen living in mansions and driving pricey cars, but the habits that help the wealthy land expensive jewelry and fat bank accounts may surprise you.
Financial planner Tom Corley spent five years studying the way that 350 people, both rich and poor, did things.
“I’m not just focusing on the wealthy. I want to know where you are screwing up,” he told CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson.
Corley found that rich subjects tended to wake up before sunrise, as much as three hours before work, and filled that time with acts of self-improvement like working out or reading.
“Before they even get to work they’ve done some really great things to help move them forward in life,” he said.
Another habit that the rich shared was writing a daily to-do list and completing at least 70 percent of the tasks on that list by the end of the day.
Listening to audio books while commuting, eating less than 300 calories worth of junk food daily, and spending less than an hour logged onto the internet every day where also habits shared by the rich.
The wealthy also called their loved ones on the phone to wish them a happy birthday.
“To wealthy people relationships are like gold, so they manage their relationships very carefully,” Corley said.
They take those relationships so seriously that only 6 percent of rich people took part in gossip compared with 60 percent of poor people.
“What my colleagues and I have been doing for the last seven years is studying the effects of these kind of hierarchies,” psychologist, Paul Piff explained.
Piff has also been studying the differences between the classes and said that another trait that the wealthy have in common is narcissism.
“The American dream is an idea in which we all have an equal opportunity to succeed. A piece of that means that you need to put your own interests ahead of the well-being of other people around you,” Piff said.
Wealthy people are also more likely to speak their minds and believe that good habits create opportunities not luck, studies have shown.
Corely said that these habits have helped him increase his salary by 100 percent and made his rich dreams a reality.
“It may only take one or two rich habits to completely transform your life,” he said.
Eighty-five percent of American millionaires are said to be self-made, first generation rich.
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