Chris Rock once explained the difference between being rich and being wealthy very succinctly. He said Shaquille O’Neil is rich but the guy who signs his cheque is wealthy. When you are rich you can loose all the money when you’re a big spender, live beyond your means or try to keep up with the Jones, also known as conspicuous consumption. The education system creates a society of consumers and that is a fact. Nobody in particular is to blame except yourself. When you stay blinded to the reality of life you continue to suffer. The signs of success can be overt and people may pay attention to you for a little bit longer. When it’s not over they may ignore you completely.

This leads me to Millionaire Next Door. The person who recommended this book was non other than Tom Leykis, the American talk radio host. He is a self-made multi-millionaire and brags about it often. In fact it only seems like bragging when it’s taken out of context or when you are jealous of his success. I’m not. I’m a admirer. He speaks honestly and directly about the reality of the world we live in. So I recently picked up a copy of this book, ordering it online as do most of my shopping these days.

This is not an easy read because it has heavy emphasis on numbers, statistics. Something which you may not enjoy reading because again the school system creates a society that dislikes mathematics in any shape or form. Now the research has been done by two Ph.D’s and you can’t fault the depth of their analysis. They surveyed large groups of millionaires and high income producers for several decades. This book is a very good snapshot of the research and you can start to see the common sense almost boring methods by which the millionaires become millionaires.

Here’s the most common denominators of millionaires:

  1. They live well below their means.
  2. They allocate their time, energy, and money efficiently, in ways conducive to building wealth.
  3. They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status!
  4. Their parents did not provide economic outpatient care.
  5. Their adult children are economically self-sufficient.
  6. They are proficient in targeting market opportunities.
  7. They chose the right occupations.

In South Africa you may be interested in the Who’s Who list of Wealthiest South Africans.