Author Topic: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires  (Read 3189 times)

DadJokes

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CNBC posted an article that divided millionaires into a handful of categories following 250 interviews with millionaires. The article itself is pretty good, though it doesn't really break any new ground for anyone here. The real interesting thing to me is the replies to the article on Twitter. I know that I shouldn't expect much out of the people who comment on Twitter, but it included such gems as these:

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First habit, inherit a ton of money

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Yeah,  save you the trouble.  They rip off poor people, they underpay their workers,  they don't provide benefits,  they don't pay taxes,   they lie,  cheat,  and steal and OH!  They inherit & cheat on taxes.

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Step one: have you college paid for
Step two: have a little bit of inheritance coming your way
Step 3: don’t ever mention your family’s assistance

Yes there are outliers who made it on their own

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While these maybe true, I would present these types from what seen and spoken to ppl

1. One who breaks the law
I.e. drug dealers, inside information for stocks, kickbacks making business deals

2. The inheritors

Didn't do a single thing and inherit wealth from family

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Top Habits of Millionaires:
1. Be Rich
2. Be Rich
3. Be Stingy

I had to stop reading before I made the mistake of actually replying to someone.

iris lily

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2022, 08:17:22 PM »
Sorry to say dad, but you’re gonna get a fair amount of those same comments here on this forum. Are you new here buddy? Ha ha.

Sibley

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2022, 07:30:55 AM »
The thing is, those comments are made because they are sometimes true. Are they true all the time? No, of course not. But they are true often enough that it's a valid complaint when you're commenting on the overall population.

Everyone gets mad about stereotypes, but they develop out of reality.

StarBright

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2022, 07:58:14 AM »

Quote
Step one: have you college paid for
Step two: have a little bit of inheritance coming your way
Step 3: don’t ever mention your family’s assistance

Yes there are outliers who made it on their own


I mean ^ this is basically me and everyone I know that has their ish "together" by their late 30s. I know there are paths to successful adulthood without step one, but I can only think of one friend from growing up that is on that path, and she certainly isn't on track to be a millionaire-type, just an upper middle class person who will likely be able to retire comfortably at 65.   

Forget college, StarHus and I (and my SIL) are the only people we know whose parents didn't help them with their first house down payment. I mean, I'm sure someone we know had parents that didn't help, but most people our age seem to be pretty open about talking about it. Most of us have bought houses post financial crisis, so we may be dealing with tighter lending standards than previous generations?
« Last Edit: August 02, 2022, 08:26:21 AM by StarBright »

Villanelle

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2022, 08:25:42 AM »

Quote
Step one: have you college paid for
Step two: have a little bit of inheritance coming your way
Step 3: don’t ever mention your family’s assistance

Yes there are outliers who made it on their own


I mean ^ this is basically me and everyone I know that has their ish "together" by their late 30s. I know there are paths to successful adulthood without step one, but I can only think of one friend from growing up that is on that path.

Forget college, StarHus and I (and my SIL) are the only people we know whose parents didn't help them with their first house down payment. I mean, I'm sure someone we know had parents that didn't help, but most people our age seem to be pretty open about talking about it. Most of us have bought houses post financial crisis, so we may be dealing with tighter lending standards than previous generations?

I have been thinking through the people I know who are well-off.  (I say "well-off" instead of "millioniares" because in many cases, I don't know their exact net worth, but I know enough to know they are doing quite well.)   I think very few actually meet criteria.  I suspect that only me and my sister, of the dozen+ people I can think of, actually do.  (Spouse might qualify, though there has been no inheritance yet and if/when there is it will be through me.) 

While the people I went to high school with probably mostly had college paid for (DH being one notable exception), that doesn't seem to be the experience of most of the people I know, and I generally hang in upper middle class circles.  And I can't think of a single person I know who has had an inheritance (I'm mid-40s, many of my friends seem to be slightly younger). 

Certainly there are a lot of 1+2 people in the world/US, but I think there are many not 1+2 people who manage to do quite well for themselves.

If I had to look for commonalities, they would be more that the people are almost without exception generally healthy and able-bodied, and at least slightly more intelligent than average.  So if we want to list things over which a person has little or no control, but that lead to prosperity, that's where my list would start. 
« Last Edit: August 02, 2022, 09:14:13 AM by Villanelle »

StarBright

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2022, 09:12:12 AM »

I mean ^ this is basically me and everyone I know that has their ish "together" by their late 30s. I know there are paths to successful adulthood without step one, but I can only think of one friend from growing up that is on that path.

Forget college, StarHus and I (and my SIL) are the only people we know whose parents didn't help them with their first house down payment. I mean, I'm sure someone we know had parents that didn't help, but most people our age seem to be pretty open about talking about it. Most of us have bought houses post financial crisis, so we may be dealing with tighter lending standards than previous generations?

I have been thinking through the people I know who are well-off.  (I say "well-off" instead of "millioniares" because in many cases, I don't know there exact net worth, but I know enough to know they are doing quite well.)   I think very few actually meet criteria.  I suspect that only me and my sister, of the dozen+ people I can think of, actually do.  (Spouse might qualify, though there has been no inheritance yet and if/when there is it will be through me.) 

While the people I went to high school with probably mostly had college paid for (DH being one notable exception), that doesn't seem to be the experience of most of the people I know, and I generally hang in upper middle class circles.  And I can't think of a single person I know who has had an inheritance (I'm mid-40s, many of my friends seem to be slightly younger). 

Certainly there are a lot of 1+2 people in the world/US, but I think there are many not 1+2 people who manage to do quite well for themselves.

If I had to look for commonalities, they would be more that the people are almost without exception generally healthy and able-bodied, and at least slightly more intelligent than average.  So if we want to list things over which a person has little or no control, but that lead to prosperity, that's where my list would start.

You make a good point and I admittedly wasn't even thinking of millionaires or even "well off" - just upper middle class mostly.

As someone who has moved frequently and worked from home for over a decade, my social circle is admittedly small but when I think about it, it basically falls into three groups: 

1.People who have joined/stayed in the upper middle class and have had parental support via parents helping pay for college and/or with downpayments. This is the group I and most of my adult friends are in.
 
2.or people who have stayed lower middle class/blue collar and have not had support. This is the group I grew up in and most of my childhood friends are in.

3. Genuine Rich People in their 30s and 40s: I don't know ANY rich people my age who made it without family support. One started a pretty well known website, TV channel, online business in the early aughts. His dad owned a pretty successful business, paid for his college, and helped seed his start up. Another couple both have millionaire parents who gift them rental properties upon major life milestones. Another has become a fairly famous actress, but again, parents underwrote college and rent when she was starting out (this is not to say she isn't a super hard worker, just that it is REALLY hard to be on the audition and class circuit and hold down a full time job.) Another has family property in the Hamptons that they've slowly sold off/developed.

My ex has his own small hedge fund now, but his parents paid for college and gifted him his first house. And fwiw-  my ex's family set me up okay too! They put money in my Roth IRA for my birthday and Christmas every year that ex and I were together (they really wanted me to sign a pre-nup and I felt weird about it, but I did it anyways, and then they started putting money in my Roth).

Group 1. will probably ultimately end up with generational wealth when their parents get old, group 2 will not. Group 3 will as well, but they won't need it.


Gronnie

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2022, 10:23:45 AM »
The thing is, those comments are made because they are sometimes true. Are they true all the time? No, of course not. But they are true often enough that it's a valid complaint when you're commenting on the overall population.

Everyone gets mad about stereotypes, but they develop out of reality.

Except the vast vast majority of millionaires got there by systematically saving ie spending less than they make.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2022, 10:57:24 AM »
The thing is, those comments are made because they are sometimes true. Are they true all the time? No, of course not. But they are true often enough that it's a valid complaint when you're commenting on the overall population.

Everyone gets mad about stereotypes, but they develop out of reality.

Except the vast vast majority of millionaires got there by systematically saving ie spending less than they make.

Well, yes, by definition. Very few inherit wealth along with the knowledge of how to not squander it. The rest either have unusually high income-- or a windfall of some kind-- and some modicum of restraint, or else a long-term frugal standard of living that allows them to have a net positive cash flow in conjunction with intelligent management of investments.

Sibley

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2022, 11:41:59 AM »
The thing is, those comments are made because they are sometimes true. Are they true all the time? No, of course not. But they are true often enough that it's a valid complaint when you're commenting on the overall population.

Everyone gets mad about stereotypes, but they develop out of reality.

Except the vast vast majority of millionaires got there by systematically saving ie spending less than they make.

Those millionaires aren't the ones people are thinking of when they post those comments. They fly under the radar. Go up to the next levels of wealth. That's where the stereotypes are being generated. And yeah, you can say that billionaires aren't the same as millionaires, and you're right they're not, but if you're going to pick on comments on an online article then you need to account for what's actually generating those comments.

Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerburg, the Waltons, the Kochs.... all of them are associated with companies or actions that are problematic in some way.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wealthiest_Americans_by_net_worth <--- looking down the list of companies in the source of wealth column, I'm aware of nasty things/allegations about most of them. Criticism is justified.

Gronnie

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2022, 12:07:13 PM »
The thing is, those comments are made because they are sometimes true. Are they true all the time? No, of course not. But they are true often enough that it's a valid complaint when you're commenting on the overall population.

Everyone gets mad about stereotypes, but they develop out of reality.

Except the vast vast majority of millionaires got there by systematically saving ie spending less than they make.

Those millionaires aren't the ones people are thinking of when they post those comments. They fly under the radar. Go up to the next levels of wealth. That's where the stereotypes are being generated. And yeah, you can say that billionaires aren't the same as millionaires, and you're right they're not, but if you're going to pick on comments on an online article then you need to account for what's actually generating those comments.

Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerburg, the Waltons, the Kochs.... all of them are associated with companies or actions that are problematic in some way.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wealthiest_Americans_by_net_worth <--- looking down the list of companies in the source of wealth column, I'm aware of nasty things/allegations about most of them. Criticism is justified.

You're exactly right -- and that's the problem.

When people say "millionaire" they're really thinking about people with many multiples of that, but the policies they want enacted "against" those people actually end up hurting the millionaire next door much more than said multi-millionaires and billionaires.

Imma

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2022, 02:36:59 PM »

I mean ^ this is basically me and everyone I know that has their ish "together" by their late 30s. I know there are paths to successful adulthood without step one, but I can only think of one friend from growing up that is on that path.

Forget college, StarHus and I (and my SIL) are the only people we know whose parents didn't help them with their first house down payment. I mean, I'm sure someone we know had parents that didn't help, but most people our age seem to be pretty open about talking about it. Most of us have bought houses post financial crisis, so we may be dealing with tighter lending standards than previous generations?

I have been thinking through the people I know who are well-off.  (I say "well-off" instead of "millioniares" because in many cases, I don't know there exact net worth, but I know enough to know they are doing quite well.)   I think very few actually meet criteria.  I suspect that only me and my sister, of the dozen+ people I can think of, actually do.  (Spouse might qualify, though there has been no inheritance yet and if/when there is it will be through me.) 

While the people I went to high school with probably mostly had college paid for (DH being one notable exception), that doesn't seem to be the experience of most of the people I know, and I generally hang in upper middle class circles.  And I can't think of a single person I know who has had an inheritance (I'm mid-40s, many of my friends seem to be slightly younger). 

Certainly there are a lot of 1+2 people in the world/US, but I think there are many not 1+2 people who manage to do quite well for themselves.

If I had to look for commonalities, they would be more that the people are almost without exception generally healthy and able-bodied, and at least slightly more intelligent than average.  So if we want to list things over which a person has little or no control, but that lead to prosperity, that's where my list would start.

You make a good point and I admittedly wasn't even thinking of millionaires or even "well off" - just upper middle class mostly.

As someone who has moved frequently and worked from home for over a decade, my social circle is admittedly small but when I think about it, it basically falls into three groups: 
 
2.or people who have stayed lower middle class/blue collar and have not had support. This is the group I grew up in and most of my childhood friends are in.


But how many of them are secretly wealthy? I ask because I'm sure everyone thinks we're in that group. And while we'll probably always identify and feel working class, we are really on the path to building wealth. It helps that our jobs are kind of "vague" so it's hard to guess for people how much we earn. It's not like we're engineers at Google and everyone knows we're rich. We don't make "engineer at Google" kind of money but when people ask we're fairly open about it. But many people avoid that conversation because they think we're poor.

We know a couple who are maybe earning 200k per year. We are looking to replace something in our house and since they'd recently replaced that thing in their house, we asked them where we bought it and if they could recommend the person who installed it. Instead of saying "We bought it at X Shop" their tactful answer was "we've heard Affordable Shop sells good quality stuff, we heard our friends John and Amy were happy with their service" . They simply couldn't imagine that we were asking where they bought it because we literally can afford to spend the same amount of money on that thing as they can.

As a person with stealth wealth, I have a pretty good radar for others with stealth wealth. I see more of them than you'd think. None of us actually live extremely frugal, we're just still kind of spending the same as we were when we were early 20s. We still enjoy hiking and music festivals and camping and we still don't care about designer handbags and shiny new cars.

DadJokes

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2022, 02:57:46 PM »

Quote
Step one: have you college paid for
Step two: have a little bit of inheritance coming your way
Step 3: don’t ever mention your family’s assistance

Yes there are outliers who made it on their own


I mean ^ this is basically me and everyone I know that has their ish "together" by their late 30s. I know there are paths to successful adulthood without step one, but I can only think of one friend from growing up that is on that path, and she certainly isn't on track to be a millionaire-type, just an upper middle class person who will likely be able to retire comfortably at 65.   

Forget college, StarHus and I (and my SIL) are the only people we know whose parents didn't help them with their first house down payment. I mean, I'm sure someone we know had parents that didn't help, but most people our age seem to be pretty open about talking about it. Most of us have bought houses post financial crisis, so we may be dealing with tighter lending standards than previous generations?

I didn't get help from parents for college or house. As a result, I didn't graduate college until I was 30 (bought house at same time), but I still "have my ish together" in my mid-30s and will be a millionaire by 45. We're the average couple described in the Millionaire Next Door book.

Maybe you should expand your circle a bit ;)

Villanelle

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2022, 03:47:26 PM »
Again, nearly all of my friends are upper middle class, and I don't know of any whose parents gave then a down payment fo a house.  The closest to that is probably me.  I didn't get a down payment (or anything else), but when I said I wanted to buy my grandma's house from her estate (it was in the city I lived in at the time as a newlywed), my dad said he'd like to basically be our mortgage holder.  It didn't allow us to buy a house we couldn't otherwise afford or qualify for, and we paid fair market value for the house and the same interest rate that the bank offered.  But it kept the money in the the family, so it was kind of a win for everyone in the long run.  But it didn't change my finances at all at the time of purchase (or 20 years later, though I suppose I will inherit about half of my interest back, and my sister the other half). 

My sister was lent money [some of] for her down payment, I think with no interest.  That was a source of frustration--the typical "she's spending money on X unnecessary thing but she still owes us"-- and I think they learned a lesson from that. It was also a much smaller amount than the entire mortgage on my condo. I had a set interest rate, set monthly payment, and even an official lien filed for the loan amount. 

I'm definitely fortunate in many ways but not gifted a down payment.  And talking with my friends--many of whom are solidly upper middle class and don't even own homes yet in their mid30s to mid40s--I don't think any of them were, either. 

StarBright

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2022, 06:31:01 PM »

But how many of them are secretly wealthy? I ask because I'm sure everyone thinks we're in that group. And while we'll probably always identify and feel working class, we are really on the path to building wealth. It helps that our jobs are kind of "vague" so it's hard to guess for people how much we earn. It's not like we're engineers at Google and everyone knows we're rich. We don't make "engineer at Google" kind of money but when people ask we're fairly open about it. But many people avoid that conversation because they think we're poor.

We know a couple who are maybe earning 200k per year. We are looking to replace something in our house and since they'd recently replaced that thing in their house, we asked them where we bought it and if they could recommend the person who installed it. Instead of saying "We bought it at X Shop" their tactful answer was "we've heard Affordable Shop sells good quality stuff, we heard our friends John and Amy were happy with their service" . They simply couldn't imagine that we were asking where they bought it because we literally can afford to spend the same amount of money on that thing as they can.

As a person with stealth wealth, I have a pretty good radar for others with stealth wealth. I see more of them than you'd think. None of us actually live extremely frugal, we're just still kind of spending the same as we were when we were early 20s. We still enjoy hiking and music festivals and camping and we still don't care about designer handbags and shiny new cars.

I'm a fellow stealth wealth-er so I get it (every time I pull up to run the food pantry my new volunteers think I am there for food because of my janky 20 year old corolla :)

But my social circle is pretty darn small, so I know there is no stealth wealth in my group 2. My group 2 is full of gofundmes for medical and funeral expenses, and car repairs, and venmos for baby formula and things like that.

Maybe just a geographic fluke on my part? I went to a very poor high school where maybe 20% attempted any post secondary education or technical school at all, and I went to an elite adjacent private undergrad in a major that was full of people who could afford to to study what they wanted to study.

I guess it makes sense that plenty of people went to state schools without help and now have nice jobs? I just don't know any of them. Other than my best friend from growing up - that describes her to a "T" but she is an outlier from our friend group. Even being back in the midwest I expected to see more of that demographic, but I just don't bump into those folks I guess.

Maybe you should expand your circle a bit ;)

I would love to! Work and kids make social circle painfully small. Maybe as the kids get older - fingers crossed.

cassafrass

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2022, 06:48:47 AM »
stealth wealth

Lol, why have I not heard this before?

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2022, 08:22:15 AM »
stealth wealth

Lol, why have I not heard this before?

Because we're just that discreet about it.

Gronnie

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2022, 08:30:09 AM »
I don't tell my story a lot, but I became addicted to gambling and drugs at 18 -- floundered about until 25. Finally met a nice woman that is now my wife and she really helped me get my shit together.

Started out about $150k in student loan debt and $20kish credit card debt between us and now at 36 and 37 we are worth a little over $700k and should be millionaires before 40.

We didn't win the lottery or inherit anything, and had no help from parents. We just studied really hard to get marketable degrees, then lived well below our means to pay off all the debt. We've increased our lifestyle somewhat now, but still spending well less than we make.

If I could escape drugs and gambling and do it, I'm pretty sure just about anyone can.

Sibley

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2022, 01:12:10 PM »
I don't tell my story a lot, but I became addicted to gambling and drugs at 18 -- floundered about until 25. Finally met a nice woman that is now my wife and she really helped me get my shit together.

Started out about $150k in student loan debt and $20kish credit card debt between us and now at 36 and 37 we are worth a little over $700k and should be millionaires before 40.

We didn't win the lottery or inherit anything, and had no help from parents. We just studied really hard to get marketable degrees, then lived well below our means to pay off all the debt. We've increased our lifestyle somewhat now, but still spending well less than we make.

If I could escape drugs and gambling and do it, I'm pretty sure just about anyone can.

I'm glad you turned things around, but I think there's plenty of evidence to indicate that it's not always that easy. No, just because you did it doesn't mean anyone could.

Nick_Miller

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2022, 01:25:33 PM »
We can all supply our own anecdotes to support whatever position we want to put out there. ("I paid my way through college, working full-time!" or "my parents didn't buy me a house" or whatever).

But we're all familiar with that poll from a few years ago (Bankrate) that reported only 1/3 of households had sufficient savings to cover a $500 expense (without resorting to credit cards, borrowing from family, etc.)

And those are freakin' households (presumably many with 30something and 40something adults heading them). Is it really shocking that "millionaire" advice gets salty responses from many people? Especially online? Especially from young people? We have huge systemic problems with wage stagnation, rising college costs, rising housing costs, investors gobbling up available homes - I mean, a person can't (reasonably) just say, "Well, 2/3 of Americans are stupid/lazy/worthless!" to try to explain why so many households struggle in our country. One has to be more thoughtful than that. The reality is that many people struggle, and this "millionaire" advice does little good to anyone anywhere close to the edge.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2022, 01:28:38 PM by Nick_Miller »

spartana

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2022, 01:42:09 PM »

Quote
Step one: have you college paid for
Step two: have a little bit of inheritance coming your way
Step 3: don’t ever mention your family’s assistance

Yes there are outliers who made it on their own


I mean ^ this is basically me and everyone I know that has their ish "together" by their late 30s. I know there are paths to successful adulthood without step one, but I can only think of one friend from growing up that is on that path, and she certainly isn't on track to be a millionaire-type, just an upper middle class person who will likely be able to retire comfortably at 65.   

Forget college, StarHus and I (and my SIL) are the only people we know whose parents didn't help them with their first house down payment. I mean, I'm sure someone we know had parents that didn't help, but most people our age seem to be pretty open about talking about it. Most of us have bought houses post financial crisis, so we may be dealing with tighter lending standards than previous generations?

I didn't get help from parents for college or house. As a result, I didn't graduate college until I was 30 (bought house at same time), but I still "have my ish together" in my mid-30s and will be a millionaire by 45. We're the average couple described in the Millionaire Next Door book.

Maybe you should expand your circle a bit ;)
Same path as me. Came from a divorced poor/working class single parent household so no money for anyone or anything but the basics. College at 30 (thank you Uncle Sam) and house (with my own saved down payment of 30%) in my 30s and FI by 36. However I think we are the outliers and most people in our same situation have probably had some financial help or at least a higher paid job that allowed them to save and invest alot.

Gronnie

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2022, 01:43:06 PM »
If I could... I'm pretty sure just about anyone can.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivorship_bias

https://thedecisionlab.com/biases/survivorship-bias

Quote
Survivorship bias is a cognitive shortcut that occurs when a visible successful subgroup is mistaken as an entire group, due to the failure subgroup not being visible.

Amazing when a single person seems like a sufficiently representative subgroup!

Basically, just look for any examples of people who have failed to "escape drugs and gambling" (probably in obituaries, though cause of death is often omitted there) and like magic, you can see that it's not true that "just about anyone can."

LOL psuedo bullshit. Just because they didn't doesn't mean they couldn't have.

maizefolk

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2022, 02:29:59 PM »
But we're all familiar with that poll from a few years ago (Bankrate) that reported only 1/3 of households had sufficient savings to cover a $500 expense (without resorting to credit cards, borrowing from family, etc.)

Yet, TIAA recently found that 55 of U.S. adults say they “certainly” could come up with $2,000 if an unexpected need arose within the next month. (Source).

The distinction between right away and "within the next month" makes me think the bankrate survey is telling is more about how lean many people run their checking accounts (having to put an expense on the credit card until their next paycheck hits) than how many people are living so close to the financial edge that an unexpected $500 expense would constitute a disaster.

A lot of people are that financially precarious, but not 2/3ds of all of all american households.

BDWW

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2022, 03:28:16 PM »
The greek philosophers wrote about the tendency of the envious to denigrate what others achieved 2500+ years ago. Much has changed, humans haven't.

DadJokes

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2022, 03:33:40 PM »
We can all supply our own anecdotes to support whatever position we want to put out there. ("I paid my way through college, working full-time!" or "my parents didn't buy me a house" or whatever).

But we're all familiar with that poll from a few years ago (Bankrate) that reported only 1/3 of households had sufficient savings to cover a $500 expense (without resorting to credit cards, borrowing from family, etc.)

And those are freakin' households (presumably many with 30something and 40something adults heading them). Is it really shocking that "millionaire" advice gets salty responses from many people? Especially online? Especially from young people? We have huge systemic problems with wage stagnation, rising college costs, rising housing costs, investors gobbling up available homes - I mean, a person can't (reasonably) just say, "Well, 2/3 of Americans are stupid/lazy/worthless!" to try to explain why so many households struggle in our country. One has to be more thoughtful than that. The reality is that many people struggle, and this "millionaire" advice does little good to anyone anywhere close to the edge.

Yes, it is shocking.

Instead of throwing the advice back in the writer's face, maybe heed the advice. That's the difference between successful people and the people commenting on the post.

As one personal finance person says, "Don't make excuses; make progress."

BDWW

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2022, 03:42:18 PM »
We can all supply our own anecdotes to support whatever position we want to put out there. ("I paid my way through college, working full-time!" or "my parents didn't buy me a house" or whatever).

But we're all familiar with that poll from a few years ago (Bankrate) that reported only 1/3 of households had sufficient savings to cover a $500 expense (without resorting to credit cards, borrowing from family, etc.)

And those are freakin' households (presumably many with 30something and 40something adults heading them). Is it really shocking that "millionaire" advice gets salty responses from many people? Especially online? Especially from young people? We have huge systemic problems with wage stagnation, rising college costs, rising housing costs, investors gobbling up available homes - I mean, a person can't (reasonably) just say, "Well, 2/3 of Americans are stupid/lazy/worthless!" to try to explain why so many households struggle in our country. One has to be more thoughtful than that. The reality is that many people struggle, and this "millionaire" advice does little good to anyone anywhere close to the edge.

Yes, it is shocking.

Instead of throwing the advice back in the writer's face, maybe heed the advice. That's the difference between successful people and the people commenting on the post.

As one personal finance person says, "Don't make excuses; make progress."

A friend on facebook once shared a meme something to the tune of "I don't take advice from people who aren't in the same hardship I am, only from people who are down here with me."

I responded that "When I go fishing, I don't take advice from people who catch fish. I only take advice from the people who aren't catching fish like me, because only they know what it's like."

It didn't go over well.

lifeisshort123

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2022, 05:03:58 PM »
A couple of thoughts….

We know from Chris Hogan’s Millionaire study that the largest number of millionaires got their through a systematic process.  #1 profession of millionaires was engineers… #3 was teachers.  I don’t remember #2, but the point is these are solidly middle class/upper-middle class professions.

Now, this article (which I didn’t read) apparently is discussing MILLENNIAL millionaires, meaning, relatively young people who are ALREADY millionaires.

Within that subset, I would imagine that there are many more who have been (some or all of these):
- assisted with parental support with tuition assistance
- assisted with parental support with housing assistance in some way (co-signing for rentals, down payments, etc.)
- assisted by family connections to get first jobs in great places

By the way, I have no fault for these people.  And I also doubt that this is ALL of them.  I could easily see a millennial who followed the MMM lifestyle having a million dollars by age 32/35ish if they had the right process.

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2022, 09:44:05 PM »
Reading through this made me think of my path. I’d be a millionaire without family gifts and inheritance, but $25,000 20+ years ago and another $100,000 ten years ago could amount to half a million today. Add in help with school (rather than students loans) and we could be looking at a million. If all that’s true, I’d still be a millionaire without the help, but would I really be without parents that pushed me to work hard and excel at everything?

For the ultra wealthy, I supposed it’s different. For me, coming out of solid middle class, it was multiple different things that, all added together, made a huge difference in my life vs. say the kid down the street who moved in with grandma because his parents were addicts. He’s okay today - has a job, good relationship, nice kids… but he doesn’t have more mainly because he didn’t believe he could do it… or that he deserved to earn it. I was told that I could do it, that I was expected to do it, and I was given many opportunities and gentle nudges to keep going when things were hard or discouraging. 

Imma

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2022, 03:16:17 AM »

But how many of them are secretly wealthy? I ask because I'm sure everyone thinks we're in that group. And while we'll probably always identify and feel working class, we are really on the path to building wealth. It helps that our jobs are kind of "vague" so it's hard to guess for people how much we earn. It's not like we're engineers at Google and everyone knows we're rich. We don't make "engineer at Google" kind of money but when people ask we're fairly open about it. But many people avoid that conversation because they think we're poor.

We know a couple who are maybe earning 200k per year. We are looking to replace something in our house and since they'd recently replaced that thing in their house, we asked them where we bought it and if they could recommend the person who installed it. Instead of saying "We bought it at X Shop" their tactful answer was "we've heard Affordable Shop sells good quality stuff, we heard our friends John and Amy were happy with their service" . They simply couldn't imagine that we were asking where they bought it because we literally can afford to spend the same amount of money on that thing as they can.

As a person with stealth wealth, I have a pretty good radar for others with stealth wealth. I see more of them than you'd think. None of us actually live extremely frugal, we're just still kind of spending the same as we were when we were early 20s. We still enjoy hiking and music festivals and camping and we still don't care about designer handbags and shiny new cars.

I'm a fellow stealth wealth-er so I get it (every time I pull up to run the food pantry my new volunteers think I am there for food because of my janky 20 year old corolla :)

But my social circle is pretty darn small, so I know there is no stealth wealth in my group 2. My group 2 is full of gofundmes for medical and funeral expenses, and car repairs, and venmos for baby formula and things like that.

Maybe just a geographic fluke on my part? I went to a very poor high school where maybe 20% attempted any post secondary education or technical school at all, and I went to an elite adjacent private undergrad in a major that was full of people who could afford to to study what they wanted to study.

I guess it makes sense that plenty of people went to state schools without help and now have nice jobs? I just don't know any of them. Other than my best friend from growing up - that describes her to a "T" but she is an outlier from our friend group. Even being back in the midwest I expected to see more of that demographic, but I just don't bump into those folks I guess.

Maybe you should expand your circle a bit ;)

I would love to! Work and kids make social circle painfully small. Maybe as the kids get older - fingers crossed.

I suppose one big difference is, we are both from a working class background and we've always stayed in that social circle. We don't really know any truly rich people, the couple we described are by far the most wealthy people we know, working class folks who went to med school.

In my country the income differences are smaller and tuition doesn't cost a fortune, and medical expenses are much less of an issue than they are in the US. So that's one big difference, people can still fall on hard times but it's not as bad as it could be over there.

The people we know with stealth wealth either learned a trade, or they got a degree relatively cheaply (living with parents and working while in college). It's also pretty common here for highschoolers to start working at the age of 14, especially those kids with a working class background. So by the time they go to college many kids have savings, they have side jobs that pay more than minimum wage, they know the value of money. The people we know with stealth wealth in their 30s all started working and saving young, bought property in their early 20s before the real estate market exploded, and simply haven't really adapted their lifestyle since that time. They don't make a huge amount of money, but they're simply not the type that grew up caring about material things, and many of us have family members with practical skills so doing DIY on your house or car is kind of the norm. I grew up cooking everything from scratch and I still do it out of habit, I learned to sew and mend as a kid, I can't really fathom outsourcing that either. I have a lot of coworkers from a more middle class background and I'm pretty shocked at their habits - some go out for dinner a few times a week! I think I had dinner in a "real" (non fast-food restaurant)  maybe 5 times in my life before the age of 18.

I'm pretty sure my neighbours have stealth wealth too. They bought a cheap old house and fixed it up by themselves. I saw them carry in some pretty nice building materials so I don't think they lack money. They also drive a big but quite old car (we don't do trucks here, instead we get station wagons) and they do all of their own maintenance.

clifp

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2022, 03:34:48 AM »
But we're all familiar with that poll from a few years ago (Bankrate) that reported only 1/3 of households had sufficient savings to cover a $500 expense (without resorting to credit cards, borrowing from family, etc.)

Yet, TIAA recently found that 55 of U.S. adults say they “certainly” could come up with $2,000 if an unexpected need arose within the next month. (Source).

The distinction between right away and "within the next month" makes me think the bankrate survey is telling is more about how lean many people run their checking accounts (having to put an expense on the credit card until their next paycheck hits) than how many people are living so close to the financial edge that an unexpected $500 expense would constitute a disaster.

A lot of people are that financially precarious, but not 2/3ds of all of all american households.

Thank you, I've always thought that survey was BS.  I think most people get hit with $500 unexpected expenses probably on annual basis.  Car repair, dental work, appliance breaks, your best friend gets married and you spend $500 to be in the wedding, you lose your cellphone etc. etc.  They may not have in their checking account, hell I use to pride myself on keeping whatever the minimum balance I need to avoid paying for a checking account service fee (typically $500 or $1,000).  There is nothing wrong with putting things on a credit card as long as you pay it off each month.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2022, 05:45:14 AM »
Well one is kind of accurate for me.

1.  My parents did pay for the bulk of my college.  (I worked and paid some minor parts).
2.  I likely will receive some sort of inheritance once they pass as they have a paid off home in a state where a primary residence is exempt from Medicare/Medicaid calculations.

I hope I don’t see the later for many more years.

neo von retorch

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2022, 06:21:25 AM »
The gist of the comments is that these people believe the only way to get rich is... inherit, own business, be selfish.

Quote
Step one: have you college paid for
Step two: have a little bit of inheritance coming your way
Step 3: don’t ever mention your family’s assistance

The difference with most of us is that we learned there is another way. make mindful spending decisions, invest, be consistent.

My college was relatively cheap in 1997-1999. Some merit-based scholarships, some need based assistance, less than $10,000 in student loans over 5 semesters.

I may or may not get an inheritance. My mother passed away - she had nothing. My father and stepmom haven't disclosed their details, but between them have 7 kids and lots of grandkids. They never made much, but they live somewhat modestly. But the funny thing is "inheritance coming my way" would do (and does) nothing to contribute to my wealth right now. 🤔

My family's assistance... well I did grow kind of assuming college was a thing we would do so we could get the careers we wanted. Neither of my parents had any schooling. They also had no means to pay for our college. I did borrow a few hundred from my dad for textbooks though, I think. Memory is foggy now. My parents split when I was 13, and my dad was largely vacant after that. (There was no "joint custody" for me.) My mom was always vacant. She had her own thing going on. So... thanks for the lessons on being independent in those teen years. They took a while to get over psychologically (if ever...), but at least I didn't fall under the impression I had a lot of safety nets!

sadiesortsitout

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #31 on: August 05, 2022, 07:58:21 AM »
The thing is, those financial habits matter, but they don't make a millionaire on their own.

I have always been frugal and always saved. What I missed as a young person was knowledge of how to build and develop a career. Those things were actively discouraged for women in my family and community, and my college education did not include anything useful in that regard.

People will tell you over and over, "you can get a good job with any degree," but what they don't tell you is that you won't if you don't know how to make the right connections and understand what kind of work is actually out there and brings in a lot of income-- things that are completely non-obvious if you come from a lower-class household.

Overall, I was making progress and would have been financially fine and on track to retire at a normal retirement age, but I had a major financial setback at 40 that brought my savings to near-zero. Now I'm trying to rebuild with a mommy-track resume, a kid, and an ex with major mental health problems.

I have the same objection to the book Grit-- studying successful people is only part of the equation. There are lots of hard-working, self-sacrificing, frugal, gritty, sensible people out there who are never going to be millionaires, for all kinds of reasons, but mostly because they're in jobs that will never earn enough.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #32 on: August 05, 2022, 08:25:44 AM »
The thing is, those financial habits matter, but they don't make a millionaire on their own.

I have always been frugal and always saved. What I missed as a young person was knowledge of how to build and develop a career. Those things were actively discouraged for women in my family and community, and my college education did not include anything useful in that regard.

People will tell you over and over, "you can get a good job with any degree," but what they don't tell you is that you won't if you don't know how to make the right connections and understand what kind of work is actually out there and brings in a lot of income-- things that are completely non-obvious if you come from a lower-class household.

Overall, I was making progress and would have been financially fine and on track to retire at a normal retirement age, but I had a major financial setback at 40 that brought my savings to near-zero. Now I'm trying to rebuild with a mommy-track resume, a kid, and an ex with major mental health problems.

I have the same objection to the book Grit-- studying successful people is only part of the equation. There are lots of hard-working, self-sacrificing, frugal, gritty, sensible people out there who are never going to be millionaires, for all kinds of reasons, but mostly because they're in jobs that will never earn enough.

Agreed.  Many women also take on a lot of unpaid or low paid caring work (childcare, elder care, housework, household organization, volunteer work) which can also set us back financially despite being essential work in any society. I see it all the time - the husband goes out and earns real money and leaves the essential but unpaid work to the wife (usually) who often earns much less.  Then if anything happens to the higher earner or the marriage it can plunge the wife into poverty.  A tale as old as time unfortunately.

DeniseNJ

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #33 on: August 05, 2022, 10:30:48 AM »
Quote
Yeah, save you the trouble.  They rip off poor people, they underpay their workers, they don't provide benefits, they don't pay taxes, they lie, cheat, and steal and OH! They inherit & cheat on taxes.

Poor people do plenty of this too. lol.  They underpay the handy man or don't tip the delivery guy, they get unlicensed people to do projects or pay under the table for baby sitters, etc.  They inherit a few grand once in a while and blow it all.

I grew up in the projects in the Bronx as part of a poor family.  I can't tell you all the scams trying to save a dollar.  Is it ok to be a dirt bag bc you're poor but not if you're rich?  People of every economic circumstance have dirt bags.

Villanelle

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #34 on: August 05, 2022, 03:29:16 PM »
Quote
Yeah, save you the trouble.  They rip off poor people, they underpay their workers, they don't provide benefits, they don't pay taxes, they lie, cheat, and steal and OH! They inherit & cheat on taxes.

Poor people do plenty of this too. lol.  They underpay the handy man or don't tip the delivery guy, they get unlicensed people to do projects or pay under the table for baby sitters, etc.  They inherit a few grand once in a while and blow it all.

I grew up in the projects in the Bronx as part of a poor family.  I can't tell you all the scams trying to save a dollar. Is it ok to be a dirt bag bc you're poor but not if you're rich?  People of every economic circumstance have dirt bags.

Cheating the tax payers out of $2 on pay for a babysitter so you can afford to pay the babysitter and be able to go to work is different, IMO, than cheating them out of paying taxes on your hundreds of millions of dollars.  To me, of of those people is much closer to being a "dirt bag" than the other. 

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #35 on: August 05, 2022, 04:20:52 PM »
The thing is, those financial habits matter, but they don't make a millionaire on their own.

I have always been frugal and always saved. What I missed as a young person was knowledge of how to build and develop a career. Those things were actively discouraged for women in my family and community, and my college education did not include anything useful in that regard.

People will tell you over and over, "you can get a good job with any degree," but what they don't tell you is that you won't if you don't know how to make the right connections and understand what kind of work is actually out there and brings in a lot of income-- things that are completely non-obvious if you come from a lower-class household.

Overall, I was making progress and would have been financially fine and on track to retire at a normal retirement age, but I had a major financial setback at 40 that brought my savings to near-zero. Now I'm trying to rebuild with a mommy-track resume, a kid, and an ex with major mental health problems.

I have the same objection to the book Grit-- studying successful people is only part of the equation. There are lots of hard-working, self-sacrificing, frugal, gritty, sensible people out there who are never going to be millionaires, for all kinds of reasons, but mostly because they're in jobs that will never earn enough.

And yet studying successful people is the only part of the equation you can actually affect (discounting political activism). That's why it should be pushed, and people who respond as BDWW cited of "I don't take advice from people who aren't in the same hardship I am, only from people who are down here with me"....while their perspective may be understandable, they're only hurting themselves.

BlueHouse

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #36 on: August 05, 2022, 06:44:53 PM »
...
Started out about $150k in student loan debt ...

Curious who helped you with student loan applications or if you did it all yourself. 
This is a part that I don't think enough people appreciate.  I know for me, if I hadn't had a mom willing to go through all the paperwork with me AND force me to fill out the apps, I probably would not have gone to college.  There was a combination of fear of failure, ADHD, and an unwillingness to ask for help.  I know I'm not alone.  I don't know how to put a price on the value of that support, but it's greater than zero.

ETA:  I'll also add that maybe marrying someone with a college degree who helped you get your ish together is equivalent to marrying into money or inheriting wealth.    I mean, it's a big leg up that should be acknowledged. 
« Last Edit: August 05, 2022, 06:47:24 PM by BlueHouse »

Gronnie

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #37 on: August 05, 2022, 07:18:05 PM »
...
Started out about $150k in student loan debt ...

Curious who helped you with student loan applications or if you did it all yourself. 
This is a part that I don't think enough people appreciate.  I know for me, if I hadn't had a mom willing to go through all the paperwork with me AND force me to fill out the apps, I probably would not have gone to college.  There was a combination of fear of failure, ADHD, and an unwillingness to ask for help.  I know I'm not alone.  I don't know how to put a price on the value of that support, but it's greater than zero.

ETA:  I'll also add that maybe marrying someone with a college degree who helped you get your ish together is equivalent to marrying into money or inheriting wealth.    I mean, it's a big leg up that should be acknowledged.

I did it all - it's not like it's hard.

I've never understood the argument that poor people can't go to college. It's probably easier for them than middle class students that don't have parental help.

sadiesortsitout

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #38 on: August 05, 2022, 08:51:07 PM »
The thing is, those financial habits matter, but they don't make a millionaire on their own.

I have always been frugal and always saved. What I missed as a young person was knowledge of how to build and develop a career. Those things were actively discouraged for women in my family and community, and my college education did not include anything useful in that regard.

People will tell you over and over, "you can get a good job with any degree," but what they don't tell you is that you won't if you don't know how to make the right connections and understand what kind of work is actually out there and brings in a lot of income-- things that are completely non-obvious if you come from a lower-class household.

Overall, I was making progress and would have been financially fine and on track to retire at a normal retirement age, but I had a major financial setback at 40 that brought my savings to near-zero. Now I'm trying to rebuild with a mommy-track resume, a kid, and an ex with major mental health problems.

I have the same objection to the book Grit-- studying successful people is only part of the equation. There are lots of hard-working, self-sacrificing, frugal, gritty, sensible people out there who are never going to be millionaires, for all kinds of reasons, but mostly because they're in jobs that will never earn enough.

And yet studying successful people is the only part of the equation you can actually affect (discounting political activism). That's why it should be pushed, and people who respond as BDWW cited of "I don't take advice from people who aren't in the same hardship I am, only from people who are down here with me"....while their perspective may be understandable, they're only hurting themselves.

The point is that you can write down a handful of habits of millionaires, but if you give them to people who aren't millionaires as a prescription for how to become a millionaire, it may not work. You may be telling them things they're already doing. Because in fact, becoming a millionaire takes a lot of different pieces working together.

Have a Google and see how the replicability of the studies behind the book Grit turned out. It turns out lots of people are very gritty but never become successful. That's what I mean by studying success not being enough. It's similar to saying "thin people eat breakfast every morning" or "thin people take walks." They very well might, but so do lots of people who aren't thin, because neither of those things is enough on its own to produce the desired effect.

You can give people lots of helpful tips, but it's not the whole picture.

Imma

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #39 on: August 06, 2022, 03:55:22 AM »
...
Started out about $150k in student loan debt ...

Curious who helped you with student loan applications or if you did it all yourself. 
This is a part that I don't think enough people appreciate.  I know for me, if I hadn't had a mom willing to go through all the paperwork with me AND force me to fill out the apps, I probably would not have gone to college.  There was a combination of fear of failure, ADHD, and an unwillingness to ask for help.  I know I'm not alone.  I don't know how to put a price on the value of that support, but it's greater than zero.

ETA:  I'll also add that maybe marrying someone with a college degree who helped you get your ish together is equivalent to marrying into money or inheriting wealth.    I mean, it's a big leg up that should be acknowledged.

I'm in a different country, but I had no help from my parents at all in area (and honestly, very little help in other areas as well, honestly these days their parenting style would be called neglect). They had no idea about which highschool classes I should take, hoe to apply for university / grants / loans, what degree I should pick.  They hadn't even heard of most majors other than languages, law and medicine.

My school had a guidance counsellor who helped is and all sorts of leaflets on how to apply for loans etc and I don't remember that being particularly difficult. My friends also helped each other because we were all first generation college students. Half of our parents didn't even finish highschool (only one of my parents did).

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #40 on: August 06, 2022, 06:56:43 AM »
The thing is, those financial habits matter, but they don't make a millionaire on their own.

I have always been frugal and always saved. What I missed as a young person was knowledge of how to build and develop a career. Those things were actively discouraged for women in my family and community, and my college education did not include anything useful in that regard.

People will tell you over and over, "you can get a good job with any degree," but what they don't tell you is that you won't if you don't know how to make the right connections and understand what kind of work is actually out there and brings in a lot of income-- things that are completely non-obvious if you come from a lower-class household.

Overall, I was making progress and would have been financially fine and on track to retire at a normal retirement age, but I had a major financial setback at 40 that brought my savings to near-zero. Now I'm trying to rebuild with a mommy-track resume, a kid, and an ex with major mental health problems.

I have the same objection to the book Grit-- studying successful people is only part of the equation. There are lots of hard-working, self-sacrificing, frugal, gritty, sensible people out there who are never going to be millionaires, for all kinds of reasons, but mostly because they're in jobs that will never earn enough.

And yet studying successful people is the only part of the equation you can actually affect (discounting political activism). That's why it should be pushed, and people who respond as BDWW cited of "I don't take advice from people who aren't in the same hardship I am, only from people who are down here with me"....while their perspective may be understandable, they're only hurting themselves.

The point is that you can write down a handful of habits of millionaires, but if you give them to people who aren't millionaires as a prescription for how to become a millionaire, it may not work. You may be telling them things they're already doing. Because in fact, becoming a millionaire takes a lot of different pieces working together.

Have a Google and see how the replicability of the studies behind the book Grit turned out. It turns out lots of people are very gritty but never become successful. That's what I mean by studying success not being enough. It's similar to saying "thin people eat breakfast every morning" or "thin people take walks." They very well might, but so do lots of people who aren't thin, because neither of those things is enough on its own to produce the desired effect.

You can give people lots of helpful tips, but it's not the whole picture.

First, I was responding really to something you didn't say, and that's on me. I was conflating what you said, which was specifically for about becoming a millionaire with my take on a general "getting to a better financial state and closer to FI" point of view. Those aren't really the same thing and that's on me.

I will say, though, that I don't think we're really in that much disagreement. I agree that there are definitely situations where grit and determination won't get you through to full financial independence and certainly not to being a millionaire.

What I do have a problem with (not that you are necessarily supporting any of the following) is the corrosive mindset that comes with the arguments that were presented in the OP. They come with the mindset that it's all out of my control, and that mindset is there in people making part-time minimum wage to people who have household incomes well into the six figures. That mindset is that my choices don't really matter, there's nothing that I can do to improve things in a real way, so who cares?

It also seems that the most vociferous people who espouse this mindset and belief that there's nothing I can do and everyone who has succeeded has either been gifted it all or screwed others along the way to get it...are also the ones who are doing stupid things. Someone I know who always spouts out this stuff is also a person who voluntarily choose to move hundreds of miles away to work at a job that sounded interesting for low pay. He then complains on social media all the time about this kind of stuff. He could have stayed within a 30 mile radius of where he was at and be currently making, easily, mid 40's in a LCOL to VLCOL area. He shot himself in the foot as do thousands and thousands of other people each day.

The other thing is, using your analogy about thin people is good but it could be extended.  Sure, you can eat the same things and exercise the same amount as others and not get the same results. However, if you eat healthier and exercise, you will improve your health - similar to how you will improve your finances if you live by mustachian principles. You just will. You won't get to the same heights as others, and some people will barely be able to move the needle depending on their situation, but there will be improvement. The one sure fire way to lose out is to complain instead of trying, and until you try, you won't know how much you can improve.

It all comes down to big picture/small picture. If you're concerned with big picture inequalities, feel free to be active on a societal, political level. Changes might eventually be made.

However, very little positive can come out the mindset of giving up, things are outside my control, everyone who is better off than me cheated to get there and therefore I can never get there on my own.

ETA: After thinking a bit more, it comes down to this for me. No one needs to hear that a single person with no assets, outside support, or other sources of income making $20k a year can retire in 10, 20, or even 30 years with a million dollars. It's not going to happen, and everyone realizes that. What many people don't realize is that a single person making $40-50k can make solid financial decisions *in many situations* and actually be on the path towards becoming financially independent. People don't see that because they've never experienced it, know anyone who has, etc. Therefore, that's the perspective I'm going to choose to focus on. Things inside our area of control and the fact that positive change is possible for many people.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2022, 07:11:32 AM by Wolfpack Mustachian »

ChpBstrd

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #41 on: August 06, 2022, 08:13:51 AM »
I think we can learn something about the internet and about ourselves by asking why people feel the need to make such comments. Wouldn’t it make more sense to find out what they could learn or how they could change for the better?

I suggest these people were put on the defensive by the suggestion that they could be millionaires or on the millionaire track, but for some reason are not. They have to explain this failure away by disputing the possibility.

Any one of us could fall into this trap in domains such as money, fitness, family relations, political effectiveness, etc.

sadiesortsitout

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #42 on: August 06, 2022, 08:37:28 AM »
I think we can learn something about the internet and about ourselves by asking why people feel the need to make such comments. Wouldn’t it make more sense to find out what they could learn or how they could change for the better?

I suggest these people were put on the defensive by the suggestion that they could be millionaires or on the millionaire track, but for some reason are not. They have to explain this failure away by disputing the possibility.

Any one of us could fall into this trap in domains such as money, fitness, family relations, political effectiveness, etc.

I think they feel the need to make such comments because they feel that they are being lectured. Or chided: "Why aren't you a millionaire? Look, here's someone your age who is. Let's figure out what you're doing wrong, ya fuckup."

When you're down and out, people give a LOT of advice. At a certain point, it's too much and people either push back -- trying to reassert their own worth in spite of their circumstances -- or become so discouraged that they all but give up. This happens in almost every painful circumstance of life-- infertility, illness, poverty, poor romantic outcomes, not being very good-looking, etc. etc.

Carrying on under a constant sense of unworthiness is exhausting. So it doesn't surprise me that people snark on the 100th article they see suggesting that they've simply missed some hot tip or simple truth and that's why their lives have turned out as they have. It doesn't mean they don't want good financial advice or aren't working to build good habits. It just means they've had enough.

DadJokes

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #43 on: August 06, 2022, 05:24:41 PM »
Quote
Yeah, save you the trouble.  They rip off poor people, they underpay their workers, they don't provide benefits, they don't pay taxes, they lie, cheat, and steal and OH! They inherit & cheat on taxes.

Poor people do plenty of this too. lol.  They underpay the handy man or don't tip the delivery guy, they get unlicensed people to do projects or pay under the table for baby sitters, etc.  They inherit a few grand once in a while and blow it all.

I grew up in the projects in the Bronx as part of a poor family.  I can't tell you all the scams trying to save a dollar. Is it ok to be a dirt bag bc you're poor but not if you're rich?  People of every economic circumstance have dirt bags.

Cheating the tax payers out of $2 on pay for a babysitter so you can afford to pay the babysitter and be able to go to work is different, IMO, than cheating them out of paying taxes on your hundreds of millions of dollars.  To me, of of those people is much closer to being a "dirt bag" than the other.

The article isn't about people with hundreds of millions of dollars. You're making the same generalization that people commenting on Twitter are making by treating all millionaires as the same.

Villanelle

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #44 on: August 06, 2022, 07:15:45 PM »
Quote
Yeah, save you the trouble.  They rip off poor people, they underpay their workers, they don't provide benefits, they don't pay taxes, they lie, cheat, and steal and OH! They inherit & cheat on taxes.

Poor people do plenty of this too. lol.  They underpay the handy man or don't tip the delivery guy, they get unlicensed people to do projects or pay under the table for baby sitters, etc.  They inherit a few grand once in a while and blow it all.

I grew up in the projects in the Bronx as part of a poor family.  I can't tell you all the scams trying to save a dollar. Is it ok to be a dirt bag bc you're poor but not if you're rich?  People of every economic circumstance have dirt bags.

Cheating the tax payers out of $2 on pay for a babysitter so you can afford to pay the babysitter and be able to go to work is different, IMO, than cheating them out of paying taxes on your hundreds of millions of dollars.  To me, one of those people is much closer to being a "dirt bag" than the other.

The article isn't about people with hundreds of millions of dollars. You're making the same generalization that people commenting on Twitter are making by treating all millionaires as the same.
 

The article is about millionaires, but the comment was about "rich", which to many is far more than just $1m.  I'm actually doing the opposite of treating all millionaires the same.  I was contrasting the poor person not paying taxes on babysitting money with a zillionaire "ripping off workers, and not paying taxes".  My point was that the circumstances matter when determining dirtbagery.  To illustrate that point, I was comparing opposite ends of a spectrum on which a one-millionaire falls toward the middle. 

I was responding to Denise's post, not the article. 

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #45 on: August 06, 2022, 11:06:17 PM »
I think we can learn something about the internet and about ourselves by asking why people feel the need to make such comments. Wouldn’t it make more sense to find out what they could learn or how they could change for the better?

I suggest these people were put on the defensive by the suggestion that they could be millionaires or on the millionaire track, but for some reason are not. They have to explain this failure away by disputing the possibility.

Any one of us could fall into this trap in domains such as money, fitness, family relations, political effectiveness, etc.

I think they feel the need to make such comments because they feel that they are being lectured. Or chided: "Why aren't you a millionaire? Look, here's someone your age who is. Let's figure out what you're doing wrong, ya fuckup."

When you're down and out, people give a LOT of advice. At a certain point, it's too much and people either push back -- trying to reassert their own worth in spite of their circumstances -- or become so discouraged that they all but give up. This happens in almost every painful circumstance of life-- infertility, illness, poverty, poor romantic outcomes, not being very good-looking, etc. etc.

Carrying on under a constant sense of unworthiness is exhausting. So it doesn't surprise me that people snark on the 100th article they see suggesting that they've simply missed some hot tip or simple truth and that's why their lives have turned out as they have. It doesn't mean they don't want good financial advice or aren't working to build good habits. It just means they've had enough.
Thank you for the compassion in this. You're very right. I have been trying to come up with ways to assuage these concerns preemptively, help people focus on what they can do, etc. but it's all but impossible except one-on-one. Often there's a request for advice which is genuine, but someone else in the conversation isn't receptive & heads straight for that defensive posture, which I haven't worked out how to circumvent.

I'd frankly rather such conversations take place in a group setting because everyone can learn from each other, but the whole subject is so permeated in the US with unfair judgements of human worth & reactive or performative rejections of said judgements that it's almost nuclear.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #46 on: August 07, 2022, 06:56:00 AM »
Among my circles of friends, I think we all got some form of help from our parents in college. However, we all had part-time jobs during college and we all graduated with some student loans (10K to 20K). We were kind of frugal because we would all have roommates and some of us shared bedrooms. We spent plenty of time in the bars, but I don't think we really dropped tons of cash. Our vacations and travel was regional via car. It's still probably upper middle class, but it didn't feel fancy to me.


johndoe

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #47 on: August 07, 2022, 06:58:24 AM »
I mean, a person can't (reasonably) just say, "Well, 2/3 of Americans are stupid/lazy/worthless!" to try to explain why so many households struggle in our country. One has to be more thoughtful than that.

Good point; I'd say it's closer to 3/4 than 2/3.    :)

sadiesortsitout

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #48 on: August 07, 2022, 07:52:01 AM »

Thank you for the compassion in this. You're very right. I have been trying to come up with ways to assuage these concerns preemptively, help people focus on what they can do, etc. but it's all but impossible except one-on-one. Often there's a request for advice which is genuine, but someone else in the conversation isn't receptive & heads straight for that defensive posture, which I haven't worked out how to circumvent.

I'd frankly rather such conversations take place in a group setting because everyone can learn from each other, but the whole subject is so permeated in the US with unfair judgements of human worth & reactive or performative rejections of said judgements that it's almost nuclear.

It is VERY tricky to offer encouragement and advice around sensitive topics -- and I say this as someone trained in offering encouragement and advice! I have a whole basket of techniques and it's still tricky.

Some things I lean on a lot are "speaking from the I"-- saying, "This has been really useful to me; it may not be helpful for you but maybe there is something in there you can use." We can get very attached for what worked for us-- but if you look around this forum, you can see that people build and preserve wealth in a variety of ways and many of them work well, just like some people are happy and fit as vegan distance runners and some are happy and fit as keto weightlifters. When you embrace the idea that problems tend to have a variety of solutions, you can offer what you have with more humility, and that tends to be received better than a prescriptive approach.

In therapy, we say, "You don't use a wrecking ball to build a house." Building on what someone is already doing is more useful than tearing down what they aren't doing or are doing wrong.

We also say, good therapy is a balance of validation and challenge. Acknowledging someone's hardship can actually be really difficult for many people-- we want to rush through to fix it! We're terrified of getting stuck in how hard it is, and it's easier to minimize it. But taking a moment to stay with the difficulty -- saying, "This is a tremendously difficult situation you're in," and allowing those feelings to exist-- has power. Often times (but not always), in the presence of that acknowledgement and compassion, people "come right" very quickly -- when they feel allowed to have made mistakes, they are able to admit to them and start looking for solutions. 

It is harder in groups-- much harder, because people need to feel trust to feel capable of reflection and change, and establishing trust within a group is a long process. They need to know they aren't going to be asked to take blame for the parts of their problems that they didn't create, and that they aren't going to be shamed for the parts of their problems that are their fault. They need room to be human.

DeniseNJ

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Re: Comments on a finance article detailing the habits of millionaires
« Reply #49 on: August 08, 2022, 06:14:53 AM »
Quote
Yeah, save you the trouble.  They rip off poor people, they underpay their workers, they don't provide benefits, they don't pay taxes, they lie, cheat, and steal and OH! They inherit & cheat on taxes.

Poor people do plenty of this too. lol.  They underpay the handy man or don't tip the delivery guy, they get unlicensed people to do projects or pay under the table for baby sitters, etc.  They inherit a few grand once in a while and blow it all.

I grew up in the projects in the Bronx as part of a poor family.  I can't tell you all the scams trying to save a dollar. Is it ok to be a dirt bag bc you're poor but not if you're rich?  People of every economic circumstance have dirt bags.

Cheating the tax payers out of $2 on pay for a babysitter so you can afford to pay the babysitter and be able to go to work is different, IMO, than cheating them out of paying taxes on your hundreds of millions of dollars.  To me, of of those people is much closer to being a "dirt bag" than the other.

That's just a matter of degree.  Money magnifies behavior.  If you are a cheat than you cheat however you can.  If you are generous then the more you have, the more you give.