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Wednesday, 30 November 2005

Update on Education


Yes, more than 15% of millionaires have college degrees. It's actually more like 90%:

Thomas J. Stanley, former professor of marketing at Georgia State University, shows that the critics of capitalism are dead wrong. Stanley, you may recall, is the author of a bestseller, The Millionaire Next Door. In his more recent book, The Millionaire Mind, he demonstrates that most millionaires are model citizens. Here are the results of his survey of more than 1,000 people who earn $1,000,000 a year or more...

- They live far below their means, and have little or no debt. Most pay off their credit cards every month; 40% have no home mortgage at all.

- Millionaires are frugal; they prepare shopping lists, resole their shoes, and save a lot of money; but they are not misers.

- 97% are homeowners; they tend to live in fine homes in older neighborhoods. (Only 27% have built their "dream home.")

- 92% are married; only 2% are currently divorced. Millionaire couples have less than one-third the divorce rate of non-millionaire couples. The typical couple in the millionaire group has been married for 28 years, and has three children. Nearly 50% of the wives of the super-rich do not work outside the home.

- Most are first-generation millionaires who became wealthy as business owners or executives; most did not inherit their wealth.

-90% are college graduates, and 52% hold advanced degrees; however, few graduated top of their class - most were "B" students. They learned two lessons from college: discipline and tenacity.

- Most live balanced lives; they are not workaholics; 93% listed socializing with family members as their #1 activity; 45% play golf. (Stanley didn't survey whether they were avid book readers, but I suspect that many are.)

- 52% attend church at least once a month; 37% consider themselves very religious.

- They share five basic ingredients to success: integrity, discipline, social skills, a supportive spouse, and hard work.

- They contribute heavily to charity, church and community activities (64%).

- Their #1 worry: Taxes! Their average annual federal tax bill: $300,000. The top one-tenth of 1% of U.S. income earners pays 14.7% of all income taxes collected.

- Not one millionaire had anything nice to say about gambling. Okay, but his survey also showed that 33% played the lottery at least once during the year.

We can see how the super upper-income families of this nation are not the ones contributing to crime, welfare, divorce, child abuse and a spendthrift society. But they are paying a lot of taxes and making a lot of contributions to solve these social problems.

Although Stanley did not cover this issue, I've also seen studies indicating that higher-income individuals live longer - five to 10 years longer than the average American (76 years), and they enjoy better health, fitness and quality of life.

--From Investment U email

Note: they learned 2 things from college: neither of which are necessary to graduate from college, and both of which can be learned without going to college.
In other words, the same qualities that made them millionaires helped them stick it out through four years of (for the most part) time-wasting studies.

By the way, like most of the millionaires surveyed, I have more than one college degree. But I'm not a millionaire; I live so far below the poverty line that I had to 'correct' someone else's pre-approved credit app just to get a credit card. I now have somewhere around half a dozen cards--it's hard to keep track, as I use only 3 of them at any given time. At one point my credit limit exceeded my annual income by several thousand dollars.

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