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Three Things Millionaires Won’t Tell You

Posted June 27, 2011 at 3:55 am

Here’s 3 of the best pieces of advice (In our humble opinion), extracted from Smart Money’s 10 things Millionaires Won’t Tell You:

#3) “I didn’t Get Rich By Skimping on Lattes.”

So how do you join the millionaires’ club? You could buy stocks or real estate, play the slots in Vegas — or take the most common path: running your own business.

That’s how half of all millionaires made their money, according to the AmEx/Harrison survey. About a third had a professional practice or worked in the corporate world; only 3 percent inherited their wealth.

Regardless of how they built their nest egg, virtually all millionaires “make judicious use of debt,” says Russ Alan Prince, coauthor of “The Middle-Class Millionaire.” They’ll take out loans to build their business, avoid high-interest credit card debt and leverage their home equity to finance purchases if their cash flow doesn’t cut it.

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Nor is their wealth tied up in their homes. Home equity represents just 11 percent of millionaires’ total assets, according to TNS. “People who are serious about building wealth always want to have a mortgage,” says Jim Bell, president of Bell Investment Advisors. His home is probably worth $1.5 million, he adds, but he owes $900,000 on it. “I’m in no hurry to pay it off,” he says. “It’s one of the few tax deductions I get.”

#5) “You Don’t Get Rich By Being Nice.”

John D. Rockefeller threatened rivals with bankruptcy if they didn’t sell out to his company, Standard Oil. Bill Gates was ruthless in building Microsoft into the world’s largest software firm (remember Netscape?).

Indeed, many millionaires privately admit they’re “bastards in business,” says Prince. “They aren’t nice guys.” Of course, the wealthy don’t exactly look in the mirror and see Gordon Gekko either. Most millionaires share the values of their moderate-income parents, says Lewis Schiff, a private wealth consultant and Prince’s coauthor: “Spending time with family really matters to them.” Just 12 percent say that what they want most to be remembered for is their legacy in business, according to the AmEx/Harrison study.

Millionaires are also seemingly undaunted by failure. Crane, for example, now runs a successful company that screens tenants for landlords. But his first business venture, a real estate partnership, went bankrupt, costing him $20,000 — more than his house was worth at the time. “It was the most depressing time in my life, but it was the best lesson I ever learned,” he says.

#9) “Turns Out Money CAN Buy Happiness”

It may not be comforting to folks who aren’t minting cash, but the rich really are different. “There’s no group in America that’s happier than the wealthy,” says Taylor, of the Harrison Group. Roughly 70 percent of millionaires say that money”created” more happiness for them, he notes.

Higher income also correlates with higher ratings in life satisfaction, according to a new study celebrity porn pictures by economists at the Wharton School of Business. But it’s not necessarily the Bentley or Manolo Blahniks that lead to bliss. “It’s the freedom that money buys,” says Betsey Stevenson, coauthor of the Wharton study.

Concomitantly, rates of depression are lower among the wealthy, according to the Wharton study, and the rich tend to have better health than the rest of the population, says James Smith, senior labor economist at the Rand Corporation. (In fact, health and happiness are as closely correlated as wealth and happiness, Smith says.)

The wealthy even seem to smile and laugh more often, according to the Wharton study, to say nothing of getting treated with more respect and eating better food. “People experience their day very differently when they have a lot of money,” Stevenson says.

To get the other 7 things Millionaires don’t want you to know, click here…

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To watch a video about what the average millionaire is really like, click here…

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