Millionaire Priniciples – True or False ?

Here is a questionnaire about millionaire statistics which should shine some light on what’s required to become one. The answers should be clear to anyone that has read the Millionaire Next Door. Test yourself with this True/False quiz by clicking on each question line to reveal the answer:

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Most millionaires are college graduates.
True. 4 of 5 millionaires are college graduates. 18 percent have Masters degrees, 8 percent law degrees, 6 percent medical degrees, and 6 percent Ph.D.s
False. About 2/3 of millionaires work 45-55 hours a week.
More than half of all millionaires never received money from a trust fund or estate.
True. Only 19 percent of millionaires received any income or wealth of any kind from a trust fund or an estate. Fewer than 10 percent of millionaires inherited 10 percent or more of their wealth.
More millionaires have American Express Gold Cards than Sears cards.
False. Only 28.6 percent of millionaires have American Express Gold Cards while 43 percent have Sears credit cards. Only 6.2 percent of millionaires have American Express Platinum Cards.
More millionaires drive Fords than Cadillacs.
True. Ford is preferred by 9.4 percent and Cadillac by 8.8 percent. Lincoln comes in third at 7.8 percent. Only 23 percent of millionaires drive a current-year (new) car.
Most millionaires work in jobs, such as sports, entertainment, or high tech.
False. A majority of millionaires are in ordinary industries and jobs. They are proficient in targeting marketing opportunities.
Most millionaires work for big Fortune 500 companies.
False. About three out of four millionaires are self-employed and consider themselves to be entrepreneurs. Most of the others are professionals, such as doctors, accountants, and lawyers.
Many poor people become millionaires by winning the lottery.
False. Few people get rich the easy way. If you play the lottery, the chances of winning are about one in 12 million. The average person who plays the lottery every day would have to live about 33,000 years to win once. In contrast, you have a one in 1.9 million chance of being struck by lightning. A pregnant woman has one chance in 705,000 births to have quadruplets. How many sets of quadruplets do you know?
College graduates earn about 65 percent more than high school graduates earn.
True. In recent years, the average college graduate earned 66 percent more than the average high school graduate did. People with professional degrees earned 150 percent more than high school graduates did.
High school graduate invests extra income at 8% yearly, by age 67 = $5.5 million.
True. Of course, a normal person would spend some of the difference, but it is a dramatic illustration of how valuable a high school diploma is. The difference in earnings between a high school graduate and a high school dropout is $8,000 at age 18. The illustration assumes the difference increases by 1.5 percent each year and that the difference is invested at 8 percent interest each year.
Day traders usually beat the stock market and many of them become millionaires.
False. Recent studies show that 80 percent of day traders lose money.
If you want to be a millionaire, avoid the risky stock market.
False. Long term (starting in 1926 and including the Great Depression), the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index has increased at about 11 percent compound annual rate of return, exceeding the return on any other investment. Of course, there is risk. The stock market has down years, and there is no guarantee of an 11 percent return in the future, especially in the short run. In contrast, the long-term return on risk-free U.S. government securities during the same period ranged from 5 to 6 percent. The actual return depended on the term of the bond. Another way of looking at this is that $1.00 invested in the S&P 500 on January 1, 1926, was worth $1,828 on December 31, 1997. One dollar invested in long-term government bonds during the same period was worth $39 on December 31, 1997. It probably paid to take the additional risk of buying stocks.
Non-smoker at ages 18-67, invests $550 at 8% interest a year, equals $300,000.
True. Because of the power of compound interest, small savings can make a difference. It pays to resist temptation and live below your means.
Investing at ages 22-65, $2000 a year at 8% annual interest, will make $700,000.
True. Because of the power on compound interest, the earlier you begin saving, the better. Regular saving will make you a millionaire, even if your salary is modest.
Single people are more often millionaires than married people.
False. Most millionaires are married and stay married. By contrast, divorce is a gateway to poverty. Financially speaking, divorce is something you want to avoid, particularly after you have children. It is important to choose a marriage partner carefully.

This quiz does highlight the importance of financial education, and the sooner the better! You can review more information about the quiz and financial education at here.

Just keep in mind, that hard work has to be combined with smart investing, to avoid just working hard and only marginally improving your bottom line. Even if you’re not 18 years old, applying the millionaire principles from above, can help anyone’s bank account get closer to, and beyond, 7-figures.

6-Figure Jobs: The Quicker Way

There are several careers that offer a quicker path to a six-figure income even without reliance on benefits accumulated through workplace seniority, at least according to a recent Yahoo Hot Jobs article. The following figures are based on the labor departments projection until the year 2016:

  • Actuaries: A mean annual salary $95,420. Over the 2006-2016 decade, salaries are projected to increase by 24%.
  • Dental Hygienists: The median earnings are in the high $60k range, while the top-end hygienists are in the $90k range. A 30% salary growth is projected.
  • Marketing Managers: A median salary of $104,000, 12% growth projected.
  • Computer Software Engineers: Starting salaries of $90k, and 38% increase projected.
  • Medical and Health Service Managers: Median salary of $76,990, with 16% expected growth projected.
  • Human Resource Managers: Mean wage of $92,710, with 17% expected growth projected.

Of course, one would require several years of post secondary education and some hands-on experience to start earning six figures, but overall, these are high paying careers from the onset and with very good prospects for the future.

Here are some more points to know before you start applying to schools:

Actuaries relies heavily on high level math skills for statistical analysis models and calculations of risk/reward, insurance pricing, return on investment, etc. From my experience, you are either born with a propensity for solid math skills or this type of profession just isn’t for everyone.

Dental Hygienists – Only a couple of years worth of college are required to get the foot in door, although a six-figure salary is more likely to be offered in larger metropolitan areas. In general, as long as you don’t mind dealing with plaque, this one takes the cake. Pun intended.

Marketing Managers – This one was a bit surprising to see on the list since I believe most marketing professionals make much less than the median amount. Many years of experience, or a really successful startup, is normally what’s necessary to reach the coveted 6-figure mark.

Computer Software Engineers  Another job that fits analytically-inclined individuals, and only requires a couple of years of post secondary to get into an entry-level position. Beyond the entry-level pay, it is usually expected for engineers to be proficient in multiple programming skills to break the $100k mark. A multifaceted and challenging job no doubt, just make sure to follow the vital, yet often ignored, ergonomic recommendations to avoid eye strain, back discomfort and wrist problems. I don’t mean to nag, but those are real pains.

Medical and Health Service Managers – Undoubtedly a good field to be in and offers the highest location flexibility, considering this job cannot be outsourced and that the number of patients is predicted to grow exponentially in the foreseeable future.

Human Resource Managers  If you like (or at least don’t mind) dealing with hiring, firing, and anything in the middle for this crucial role, this job is for you.

I will also add to the above list that with the greater focus on energy resources exploration in the past year, it is likely that both petroleum engineering as well as alternative fuel-related careers will increasingly offer six figure incomes.

Clearly networking with colleagues and friends can also land high paying jobs and I will discuss networking skills in a future post. However, in order to keep these jobs for the long term, a person has to possess the right cognitive and emotional affinity for the job. Otherwise, they will have to count on having a clueless/negligent boss that is willing to pay six figures for less than a quality job performance. How likely is that?

Madonna Madness – Making Money By Staying Relevant – and Remarkably Untalented!

Madonna, Queen of Pop

Can she sing? Debatable. Can she dance? Perhaps. Can she act? LOL. Could these attributes explain the real reason behind Madonna’s status as a 25-year long, money-making icon? No! As Madonna had proven to the world, an abundance of real talent isn’t necessary for acquiring substantial wealth. It all comes down to how you market what you have.

For example, you might have the best, most brilliant ideas at work, but if you can’t convince your colleagues that this is so — if you don’t excite and move them into action –you might as well remain silent in your cubicle. So, the key to success then can be defined as: Make people interested in you. It doesn’t matter how you win them over, just get there!

“Like a virgin, touched for the very first time.” — Madonna, Like a Virgin

The first big break for making significant cash is the most important one, and hardest to obtain. Don’t spend your entire life waiting for it, make it happen. Bare your cone-shaped bra to the world (yes ladies, you too 🙂  ) and usher in the excitement. Therefore, at work, you need to make your purpose known. Inform your boss of your goals, ask for his/her advice on how to get there, and overdeliver by never getting trapped in the status quo.

“Some girls they like candy and others they like to grind. I’ll settle for the back of your hand somewhere on my behind.” — Madonna, Hanky Panky

Excuse me? Tell me that didn’t get your attention. Unfortunately, the default position for people is to be mundane and, relatedly, a few monthly salaries away from homelessness. Therefore, don’t be generic. You have to open up to being more of a risk-taker in order for opportunities and money to come your way.

I don’t know about you, but plugging away at the 9-5 doing robotic tasks, so I can retire in my 60’s and in mediocre health is not for me. Take a risk, such as leading an ambitious project in the office, going back to school for the career that you actually love, or launching a start-up business from your basement and beyond, are all possible examples. Of course, before taking such a step, it is essential to conduct basic market research, which is relatively easy to do for anyone with a home computer or, at most, access to a library.

“Do I have to change my name, will it get me far? Should I lose some weight, am I gonna be a star?” — Madonna, American Life

Constant reevaluation and reinvention is also a must, or you will become equivalent to yesterday’s news, and people will lose interest. The same old thing over and over again rarely works. Ask yourself? How can I improve this? How can I make my product more innovative? How can I appeal to a broader demographic? When I look at the really successful people I’ve encountered in my life, they all have one thing in common: they’re never truly satisfied with a final goal. They’re always striving forward. You can do the same and your rewards will keep growing.

“Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it, strike a pose there’s nothing to it” — Madonna, Vogue

Maybe you’re the humble type, but it’s time to push yourself and take credit for your successes. Perhaps you re-organized the way email is handled at your company, and it makes everyone’s workday significantly easier. That’s great, but the boss can’t recommend you for that big promotion if your name isn’t embedded in their memory. No need to brag or be super provocative, the equivalent of burning a cross in a music video, but do be proactive, for instance by requesting feedback: What did you think of the way I managed this task? Is there anything you’d recommend for the future? etc’

“Freedom comes when you learn to let go.” — Madonna, Power of Goodbye

What’s another key to success? Be aware, not afraid. You have to go out on a limb, and you have to do it confidently if you want others to follow you out there. It is undoubtedly a hard thing for people to overcome the feelings of self doubt, which can creep up when bigger tasks are at hand. However, remind yourself that you are absolutely capable and can go as high as your aspirations take you, and this can only be achieved by keeping a positive spirit and a healthy work-life balance.

“I’m not sorry, it’s human nature.” — Madonna, Human Nature

Okay, maybe I’m a little bit sorry. People are intrinsically compassionate, and we do want to see others do well. But if you always put everyone else first, where does that leave you? Last. Last, and a really nice person. The goal is to be a star at a certain task, be at the top of your field, work at accumulating your wealth but also give back some goodies to the less fortunate. So I’m not saying you need to be a cutthroat b– person, but you will have to develop a fighting spirit to stand out and succeed.

“Until I learned to love myself, I was never ever lovin’ nobody else.” — Madonna, Secret

Lastly, while they can be a valuable resource, try not to rely solely on the opinions of others to tell you if you’ve selected the right path. Sometimes to reach your ambitions, financial and otherwise, you have to go with your own gut feeling. Certainly such an approach may sometimes be controversial and be as effective as Madonna’s role in the B-movie “Swept Away”, but to a greater degree, standing out from the crowd will ultimately produce the joyful “Holiday”-type experiences we all crave. The key is always to think how to reach that conspicuous level in your niche and prevail.

How to Find Work That You Love — A Logical Guide

“So… uhh… how do I find a job that I love?”

Talk about money long enough, and the question inevitably comes up. And it should.

Most of us spend 60-80% of our waking hours doing something work-related. If you don’t enjoy that work, then it means you’re unhappy 60-80% of the time. Logical, right?

It would also make sense that the quickest way to improve your happiness would be to improve your enjoyment of the thing you spend the most time doing. Since that’s work, you wonder if you couldn’t find something better.

But the question is, “How?”

Here’s what I think: the answer is in the title of this post.

Let’s break it down, starting at the end of the title and working our way back to the beginning.

But just before we get into that, I want to quickly cover how work has changed over the last few years. Work doesn’t mean sitting in an office for 60 hours seek. Sure, for some people, this is the case but the internet is transforming how we do everything. And when it comes to business, it’s changed how we start, run and grow them. 

People like Sam Ovens are pioneering new ways of doing business that are helping people all over the world make more money and win more time in their lives. 

So my point is that we’ve never been more spoilt for choice when it comes to finding work that we love.

Anyway, here are some steps that’ll help you on your journey…”

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10 Ways to Get Flooded with Job Offers after You Graduate

The first few months after you graduate college can be the most exciting and nerve-racking time of your life. You’re thrilled to be done with school, but you’re also wondering, “Will anyone hire me?”

College is no longer a straight ticket to a great career. We’re handing out more bachelor’s degrees than ever, and there’s a lot of competition over the best jobs. The last thing you want to do is end up working at Wal-Mart, trying in vain to find something better.

But what can you do? Isn’t it out of your control?

No. In fact, there’s a lot you can do. Only four short years ago, I was going through this process myself and ended up graduating with 14 written offers. It’s all about being proactive while you’re still in school and taking advantage of your opportunities.

Follow these 10 strategies, and you won’t be worried about getting job offers. You’ll be flooded with them.

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How Much Money Have You Made Your Company Today?

Would you like a foolproof, guaranteed strategy to get a raise? Well, here it is:

Make your company more money.

The people that get raises aren’t the ones that work the hardest. They’re not necessarily the smartest, either.

They simply become a better investment. What do I mean?

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The Shameless Guide to Kissing Ass and Getting Paid

Kissing ass, sucking up, brown nosing.Kissing-Ass.jpg

We have lots of terms for trying to make someone like you, almost all of them dirty. It’s seen as a manipulative, shallow, and dishonest.

But damn if it isn’t effective.

If you master the art of charming people, everything becomes easier — making the sale, getting the promotion, keeping your job. You’ll make more money, create more friendships, and feel more secure.

The key is doing it right. Kissing ass has gotten a bad rap because so many people are bad at it. They’re like amateur magicians that the crowd boos because their tricks are obvious.

Unfortunately though, the technique is light on training materials. You can’t take Brown Nosing 101 in college or browse through the Sucking up section at the bookstore.

What we need is a guide for how to kiss ass effectively… which is why I’ve written one.

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