A Personal Finance Blog for Malaysian: Reading and Wealth

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Reading and Wealth

Rich Habits author Tom Corley spent 5 years studying the daily activities of 233 wealthy people and 128 poor people.  He discovered that wealthy people have vastly different daily habits than poor people (not a big surprise). Anyway, he tracked and listed the various activities that the rich do with the idea that if anyone else would do them too, they could become rich.
Whether you agree with this methodology or not, you have to admit that the premise is interesting. You've probably heard it said that you are the sum total of the five people you hang around with the most (or something similar), so why wouldn't "do what the rich do and you'll be rich" work as well?
In fact, that's what the book The Millionaire Next Door did. It tracked the wealthy and ultimately found a handful of characteristics that made people millionaires. I know that this works because I applied those concepts early on in my life and they have served me quite well.

In a recent post Tom said that if you want to be wealthy, you need to read. His thoughts:
In my five-year research study on the daily habits of wealthy and poor individuals, I made a profoundly important discovery: 88% of the wealthy individuals in my research read self-help books and articles and industry-related books and articles. In my study it was obvious that the wealthy were fanatics when it came to daily career-related, self-improvement. The reason? Wealthy people told me that by increasing their knowledge base they are able to uncover more opportunities and these opportunities translate into more money. Wealthy people are in constant pursuit of self-help reading material. Engaging in career-related, self-improvement makes individuals more valuable to their employer, customer or clients and helps them to rise up the ladder of financial success.
Comparatively speaking, only 2% of the poor in my study engaged in this self-help reading. One of the interesting things that I found in my study was that the poor who did receive periodicals invariably set them aside with the intent that they would read them later. Unfortunately, very few actually ever got around to this reading.
The wealthy have a different tact. They set aside time every day for their self-help reading. They read every one of their periodicals and more. Why? Successful individuals understand the value of timely information and continuous life-long learning. They are in constant pursuit of opportunities to make more money and advance their careers. Often such opportunities are found inside industry periodicals and self-help books.
Successful individuals, on average, set aside thirty minutes of every day for this self-help reading. They do this day in and day out, like brushing their teeth. They understand that self-help reading increases their knowledge base and helps set themselves apart from their competition. This reading often leads to the discovery of hidden opportunities that they are able to capitalize on. Reading helps make you more valuable to your employer, customers or clients.

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