Few American millionaires came by their wealth through inheritance or by marrying a rich spouse.
By their account, smart saving, even more than investment choices, was key to their financial success, according to the PNC Financial Services Group’s new Wealth and Values Survey, released Tuesday.
Fifty-six percent of respondents said saving early and regularly was the personal decision that had most influenced their financial success.
Another 38% attributed their good fortune to controlling spending, and a similar percentage put their success down to making good investment decisions.
“Earning a lot of money” was mentioned by 26% of those surveyed. Only 12% cited an inheritance, and 3% had married someone with significant assets.
Asked to rank the greatest influences, 65% of millionaire respondents said hard work, while 16% cited good decisions, 8% said discipline and 7% luck.
Artemis Strategy Group conducted the online survey in September and October, interviewing 473 individuals with assets of $1 million or more.
Seventy-six percent of millionaires surveyed expected they were growing to be successful financially, but 81% expressed pleasant surprise at the scale of their success.