The rich and successful aren’t different from the rest of us just because they have more money. Rather, they have more money because of about a dozen personality traits that help them become wealthy and successful, according to author and NBC “Today” show financial editor Jean Chatzky.
(Related: All About the Ultra-Wealthy in 2017 )
She researched about 5,000 wealthy and successful people and discussed some of her findings at this week’s annual Financial Planning Association conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Here are six of the common personality traits she found are shared among the wealthy people she researched.
1. Happiness/Optimism. Money doesn’t lead to happiness, but happiness helps people have money, said Chatzky, noting that behavioral psychologist Daniel Kahneman found that, on average, $75,000 a year is what people need to feel happy. Spending money on experiences rather than on things also makes people happier, said Chatzky.
She explained that being optimistic and happy helps people solve problems, including money problems; live longer; and succeed. But she added that being the happiest — a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 — is not the optimum for achieving success; eight is. The 8s are more likely than 9s or 10s to have emergency funds and to challenge themselves, said Chatzky.
2. Resilience. Resilient people can overcome obstacles on the job and in their personal life and move forward, said Chatzky. When bad things happen, they meet the challenge and take action to move on. They don’t get stuck and depressed.
3. Connectedness. Social capital is another name for this trait, and it’s crucial for advisors because their business is built on relationships with individuals to help them take action to meet financial goals and needs. Having the ability to connect can help attract new clients and get referrals forom existing clients.