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Do Wealthy People Really Have ‘Rich Genes’?

Do Wealthy People Really Have ‘Rich Genes’?

What is it that the rich have that the rest of us don’t? Is coming from a wealthy family a pre-requisite? What kind of role does education play? Or does the accumulation of wealth happen because of certain personality traits?

One controversial theory is that some people actually have ‘rich genes,’ and that those who are rich were born to be. While this may sound far-fetched, there are still some who believe that ‘rich genes’ exist. So exactly what role do genes play, and what can we do to increase our chances of becoming wealthy? When Australian newspaper, the Herald Sun, last year reported the alleged findings of a study on the relationship between wealth and genetics, it certainly caused a lot of controversy. The Australian government’s top policy research report titled Deep and Persistent Disadvantage in Australia, was quoted by the newspaper, saying: “Rich kids do better at school while poor children struggle due to genetic ‘inherited abilities.’”

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What Do Rich People Think About Rich Genes?

This quote turned out to be a misrepresentation of what the report actually concluded (i.e. that environment played the biggest role). In the meantime, however, the argument gathered support, mostly among the wealthy. Whereas those of the lower social classes tended to believe that they didn’t deserve to be disadvantaged. This is hardly surprising when you consider another study by Kraus and Keltner from the University of California, Berkeley, which showed that individuals who perceived themselves as higher in social class rank tended to believe that differences in social standing can be explained by natural or inherent factors, rather than the social-situation context.

In What Degree Do The Genes Affect Our Wealth?

But before we dismiss the idea of rich genes completely, we should consider that some studies suggest that income, educational attainment, and occupational status are at least partially determined by genetics. Researchers at Edinbrough University, for example, claim that genes determine how persistent we are and how much self-control we have, both of which play a large role in success.

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What Else Determine Our Wealth?

A more recent study by CNN Money, in which wealth psychologists such as James Gottfurcht, who runs Los Angeles-based Psychology of Money Consultants, participated reveals that certain personality traits are responsible for the creation of high net worth individuals. Not surprisingly, nearly all individuals with a net worth of over $5 million were entrepreneurs. The ability to go into business for yourself rather than rely on the security of a salary was something nearly all of these people had in common. And according to the study, that requires certain personality and behavioral traits. These include high-energy levels and the ability to work up to 70-80 hours a week. These people often reported sleeping less than others, and frequently took working holidays. Vision and self-confidence were other traits that were essential to accumulating vast amounts of wealth.

Kristen Armstrong, a strategic wealth coach at Ascent Private Capital Management described many of her clients as “force of nature” people, who “have a really great ability to envision possible futures … [and] an amazing ability to focus their efforts and energy once they see a possibility.” High net worth individuals also tend to be tolerant of certain levels of risk. They understand that risk is an essential part of profit, but they are never impulsive and tend to take a long-term view of risk.

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Despite a number of narcissists in the group, psychologists reported that many of the super-wealthy are surprisingly modest and don’t choose to change their lifestyle to suit their increased wealth, choosing instead to invest their money back into their businesses. The good news is that many of these traits can be learned. Wealth psychologists believe that it is sour deep sub-conscious beliefs about money that determine how much money we have.

If you want to improve your own financial situation, look for a life coach who specializes in wealth and money mindsets, and ask them to give you a few pointers. If you are a struggling business person, or budding entrepreneur, look around for someone successful to mentor you. Most of all believe in yourself, and remember that you don’t need to be born with ‘rich genes’ to be wealthy.

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Featured photo credit: rich genes via madisonmovie.files.wordpress.com

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Last Updated on January 2, 2019

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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How It Leads to Financial Improvement

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

Types of Personal Finance Software

When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

When to Use Personal Finance Software

So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

1. You Have Multiple Accounts

There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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How to Get Started

From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

Final Thoughts

Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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