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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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Linda Paull

Linda is a passionate writer who shares lifestyle tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 6 Simple Steps

How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 6 Simple Steps

We all like to dream about being financially wealthy. For most people though, it remains a dream and nothing more. Why is that?

It’s because most people don’t set their mind to achieving that goal. They might not be happy in their current situation but they’re comfortable – and comfort is one of the biggest enemies of growth.

How do you go about developing that millionaire mindset? By following these simple steps:

1. Focus On What You Want – And Take It!

So many people are too timid to admit they want something and go for it. When there is something that you want to accomplish don’t think “I could never actually do that”, think “I could do that and I WILL do that”.

Millionaires play to win, not to avoid defeat.

This doesn’t mean to have to become a selfish jerk. What it means is becoming more assertive and honest with yourself. You don’t have to grab off other people. There is a big pot of unclaimed gold in the middle of the table — why shouldn’t you be the one to claim it? You deserve it!

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2. Become Goal-Orientated

It’s almost impossible to achieve anything if you don’t set firm goals. Only lottery winners become millionaires overnight. By setting yourself attainable goals, you will get there eventually. Don’t try to get rich quickly — get rich slowly.

Let’s take the idea of making your first million dollars and expand on what kind of goals you might set to get there. Let’s also say you’re starting at a break-even position – you’re making enough to get by with a few luxuries, but nothing more.

Your goal for the first year can be having $10,000 in the bank within a year. It won’t be easy but it is doable. Next, you need to figure out the steps you need to take to achieve that goal.

Always look at ways to make growth before cutbacks. With that in mind, you might want to see if you can negotiate a pay rise with your boss, or if there’s another job out there that will pay better. You might be comfortable in your old job but remember, comfort stunts growth.

You may also have other skills outside of your workplace that you can monetize to boost your bank balance. Maybe you can design websites for people, at a fee of course, or make alterations to clothes.

If this is still not enough to make the money you need to save $10,000 in a year, then it’s time to look at cutbacks. Do you have a bunch of old junk that someone else might love? Sell it! Do you really need to spend $10 on your lunch everyday when you could make your own for a fraction of the cost?

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If you are to become a millionaire, you need to start accumulating money.

Here’re some tips to help you: How to Become Goal Oriented and Achieve More in Life

3. Don’t Spend Your Money – Invest It

The reason you need to accumulate money is for step three. Millionaires tend to be frugal people, and that’s because they know the true value of money is in investing. Being your own boss goes hand-in-hand with becoming a millionaire. You’ll want to quit your regular job at some point.

Stop working for your money and make your money work for you.

Rather than buying yourself a new iPad, that $500 could be used to invest in the stock market. Find the right shares (more on that later), and that money could easily double within a year.

There’s not just the stock market — there’s also property, and your own education.

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4. Never Stop Learning

The best thing you can invest in is yourself.

Once most people leave the education system, they think their learning days are over. Well theirs might be, but yours shouldn’t be. Successful people continually learn and adapt.

Billionaire Warren Buffet estimates that he read at least 100 books on investing before he turned twenty. Most people never read another book after they’ve left school. Who would you rather be?

Learn everything you can about how economics works, how the stocks markets work, how they trend.

Learn new skills. If you have an interest in it, learn everything you can about it. You’d be surprised at how often, seemingly useless skills, can become extremely useful in the right situation.

Start developing the habit of learning continuously: How to Create a Habit of Continuous Learning for a Better You

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5. Think Big

While I advise to start off with small goals, you absolutely should have a big goal in mind. If you have a business idea, then that is your ultimate goal – to start that business and make a success of it. If you want to invest your way to millions of dollars and do little work other than research, then that is your big goal.

There is no shame in not achieving a big goal. If you run a business and aim to make $1 million profit in a year and “only” make $200,000, then you’re still significantly ahead of most people.

Aim for the stars, if you fail you’ll still be over the moon.

6. Enjoy the Attention

To be successful, you have to be willing to promote yourself and enjoy the attention to a certain extent. Now the attention doesn’t need to be on yourself, it could be on your brand, but attention definitely attracts money.

Never be embarrassed to get your name out there. That means finding a spotlight and being brave enough to step right up underneath it.

If you run a business, try contacting the local papers. You’d be surprised at how amenable they often are to running a story about you and your business, and it’s all free publicity.

Above all, remember: You control your own destiny. Push hard enough for anything and you’ll get it.

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Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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