Russ Alan Prince, author of The Middle-Class Millionaire, has been trying to understand a new sub-class of Americans called the “working rich”. Prince defines them as those with net worths between $1 million and $10 million, but who still work for a living. After conducting a survey of both middle-class millionaires and those just plain “middle class” (defined as having income of $50,000 to $80,000 and net worth under $1 million), he distilled these differences into 9 traits for Forbes. Apparently, middle-class millionaires:
- Work Longer. The average middle-class millionaire puts 70 hours a week into the job. They take 12 vacation days a year, seven fewer than the average middle-class worker.
- Value Networking. More than 60% say knowing “many, many people” is very important in achieving financial success.
- Take Risks. Over 90% of middle-class millionaires admit to having made a major career or business decision that had a bad outcome.
- Avoid Vanilla Corporate Jobs. Over 80% own their own business or a have a stake in a partnership.
- Do It For The Money. 74% say that choosing a career “for its potential financial rewards” is very important to achieving success.
- Don’t See Themselves As Rich. Fully one-third of those worth $1 million to $10 million think of themselves as middle class (the other two-thirds consider themselves upper middle class). Meanwhile, 21% of middle-class people (making $50,000 to $80,000 annually) call themselves members of the upper middle class.
- Put Family First Over Community. The values the mass affluent place the most importance on are ethics, responsibilities to loved ones, parenthood and children’s education.
- Pay For Help. Half of them have hired personal or career coaches.
- Put Family First In Vacation. Over 60% of middle-class millionaires say that spending time with family is an important component of a vacation. By contrast, only 28% of middle-class workers think so.
Overall, there are some interesting differences. But I personally don’t see these as a “how-to” template – There’s no way I’m consistently working 70 hours a week – the whole point of being smart with money for me is to work less. Also, I feel like some information is missing. Are working millionaires older than average? Being a working millionaire at 30 is a lot different than at 60.
By Jonathan Ping | Career | 2/29/08, 3:21am