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What It Takes to Be a Millionaire

New book says it's hard work more than smarts that leads to success.

March 13, 2000|From Associated Press

Thomas J. Stanley's "The Millionaire Mind" (Andrews McMeel, $16.95) is worth every cent.

In the 1996 bestseller "The Millionaire Next Door," Stanley and co-author William D. Danko introduced readers to America's wealthiest people. "The Millionaire Mind" is Stanley's account of how they made their millions and what we can do to follow in their footsteps.

The book rebuffs stereotypes about rich people. Despite popular opinion that the smart kids finish on top in the financial game, Stanley points out that most millionaires made Bs and Cs in college, and their average SAT score was 1190--not high enough to get them into a top-notch school. Stanley says it's their creativity, logic and ability to choose a field compatible with their abilities that put them ahead.

The book is quick, descriptive and to the point. Advice from self-made millionaires adds color and credibility to the surprising facts: "Never consider relying on other people's money to make you rich" and "The harder I work, the luckier I become."

Stanley and associate Jon Robbin, a Harvard-trained mathematician, studied the wealthiest 1% of American households. The 1,300 people surveyed in the book had an average net worth of $9.2 million and earned $749,000 a year.

The average multimillionaire in the book is a 54-year-old father of three, married to the same woman for 28 years. Nearly half are business owners or senior corporate executives.

The book is an inspiration for anyone who has ever been told that he wasn't smart enough or good enough. It says that making big money isn't rocket science. "A tremendous amount of want to--that's the difference between success and failure."

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