He Said She Said: Habits Of Wealthy People

I’m up before all y’all!

Today we’re bringing you another round of He Said/She Said.  These posts are really your chance as readers to hear how discussions (and sometimes disagreements) play out when managing our lives with each other.  For a look at some of the past He Said/She Said discussions – check ‘em out here.


Yahoo Finance recently interviewed financial planner Tom Corley, whose recent book “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals” uncovers some of the daily habits that correlate with wealth.  In the interview, Corley talks about six habits that he found that correlate with the actions of wealthy people, noting “I realized, it’s not so much what’s going on in business, it’s the daily habits, the activities, that are the reason for your wealth or your poverty.”  


Five Daily Success Habits

  • Early Risers – 44% of wealthy wake up three hours before their 9-5 jobs
  • Keep A Running List of Tasks – 70% keep lists of short and long-term goals
  • No Long Lunches – 55% use lunchtime to network and “wheel and deal”
  • Calorie Counting – “wealthy people are healthy people… with fewer sick days eating into productivity”
  • No Gossiping – 6% of wealthy people admit to gossiping compared to 79% of low-income people
  • Limited Internet – Those with troubled finances were more than twice as likely to go on Facebook or spend more than an hour on the internet every evening compared to the wealthy who use this time for networking

But here in the PoP household, we like to remember that correlation is not causation, so we asked ourselves where we stood on some of these habits.


He Said

Early Riser: Wait…so you’re saying that the majority of Wealthy People are NOT “early risers”? I’m so confused, did the author even look at his own data?

List of Tasks: Guilty-I’m very list based for daily goals; my quarterly and yearly goals are actually part of a PowerPoint preso for my work

No Long Lunches: Oh, I take long lunches. Alone. Not sure what that says really…

Calorie Counting: I call bullshit on this one unless this guy can separate causality and causation. Wealthy people are also less likely to work no-collar and blue-collar jobs that wear your body; they are also more likely to have the work flexibility and healthcare for doctor’s checkups, and work inside away from snow and rain.

No Gossiping: When a poor person tells secrets, its called gossiping. When a wealthy person does, its called insider trading (and you can bet they are getting their cut).

Limited Internet: Shit! I knew surfing Reddit every night was making me poor.

I’m probably not going to read this guy’s book, but this strikes me as poorly-researched bullshit.  The number one habit of wealthy people is to earn more than they spend. Period.


She Said

Early Riser: Yessir!  Most days I’m up at 5 to get in a workout or a run before riding my bike to work and arriving at the office by 8am.  Kitty PoP loves that I get up that early.

List of Tasks: Yes and No.  I know I am more productive when I have a list, so use one when I know I want to buckle down.  But lately I’ve been experimenting with fewer lists to see if life feels a bit less hectic.  (Jury’s still out.)

No Long Lunches: I usually spend a couple lunches per week at the gym with others from my company where we occasionally run into other community business members that work nearby.  It’s not the traditional power lunch, but I have definitely networked from a roman chair.

Calorie Counting: I’m not a hard core calorie counter, but I definitely watch what I eat and try and keep as much healthy food in the house as possible.

No Gossiping: I like to think I’m like Verbena from the 1961 movie the Parent Trap.  “I’m not saying a word.  Not one single word…” (It starts at 1:34 in this clip.  Just love that movie!)

Limited Internet: I’ve basically given up on Facebook, but definitely spend more than an hour per day surfing the web and reading.

Without reading the book, I’m taking these stats with a grain of salt, but I do think it’s interesting.


So where do you fall on the daily habits of wealthy people?



41 comments to He Said She Said: Habits Of Wealthy People

  • Nicoleandmaggie

    Go mr pop! You could be an economist.
    Nicoleandmaggie recently posted..Feelings at work: Commenting on Dame Eleanor HullMy Profile

  • Here is where I fall: I’m not a naturally early riser. I wake up at 5:15 cause I start work at 6:30 am. :(

    I have an on-going task list. I’m usually more productive on the weekends and get stuff done. I like to cross things off my list when I complete them.

    I don’t count calories. I work out a lot, thus I eat a lot. Lol.

    I don’t gossip and use the internet more for checking email, reading stuff, online window shopping and blogging. Facebook free for 4 years! Woo-hoo!
    MakintheBacon recently posted..Not Eating it All at “All You Can Eat Restaurants”My Profile

  • The 2 that I see that probably relate to being wealthy is the limited internet and list of tasks. Other than that I’m not sure the rest are habits that can make you wealthy. So there wasn’t one financial habit that wealthy people do? In a list about what people that are wealthy, i.e. have plenty of money, there isn’t a common financial habit? This seems to be more of a list on habits that people that want to move up the corporate ladder and earn high incomes. But we all know that a high income doesn’t mean jack for building wealth if you’re spending it all.
    JC @ Passive-Income-Pursuit recently posted..Expiration FridayMy Profile

    • No doubt the piece was just a teaser and you’d hope his book contained more shared secrets. But part of it comes down to the definition of wealth he was using, which required earning a minimum of $160K and having $3.2MM (20 years of salary) net worth. So it was definitely geared toward a long-term corporate climber, I felt, though it did require the wealthy to have kept a good chunk, too.

  • I am not an early riser (unless I love what I’m doing, such as my freelancing), and I eat alone every single day. HAHA
    Michelle recently posted..What Bad Financial Habits Do You Have? Part 1My Profile

  • I find the “no long lunches” one interesting. I definitely see that some of my coworkers love taking an hour plus, but that just makes me feel uncomfortable. There’s so much potential productive time you are giving up just to sit around and eat.
    CashRebel recently posted..Bank Accounts And Keeping BusyMy Profile

    • But sometimes getting out of the office and clearing your head can make the afternoon more productive, too! For me it depends what I need on a given day which will generate more quality work.

  • I definitely agree that waking up early is a big help, as long as you can use it productively. The other ones seem a little more fluid to me.
    Matt Becker recently posted..How to Negotiate a Lower BillMy Profile

  • I had heard “Early to rise, early to bed, Make people happy, healthy and wise”. Very nice post… It reminds me to follow it
    Rita P @ Digital Spikes recently posted..How to write and what to write when short of ideasMy Profile

    • haha, I was always told the less gender-neutral version of that quote growing up and always responded, “but what about a girl?”

  • It’s interesting to read these stats. I definitely am not an early riser, but I also rarely take long lunches. I agree that it’s important to look at correlation vs causation. Statistics can be skewed to show anything you want them to show.
    Jake @ Common Cents Wealth recently posted..Paying off Debt: Snowball vs. AvalancheMy Profile

    • I think the big thing is correlation and how he chose his groupings. That can definitely skew reporting and make differences seem larger than they might otherwise.

  • They all seem like worthy habits, though like you I’m wary to confuse correlation with causation. It makes sense that the habit of building wealth is the key one that leads to wealth. But the common thread with those correlated habits seems to be discipline: waking up very early, adhering to a list of tasks, being intentional with short lunches & limited internet time, etc. all seem to point to having a fairly organized/regulated day. I can see how that would correlate with having organized/regulated finances.
    Done by Forty recently posted..Outsourcing Yard Work, or Exploiting My NeighborMy Profile

    • Way to pick up on the theme. I think you’re absolutely right to point out that discipline seems to be a guiding principle in all these things. Makes me wonder if occupations that require greater discipline (military?) have more secure personal finances than those that might have less (artists?)

  • I cracked up at “I have definitely networked from a roman chair.” I’ve done the same thing, though mostly during my morning workout (I get up at or just before 5, too! Less people traffic on the trails or gym). Mr. PoP’s comment on the early riser point is interesting, though!
    anna recently posted..Wedding Stuff Part 2 – Reception Booked and Things Are Coming AlongMy Profile

    • The interview was incomplete, so I presumed the quote came from something along the lines of “44% of wealthy wake 3 hours early compared to X% of non wealthy…” You have to admit, 3 hours early is pretty damned early for most people.

  • Haha, I liked Mr. Pop’s answers. I wouldn’t put much stock into these either. I am not an early riser, though I would like to be! I need to start going to bed earlier. I usually do keep mental to-do lists, and sometimes I write my goals down. I don’t calorie count, and I take my half hour lunch to walk around and get out of the office. I don’t really gossip that much – more at work than in my personal life. I am decidedly not on the path to wealth according to this guy!
    E.M. recently posted..The Pressure of PresentsMy Profile

  • Ivy

    Good challenge from Mr PoP on the early rising, the data is interpreted strangely indeed.
    Another one that confused me “No Long Lunches – 55% use lunchtime to network..” – well, how exactly do you network if you keep lunch short? For me networking would be grabbing lunch with somebody else, and usually trying to keep a meaningful conversation (the opposite of gulping down your lunch in a rush).
    I get the limited Internet and list of tasks – these help avoid time waste and I can see how they could lead to productivity (and presumably wealth). But gossiping can cut both ways – being in the know about people and happenings can help you sometimes get ahead
    Early rising and calorie counting depend on the person – I know very very successful people who work better late at night and some that are borderline obese, and still quite wealthy.

    Another thing that made me wonder – I am ISTJ – making lists is natural to me, networking isn’t (I eat a quick lunch in front of my laptop as this is my internet browsing time:-). I started wondering what type of person (Myers-Briggs-wise) will combine both traits.

    I won’t read the book for the same reason Mr PoP mentioned.

    • The lunches part weirded me out a bit, and I wondered if the yahoo author perhaps summarized his comments a bit ineffectively. But I took it to mean there wasn’t much of a personal midday break (which the introvert in me finds difficult to imagine).

  • Lucas

    I don’t think the book was trying to establish causation persay, just trying to take a look at common habits of wealthy people to see why they did them and if they were beneficial.

    1) Early Risers – I am definitely an early riser and get my best work done in the morning. I think the stats he has here show that early rising is more common among the wealthy then the non wealthy, not that the majority of wealthy are early risers.

    2) Keep A Running List of Tasks – I definitely keep a task list – both long and short term.

    3) No Long Lunches – I usually take a very short lunch but will take a longer lunch and even potentially pay for a lunch (rather then brining my own which i do 95% of the time) if it involves potential important networking.

    4) No Gossiping – I try to not do this as much as possible. But i agree with Mr. PoP on this one 100%

    5) Limited Internet – Facebook and Instagram just bread discontentment and comparison. I don’t have an account on either (But i do on linkedin that i check maybe once a month). I do spent more time reading finance blogs then i need to or should though :-0

    • That’s how I read his comments on early risers as well, though I’m probably not apt to read the book for the rest of the details.
      Congrats on being facebook and instagram free. I often hear people complain about things they saw on there, and the easiest solution is “don’t sign on!”

  • My inner alarm clock feels the need to wake me up between 5:30 and 5:45. My regular alarm clock backs my inner alarm clock up at 5:45 if necessary. I leave for work at 7. I’m showered, dressed, and downstairs by 6. My energy rolls out of bed around 6:45 on work days, later on weekends. That, my friend, is what I need to work on!
    Keren @ Stepping It Down recently posted..Getting Out of Debt: Not How, But Why?My Profile

    • haha. I love that your energy lags your inner clock by about an hour. Mine depends on the time of day. If I wake up at 5, it takes me 30 minutes to be out the door for a run. If I wake up at 4, it takes 45. =)

  • I like to wake up early now that I sort of run, but don’t think it is a must have to become wealthy. You sure get to more business with other people in the morning when they are awake and bright, after lunch it gets harder, but you can do your own tasks.
    Pauline recently posted..How I made $100,000 from Amazon last yearMy Profile

  • I wake up early and watch what I eat, but I also surf the web while I eat alone. That’s probably a double whammy of I will be poor the rest of my life. :) I also don’t believe that rich people don’t gossip.
    Budget and the Beach recently posted..Is the Standard of Beauty Set by the Rich?My Profile

    • if surfing the web while you eat alone is going to make you poor, then I’ve got about 50% chance of being poor with you since that’s what I do at least half the time.

  • That is so cool. I am sooooo struggling with trying to be an early riser and get some writing done. I just have so much trouble getting up! My husband is like “You just tell yourself to wake up and you do it!” How?!?! haha!
    Cat Alford (@BudgetBlonde) recently posted..Watch Huffington Post Live Tonight!My Profile

    • haha, for me it took setting a different alarm and training myself with caffeine. Not kidding. It’s kindof pavlovian now to a certain extent. When my running alarm goes off (it’s different than a normal alarm), I know I have to run about 5 miles to the nearest water fountain to get caffeine if I want a nice jolt of energy in the morning. =)

  • Glad to see the key to wealth is to sleep in. That gives me an edge over the competition, lol. I would say I could see a relationship that spending evenings learning/improving skills over plain web surfing would be important to accumulating future wealth.
    Micro recently posted..Lending club to the rescueMy Profile

    • I think you’re right to draw a distinction between productive internet time and unproductive trolling/surfing. But which one does writing a pf blog fall into? =)

  • I certainly get more done by getting up early. I think productivity certainly goes down if you sit around sharing gossip and looking at Facebook, but do spend lots of time online, mostly blog related. Does that count as good or bad? I think it does seem that wealthy people are those who make the most of their time and don’t waste opportunity doing stupid and pointless things.
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  • I totally agree with being an early riser. I used to wake up so late and at the end of the day, I’ve accomplished very few tasks and my day seems to be too short. But when I started waking up at around 5-6pm, I realized how I can do so much things by waking up early and being wise enough on managing my time.
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