Thomas C. Corley

About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley understands the difference between being rich and poor: at age nine, his family went from being multi-millionaires to broke in just one night, due to a catastrophic fire that destroyed his Dad's thriving business. For fourteen years they struggled with poverty. There were eleven in Tom's family, and they lived in constant fear of losing their home.

Driven by the desire to unlock the secrets to success and failure, Tom spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people. He discovered there was an immense difference between the habits of the rich and the poor. During his research he identified over 300 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” Tom decided to write a book to share what he learned. That book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1st Edition), went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the United States forty times over a three year period. To give you some perspective, in order to be a true Amazon Bestseller in the United States, where you actually receive a specific Bestseller designation from Amazon, you need to be in the top 100 of all books sold by Amazon in the United States in a given day. Rich Habits did that for nearly thirty straight days, rising as high as #7, eclipsing such Bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and J.K. Rowlings. Imagine that - an unknown, first-time, self-published author selling more books than J.K. Rowlings!

Tom now travels the world, sharing his Rich Habits and motivating audiences at industry conferences, corporate events, universities, multi-level marketing group events, and global sales organizations’ presentations and finance conferences. He has even spoken on the same stage with famous entrepreneurs and personal development experts, such as Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many others.

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit,, India TV, Australia, and a host of others. He has been interviewed on many prestigious nationally syndicated radio shows, including the Dave Ramsey Show, Marketplace Money, and WABC.

Tom has been featured in numerous print magazines—such as Money magazine, Inc. Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company magazine, More magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine—and various online publications, including USA Today, CNN, MSN Money,,, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider,, and a few other media outlets.

National publicity has garnered international media attention for Tom and his Rich Habits research spanning 23 countries. Broadcast media, online publications, and television throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Central and South America have shared his powerful message.

In an effort to help parents, grandparents, teachers and adults become success mentors to the younger generation, Tom released his second book, Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life in 2014. This book was the self-help category winner of the 2015 New York Book Festival and Runner-up in the prestigious 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest. In 2016 Tom released his third book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. This book provides the latest science on habit change as well as more of Tom's unique research on the specific habits that helped transform 177 ordinary individuals into self-made millionaires.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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No-Nonsense Financial Advice From a Seasoned Financial Advisor

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My best friend, Bill King, is 11 years older than me. Like me, he’s a CPA and a CFP. When I was just starting out in my career, Bill gave me the best financial advice I ever heard. [Read more…]

Dreams Make the Best Chauffeurs


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A little boy, hooked on science fiction books, had a dream of one day going to Mars. Today, this little boy runs SpaceX. SpaceX made history in 1998 by being the first private company to send a rocket into space. This little boy’s name was Elon Musk.

Another little boy dreamed of being the best golfer in the world. He lived and breathed golf every day. His dreams were filled with visions of winning golf tournaments and lofting trophies over his head. By age 24 this little boy had won 17 PGA tournaments. That was back in March of 2000, a record that still stands to this day and is unlikely to ever be broken. That little boy was Tiger Woods.

A short, undersized boy, with a speaking impairment entered Kent College. He had a dream of one day becoming a college football coach. No one in his family had ever gone beyond high school. In 1988 Notre Dame finished 12-0, having beat Miami (then #1), USC (then #2) and West Virginia (then #3). That short, undersized boy with a lisp, was Lou Holtz.

When you take action on your dreams, you will be flooded with passion. That passion allows you to break through any obstacle, overcome any adversity and take you anywhere you want to go.

Dreams make the best Chauffeurs.

Strategic Cheating


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The path to habit change is via repetition. The more you repeat a behavior, the stronger the neural pathway becomes (aka synapse) and the stronger the synapse becomes the more permanent it becomes.

Eventually, strong synapses will be marked as a candidate for a habit by the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia marks a synapse as a habit by reaching its neural tentacles ( dendrites) up and out until they touch the synapse. Once this occurs, the synapse becomes a habit and will remain so for most of your life.

It’s not easy to forge a new habit. Some habits take more time to form than others, depending on the complexity of the habit. According to a 2009 University College London study, this habit timeframe can range from 18 – 254 days, with the average being 66 days to forge a habit.

In the early going, forging a new habit requires the brain to work harder than normal. Energy, primarily in the form of glucose, is called upon to power the newly forming habit synapse. At times, during this habit formation process, the brain will fight you on habit formation when the stores of glucose run low. This is commonly referred to as decision fatigue – periods of low willpower.

The trick to habit formation, during periods of low willpower, is to trick the brain into believing there is no need to put up a fight. This is where Strategic Cheating comes into play.

Strategic Cheating is a habit formation shortcut that avoids decision fatigue and fools the brain into continuing the new habit formation process.

Here’s how it works. Habit formation requires repetitive behavior. Oftentimes, this new behavior requires a commitment of time. Thirty minutes a day of aerobic activity, for example, can quickly deplete the stores of glucose readily available and cause a loss of willpower, triggering the brain to send a signal to other parts of the brain to cease and desist from the new habit formation activity. The key to preventing this from happening is to cheat.

When your willpower energy is low, instead of engaging in 30 minutes of aerobic activity, cheat – only engage in 5 or 10 minutes of aerobic activity. This cheating stops the brain from sending out the cease and desist order and the brain will not fight you or prevent you from engaging in the new habit.

Strategic Cheating works in forging new habits by allowing the new synapse to strengthen, without causing decision fatigue. In time, the synapse will strengthen and eventually the basal ganglia will mark it as a habit. Once it is marked as a habit, the brain will no longer fight you when you engage in the habit.

Rich Habits Poor Habits Episode 32 | 4 Tricks to Forging New Habits

Good habits put you on autopilot for success. 

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When actions become habits, the need for motivation (external or internal) is eliminated.

You don’t need to pump yourself up to engage in a habit.

This is one of the main things that separates successful individuals from everyone else – successful people habitualize good behavior.

So, fine, but how do you actually forge a new good habit?

There are 4 tricks to forging habits:

1. Change Your Trigger

Your doctor tells you that if you want to prevent urinary track infections you must drink at least two glasses of water every day.

Wealth Retreat 2017 - Tom Corley

But you find it difficult to turn that into a habit.

You keep forgetting to drink water.

One of the shortcuts to habit change is to find an existing habit you have, good or bad, and add a new habit to it.

What other habits do you have?

List them.

One habit on your list is coffee.

Every day you drink two cups of coffee.

To forge the new habit of drinking water, simply put your coffee cup next to the sink, your water filter or the water cooler.

When you go searching for the coffee cup you will have to remember where you put it. Ah yes, by the water cooler. That coffee cup then becomes your new trigger. It will remind you to drink a glass of water.

2. Start Smallinspiration idea mindset

New habits are hard to forge.

The trick is to make the new habit so easy to perform that you will not require any willpower to get you started.

The brain does not like new habits because new habits, in the very beginning, require conscious effort.

Any conscious thinking requires the use of brain fuel (primarily oxygen and glucose).

The brain is unable to store oxygen and glucose, so it must send a message to the peripheral nervous system, which then notifies the liver to produce more glucose.

This is a pain in the neck for the brain.

So, instead, it sends back a message to you that essentially says – don’t engage in the data success

If the activity requires very little brain fuel, however, the brain will not fight you on the activity.

It doesn’t send the message – don’t engage in the activity.

As an example, let’s say that you want to begin jogging so you can lose weight and be healthy.

If you decide to run for, say 30 minutes, the brain will tell you not to.

If, however, you commit to only 10 minutes, the brain will not put up a fight.

After a few weeks of running for 10 minutes every day, the jogging habit begins to form.

Once that habit takes root, that is when you can increase the jog to 15 minutes, then 20 minutes and eventually 30 minutes.

3. Create Reminders

Most of us have computers and cell phones that have reminder systems that automatically remind you about something.

A trick to help you forge a new habit is to put it on one of your reminder systems.

Once you set the reminder task, it will go off and remind you to engage in the habit.

4. Associate With Others Who Have Your Desired Habit puzzle team

Habits are like a virus.

We adopt the habits of those within our inner social circle.

Find friends who have the habit you want to adopt, such as jogging, and ask them if you can run with them.

You new running partner will become your accountability partner.

You asked them to run with you, they said yes and now you find yourself committed to jogging with your friend.



When Drinking Beer is a Rich Habit


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Come on. Did you really think I would have research on why drinking beer is a Rich Habit?

Well, actually I have something to share that you might call a stretch as it relates to beer drinking being a Rich Habit.

Rich Habit #6 – Everything in Moderation

You might find this piece a bit counterintuitive, since I spend so much time expounding on forging good habits and eradicating bad habits. But I’m also a realist and I know none of us are angels. We all do bad things every now and then.

What separates the successful from the unsuccessful, however, is the successful moderate the bad things they do in life. And, sorry to say, beer is one of those bad things. So is wine, hard liquor, smoking pot, Oreos, White Castle hamburgers, etc.

They’re all bad for your health and every time you go overboard consuming these bad things, it’s like opening the door and inviting cancer to walk right through. Why? Because too much of these bad things create free radicals (free roaming electrons inside cells) and too many free roaming electrons do two things:

  1. Bounce off the nucleus inside cells, mutating your DNA, potentially mutating your DNA, causing cancer and
  2. Damage telomers (caps at the end of every chromosome), damaging chromosomes, which can then mutate, causing cancer.

Because I’m here to help, I want you to know that it’s OK to engage in bad things, but only if you follow Rich Habit #6. When you consume beer, wine, hard liquor or smoke pot in moderation, your amazing body has the ability to fix any damage that you do.

But when you violate Rich Habit #6 and do bad things in excess, your body gets overwhelmed and is unable to clean up or repair the damage you do.

So, in order to keep the door closed to cancer, stick to Rich Habit #6. Do what you want to do, just do it in moderation.

How Millionaires Think


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Any mental thought, often repeated, becomes a habit. Habitual thoughts make you who you are. Millionaires are rich because of the way they habitually think. Their habitual thinking comes first and their habitual behavior follows. If you habitually think a certain way you will habitually act a certain way. To become rich you have to learn how to think like a Millionaire. What are some of the thinking habits of Millionaires?

  • Millionaires Believe in Themselves: 79% believed they could rise from poverty or the middle-class to wealth. 90% did not believe in fate. They believed they were the architects of their lives.
  • Millionaires Believe Hard Work Trumps Intelligence: 90% believed hard work was more important than a high IQ.
  • Millionaires Believe Persistence Creates Good Luck: 92% believed they created their own good luck by relentlessly pursuing something they were passionate about. They were persistently patient in their pursuit of their dreams and goals. It took the average person in Millionaires 12 years to succeed in their realizing their dream and becoming rich.
  • Millionaires Are Optimists: 54% believed their optimism was a critical factor in their success.
  • Millionaires Control Their Emotions: 81% made a habit of controlling their negative emotions such as anger, envy, resentment and hate. This made it easier for others to do business with them.
  • Millionaires Believe Honesty is the Best Policy: 85% told the truth all the time. They never lied. Being perceived as honest helps build trust, a foundation for success and strong relationships.

How Millionaires Talk


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Constant communication is a prerequisite to building strong relationships. Millionaires are great communicators and because of that they are able to build strong, long-lasting relationships. What are some of the communication strategies I uncovered in my research?

  • Millionaires Do Not Gossip: 94% avoided gossip. Most gossip is negative and can do irreparable harm to your relationships. Since Millionaires are fanatics when it comes to building strong relationships, gossip is something they avoid like the plague.
  • Millionaires Make Happy Birthday Calls: 80% made happy birthday calls to the people who were important to them. Happy birthday calls serve to keep your important relationships on life support but 25% of those you call will reciprocate and call you on your birthday, taking your relationship off life support.
  • Millionaires Make Hello Calls: 80% regularly called those they wanted to build a strong relationships with. One of the tools they used was the Hello Call – regular calls to say hello and gather information on your relationships.
  • Millionaires Make Life Event Calls: Life event calls, such as calling someone to congratulate them on the birth of a child, an award or a promotion, creates strong emotional bonds that allow you to grow strong relationships. Making a life event call is like putting your relationships on steroids.
  • Millionaires Vet Their Thoughts: 94% did not say what was on their mind. They restrained themselves. This allowed them to gather their thoughts about how to effectively communicate something that was important.


Raising Young Adult Children to be Financial Juggernauts

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According to a study by Brown University habit study by Dr. Pressman, we pick up most of our habits from our parents. If parents are bad at managing money, their kids will be bad at managing money. When you’re bad at managing money it has a tendency to disappear. That means no savings, no retirement assets, runaway debt and a life filled with financial worries.

No parent wants their kids to grow up to struggle financially as adults. Yet, since most people do struggle financially, its clear parents have been and are failing to be financial success mentors to their kids.

Well, let’s put an end to this generational parenting malpractice.

In my award winning and bestselling book Rich Kids, I share many parent mentoring success strategies that help parents in raising their kids to succeed in life financially. Here are a few of those strategies: [Read more…]

Employees Who Become Rich Make Themselves Indispensable

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Thirty-nine percent of the self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study were employees. Those self-made millionaires who made their millions as an employee did one or more of the following: [Read more…]

How Millionaires Behaviors Differ From Non-Millionaires


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Millionaires have certain ritual behaviors that put them on the path towards success. What are some of those behaviors?

  • Millionaires Take Care of Their Bodies: 76% engaged in 20 – 30 minutes of cardio, four or more days a week. That’s running, jogging, brisk walking, biking, swimming, etc. It doesn’t cost any money to run, jog or walk, so this is a habit anyone can mimic.  75% of Millionaires avoided fast food restaurants. Fast food is unhealthy food. Too much can lead to obesity and other health problems.
  • Millionaires Are Readers: 85% of Millionaires read two or more books every month and 88% read 30 minutes or more each day. What did they read? 51% read about history, 55% read self-help, 58% read biographies of successful people and 79% read educational material.
  • Millionaires Build Rich Relationships: 86% networked with people who could help them realize their dreams and their goals. These were individuals who were like-minded in their pursuit of success.
  • Millionaires Are Decision Makers: 91% were decision makers at their place of business. They made quick decisions and lived with the consequences of those decisions. They took action and did not overthink things.
  • Millionaires Have Good Etiquette: 75% sent thank you cards, holiday cards, and other cards for special occasions.  They said please, thank you and may I. They looked others in the eyes while listening. They acknowledged birthdays, anniversaries and important events in the lives of those they cared about. They did not criticize others, condemn others or complain to or about others.
  • Millionaires Are Passionate: 82% pursued something they were passionate about. Passion is like a light switch. When it is turned on it endows you with an unlimited supply of persistence and persistence is the #1 trait of all successful people.
  • Millionaires Set and Pursue Big Goals: 55% pursued one singular goal for more than one year.
  • Millionaires Say No Often: They made a habit out of saying no to people and things that interfere with the important things they wanted to accomplish in life. It’s hard to say no, but learning to say no is an important time management tool Millionaires relied on heavily.