Rich Habits Study – Background on Methodology

Tom Corley boats - cropMy Rich Habits study has received international attention in the media. Newspapers, magazines, online sites, TV, radio and podcasts in 25 countries, so far, have shared bits and pieces of my research.

As a result, I have received tens of thousands of emails and comments regarding the research. The vast majority of the emails and commentary have been very supportive of my efforts. However, there are some who have been, and continue to be, offended by my research.

My critics, I learned, do not like the fact that my research concludes that your habits (behaviors, thinking and emotions) dictate if you will be rich or poor. They don’t like this conclusion because it places the onus of poverty on the very shoulders of the individual, who has certain habits and beliefs that are making them poor.

They don’t like this because it means that your financial circumstances in life are determined by your habitual behavior, thinking and emotions and not caused by outside forces.

If you are personally responsible for the circumstances of your life, this means you have no one to blame but yourself. And that doesn’t sit well for the millions of “victims” out there.

You see, my critics emphatically believe that poor people are victims. Victims of society, victims of the rich, victims of government policies, victims of Wall Street, victims of …. , well, you fill in the blank.

I have stopped fighting with my critics. I can’t win. They are either lost in ideology or are pushing some big government agenda and my research is challenging their ideology or interfering with their agenda. I am forcing them to confront a truth they do not want to hear – you are the cause of your poverty.

I have been asked by many friends and foes for some background on my study. So, here it is.

I applied my CPA analytical skills in my research efforts.  Skills that are unique to CPAs. We are trained and we spend the bulk of our professional lives in gathering and analyzing data. These skills are different from the skills of scientists, economists and behavioral experts who conduct studies for a living. I acknowledge that my study methodology and approach most likely deviates from the entrenched and well-worn study methodology and approach of those who get grants and make al living conducting studies. These individuals have manufactured specific rules and methodologies that they use to help guide them in conducting their scientific or economic studies. CPA’s have also created specific rules and methodologies that guide us in our profession. And I used those skills to answer two questions:

Why are some people rich and some people poor?

What do the rich and the poor do from the moment they wake up in the morning to the moment they go to bed at night? 

Below is a good summary of my study:

  1. I interviewed 233 wealthy individuals and 128 poor individuals over a 3 year period beginning in March 2004 and ending in March 2007.
  2. Of the 233 millionaires, 177 were self-made millionaires and 56 inherited their money.
  3. Of the 177 self-made millionaires, 105 (59%) came from middle-class households and 72 (41%) came from poor households.
  4. I spent another 16 months analyzing and summarizing the data, completing my initial analysis sometime around August – October 2008.
  5. Rich Group: $160,000 in Annual Gross Income and $3.2 million in Net Assets.
  6. Poor Group: Less than $35,000 in Annual Gross Income and less than $5,000 in Liquid Assets.
  7. About 50% of the responses were physical meetings and the rest were via phone interviews and/or emails.
  8. None of the subjects were aware they were being interviewed as I was trying to control for individual bias in their responses. Experts call this a blind study.
  9. I asked them 20 broad questions (144 sub-questions) re: their daily activities. When you do the math, and I did, that equals 51,984 total questions.
  10. I tracked their responses in individual physical folders and subsequently transferred the data to two large excel worksheets for each group. I then consolidated these into what has become my Research Summary schedule. If you’d like a copy let me know.
  11. I analyzed their responses over a 16 month period, accumulating them in individual folders and then broke these down into specific categories. I continued to analyze the data for 6 more years after completing the initial analysis. To date, I have documented 334 categories, or 334 different habits, behaviors, thinking and choices of both groups.
  12. Most of the interviews were geographically distributed as follows: 50% northeast, 20% southeast, 10% midwest and the balance scattered across the country.
  13. Racially the mix was: 80% Caucasian with the balance Spanish, Portuguese, African American and other.
  14. 19% were Jewish and the balance primarily Christian.
  15. In the wealthy group, 214 were men the rest women. In the poor group 114 were men, the rest women.
  16. Ages ranged from 42 to 85. 60% were age 60 or older.

I gathered data for both groups regarding their careers/employment, the % born to wealth, poverty or the middle-class, spending habits, academic performance, education, perceptions of wealth/poverty, various health data, inherited money data, gambling habits, home ownership, car ownership, reading habits, relationship management, savings habits, self-improvement habits, time management habits, beliefs, vacation habits, volunteering habits, networking habits, voting habits, work-related data.

For close to 18 months I spoke to nearly 2,000 high school and college students around the New York metropolitan area, sharing my research. I eventually realized that that approach would never allow me to get this important research out there to the millions in the world who were struggling with poverty. So, I decided to write a book about what I learned from my research. Over the past  8 years I have written 4 such books. Three became international bestsellers in 6 countries. My 4th book is scheduled for release at the end of 2016. In the course of my speaking engagements, I’ve given away more than 2,000 books to those that need them the most, the poor (each book costs me about $3.50).

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, Money.com, India TV, News.com 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, SUCCESS.com, Inc.com, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider, Credit.com, Bankrate.com 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.
Email Tom
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Comments

  1. Anthony Pelletier says:

    I want it please.

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