The Wealthy 5% That Run America – Who Are They?

5% of the population in America make most of the money, own most of the wealth, pay most of the income tax and dictate the lives of the remaining 95%. Here are some stats that will open your eyes:

  • The top 5% of households make $231,206 a year (source: Tax Foundation).
  • The top 5% of households control 60% of the nation’s wealth (source: Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finance).
  • The top 5% of households pay 57% of all income tax (source: Tax Foundation).

This top 5% run big companies, run small companies, employ millions, create new jobs, hire and fire employees, invest in new companies, liquidate old companies, increase wages, decrease wages, increase benefits, reduce benefits and outsource jobs. This 5% can completely alter our lives, for better or for worse. But who are these 5%? Who are these individuals that leverage so much control over our lives and our country’s economy? In my five year study on the daily habits of the rich and poor, I asked just that question. Here’s what I found:

  • 18% are senior executives in big companies
  • 51% are small business owners
  • 13% are salesmen/saleswomen
  • 28% have a professional designation
  • 63% took a risk in search of wealth
  • 85% like what they do for a living
  • 91% are decision makers at their job
  • 25% travel as part of their job
  • 21% are “A” students
  • 41% are “B” students
  • 29% are “C” students
  • 68% have a college degree
  • 25% have a post graduate degree
  • 47% went to a private college
  • 56% worked their way through college
  • 86% work more than 50 hours per week
  • 27% failed at least once in life in business
  • 47% went to private grammar school
  • 54% are optimists
  • 67% are frugal
  • 33% grew up poor or middle-class
  • 94% balance their checkbook every month
  • 72% know their credit score
  • 80% pursued a major goal or dream in life
  • 62% focus on goals every day
  • 75% have good daily habits
  • 52% have a second home
  • 100% have a CPA or financial advisor
  • 72% have enough life insurance to replace their income
  • 57% count calories every day
  • 70% eat less than 300 junk food calories a day
  • 76% exercise aerobically 30 minutes or more each day
  • 63% watch less than one hour of T.V. a day
  • 64% live in a modest home
  • 84% say they created their own good luck
  • 93% who had a mentor, attribute their wealth to their mentors
  • 63% played competitive sports in high school
  • 86% associate with other rich, successful people
  • 88% know more than 200 people
  • 88% are savers
  • 94% engage in daily self-improvement
  • 75% are creative
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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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