Money Myths Number 4: The Rich Are Selfish Crooks



When you think of a rich person, what are your beliefs?

Walk around a very expensive suburb in your city and listen to the voices in your head.  What are they saying?

Do you think they are crooks, that they just got lucky, that they have something special that you don’t, or they were handed life on a golden spoon?

I would like you to stop reading for a second and write down all your thoughts about those who are super rich, the wealthy, the multimillionaires.  OK, continue reading.

Almost everything you have been led to believe about the wealthy is a myth. The sooner we break these myths, the sooner you can relax and enjoy your journey to being one of the rich.

The numbers come from a study by Thomas Corley which he conducted between 2005 – 2009 and reported in the ‘Business Insider on June 22, 2015.

1. Rich people inherited their money.

“Old money.” That’s what I used to hear growing up. The rich were rich because of old money. Boy, is that a myth?

In my study, 82% of the wealthy did not inherit anything. Nada, zip, zero. In fact, 76%, or 177 of the wealthy in my study, were self-made millionaires.

Thirty-one percent came from poor households and 45% came from middle-class households. Only 24% of the rich in my study were raised in wealthy households.

Belief number 1 – disproved. You can become rich no matter where you start.

2. Rich people don’t have to work hard.

According to my Rich Habits study, one of the reasons the wealthy accumulated so much wealth was due to the fact that they worked more hours than those who were not rich. Here are some of the data:

  • 44% of the wealthy worked 11 hours more each week than the poor.
  • 86% of the wealthy who had full-time jobs worked 50 hours or more each week, whereas 57% of the poor who had full-time jobs worked less than 50 hours each week.
  • 88% of the wealthy took fewer sick days than the poor.
  • 79% of the wealthy, on top of their extended work hours, networked five or more hours each month. Fifty-five percent of this networking was done during their lunch hour.
  • 65% of the wealthy had three sources of income to manage. Forty-five percent had four sources of income. Only 6% of the poor had more than one source of income.
  • 67% of the wealthy watched less than an hour of TV a day, whereas 77% of the poor watched more than an hour of TV a day.
  • 63% of the wealthy spent less than an hour a day on the internet, while 74% of the poor spent more than an hour a day on the internet.

Belief number 2 – the rich do work more than the poor. Now you will remember that I have written in a previous article that you do not have to work hard to make money. I still believe that to be true. If you look at the numbers above and point 7, you will see that the work is not ‘hard’. It is profitable, engaging and focused. Time is not spent on TV or internet games. Time is spent networking, growing new business and helping their money to grow. Sources of income include the main employment, plus investments. Work is enjoyable and profitable.

3. Rich people pay less in income tax than everyone else.

According to the IRS, the income tax rate for the top 1% of earners in the US is 22.83%, whereas the top 50% of income earners in the US pay 14.33%. The bottom 50% of income earners in the US pay just 3%. The top 1% of income earners in the US pay 45.7% of the entire 100% of income tax collected by the IRS.

Only 1% are carrying nearly 46% of the tax bucket for the other 99%. If anyone can make a case about the unfairness of our tax system, it’s the rich.

Belief number 3 – That people get rich by not paying tax.  – disproved.

Rich are paying their share of tax and more. They understand that tax is about supporting the community and are happy to do it.

4. The rich are rich because they just got lucky.

Only 8% of the self-made millionaires in my study said they accumulated their wealth because of random good luck — 92% said random good luck had nothing at all to do with their wealth. While this 92% acknowledged that luck was a factor in the accumulation of their wealth, it was a different type of luck that they called “Opportunity Good Luck.”

This is a unique type of luck that is the by-product of their hard work, persistence, and habits. This 92% never quit. They never gave up. Even when they failed — and 27% failed at least once in business — they picked themselves up, figured out what went wrong, and tried again.

Belief number 4 –  Just got lucky – disproved.

Nothing to do with luck, plenty to do with daily habits and belief in themselves. So often we think of the rich as arrogant, but miss the absolute self-belief and willingness to back themselves.

5. The rich are better educated.

While 68% of the rich in my study obtained a college degree, 69%, went to a public institution. And 36% of the self-made millionaires never obtained a college degree.

Of those wealthy people who got a college degree, 46% paid their own way through college and 23% of them went to college part-time while they worked.

Belief number 5 – Education is essential – disproved.

Education is wonderful, but it is not the path to wealth.  Other traits such as desire, willingness to keep going, self-belief and understanding how money works are much more valuable.

6. Rich people are not charitable.

Sixty-two percent of the wealthy said they contributed 5-10% of their net income to charity. Many of the charities they supported included the community food bank, homeless shelters, means-based scholarship programs, and organizations that benefited poor children.

But they didn’t stop there. Seventy-two percent volunteered five hours or more a month for some charity. Their volunteer work included helping to run the charities, either through board membership or as part of the various committees.

Belief number 6 – Rich people are greedy – disproved.

The rich understand the principle of giving money away is the path to wealth. The principle of tithing works.

7. Money does not buy happiness.

I must have heard my mom say this a thousand times growing up, so I just assumed that rich people were miserable saps. Another erroneous belief. Eighty-two percent of the wealthy in my study said they were happy, and 94% of those who were happy said they were happy because they liked or loved what they did for a living.

Belief number 7 – Money and happiness cannot co-exist – disproved.

In fact, money is wonderful and enjoyable and making money doing something you love is fantastic. It means that work feels like fun and adds to your enjoyment of life.

It’s easy to hate the wealthy. Most in our country grew up poor or middle class and many of the poor and middle class were indoctrinated with beliefs that the wealthy are not good people. Parents, the school system, and many politicians teach our children that the wealthy are corrupt, greedy, have too much wealth and that, for the good of society, this wealth should be redistributed.

These are all myths and if we want to be a part of the wealthy we need to change this belief system. The wealthy support the country, they run the businesses that employ the people, they pay the taxes that support the schools and hospitals roads the infrastructure. The wealthy support the charities and work on the boards of those charities helping them to manage their money.

What we need is more wealthy people and that is you and me. As our businesses grow we can influence more people, share our knowledge and light and help more to have a wealthy life.

Look at the list of beliefs that you wrote before you read this article and see what you now believe is true. Tap on all the memories you have about what people have said and believed about wealthy people because you cannot achieve something that you think is bad.

Time to tap away those myths.

Click here to get my eBook on “55 Erroneous Beliefs about Success”