Think you’ve got what it takes to be a self-made millionaire? Yeah, us neither, but according to a new study, there are some common personality traits among the world’s great money makers if you’re looking for a place to start.
Five personality traits are pinpointed as being associated with the super-rich, in a paper published in Humanities and Social Sciences Communications (some of which are common among people who listen to podcasts). According to the authors, one personality profile was most prominent among those who were self-made millionaires compared to those who had inherited their wealth.
To reach their conclusions, researchers on the study calculated the net worth of German residents using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel. Among them were people who fell into the “very rich” category which for the purposes of this study was defined as a net worth in excess of €1 million. Those in the “not rich” category had less than €800,000.
They were also able to sift out the self-made of the super-rich by identifying the sources of their assets be they self-employment, entrepreneurship, gifts, marriage, or inheritance. All of this information was then cross-referenced with the results of participant surveys which explored personality types and traits.
So, what are the Big Five for making some serious dough in this life? Drum roll please…
“We show that the rich are higher in Risk tolerance, Openness, Extraversion, and Conscientiousness, and that they are lower in Neuroticism,” concluded the study authors.
“These findings extend and complement existing research on millionaires that has looked at giving behaviour, time use, and happiness, and provide a consistent and robust picture of the personality traits that characterize the rich.”
Participants that most closely reflected the five winning traits came mostly from the self-made group, followed by those whose wealth came from a mixture of inherited and self-sought means. The rich category that fit the five traits the least well were those whose wealth was largely the result of inheritance and gifts.
The study identifies a correlation between personality traits and the nature of wealth, but this is of course separate from causation. This is perhaps demonstrated in the fact that self-made earners from the non-rich category were also demonstrated to fit the five trait personality profile reasonably well, showing there are many factors that influence wealth beyond personality.
Instead, the researchers say their findings are “suggestive of a unique configuration of personality traits contributing to self-made millionaires’ economic success.”
BRB, off to work on my Extraversion.