The following is an excerpt from Maggie McGarth | May 23, 2016 | Forbes.com |
How exactly have the rich made their millions? Popular stereotypes of the wealthy imply that they’ve amassed their wealth through a combination of shrewd business decisions, taking on greater investing risks, and of course, benefiting from cushy upbringings. But as is the case with most stereotypes, these are gross exaggerations: a new study shows that a vast majority of high net worth investors come from humble beginnings and built their wealth using some of the most basic tenets of money management.
U.S. Trust, a private wealth management subsidiary of Bank of America, released on Monday its Insights on Wealth and Worth, its annual survey of 684 high-net-worth individuals — people who have $3 million or more in investable assets. Among the study’s most striking conclusions: much of the 1%’s road to wealth was paved not with gold but remarkably average upbringings and investment strategies.
“Perceptions of the wealthy in history and popular culture have been painted with a broad brush that doesn’t reflect the majority of financially successful people in society,” Keith Banks, president of U.S. Trust, said in a statement accompanying the study’s findings. “Their advantage in life is not rare financial privilege but rather basic values, discipline and sense of potential shaped by family from an early age, which equipped them to make the most of every opportunity.”
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