12 things that millionaires have in common

<em>Photo: Getty</em>
Photo: Getty

Is becoming a millionaire that out of reach?

One man set out to find out, and this is what he found.

No, you don’t need to be a founder of a ‘unicorn’ start-up, inherit a fortune or have a magic stock pick up your sleeve, he said on his finance blog ESI Money.

Here are the 12 traits millionaires have in common.

1. They earn high incomes

It sounds obvious – millionaires earn higher incomes. But one of the reasons why they earn more is because they’re good at growing their careers, meaning they invest time and energy into upskilling.

Skeptics might say “If I earned $250,000 a year I’d be a millionaire too!”, but you can’t assume they walked into their sizeable paypackets from the get-go as it takes time to build. Also, high incomes don’t automatically guarantee wealth.

2. They work long hours

Companies aren’t going to hand out high salaries to those who clock in at 9am and out at 5pm. Many millionaires slug out long hours in sacrifice of family and free time.

<em>Photo: Getty</em>
Photo: Getty

But work-life balance improves as they get older and start a family.

3. They have side hustles

Many millionaires have sources of income aside from their main job. The most common answer was real estate, dividends, side businesses and other investments.

It’s a virtuous wealth-making circle: millionaires make money at work and then invest in real estate, freeing up even more money to invest.

4. They save a lot of their income

It’s not groundbreaking – start just by saving a little bit, and it will build upon itself over time, as will your net worth.

5. Many of them don’t budget

Millionaires aren’t totally obsessed with their finances: many don’t keep a budget as they earn a lot and exercise self-control.

6. They like to travel

<em>Photo: Getty</em>
Photo: Getty

When millionaires were asked how they liked to spend their money, there was one overwhelmingly common response: travelling.

7. Investments are generally quite straight-forward and low cost

Millionaires favour low-cost index funds that are also low-fuss and high return.

8. They check their portfolios daily

<em>Photo: Getty</em>
Photo: Getty

Millionaires seem to be able to exercise self control and abstain from panicking when things go south. As one millionaire put it: “I monitor daily but check infrequently.”

9. They keep it simple

For many millionaires, there’s no magic ingredient that makes them rich: they grow their wealth the old-fashioned way, by earning, saving and investing over time.

It’s boring but effective: just stick to the basics and keep at it.

10. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Surely when the wealthy get wealthier, they switch things up and do something different? But this isn’t actually the case – many millionaires said their business habits haven’t changed.

11. They’ve learnt from mistakes – and also avoided big ones

Millionaires are only human, and it’s possible to still grow your wealth and make a few missteps along the way. But millionaires are cautious too, and shy away from making risky mistakes.

12. They don’t have a formal estate plan

You might expect millionaires to be incredibly organised, but when it comes to planning for the distant future, they’re pretty average.

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