5 rules wealthy people live by

By Conor RichardsonPersonal FinanceFOXBusiness

Millennials out-earning young households from previous generations?

FBN’s Liz MacDonald on a new Pew Research report on Millennials’ income.

America’s wealthy think differently. And it’s not always about money.

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High net worth individuals think deeply about how and when to make big purchases, and have instituted frameworks to question their emotions, assumptions and investment horizon before making major financial decisions.

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To cement their success, wealthy individuals use a rules-based approach to money management, including leveraging five key ideas that help guide them to consistent success.

Focus on big wins

Working hard is not always the right answer. Working hard on the right things is how the elite compete.

There will be areas in your financial life that disproportionately affect your chances of achieving financial success. By paying significant attention to these areas – such as eliminating debt, building substantial savings and investing early – the wealthy are able to leverage big financial wins.

Action always beats inaction

Most people feel stuck when it comes to making decisions about money. Information overload and analysis paralysis lead to inaction, which can frequently be the greatest impediment for financial progress.

Being decisive regarding money is vital to building small wins along the way toward wealth. This type of momentum, or consistent progress, contributes to overall success, according to Harvard researchers.

Intangible goods are the greatest in value

How you spend your money matters.

Experiential purchases offer some of the highest returns on investment. By prepaying for trips, vacations, or concerts, you allow yourself to extract the pleasure of the purchase before the event and for years afterward.

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Another powerful mechanism that offers high returns on your spending is to invest in yourself. Continuous self-improvement pays off in many ways -- and over the long term.

Intangibles, like the financial freedom to make a career change or take a year off to travel, are much more rewarding than a quickly depreciating asset.

Delayed gratification trumps impulse

According to financial experts Thomas Stanley and William Danko, most American millionaires have never spent more than $400 on a suit or $200 on shoes.

Modern culture glorifies a focus on the immediate. But for those building wealth, delaying expensive purchases early in life allows for the accumulation of income-generating assets and offers the needed time to eliminate debt.

Delayed gratification is a learned behavior. And it is often the strongest predictor of success.

Confidence is a commodity

Confidence can be mined. With a deluge of personal financial advice already in the market, creating confidence assists in the decision-making process.

Confidence-building techniques should be part of your daily routine. And according to research studies, there is a strong correlation between positive self-talk, confidence and performance. Additionally, inward questioning and regular rewards allow individuals to continually foster confidence.

This allows room for wealthy thinking.

Ask The Millennial: Have a Personal Finance question? Contact Conor at AskConor@MillennialMoneyMakeover.com.

Conor Richardson is the author of Millennial Money Makeover and founder of MillennialMoneyMakeover.com, where he helps millennials tackle essential money matters. Follow Conor on Twitter or Facebook.