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The “Millionaire Money Mindset” – Top 4 Common Traits of Self-Made Millionaires

Do you think like a millionaire? I need to work on my millionaire money mindset. These are 4 top common traits and they are definitely worth investigating. You don't become rich overnight, but with effort, savings and the right attitude, you can work your way towards being wealthy. #3 is the one for me to work on.

David Bakke is a small business owner and writer for Money Crashers Personal Finance, a website dedicated to helping people manage their money and build wealth.


When I hear the phrase “millionaire money mindset,” it brings to mind a man in an infomercial peddling a product that guarantees that you can become a millionaire just by buying into his system. Instead of focusing on get rich quick schemes, however, it is important to recognize the key habits and traits of self-made millionaires.

Most self-made millionaires become wealthy after years of hard work, but they can also attribute some of their success to four fundamental characteristics and activities:

1. Millionaires Possess Self-Motivation and Drive
You can toil away for years, slowly climbing the corporate ladder at your day job, and with enough hard work and luck, you might someday achieve millions. However, most self-made millionaires don’t wait for anyone to hand them their opportunities. Instead, they identify or create opportunities, and pursue innovative business ideas. Anyone who can work hard, take risks when necessary, and believe in themselves can become a millionaire. Having the drive to succeed requires confidence, and not feeling the need to buy flashy boats, cars, or homes.

2. Millionaires Save Their Money
Self-made millionaires must save a great deal of money on their way to achieving financial success. In fact, most continue to save even after making their first million. According to USA Today, on average, self-made millionaires save at least $39,000 per year. They know that amassing money contributes to making their first million, so they continue to save.

The self-made millionaires I know don’t drive flashy cars, live in expensive neighborhoods, or throw money away on extravagances. In fact, if you judged their net worth based on their possessions and their homes, you might never know they were millionaires.

3. Millionaires Invest in the Stock Market
Research also shows that most self-made millionaires invest full-force in the stock market during and after any recession. Investing in the stock market during an economic downswing is a shrewd business move, since history has shown that markets always recover. The millionaires in this country played a pretty substantial role in the recovery of the markets for this very reason. Is there risk involved with investing in a down market? Absolutely – but becoming a millionaire involves taking risks.

4. Millionaires Are Frugal With Their Money, and More Frugal With Their Time
Most millionaires never outgrow their penchant for frugality that they relied on while amassing wealth. Millionaires are also frugal with their time. Once reaching the status of millionaire, most people do not simply rest on their laurels and retire to a beach house. Rather, they manage their time wisely and use their free time to develop more ways to make money.

I’ve known quite a few millionaires, and most of them keep very busy. They have effective time management skills and make the most of their workdays. Even while commuting, they continue to work. At home, they limit TV time, and instead study new developments and news online. They attend lunchtime association meetings to continue to develop their professional network. Every minute means something to the self-made millionaire.

Final Thoughts
We can all learn something from the self-made millionaire. These men and women recognize opportunities, and they continue to relentlessly pursue new opportunities and ideas. They don’t let setbacks get in their way, and they keep working toward their goals. They save money when they can, and they continue saving money even after they meet their financial goals. By following the millionaire mindset, everyone has the potential to gain wealth.

Do you have a “millionaire money mindset”? What other common traits do millionaires have?


  1. Like Sean, I have a millionaire mindset. I love the idea of being frugal with your time! That's something that I need to do a little better managing. After all, time = money right? I also think your network of people is important. I try to keep a wide network from different aspects of life, you never know when it might pay off in a big way.

    • Remember too, money = time. Divide the amount of money (and assets if you like) by your annual income. That's your retirement if you quit working today. Don't count money based on what it's worth and what it will buy, but in how long you can stay afloat on it. It changes the perception a great deal. Obviously lots of other factors – interest, inflation, etc…

  2. I would say that I definitely have a millionaire mindset. I am always striving for better. When I was laid off from Bank of America in 2008 I knew I didn't want to be just another face at a desk. I decided to branch out of my own because that was the only way that I was going to truly be able to succeed on my own terms and not someone else's. Have a great weekend Andrea.

  3. Hard work and saving money, not spending it – sounds like age-old advise that can only help you in the long run. I found something online that was a guide to saving a million dollars in twenty years (or ten or thirty – whatever your goal was) and I plan to follow that – it is mostly saving money, picking up side jobs for extra money, paying down debt and living a full yet frugal life. I think about all the money I've wasted over the years, and if I had only saved even a fraction of it I would have a wonderful start to my retirement.

  4. seedebtrun says

    Isn't it crazy that self-made millionaires are actually frugal people? I think we all have (or at least had at one time) a dated concept of what it meant to be wealthy that included yachts and country clubs and such, but the truth is…we might even have a millionaire right next door to us in our humble neighborhood. They probably drive a dependable albeit cost-efficient vehicle and they probably don't have extravagant clothes or jewelry. They are SMART millionaires that will be able to afford to retire, go on vacations, put their children through school, and live comfortably. They are the exact kind of millionaires I hope to one day be! I hope you and your son have a nice weekend, Andrea!


  5. Yay! Need to improve the time part but got the others working … not a millionaire though although when I get there I'll be one of the "self made" variety… When. Not if! Great guest post.

  6. They don't care about the Jones because they are self motivated.

  7. Millionaires spend $100 on a couch while the poor spend thousands.

  8. I've always heard that millioniares are frugal, that's how they stay rich.

  9. This is so coincidental. I've just written an article on how I created wealth as an immigrant who came to America with nothing. All your points resonate so well with me. My wife and I used to work 18 hours a day for 7-8 years once we purchased our first hotel. I also worked as an engineer during that time. In fact, I still work 12-14 hours a day now after 12 years. There is no substitute for hard work and patience when it comes to creating wealth.

  10. Some millionaires are insanely selfish and traitors. Some millionaires are fraudsters and scamsters. Some millionaires have no quality other than being originated from a qualified and hardworking persons sperm.

    Don't worry if you do not have most of the qualities described in this post. Try to do wonders with what you already have.

  11. Working with high net worth individuals for my job, the one thing that I have noticed is that those who look like they have money, are the one's that don't have that much. The ones that don't look like they have a lot of money are the ones that do.

  12. I included a link and short description of this post in my weekly blog roundup. Thanks for the great content!

  13. Sandra BravodeHassan says

    WOW that's an awesome Post! and I totally agree, a Millionaire Mindset and Abundance is not just about money. Abundance represents the success and happiness in all of the various areas of our lives. Financial prosperity is just one aspect of abundance. You can have unimaginable wealth, but if there is lack or suffering in other areas of your life, you may not equate having money with having peace of mind and satisfaction.

  14. I was a commercial banker for over 30 years and dealt with many self made millionaires. All have the following attributes:

    Marry someone that is a team mate.

    Invest in equities and reinvest the dividends.

    Own your own business or get stock or options if you work for someone else.

    Never over lever yourself with debt.

    Start investing what you can in your 20s in stocks.

    Persistence and hard work are their habits

    Don’t get greedy. Treat other people the way you want to be treated.

    Forget about keeping up with the Jones. By a used boat or car.

    Be faithful to your spouse. Divorces caused by infidelity are real killers and set you back to go in your 30s and 40s.

    Follow your heart and never deal with people that you don’t trust.

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