6 Daily Habits Of Wealthy People

6 Daily Habits Of Wealthy People

Yahoo! Finance recently posted an article and video on the daily habits of wealthy people. A financial planner, Tom Corley, spent more than 5 years observing rich and poor people. He defined “wealthy” as earning at least $160,000 annually and holding at least $3.2 million in assets. “Poor” was income under $30,000 a year and less than $5,000 in assets.

According to his definition, I am not considered rich since I don’t have $3.2 million in assets, but I thought it would be fun to see if I have similar habits of the “rich”.

Here’s a synopsis of what he observed as the 6 major differences in daily habits.

Early Risers

  • Corley found that rich folks often take advantage of those wee morning hours. Specifically, 44% wake up three hours before their 9-to-5 job. In those hours they focus on self improvement, reading educational material, like trade journals or industry blogs. They’ll squeeze in a workout, too, which Corley says leads to a more productive day at work.
  • I Am 1 Percent’s Habit – On average, I get up at 6AM everyday.  The days I work from home, I’m up by 7AM.  The days I go into the office, I’m up at 5:15AM and get a work-out in the morning.

Keep a Running List of Tasks

  • Once they reach their offices, the wealthy don’t waste time. Most maintain a daily to-do list and check off 70% of their tasks each day. And they’re not just obsessed with short-term plans. Seventy percent of the wealthy surveyed set long-term goals, as well.
  • I Am 1 Percent’s Habit – I keep a running tab of things I need to do professionally, personally, and with this blog.  I also have a list of short, mid, and long-term financial and personal goals

No Long Lunches

  • Taking a long, leisurely lunch isn’t a wealthy habit, either.  Instead, 55% network, wheel and deal between bites.
  • I Am 1 Percent’s Habit – Though I don’t network during lunch, I do take short lunch breaks and often do work while I’m eating


Calorie Counting

  • Speaking of eating, rich folks are big calorie counters. Corley found most wealthy people limit alcoholic consumption and keep junk food snacks to just 300 calories per day, not just so that they can fit into their skinny jeans. “Wealthy people are healthy people. To wealthy people being healthy is about making more money,” says Corley.  “If they’re healthy they have fewer sick days, they’re exercising, they have more energy, they maintain health their entire lives so they can work longer careers.”
  • I Am 1 Percent’s Habit – I do watch what i eat to a certain degree and never snack during the day.  I try to drink plenty of water and make healthy eating decisions.


No Gossiping

  • Consider this before spreading the latest workplace rumors: 79% of low-income people admit to gossiping, compared with just 6% of wealthy individuals.
  • I Am 1 Percent’s Habit – I hate gossiping


Limited Internet

  • Finally, when it’s time to punch out at the end of the day, how do you unwind? Head to the bar? Veg out in front of the TV? While most wealthy folks reported activities such as networking, volunteering and socializing, Corley found a majority of those struggling with their finances spent more than an hour on recreational Internet use, and were twice as likely to hop on Facebook every day.
  • I Am 1 Percent’s Habit – I do check Facebook often and spend time on the Internet, but usually spend time with my kids when the workday is done


So, it looks like I have textbook habits of the wealthy people in this study.

How do you measure up?

About The Author

Edwin is a marketer, social media influencer and head writer here at I Am 1 Percent. He manages a large network of high quality finance blogs and social media accounts. You can connect with him via email here.


  1. RichUncle EL

    Early Risers, keeping to do lists, and no internet distractions, those three things are necessary to succeed. Having passion and dedication for the one thing that makes you happy will be a deciding factor to reach millionaire status.

  2. freebird

    I fit Mr Corley’s definitions, although around here (silicon valley) “wealthy” starts at 9 figures net worth; I’m just upper-middle class by our local standards.

    Anyway, here are my answers:

    * I get up at 5am each day in order to beat the commute rush to work and I’m in the lab by 6am. I don’t believe in self improvement and don’t read educational materials.

    * I don’t keep a to-do list, incoming e-mails drive my daily activity. I don’t plan my work more than a week in advance.

    * I don’t eat lunch. That one-hour lull in e-mails is when I handle my more complicated tasks.

    * I don’t count calories because I don’t need to. My BMI is under 20. I don’t drink and I eat vegan. I don’t exercise due to severe asthma.

    * I don’t gossip about other people but I do participate in speculative discussions about industry direction and my company’s future plans. Where I work the grapevine is remarkably prescient.

    * I don’t watch TV or network/socialize after work hours and I don’t use Facebook. I read online news, finance blogs, and research stocks. I love deep dive articles about businesses that I’m unfamiliar with.

    1. kara

      I find it interesting that you say in #1 that you “don’t believe in self improvement and don’t read educational materials” but in #6 you say that you spend the evening reading online news, finance blogs, researching stocks and deep dive articles about things new to you.

      It seems to me that you DO actually read a lot of stuff to educate yourself, learn new things, and generally grow. You just have a reaction to calling them “educational”. 🙂

  3. Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies

    I saw the same piece on yahoo finance and wondered if that $160K is for a couple or individual? If the former, then we qualify for income, but not assets. Ah well.

    1 – I wake around 5 most mornings to get exercise in before being at the office by 8 at the latest. Lately I’ve been bike riding to work which ups the morning exercise.

    2 – I keep different to do lists and know I’m more productive when working off them, but occasionally I fall off the wagon and de-list for a few weeks and I know I’m just not as productive then.

    3 – Lunches are a mix of hitting the gym with colleagues (I guess you could call that networking?), working through, or going by myself for some quiet time.

    4 – I eat pretty healthily as a rule. Partly vanity, but mostly I don’t like the way I feel when I eat crap.

    5 – I try not to gossip, especially at work.

    6 – I’m on the internet a LOT, but have basically given up sites like Facebook and youtube.

  4. Simon @ Modest Money

    Am not much of an early riser so thats something I should probably be looking into! I might pack in some more quality work or life improvement in those hours.

    I live by the check-boxes…to do list for my work, personal and other goals based on my long-term goals and I find that I get more things done this way.

    * Gossipping is out of the picture, rarely count calories, short lunches apart for when its power/networking lunches

    * Cut out tv and trying to wean myself off internet and especially social media.

    Am on the road to a million 🙂

  5. Shape

    Early risers mainly have the advantage of fitting into the corporate schedule. Harvard and others have done research that show night owls or “evening people”, those that are at their peak performance later in the day, are smarter, more creative, and humorous.

    People that perform technical tasks, like programmers, prefer to work later in the day. At night I am less distracted and being slightly tired actually helps me focus instead of having my mind wandering all over the place.

    But, I’m a night owl and commonly working until 2 – 3 am. I am officially “late” to work by our corp policy everyday, but my manager allows it because of my job performance.

    I don’t think anyone has caught on, but missing morning meetings seems to make other people look stupid when they make decisions about the systems they don’t understand. I come in late, review meeting minutes, then head out to correct problems. It’s never “Why weren’t you at the meeting then” but instead, “Why did he decide to do that?!”.

    1. iam1percent

      I agree with your assessment. I’m naturally a night person, but have been forced to be a morning person due to the job and commute. I may make some proposals to change my work schedule based upon your success….

      1. Shape

        Initially, traffic on the commute was the reason I would get to work early but hated getting up at 5:30. About 4 years ago I moved into the city less than 2 miles from the city center.

        Since then every job has required me to commute out of the city going the opposite direction of the traffic. I cruise along the other side doing 60 while the other people are dead stopped.

        The positives of living in the city outweigh the negatives to me. I paid a lot for a tiny house, but I am in walking distance to a lot of entertainment, restaurants, convenience stores, theater, etc. Plus, it reduced my commute from an hour to about 15 minutes.


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