8 Daily Rituals Most Millionaires Have in Common

8 Daily Rituals Most Millionaires Have in Common

A survey by Fidelity Investments found eight out of every 10 people with net worth of a million dollars or more built it on their own. The typical self-made millionaire possesses habits and rituals exhibiting discipline, active living and constant engagement of the mind.

Early Rising

The typical millionaire begins the day between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. A survey of 21 financially-successful people reports 89 percent wake up between 4:30 and 7 a.m. Only 11 percent slept in until 8 a.m.

In Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, Thomas Corley says 44 percent of millionaires wake up three hours before work.

Millionaires likely understand that an active early morning can set the tone for a successful day. In these early hours before workplaces open, you’re less likely to encounter distractions for, say, the early-morning exercise, planning the day’s itinerary or tackling important tasks.

With few, if any distractions, you can more readily notch accomplishments or successes to boost your positive mood for the remainder of the day. Such an outlook builds confidence for you, especially if you have tackled the more urgent and less desirable matters.

Scheduling Life

Millionaires run on daily or periodic agendas made either by a task list or a calendar. Corley’s survey found roughly eight in 10 millionaires have a daily to-do list and two out of three millionaires complete 70 percent of the tasks.

Whether you list or calendar, the point is organization and providing structure to the day. Scheduling diminishes the time you waste and productivity you lose because of indecision.


According to Corley’s study, 86 percent of millionaires love to read. Eight-five percent of them average two books a month. The subjects of their selections psychology, careers, leadership, health and current events, biographies of other millionaires. Eighty-eight percent read at least 30 minutes a day.

As you might expect, business and financial literature is included in the millionaire’s reading list. For example, The Financial Times pulls 13 percent of its readership from millionaires. Its readers boast an average annual income of $250,000.

Aside from offering strategies for growth of themselves or their businesses, reading expands vocabulary and the base of knowledge. These become the tools for millionaires to compete.

Listening Rituals

For millionaires, listening habits focus on educational or self-improvement content. This may include investment, personal finance or business topics.

According to Corley’s study, approximately 63 percent of millionaires listen to audio books, including while driving. Podcasts are also part of the listening menu, especially for those while running or cycling.


When you exercise, especially aerobically, you funnel oxygen to your brain and other areas of the body. This supplies energy and nutrients that increase brain activity and performance.

Studies testify to the effects of exercise on financial health. Roughly three quarters of millionaires undertake aerobics at least four days a week, versus only 23 percent of the poor. Psychology Today magazine reports on a study of 5,402 twin males in Finland, their exercise habits and earnings over a fifteen-year period. The findings showed the more active group made 14 to 17 percent more than the less active.

Food Rituals

Typically, seven-digit earners don’t skimp on breakfast. That doesn’t necessarily mean traditional fare such as sausage, bacon or cow’s milk. These foods contain high fats and cholesterol which do not provide needed energy. Instead, they operate over time as sludge in the blood stream that prevents oxygen and nutrient flow.

Rye toast and oatmeal afford sources of carbohydrates low in glucose that can spike blood sugar. Proteins can come from bars or other low-fat foods. Millionaires might also include fresh fruits or smoothies for energy.

Healthy eating rituals continue throughout the day. For example, healthy snacks, such as fruits, vegetables and protein bars, supply energy in the lulls between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner. The millionaire’s snack normally doesn’t include potato chips or high-sugar chocolate bars or candies.


According to Coley, 79 percent of millionaires networked, or reached out, to similarly-situated people. The participation rate for the poor is one in seven.

Networking with those of high incomes and net worth exposes you to those who hire, invest and make business deals. Don’t restrict, though, your view of networks to a pipeline for job or business opportunities. Business leaders, your teachers or professors and other millionaires can mentor you in your professional journey.


Contemplating successes and fails can breed future success. Typically, millionaires devote a block of time each day for self-reflection on their efforts, results and areas for improvement. The quiet time might spark new ideas for ventures.

About The Author

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who focuses on personal finance and other money matters. She currently writes for Checkworks.com, where you can get personal checks and business checks.


  1. Steveark

    All true and well written although the daily menu part read a little more like an opinion than the other sections and it was the only part that didn’t link to any supporting studies. Most of my multi-millionaire friends eat slightly more healthy diets than average but only slightly so. They eat more like their demographic with the millionaire millennials eating like other millennials and the boomers eating pretty much what non-millionaire boomers eat with a slight slant toward the healthier diet. Everything else hit the mark dead on with my experience with a large number of weatlthy people.

  2. JoeHx

    I guess I will never be a millionaire because I am not a morning person! In all seriousness, I tend to have better days when I am able to get up in the morning, although I’m often very groggy. I’ve been trying to read more and listen to more podcasts recently, too.

  3. Wealthy Doc

    I do all of these.
    It has worked for me. I’m a “rags to riches” story in person. I think there is something too this. I thought of this the other day when a lower paid hospital worker was complaining to me. When we got into our cars I was the one listening to a book about investing. She had negative talk radio on. Small daily choices make a big difference over time.

  4. Dave

    Nice list. I do all of these things. All of those traits reflect discipline. Some people see structure as being boring. I find that it allows me to accomplish many tasks on a daily basis.

  5. Mr Shirts

    Yes, this is pretty much me as well. Grew up in a double wide trailer (fancy!) and made decisions to read about business and investing.

  6. BusyMom

    Except for the money, I am all set!
    As to the money, about 1905 days to get there!

  7. Ms ZiYou

    Cool list, I do most of them, a few hardcore, a few less enthusiastically. Although I’m really not a good networker!

  8. Sean @ Frugal Money Man

    I can attest to 3 of these personally!

    1. Early Rising – One of the first tips I tell anyone who asks about what it takes to get control of your finances is to start waking up earlier. Not only do you increase the time available in your day by being awake earlier, you normally get uninterrupted time in the early morning. This time is ALOT more valuable then the normal hours when the office is full.

    2. Reading – Typically those with financial success are voracious readers. They constantly are absorbing knowledge, and I developed this habit early. I always make sure to get in my 30 minutes – 1 hour reading a day.

    3. Exercise – No point in having a lot of money if you ignore your health. The quickest way to lose a lot of money is to ignore your health/fitness which can cause future problems down the road.

    Great post!

  9. JoeHx

    I do at least four of these – reading, listening, networking, and reflecting. I’m not an early riser, although I find when I do wake up early I tend to have a better day. I need to eat better – I don’t normally skip meals, they’re just not the healthiest. I do exercise, I just don’t exercise regularly. I guess I might do the scheduling life thing, but it’s more what-day-am-I-doing-what rather than structuring my entire day. I do have routines that I do every day, though.


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