Perhaps one of the most misunderstood minorities today is not
racial or ethnic. In fact, the minority I’m referring to comes with
people of every race, color, creed and religion – the wealthy. Make
no mistake about it, building wealth is one of the most difficult
things someone can do, which is why so few people do it. How few?
Wealth estimates derived from 1998 Federal estate tax return data
show that about 6.5 million individuals in the United States had
gross assets of $625,000 or more and represented about 3.4 percent of
the U.S. adult population. As a group, they owned more than $11.1
trillion in total assets or 32.6 percent of the total U.S. personal
asset holdings. That’s 3.4 percent of the population representing
32.6 percent of the country’s wealth! The wealthy are a true minority
in the world and are often criticized and ridiculed for their success
in spite of the fact that everyone, given the choice, would
rather try it rich than continue being poor. I don’t know where it
originated, but the cliché “the poor get poorer and the rich get
richer” has been in use for some time, implying that the poor will
never rise out of poverty. Is this true? Why do people stay mired in
poverty while others can pass on generational wealth?
The first myth that keeps people poor in my opinion is the myth of
easy money, or more appropriately, get rich quick (without effort).
Lotteries, gambling, hot stock tips, music videos all fuel the myth
that money comes easy. While it may be easy to make money, keeping it
and building wealth is a whole different story. Industries are built
around people’s ignorance of building wealth. Like a miracle diet
pill that lets you eat whatever you want without exercising, beware of
wealth promised without effort. Why do people continue to go to these
“quick fixes”? I believe one of the reasons is a victim mentality.
In other words, there is a sense that wealth is something owed to
them that by their existence wealth and ease of living is guaranteed.
It is someone else’s fault, or something someone did to them, or a
past failure why they don’t have what they are entitled to in life. Another
hindrance to building wealth is negative thinking. Constantly
dwelling on why things won’t work or why you’re not deserving of
success will sap anyone’s confidence or motivation to perform.
Armstrong Williams, author of the brand new book Reawakening Virtues, is on Sirius/XM Power 128, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan on Facebook- www.facebook.com/arightside, and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/arightside.