2008-08-19

40% Wealthier?

Here's a quick bite-size morsel for digestion. According to an article in the September 2008 issue of SmartMoney:

Consumers who plan and budget are on average almost 40% wealthier than those who don't, one study says.
I've done some several permutations of Internet searches trying to track down this study but haven't able to find it. Does anyone know of it or have an idea on how to look for it?

It'd be interesting to see what the study concludes about how much planning and budgeting specifically creates more wealth—as opposed to planning and budgeting just being correlated with people who happen to be wealthier. In other words, it could be that wealthier people tend to be people who plan and budget, save and invest at least 10% of their income, have brown eyes, and brush and floss at least twice a day. Some of those activities or attributes just go together by coincidence or for other reasons—and some have a causal relationship with wealth.

Particularly flossing.

The book, The Millionaire Next Door, discusses some similar research as to whether millionaires spend more time on planning their personal finances:

Planning is typically found to be a strong habit among people who have a demonstrated propensity to accumulate wealth. Planning and wealth accumulation are significant correlates even among investors with modest incomes. In our survey of 854 middle-income respondents… a strong positive correlation was found between investment planning and wealth accumulation.

The book notes that people who were better at building wealth spend nearly twice as much time on their personal finances than people who are poor at building wealth. But one of the most powerful observations, in my view, is: the people who were better at building wealth did not really spend all that much time on their investments in total. They only spent an average of 8.4 hours per month planning their investments—or approximately 1.2% of their time.

8.4 hours per month? I spent that much time watching the Olympics in the last 48 hours, I think.

How much time do you spend per month? I mean either budgeting and planning generally (per the study mentioned in SmartMoney) or planning investments (per The Millionaire Next Door study)—though if you'd rather disclose your time watching the Olympics or flossing instead, go for it.

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