Risk Tolerance and Emotional Stability: The Winning Personality Factors of Millionaires


Most people have dreams to become millionaires at some point in their lives, but very few are ever successful in making this dream come true. This is because attaining the million-dollar threshold is a difficult endeavor that can only be achieved by a dedicated person who is prepared to pay the price. Millionaire status is not for individuals who are content to settle in life. It entails great risk with the potential for a high payoff.

The most affluent members of society are known for using their considerable economic clout to shape political and social systems. As a result, there is a lot of interest in this powerful group, as evidenced by the popularity of self-help books, the considerable media coverage of the richest people, and the rising corpus of academic studies on wealth and inequality.

The German Institute for Economic Research and the University of Münster’s Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) study, which examined how wealthy people’s personalities differ from those of the general population, recently added to the body of knowledge on these people. 

Examining The Personality Traits of Millionaires

The study of billionaires’ personality qualities has significant social significance because the wealthy significantly influence societal decision-making processes and because personality shapes how individuals think and behave. This is especially important in light of rising inequality and its divisive effect on social comparisons.

The researchers claim that their study, published in the Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, is the first to use reliable data to explain the personality of millionaires.

The SOEP is a long-running household-based study of thousands of people in Germany that started in 1984. The researchers examined data from validated personality tests of more than 20,000 sampled participants. More than 1,000 of the personality assessments that researchers looked at came from millionaires.

According to the study’s authors, the tests examined the “Big Five” personality qualities, neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. According to researchers, risk tolerance, emotional stability, and extraversion were especially prominent among self-made billionaires and “less noticeable” in those who inherited their wealth.

The findings reveal that self-made millionaires, who believe they have amassed their wealth independently rather than through inheritance, exhibit the conventional billionaire personality profile the most. The profile is less noticeable among millionaires who owe most of their money to inheritance.

The researchers also identified several limitations, such as whether the stereotypical personality profile of the wealthy is the reason for their business success and how their particular personality profile may help them manage their money better to increase their fortune.

Additionally, although the study’s samples were substantial and representative, they only included information from one nation (Germany). While Germany is a wealthy country with large wealth distribution, it may not necessarily be representative of all wealthy nations, such as the United States, where the wealth gap is even worse. Additionally, the social and cultural characteristics that influence personalities in Germany could not apply to other nations, such as the United States, which is often regarded as being more individualistic than other nations.

According to the study’s author, a promising direction for future research would be to examine these personality variations to comprehend how the wealthy influence society.

Journal Reference

Leckelt, M., König, J., Richter, D., Back, M. D., & Schröder, C. (2022). The personality traits of self-made and inherited millionaires. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-022-01099-3 

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