What does it take to get rich in America? According to Lisa Keister, there are some surprising and some not-so-surprising answers to that question, which she writes about in her new book, Getting Rich: America's New Rich and How They Got That Way
. Lisa, a sociology professor at Duke University, shares with Jean a few of the factors that she says most influence wealth accumulation in the United States today:
- Education matters. Not surprisingly, studies have shown that people with a college degree have higher incomes and greater wealth ownership than people with less education. Learning how to save, how not to spend and making social contacts are just a few of the advantages a higher education provides.
- Boring is better. While there are certainly a great deal of entrepreneurs making big money, many people accumulate wealth simply by "playing by the rules." "They don't accumulate a lot of debt, they buy things they can afford and they save their money every month," Lisa says. "Those people do really, really well."
- Childhood values are key. The financial lessons you learn growing up—whether consciously or unconsciously—are some of the strongest predictors of adult wealth.