Nowadays, wealth is mostly ruled by entrepreneurs and risk takers: the number of self-made millionaires is steadily increasing whilst inherited family fortunes are on the verge of extinction. The Global Wealth and Family Ties report shows that the number of self-made billionaires has increased by 39.1 % since 2010, while the number of billionaires who inherited their wealth increased by just 26 % in the same period.
Additionally, the number of self-made millionaires is expected to grow even more in the coming years in Britain as the political system implemented in the UK promotes entrepreneurial system and culture.
If self-made millionaires represent the future of HNWIs, it is worth exploring their habits in more detail:
One interesting characteristic of those individuals is that their value system is rather different to family-inherited fortune holders. Self-made millionaires uphold a strong work ethic and believe in meritocracy, usually expecting their children to follow a similar path in their careers. One example of that is the Australian mining billionaire Gina Rinehart who recently fought in court against her own children. Mrs Rinehart refused to pass over the business to her offspring, arguing that they “weren’t fit to manage their fortune and unsuitable to manage the fund and that it would be in their best interests to force them to go to work”.
This case clearly illustrates how self-made millionaires fiercely defend the importance of hard work and highlight the fact that most of them are described as workaholics.
In a similar manner, those HNWIs assert that the key to their success was not based on luck but rather on the merit of taking risks to grab a well-spotted opportunity.
Their daring nature in building up a fortune means they take risky decisions which include, among others, developing a niche market, creating a partnership with other entrepreneurs or upgrading an old business.
So what’s next for self-made millionaires?
Often, they seek to conquer new horizons and many go into politics. Those who turn into politics do it by either funding campaigns or even putting themselves as election candidates like Mr Leung Chun-ying did, a Chinese property consultant who won the Hong Kong leadership election last month.
However, they are more likely to keep a low profile and give generous amounts of money to charities like the program “The Secret Millionaire” broadcasted by Channel 4 suggests.
By Alexandra Gomolka