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December 26, 2013

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I agree. Discipline and Integrity are very important in becoming a millionaire.

The discipline however is primarily required in maintaining a consistent habit of saving money and spending wisely only on things that are needed. As Americans, fortunate enough to live in the most affluent country in the world, we are bombarded with advertisments from the purveyors and manufacturers of every possible item. The ads also contain pictures of beautiful, very happy, men, women, and children with the subliminal message that we will also achieve happiness by buying the products that they are using, wearing or consuming. For a great many people it takes more willpower than they possess to tell themselves that they really don't need most of these items and that they would be better served by saving their money and investing it on a regular basis. This is particularly true if they are using credit to buy things they really can't afford.

Integrity is key!! I have also noticed social intelligence (the capacity to effectively negotiate complex social relationships and environments) often beats "raw" intelligence when it comes to generating wealth. Having both might be a very lucrative combination!!

None of that matter (is the long run) without integrity.

Discipline is very important. I also agree with integrity, of course. I think integrity extends not just to not lying to others, but not lying to yourself by not facing your financial situation squarely. I think lying to oneself is a bigger problem than lying to others. I'm not a millionaire yet, but I know plenty of others who earn more than me and who are smarter than me, yet I have a larger net worth.

Old Limey,

I was impressed about your stock market calls several years ago...I have truly believed that the economy is really not very good.

In your humble opinion, do you feel the market is overpriced now and due for a correction soon, or do you foresee more gains in 2014?

Thanks--

Mark:
The software that I wrote and was able to market after I retired in 1992 ran under the MS-DOS operating system. This system has a very small amount of conventional memory that worked well for me up until a couple of years ago when the funds and index database that I subscribed to reached a size such that one by one many of my analytical modules ran out of memory. Finally this last July my software completely died and along with it the module that I had written to judge the strength of the NYSE and NASDAQ markets by generating graphs of the McClellan Summation Indexes. For my software to still be operational I would have had to rewrite everything using the Windows operating system which would have been such a huge task that I made the decision years ago not to disrupt our retirement by attempting it. Fortunately the modules were working fine in 2007 and showed that a severe downturn was imminent and helped me decide that it was the right time to minimize our future drawdowns by moving completely into CDs, Corporate & Muni bonds with a combined yield of a little over 5% (tax deferred & tax exempt). That's where I am today, not owning a single share of stock and with an income from our pensions, social security checks and Bond & CD income, of about 5 times our salaries when we retired.

Being faced with having to make large MRDs in our IRAs each year I found the need to have a mutual fund that I could liquidate enough money to pay our taxes and move the rest of the MRD into our Trust Account which contains only municipal bonds. I chose a Select Income bond fund called OSTIX for this purpose. This fund has a very low drawdown, generates a fairly steady return of about 6%. It is also easily timed using a filtered moving average.

Thus I no longer pay much attention to the market since I plan holding our Bonds and CDs until they mature or ultimately get disposed of through our will.

Lord, can you be serious? "Millionaires said that their awesome character is the most important part of what made them rich, ergo having an awesome character is an important part of becoming rich."

So, what's wrong with that, Sara?

I can believe that the wealthy may have more discipline, patience, and persistence than the average person. But I would seriously doubt that they have more (or less) integrity than those who are not wealthy. Instead I'd interpret this result as an indication that the wealthy have a more positive self-image than the average person.

Two attributes I would add to the list are (1) ambition and (2) optimism. Not everyone strives for wealth and not everyone believes that they have an opportunity to attain it. I would guess that very few of the wealthy would fit either category.

Nobody has mentioned "Intelligence" as a component of the ability to become wealthy.

It takes above average intelligence and a lot of time to earn a good degree in the Sciences which is probably why there are a lot of people that get degrees that are of little value to employers. It's also interesting that some of the greatest fortunes were amassed by individuals that never earned a degree other than "honorary" ones in recognition of their great achievements in building very successful businesses and their very generous contributions to a host of worthy causes.

I agree that discipline and integrity are important.

HOwever I do see Sarah's point here. THe millionaires in question self reported that they have integrity and that this is important. THis seems to have an obvious bias built in. Who really feels they lack integrity? Virtually nobody. Ask 100 poor people if they have integrity and I think the overwhelming % will say 'yes'. While I don't disagree with the conclusion, their methods for getting there don't seem very scientific to me. But I didn't read the full article so maybe there are specifics I'm not seeing here.

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