6 Unlikely Characteristics Common Among Billionaires
By Anders Nilsson Head of PR, outreach and content at Gocompare.com, entrepreneur.com
What do the wealthiest people on this planet have in common? A great business sense? Luck? A strong work ethic? The likely answer is a combination of all of these and much more. However, when we look at the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs and investors, we tend to limit ourselves to typical business traits and disregard features
like physical attributes or family life.
But what if these seemingly trivial aspects can give an indication of your potential to make billions? Take a look at GoCompare’s study of the top 100 billionaires over the last 20 years. At first glance some of the following traits may seem unrelated to making money, but they might just be the hidden key to becoming rich
1. Invest in your family.
Are you married? Do you have three children? Statistically, you’re most likely to be a billionaire if your family looks something like this: Among the world’s richest, 87 percent are married and 63 percent have three of more children. Naturally, having a large family does not guarantee success, yet it seems that the emotional support family and marital life brings with it, might aid individuals in dealing with the stress and ambiguity of entrepreneurship.
2. No school of hard knocks.
Although 14 percent of the 100 richest people in the world since 1992 have had no formal education at all or were college dropouts, attending certain universities and studying a few select subjects could increase your chance of making it big. The most popular universities amongst the world’s billionaires are the famous elite institutions Harvard University and Stanford University, renowned for producing a league of influential entrepreneurs and world leaders. The most popular degrees cover a variety of sectors and include engineering, economics, computer science and business administration.
3. Successful star signs.
Regardless of your opinion towards horoscopes and astrology, there is some evidence that certain star signs are linked to more successful people. Among the world’s top billionaires, 12.5 percent are Aquarius, who are said to be independent and inventive, traits that arguably come in useful for entrepreneurs.
On the other hand, the least represented star sign is Cancer, with only 5.9 percent of billionaires born between late June and July. Cancerians are linked to traits such as tenaciousness, but also tend to be insecure, a potential obstacle on the path to success.
4. Let’s get physical.
If you have a bald spot and you’re wearing glasses, you may be in luck. The number of balding billionaires has risen throughout the last two decades, a trend that can largely be explained by the fact that the people on the list are ageing. However, stressful periods, such as the financial crisis, seem to have an impact on hair loss, which saw a sharp increase between 2008 and 2009.
Currently, 41 percent of the 100 richest billionaires wear glasses. Although this figure is lower than the 64 percent of the total U.S. population that needs glasses, there are still a significant amount of billionaires who clearly haven’t opted for laser eye surgery.
5. It's still a boy's club.
While the number of successful female billionaires, like Liliane Bettencourt and Alice Walton, is on the rise, there are still only eight women among the 100 richest people, making it far more likely to become a top-grossing billionaire if you’re male. Furthermore, although these female entrepreneurs worth billions often hold important positions in their respective companies and have succeeded in growing existing businesses further, all of them have inherited their wealth. This is especially interesting; as overall, an impressive 69 percent of billionaires are self-made.
6 Origins of success.Could your country of origin be an indicator for your success potential? According to Go Compare’s figures, yes. China may have now overtaken the United States with the highest number of total billionaires amounting to 596. However, 40 of the 100 richest billionaires, among them Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Jeff Bezos, are from America. Further countries with high numbers of billionaires include Germany, Russia and France. Possible explanations for this geographical bias may lie in America’s promotion of the “American Dream” story and a solid network of angel investors and venture capitalists, which both provide a positive environment for innovation.
Looking at the factors mentioned above, we see that even traits that seem far-fetched can be an indicator for success, if they are viewed in the right context. There is no magic recipe for becoming rich, yet understanding what influences wealth is a good start. From what we can see here, if you’re a married, male Aquarius with three kids, have a degree from Harvard, a bald spot and an American passport, the odds of becoming a billionaire are on your side!