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Focusing on Millionaires

By Thomas J. Stanley on Jul 6th, 2009 in Studying the Wealthy

How did I first get involved with conducting focus groups of millionaires? It first happened when I headed up the National Affluent Study for a consortium of the top 50 financial institutions in America.  As part of the study a series of focus groups were to be conducted across America.  There was only one problem.  I could not find a moderator who had extensive knowledge of wealth, money, and financial service offerings.  Therefore, I had to moderate these interviews myself.  After these interviews were conducted, each of the fifty sponsors received copies of the tape recordings of the interviews.  Each also was given my interpretation of the survey results.  Later, many of these sponsors individually asked me to conduct focus groups and/or surveys of millionaires as part of their respective strategic market planning process. My clients included seven of the top ten trust companies in America.
 
Without these projects under my belt, I doubt that The Millionaire Next Door would have ever been written.  In fact, there was so much “rich” information generated that I spent nearly the full year prior to writing the book just analyzing and interpreting these interviews and survey results.  In designing the questionnaire for the survey that was the basis for The Millionaire Next Door there were a lot of topics that I wanted to include.  But out of a list of more than fifty I selected just eight major topic areas.  But it was not easy.  I modified the questionnaire eighteen times before I felt that it contained the most important topics.  Overall the inventory of topic areas I selected was developed almost entirely from the numerous focus group interviews and surveys I conducted across America.  Also, the large majority of cases that are contained in the book came from these same focus group interviews.

4 responses to “Focusing on Millionaires”

  1. pc says:

    Well, I for one am glad you went to all that effort. You books have helped me realize that wealth can be obtained without high income job or winning the lottery.

    -pc

  2. Scott says:

    Your books have definitely reinforced my practice of frugality now in exchange for wealth/comfort in the future. Dr. Stanley, would you say you are a typical Millionaire Next Door or have you purchased some well deserved rewards for your success such as a Rolex, European car, million dollar house?

  3. Sam smith pittsburgh says:

    Your book is off quoted by me to stress financial planning to others…

    The book has done a yeoman’s effort in educating the American public… before it was published, I would never have known the correlation of creating wealth and habits of those who became wealthy.

  4. Mark in Texas says:

    I appreciate your works because I’m just starting my career of selling investment advice to the affluent. Guys in my office look at me like I’m crazy when I market to auctioneers, loggers, and contractors instead of doctors, surgeons, and attorneys. That’s fine. They can keep spinning their wheels and I’ll keep looking for affluent convoys!

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