Dr. Thomas J. Stanley of Georgia State University in 1998 published his best-selling book, "The Millionaire Next Door," in which he revealed two decades of research into the character traits of America's wealthy. Many were quite surprised by his findings at the time, especially when compared with the go-go stock market attitude and eternal optimism of the late 1990s, in which many pundits suggested that fortunes could be made in stock market speculation alone.
Since its initial publication, the book has been revised and updated several times, but none of the core findings have changed. The characteristics that made people wealthy two decades ago still apply today.
The truth, according to Dr. Stanley's research, is that the typical wealthy American isn't a celebrity, doesn't drive an expensive Italian sports car, and generally doesn't "look" wealthy. Instead, he or she might be your next-door neighbor and you would never know it. The book identifies seven key traits that these wealthy people almost universally have in common.