In the last half-century, the names of Ross Perot, Sam Walton, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett have appeared at the top of the lists of wealthiest Americans, all of whom have been the subject of biographies chronicling their rise to the pinnacle of riches. A reading of those life histories provides no evidence of membership in secret societies, no teachers or advisers who may have passed along confidential knowledge about savings or investments, no super-human skills, and no extraordinary abilities or qualities beyond intelligence and a strong work ethic.
If there are no secrets to wealth-building, what do successful wealth-builders have in common? What personal attributes are equally valuable in industries as diverse as retailing, software development, and investing? Are these identifiable common traits, in fact, the secrets to their success?