Chris Hogan is the two-time #1 national best-selling author of Retire Inspired and Everyday Millionaires and former host of The Chris Hogan Show. He became known for busting common myths many of us believe about wealth and millionaires. Did you know most millionaires didn’t inherit anything at all? Did you know most millionaires truly are self-made? Do you know why college debt is so high? Do you know YOU can be a millionaire? Hogan has the data to back it up.
Who Is Chris Hogan?
Chris Hogan is a former collegiate football player, turned financial whiz. Hogan became a figurehead in the financial space as a part of the Ramsey Solutions network, where he often filled in for Dave Ramsey, the third-largest radio show in the nation. Before its end, The Chris Hogan Show had been downloaded millions of times.
His show empowered people to take control of their finances, achieve big goals and use their wealth to give to their communities. He and the team at Ramsey conducted the largest study of net-worth millionaires and discovered something big: there are significant inconsistencies surrounding how we think of the millionaire class.
Chris Hogan’s Study of 10,000 Millionaires
When many people picture a millionaire, they see a male in a nice suit, a great haircut, parking a BMW in a 4 car garage. That garage is connected to a 5,000 square foot house of course. But that image is wrong. In reality, a millionaire is more likely to look like a nondescript middle-aged couple across the street with a modest house and a Chevy Impala.
In the interview, Hogan explains he wanted to see if ideas from The Millionaire Next Door were still relevant in this age where debt is taking a bigger hold on the American family. His new research proves the American dream is very much alive and well. Armed with the data, he dispels common millionaire myths.
Dispelling Myths About Millionaires
- Most millionaires didn’t inherit their money!
- Only 21 percent of millionaires received an inheritance at all.
- Only 16 percent inherited more than $100,000.
- Only 3% received an inheritance at or above $1 million!
- The vast majority of millionaires either didn’t get any inheritance at all or certainly didn’t get enough to make them millionaires!
- The everyday millionaire is less a trust-fund baby, and more your neighbor next door.
Millionaires simply do 5 things really well
According to Hogan, millionaires don’t need to invent a product or be a CEO. The data shows millionaires simply do 5 things better than everyone else.
- They take personal responsibility.
- They practice intentionality with their finances.
- They are goal-oriented.
- They are hard workers.
- They know that wealth-building takes consistency.
What can you do to become a millionaire?
Hogan explains no one accidentally ends up retiring with one million dollars or more in the bank. Becoming a millionaire comes from hard work and thousands of daily decisions. It comes from managing a budget, and being intentional with your life choices.
Sadly, some people have chosen to lie to you about how millionaire status is only reserved for a select class. Possibly, because of their own poor choices and regret. They’d rather blame a mysterious “system” than take responsibility. It takes only minutes for Hogan to crush that reality.
Special thanks to the Chris Hogan team who gave 5 of my subscribers a signed copy of his book Everyday Millionaires! If you missed out, sign up for future giveaway opportunities and free stuff SIGN UP HERE.
Money & Pro-Level Strategies
If you enjoyed this interview with Chris Hogan, you may also enjoy this interview with Adam Carroll, who plays Monopoly with real money, Michael Ferrari the founder of SmartyPig, the first online goal-oriented savings bank.
I’m constantly interviewing A-List folks on my podcast to push my listeners financially and professionally. If you sign up for free right here, I’ll send you some helpful resources, and entrepreneurial insights.
Full Interview Transcript
Justin Brady: When I say, “Who wants to be a millionaire,” in my best Regis Philbin voice, which is not going to happen today. It’s not going to happen. You probably think, “Me, me, me.” But you also probably don’t think that’s a reality and I’m here to tell you, and my guest is here to tell you, you’re extremely wrong. My guest today wrote the number one bestseller, Retire Inspired, his show has millions of downloads. He’s a regular contributor to the EntreLeadership podcast, which is for those that don’t know, a top podcast on business and leadership, and his new book, Everyday Millionaires, is out right now. I’m already digging really deep into this thing. Chris Hogan, thank you so much for being on the show.
Chris Hogan: Absolutely, Justin. It is a pleasure to be with you.
Justin Brady: I just got to say … we were saying this a little bit before we were recording. The voice, man, is the coolest thing ever.
Chris Hogan: Oh, well I appreciate it. Yeah, oftentimes people are either shocked by it or they want to know if I can sing. I tell them, “Absolutely not.” I use this voice to educate and help people. I wouldn’t harm them by trying to sing.
Justin Brady: My wife is a choir teacher, so I can guarantee you Chris, that you can sing. But that’s the next podcast.
Chris Hogan: Okay, we’ll dig into that next time.
Justin Brady: Yeah. She’ll interview you and do a “teach Chris to sing” or something.
You conducted the largest survey of millionaires to date. 10,000 millionaires and you found some amazing inconsistencies, and Chris, I grew up in a frugal household. We didn’t spend what we didn’t have. But I learned a lot in this book. I’m not done with it yet, but what’s one of the most shocking things that you learned?
Chris Hogan: I tell you what, this study opened my eyes. There are so many statistics that we were able to dig into. Anytime you talk to over 10,000 people, you’re going to get a lot of data. But there were several things that jumped out. I think the big thing I was trying to do was to prove that the American dream is alive and well and it’s available to people. So, understanding that most people believe that these millionaires have all this money handed to them, that you have to come from affluence or come from a family that had money in order to have it.
Chris Hogan: So, in reality, we found that over 90% of the millionaires didn’t inherit enough to become a millionaire. 79% of them didn’t inherit a dime. So, you look at this and you realize, that’s a myth, that’s a lie. You don’t have to come from a family in order to build wealth yourself. The other one that really shocked me was the income level. Most people believe you have to make a high income in order to build wealth. It’s not true. A third of the millionaires that we talked to … keep in mind, we talked to over 10,000, a third of them never had a six figure household income.
Justin Brady: Goodness.
Chris Hogan: That means with two people working, they didn’t make six figures, yet they were still able to achieve every day millionaire status. So, the reality is, is that it is available to people. What you need is awareness and believe that it’s possible. You need to grow in your knowledge about money and the things to do, and then eventually take the right actions to put yourself in that position.
Justin Brady: And that’s why I like this book, Chris, because it’s not this, “You can do it, rah, rah, rah,” kind of book. I mean it is, it has those elements in there. But you back up all these claims with real, hard data and then the book is just chock full of examples of people who’ve done this, like teachers and postal workers and police officers, and people who are millionaires. Why aren’t we hearing this story? Why do we hear … you just said 79%, I think that’s what you said, and I think that’s what the book says, 79% of millionaires didn’t inherit a single dime. But we hear the opposite.We hear that millionaires were just given all this cash. Why is this lie? Who is perpetuating this and why?
Chris Hogan: Well, Justin, I dug into that because I really wanted to understand it. The reality is, is that it’s easier to make an excuse than to face the truth. What I mean by that is it’s easier for someone to say, “Well, they have it because it was handed to them.” As opposed to acknowledging that someone actually worked hard and over time built wealth. It almost leads to some of the victim mentality, right? Where you tend to think, “Well, they have it. I don’t. Woe is me, I’m not able to do it because I didn’t come from a family of money.” The reality is, is that no, we all have different start points. I agree with that. We all have some advantages but also have some disadvantages. But we have the same opportunity to be able to build wealth over time.
Chris Hogan: So, looking at this and finding out that the top positions were engineers, accounts, but also school teachers. Teachers and professors were in the top five positions of these millionaires from all across the country. We all know when you think of school teacher, we think of underpaid, maybe even undervalued. But for them to be able to do it, it just means it’s about being consistent over time. I don’t want people to disqualify themselves before they ever get started. So, I love the book and the stats. But as you said, the stories, the stories of these people that did it are the thing that really jump out at me.
Justin Brady: So, here’s a question. Is one of the reasons … my wife’s a teacher, so of course she saw teachers when she was … she’s finished your book, by the way. She saw that and she was immediately really, really excited. I’m curious, we hear from teachers a lot how we’re not paid well, we don’t make a lot of money. Is that mentality part of the advantage they have? They go into this profession thinking they shouldn’t be spending a lot of money and so, that’s how they behave? Is that part of it?
Chris Hogan: Well, I think you hit on something. You said mentality. I think school teachers obviously have a mentality of growing in knowledge, but also sharing in knowledge. So, I think the mentality about it is more than anything else. In any walk of life, you can have people that are doing well financially and you can people that aren’t. So, I think it’s more about the individual. What we believe internally, based on how we were raised, but more importantly, what we start to decide for ourselves.
Chris Hogan: What I understand is this, Justin, as an adult, I don’t need a permission slip from anyone. I have an opportunity, we live in the greatest country on the planet where I can have a decision and decide to try within the same minute. So, nothing is standing in our way. I think it’s our belief system and our knowledge that are the things that we have to blend together, and then make a decision that yes, this is something I can achieve and yes, I’m willing to work towards it.
Chris Hogan: I think we have too much of this I Dream of Jeannie mentality. I may have just dated myself there. But that’s where we just want to blink and make some stuff happen. But that only happens on TV. So, in the real world, what you have to do is you have to get to work. You’ve got to make some sacrifices. You’ve got to be clear on what you want and certain of what you don’t want, and then, stay focused on that plan.
Justin Brady: So, I get the woe is me thing. I do, because sometimes there are those moments in my life I play the woe is me card. It’s not my fault I wasn’t able to do this, it’s the situation. It’s the system. It’s the scenario. I get that on some level. What I don’t get though, and I don’t know if you agree with this or not, but there does seem to be this demonization of wealth and the wealthy. I don’t know if Jeff Bezos is a good guy or not, I have no idea, I’ve never met him. But whenever we hear his name in the news or being tweeted on social media these days, it’s usually bad. It’s usually, “This guy makes a lot of money and therefore, he’s an evil dude.” So, do you think the wealthy and the rich in general, even millionaires, are being demonized today? And why is that if that’s true?
Chris Hogan: Well, I think in our society, we can tend to be very judgemental. I think it can go back to that victim mentality. It’s easier to undercut someone or to come up with an excuse as to why they were successful as opposed to appreciating that someone worked hard, someone was focused, they made sacrifices, they worked hard, and they made something happen. So, I think it’s one of those things that we have to wrestle with internally to be able to go, “Can I look at someone and appreciate that they worked hard and they were successful,” or, do I look at someone else’s success and automatically does that mirror into me and make me feel bad as to why I haven’t done it.
Chris Hogan: Now, that’s the chicken or the egg kind of thing. But I think it’s more important for us to look at and understand a couple of things. We, in looking at wealth, I think people tend to misunderstand what it is. I like money for what it allows me to be able to do for the people that I care about and the charities and things that I believe in. But if we really think about this, and I am a Christian, and so looking in the bible, there are over 800 scriptures about money in the bible. I think those scriptures are there because money is something that we can struggle with. But overall, it’s a tool. It’s a tool to be used to be able to help ourselves, but also to help others.
Chris Hogan: There’s a parable in there of the good Samaritan. I think it’s in Luke. In Luke, it talks about a good Samaritan was someone that came upon someone that was in need, and this individual had the desire and the money to be able to help this person. Now, we all love stories of hearing about people being helped, whether it’s from natural disasters or something that goes on, we love to see the stories and hear the stories of people that rallied around a family and was able to help them, or rallied around children that were in need and were able to help. We love the mindset of help.
Chris Hogan: But here’s the reality. The good Samaritan doesn’t get to be the good Samaritan if he didn’t have the means; if he didn’t have the money to be able to help. Now, he needed the desire, but if he didn’t have the means to help, then it’s just someone that was a passerby. So, think in looking at the two, that we love the stories of people being helped, but I think on the other side of it, we’ve got to look and say, “Hey, we love those stories and we all would help more people if we had more means.” I think that’s the human spirit. We want to help others. Well, my mindset is, listen, we can wish or we can work. I think in order to put ourselves in a position to be able to help others, to be able to help ourselves, we’ve just got to work and be consistent and be focused.
Justin Brady: And to your credit, one of the things you bring up a lot in the podcast, in the book is, let’s help you get financial freedom, let’s help you become a millionaire so that you can give a ton of money away. I like how those are completely linked all the time in your vernacular, in your show, and in your presence. I really appreciate that. It really speaks against the whole demonization of the wealthy. You’re sitting out here preaching this story, “Let’s make a lot of money so we can help everybody.” I love that message.
Chris Hogan: Well, I think it’s really, really important. I want people to understand, I did this book also because when you mention the word millionaire, people visualize someone in a fancy suit, a lady in a fancy dress or skirt or business suit, leaning up against a fancy car in front of a massive home. In reality, that’s not the picture of the millionaire at all.
Justin Brady: That guy is probably the broke one!
Chris Hogan: Yeah, that’s exactly right because of debt, right? But the reality is, is these are everyday hardworking men and women that over time have built wealth and were consistent in how they dealt with money. So, you are leaving beside some of them you’re working with some of them. But they’re not flashy. It’s not what you see on TV. So, I wanted to really kind of reset what America thought was possible and really confirm what I know to be true, is that if you are focused and intentional over time, you can achieve most anything. If you want to be financially independent, you want to be able to take care of yourself and give later, then get started right now.
Justin Brady: Yeah. So, I don’t think social media, for example, is a bad thing. I hear people talk about, “Oh, social media is terrible. It’s made us into these awful people.” Like, any other thing, it’s using it poorly that’s the bad thing. However, do you think that maybe social … because you know, it used to be keeping up with the Joneses, right? Like, we had our neighbors, they got a fancy car, we felt like we needed to get a fancy car. These days, the Joneses are all over our Instagram page and our Facebook page, and not to mention they’re only framing that perfect side of their life. So, they may have rented a Ferrari and told you they bought their new car. Do you think this has made it hard, this new keeping up with the Joneses? Has this lead to more debt?
Chris Hogan: Yeah. Well, I think social media has definitely given everyone an opportunity to have a newspaper and access to others. So now, yes, I do think that there are some aspects of that. If you’re not looking at it in the right lens, it can make you feel that you are lacking, or it can make you feel jealous about what someone else is doing. So, I just encourage people to be in an appreciator. Look at the picture, look at the thing that they did and appreciate that that looks cool, that looks like a lot of fun. But it doesn’t necessarily have to impact my life. I get to make decisions for me. So, I want people to appreciate not hate. I think looking at that, or ignore it all together. But we get to make decisions for ourselves. So, I just want people to stay empowered and not necessarily jealous or envious.
Justin Brady: Right. Yeah, so, one of the things … like, college debt is in the news constantly now. Crushing college debt. Everyone has too much college debt, they don’t know what to do with it all. Now, when I talk to people with a lot of college debt, I hear astronomical numbers sometimes: quarter mil, hundred thousand. But when I hear about their degree, I’m like, wait a minute. That degree doesn’t cost that much? Where’s all this college debt coming from? What are people buying? It’s clearly not just a degree, right?
Chris Hogan: Well, I’m going to tell you what. You hit the nail on the head. Student loan debt, we’re looking at a 1.6 trillion dollar situation. It is absolutely massive. It is a huge hurdle standing in the way of a lot of people pursuing their dreams and really being able to put themselves in a position to have more flexibility in their lives. So, this is something we’re definitely facing. But here’s the reality, student loans aren’t just about education. Too many times you’ll have kids, young people that are taking out money to also live on throughout the school year.
Chris Hogan: So, they’re doing the cost of education, but then you’ve got the room and board, then you have books, and then they’ll take out extra money to be able to live on. So, you know, too oftentimes, young people aren’t doing the math. This is what scares me. You’ve got young people walking into financial aid offices, signing documents they don’t understand to get debt they can’t afford. This is a problem. So, that’s why we’re trying to educate young people to let them know.
Chris Hogan: One of my colleagues here, Anthony O’Neal wrote a book, Debt-Free Degree; helping people to understand how they can go to college without having to take on this debt. A lot of people also, Justin, believe that you’ve got to have this high price fancy education in order to get a good job, in order to be able to become a millionaire. The truth is, it’s just not the case. 62% of the millionaires that I talked to in the study went to a public state university. 62%, okay. 9% went to a community college. 8% didn’t go to college at all.
Justin Brady: Wow. So, these aren’t a bunch of ivy league millionaires.
Chris Hogan: That’s exactly right. We don’t have a bunch of ivy league millionaires and it really boils down to what are we doing with the money that we earn? It’s not about your education level, it’s not about your income level, it’s about your plan.
Justin Brady: So, I want to give you an opportunity to plug the book here in a second, but before I let you go, you were a football guy. You got a scholarship to go to football, and then you ended up in radio and helping people with finances. I’m sure this is like a two hour story, but how’d that happen?
Chris Hogan: Well, here’s the reality: I am the result of incredible people seeing potential in me that maybe I didn’t see in myself. So, having played football at Georgetown and going on to get my master’s degree up in Pennsylvania, and then getting into the banking world, I know I care about people, right? I love people and I love business. So, to work in that industry for several years and then to have the ability to be able to grow and start my own business and run that for a while, but then bumping into Dave. Dave is on a mission…
Justin Brady: …and this is Dave Ramsey for those that don’t know.
Chris Hogan: …Dave Ramsey, yes. All across the country. So, to bump into him and get a chance to get to know him and to join this mission and this team has been amazing. So, I’m able to kind of use those desires, that coaching mentality that I have to help people on the financial side. I feel like I’m helping to protect families all across this country.
Justin Brady: That’s awesome. I love that story. Chris Hogan, author of Retired Inspired, which is a number one bestseller, and of course, Everyday Millionaires. Thank you so very much for giving us time today. How do people reach out to you, Chris? How do they find the podcast? What’s the website and how do they buy that book? I’m telling you, you need to buy the book, please.
Chris Hogan: Well, thank you Justin. It’s been a pleasure to be with you. People can connect with me by going to my website chrishogan360.com. Again, that’s chrishogan360.com. They can get information on there about both books, Retire Inspired, as well as Everyday Millionaires. And as people ask me all across the country, “Chris, is there an audiobook? Are you reading this book to me?” Yes, I am-
Justin Brady: Oh, that’s awesome.
Chris Hogan: … you can bring me in your car or on your tablet, wherever you want to go. But again, all at my website.
Justin Brady: Your wildest dreams, everybody, have been fulfilled. Chris, thank you so very much. It was a pleasure talking with you.
Chris Hogan: Thank you, my friend.