MONEY

The 10 Richest People of All Time

A comparison of wealth across history

Who had more money, John D. Rockefeller or Genghis Khan? It’s a simple question with a very difficult answer.

This ranking of the richest people of all time is based on hours of interviews with academic economists and historians. To read more about how the order was determined despite the difficulty of comparing wealth across a wide range of time periods and economic systems, read this.

But for now, suffice to say that the following is a rigorous but highly debatable attempt to list the wealthiest historical figures in order of their economic influence.

Read next: These Are the 5 Richest Superheroes

  • 10. Genghis Khan

    Genghis Khan
    A. Dagli—De Agostini/Getty Images Genghis Khan

    Lived: 1162-1227

    Country: Mongolian Empire

    Wealth: Lots of land, not much else

    Genghis Khan is undoubtedly one of the most successful military leaders of all time. As leader of the Mongol Empire, which at its height stretched from China to Europe, he controlled the largest contiguous empire in history. However, despite his great power, scholars say Genghis never hoarded his wealth. On the contrary, the Khan’s generosity was key to his influence.

    “One of the basis of his success is sharing the spoils with his soldiers and other commanders,” says Morris Rossabi, a distinguished professor of history at CUNY’s Queens College.

    Jack Weatherford, author of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, explains that Mongol soldiers, unlike many pre-modern armies, were banned from taking personal loot. After an area was conquered, every item taken was inventoried by official clerks and then later distributed amongst the military and their families.

    Genghis still received a share of the spoils, but that hardly made him rich. “He built no palace for himself or family, no temple, no tomb, and not even a house,” says Weatherford. “He was born in a wool ger [yurt] and he died in a wool ger. At death he was wrapped in felt, like any common person, and then buried. ”

  • 9. Bill Gates

    Bill Gates
    Edgar Su—Reuters Bill Gates

    Lived: 1955-present

    Country: United States

    Wealth: $78.9 billion

    As the richest living person, Bill Gates’ wealth is refreshingly easy to determine. As of this year, Forbes estimates the Microsoft founder’s net worth at $78.9 billion. That’s about $8 billion more than Zara co-founder Amancio Ortega, the second-richest person in the world.

  • 8. Alan Rufus (a.k.a. Alan the Red)

    Alan Rufus
    Bodleian Library Oxford—The Art Archive

    Lived: 1040–1093

    Country: England

    Wealth: $194 billion

    The nephew of William the Conqueror, Rufus joined his uncle in the Norman conquest. He died with £11,000, according to Philip Beresford and Bill Rubinstein, authors of The Richest of the Rich, which they say amounted to 7% of England’s GDP at the time. That would amount to $194 billion in 2014 dollars.

  • 7. John D. Rockefeller

    John D. Rockefeller Sr.
    Seattle Times/JR Partners—Getty Images John D. Rockefeller Sr.

    Lived: 1839–1937

    Country: United States

    Wealth: $341 billion

    Rockefeller began investing in the petroleum industry in 1863 and by 1880 his Standard Oil company controlled 90% of American oil production.

    According to his New York Times obituary, Rockefeller was valued at about $1.5 billion based on a 1918 federal income tax return and estimates of his overall fortune—the equivalent of almost 2% of U.S. economic output that year according to data compiled by MeasuringWorth (the U.S. did not keep official records on national income until 1932).

    The same economic share in 2014 would be equivalent to $341 billion.

  • 6. Andrew Carnegie

    Andrew Carnegie standing on the steps of his estate, circa 1910s.
    Corbis Andrew Carnegie standing on the steps of his estate, circa 1910s.

    Lived: 1835–1919

    Country: United States

    Wealth: $372 billion

    Rockefeller gets all the press, but Andrew Carnegie may be the richest American of all time. The Scottish immigrant sold his company, U.S. Steel, to J.P. Morgan for $480 million in 1901. That sum equates to about slightly over 2.1% of U.S. GDP at the name, giving Carnegie economic power equivalent to $372 billion in 2014.

  • 5. Joseph Stalin

    Joseph Stalin
    Ullstein Bild—Getty Images

    Lived: 1878–1953

    Country: USSR

    Wealth: Complete control of a nation with 9.6% of global GDP

    Stalin is an uncommon figure in modern economic history: a dictator with absolute power who also controlled one of the largest economies in the world. While it is virtually impossible to separate Stalin’s wealth from the wealth of the Soviet Union, his unique combination of economic might and complete control of the USSR lead multiple economists to nominate him as one of the richest people of all time.

    You can easily see their logic. Data from the OECD shows that in 1950, three years before Stalin’s death, the USSR made up roughly 9.5% of global economic output. As of 2014, that level of production would be equivalent to nearly $7.5 trillion dollars.

    While that money didn’t belong directly to Stalin, he had the ability to leverage Soviet economic might for any reason he chose.

    “He had enormous power, and through his power he could have anything he wanted,” says George O. Liber, a professor of history at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “He controlled 1/6th of the land surface of the planet without any checks or balances.”

    Does that make Stalin rich in the traditional sense? Liber isn’t so sure. “Was he among the wealthiest men?” the professor wonders. “I suppose if you want to stretch the definition of wealth, but it was not his wealth. He controlled the wealth of the country.”

    Even so, it’s hard not to include Stalin on a list of the most economically powerful people in history. His wealth might be uncertain, but there’s no question the premier’s personal economic influence is unrivaled in recent history.

  • 4. Akbar I

    The Great Akbar
    Peter Newark Pictures—Bridgeman Images The Great Akbar

    Lived: 1542–1605

    Country: India

    Wealth: Ruled empire with 25% of global GDP

    The greatest emperor of India’s Mughal dynasty, Akbar controlled an empire that accounted for about one-fourth of global economic output. Fortune’s Chris Matthews cites the late economic historian Angus Maddison, who speculates India’s GDP per capita under Akbar was comparable to Elizabethan England, but with “a ruling class whose extravagant lifestyle surpassed that of the European society.”

    That assertion that India’s elite class was wealthier than their counterparts to the west is backed up by data from economist Branko Milanovic, whose research shows the Mughal Dynasty was one of the most effective empires of all time at extracting wealth from the population.

  • 3. Emperor Shenzong

    Emperor Shenzong
    Pictures from History—Bridgeman Images Emperor Shenzong

    Lived: 1048–1085

    Country: China

    Wealth: Ruled empire with 25% to 30% of global GDP

    China’s Song Dynasty (960 – 1279) was one of the most economically powerful empires of all time. According to Prof. Ronald A. Edwards, a Chinese economic historian of the Song Dynasty at Tamkang University, the nation accounted for between 25% and 30% of the world’s economic output during its peak.

    The empire’s wealth came from both its technological innovations and extreme skill at tax collection, which Edwards says was hundreds of years ahead of European governments. The professor also noted the Song Dynasty’s government was highly centralized, meaning the emperor held enormous control over the economy.

  • 2. Augustus Caesar

    Augustus Caesar
    Hoberman Collection—UIG via Getty Images Augustus Caesar

    Lived: 63 BC–14 AD

    Country: Rome

    Wealth: $4.6 trillion

    Not only was Augustus Caesar in charge of an empire that accounted for 25% to 30% of the world’s economic output, but according to Stanford history professor Ian Morris, Augustus at one point held personal wealth equivalent to one-fifth of his empire’s economy. That fortune would be the equivalent of about $4.6 trillion in 2014. “For a while,” Morris adds, Augustus “personally owned all of Egypt.” That’s hard to top.

  • 1. Mansa Musa

    Mansa Musa
    Abraham Cresques—Getty Images/The Bridgeman Art Library Mansa Musa

    Year: 1280–1337

    Country: Mali

    Wealth: Richer than anyone could describe

    Mansa Musa, the king of Timbuktu, is often referred to as the wealthiest person in history. According to Ferrum College history professor Richard Smith, Musa’s west African kingdom was likely the largest producer of gold in the world—at a time which gold was in especially high demand.

    Just how rich was Musa? There’s really no way to put an accurate number on his wealth. Records are scarce, if non-existent, and contemporary sources describe the king’s riches in terms that are impossible for the time.

    Some tales of his famous pilgrimage to Mecca—during which Musa’s spending was so lavish that it caused a currency crisis in Egypt—mention dozens of camels each carrying hundreds of pounds of gold. (Smith says one year of Malian gold production probably generated about a ton.) Others said Musa’s army consisted of 200,000 men, including 40,000 archers—troop numbers even modern superpowers would have a difficult time bringing to the field.

    But to get caught up in the king’s exact wealth is to miss the point. As Rudolph Ware, an associate professor of history at the University of Michigan, explains, Musa’s riches were so immense that people struggled to describe them.

    “This is the richest guy anyone has ever seen, that’s the point,” says Ware. “They’re trying to find words to explain that. There are pictures of him holding a scepter of gold on a throne of gold holding a cup of gold with a golden crown on his head. Imagine as much gold as you think a human being could possess and double it, that’s what all the accounts are trying to communicate.”

    When no one can even comprehend your wealth, that means you’re pretty darned rich.

MONEY

How to Compare Fortunes Across History

John D. Rockefeller Sr.
Seattle Times/JR Partners—Getty Images John D. Rockefeller Sr.

A simple question with a very difficult answer

Comparing the wealth of our contemporaries is hard enough. When Forbes ranks its annual 500 richest people, the publication not only has to sift through mountains of data, it also must decide what even qualifies as wealth. For example, should people who draw their money from the country they rule, such as Vladimir Putin, be included? (Forbes says no).

When comparing wealth across history, however, we run into even more challenges. How does one contrast riches in a pre-industrial age with the wealthy of today? It’s not just a matter of adjusting for inflation; coinage and currency is a relatively recent invention. Much of pre-modern wealth was held in stuff, and commodity prices have drastically fluctuated across history as the total amount of resource wealth has grown.

Another issue is that wealth is a relative measure that doesn’t equate very well to standard of living, at least across centuries. King Louis IV was one of the richest men of his day, but his money could not fix his rotting teeth. Meanwhile, in modern times, air travel and electric toothbrushes are available to hundreds of millions of people.

One way to account for the value of goods that did not exist in the past is to measure wealth through the amount of energy a person can command. This method resembles the labor theory of value, made famous by Marx and Adam Smith, which states that the worth of an item is the total amount of labor that goes into its creation.

If we expand the definition of labor to include non-manual power, like fuel, we can see how the average person became better off as technology improved.

“The big difference between the last couple of hundred years and all earlier times is the immense amount of energy that the industrial revolution unleashed,” says Ian Morris, a professor history at Stanford University. “Every time you flick on a light switch, it’s as if half a dozen slaves leap into action, all thanks to coal and oil powering our electricity plants.”

In his book, The Measure of Civilization, Morris calculates the average hunter‐gatherer captured between 5,000 and 10,000 kilocalories of energy per day from the environment. With the invention of agriculture, that number moved up around 10,000 kcal per day, and in the time of the Roman Empire (and once again in 12th‐century Song dynasty China) the average kcal per day jumped to 30,000.

By comparison, the average American burns through something like 230,000 kcal per day; nearly eight times as much as Romans and 23 times that of our ancient agricultural ancestors. “Basically, we’re all rich,” says Morris. “Which is why our lives are so different from those of prehistoric and ancient peoples.”

In that respect at least, the typical college student might be richer than the greatest Roman emperors, and the wealthiest individuals in history will nearly always be modern figures who can benefit from technological advances.

But when we speak of wealth, we generally don’t mean whether someone can buy a computer or a horse-drawn carriage. Most of the time, we’re using money as a substitute for economic power. And power is both relative and sensitive to time and place. The typical American may have access to more resources than a Roman emperor, but none have the same kind of economic influence that can reshape societies.

Luckily, there is a method of calculating wealth that can measure the influence of one’s money while accounting for changes in value over time. MeasuringWorth, a website run by a group of economics and history professors dedicated to comparing wealth throughout history, recommends measuring economic power by taking an individual’s wealth and comparing it to the total economic production in the economy—its GDP, in other words.

That’s the metric I’ve chosen to use when compiling this rich list, but it’s still not perfect. No scholarly list of wealth historical figures exists—the closest might be The Richest of the Rich, by Philip Beresford and William D. Rubinstein, which compiles the 250 wealthiest people in Britain since 1066—leaving us to peruse the history books for rich list “nominees.”

But once we picked an eligible group, we run into the same problem as Forbes: How do you separate the wealth of the monarch from the wealth of the state? In this list, with the generous help of several historians, I’ve done my best to select individuals with large private wealth, or monarchs in nations where wealth was especially concentrated amongst the ruling class.

Another issue: Wealth and GDP data get increasingly scarce the farther you go back in time. That’s a big problem because ancient leaders were much more proficient at extracting wealth from their society than our modern elites, making them far more powerful economically.

Branko Milanovic, a Graduate Center, CUNY economics researcher specializing in inequality, estimates that pre-modern societies dating from the Roman Empire to British India in 1947, were able to extract nearly 76% of the maximum amount of wealth that could be taken before their people would slip below subsistence levels. Modern nations, measured from 1998 through 2002, extracted a comparatively small 43% of that limit. For this reason, the most accurate list of the richest people to ever live (based on economic power) would likely include almost exclusively pre-modern rulers.

A final difficulty is measuring economic power between countries with different levels of economic output because one person might have a higher share of wealth in a less economically powerful nation. A truly correct international comparison would require knowing each person’s wealth as a percentage of global GDP, and old global economic data is even harder to come by.

But perhaps the governing rule of lists like these is to not let the perfect become the enemy of good, or at least the enemy of fun.

My ranking, based on hours of interviews with various economists and historians, does its best to order some of the wealthiest historical figures in order of their economic influence, and gives a rough estimate of their monetary wealth when possible. Most importantly, it tried to put their riches in context.

Read next: The 10 Richest People of All Time

MONEY strategy

Why Focus Is Essential to Building Wealth

83736527
Jorg Greuel—Getty Images

Persistence is the key to any successful endeavor.

Building wealth is a process, not an event — a process that takes discipline and a long-term outlook. You must focus on yourself, not what others are doing. Work hard and maintain a consistent approach. This may not be easy, but it’s doable for most people if they choose to make a commitment and stick to it.

In the end, though, the “stick to it” part is what usually trips people up.

In an excellent post on his blog Seeking Wisdom, Jana Vembunarayanan gives a fantastic summary of how to succeed at just about anything. Here are his observations and recommendations, to which I’ve added some suggestions for applying them to your finances.

1. Recognize that it takes a long time to create anything valuable. Investing works over long periods of time. The market has never lost money over any 20-year stretch. The problem for many people is that they don’t understand their time frame. They confuse short- and long-term money and end up bailing at the worst possible moment. Finding a strategy that works, and sticking with it for decades despite the inevitable booms and busts of the markets, is not exciting. While you might feel you are missing out on the latest big thing, you will most likely have the last laugh.

Read next: 4 Personality Quirks That Sabotage Your Savings

2. Work hard every day even if you don’t see improvement in the short term. Building your skills enables you to earn a higher income, so you can save more. Small increases in savings each year are barely observable at first, but over time you can be working toward saving 20% of a $100,000 salary, which will provide great rewards in the future. Many will give up because they become impatient with a seeming lack of progress. Accept the short-term stagnation knowing you will be rewarded with the miracle of compounded returns in the future.

3. Keep doing it consistently for a very long time without giving up. Persistence is the key to any successful endeavor. While it might satisfy a short-term urge to remodel your kitchen by raiding your 401(k) account, resist this temptation and stick to the plan. Investing is simple but not easy. Track your wealth accumulation yearly, not daily. This encourages you to build your future, not mortgage it.

4. Enjoy the process, and don’t worry about the outcome. Put things on autopilot. Set your plan to save a certain percentage of your salary, with an increase of a percentage point or two each year until you maximize your contributions. Find a few diversified, low-cost index funds, add an automatic yearly rebalance, and forget about it. Enjoy your life and ignore the daily end-of-the-world events that saturate the financial media in their quest for advertising dollars. Focus on the fact that you will be financially secure by sticking to your plan. In your free time, devote your energies to finding things you like to do. Find ways to increase your skill level and eventually make money from a “job” that doesn’t seem like work. This way to supplement your income might lead you down some surprising paths while you have the security of your savings plan at your day job.

5. Don’t compare yourself to others; instead, compare yourself now to yourself two years ago. Keeping up with Joneses is, as serial insulter Donald Trump would say, a loser’s strategy. A phenomenon called “lifestyle creep” can sabotage the best-laid plans. It means that the more you make, the more you spend. Your only accomplishment is making the hamster wheel spin faster. Don’t worry about what others have. No matter how rich you are, there will always be someone who has more than you. And such people might just be renters anyway, buying their goodies with credit cards with huge balances. Look at yourself instead. Build a disciplined savings plan, and follow it with no deviations. Competing with your neighbors over who has the most “stuff” is not a good use of your time.

As Warren Buffett once said, “Games are won by players who focus on the playing field, not by those whose eyes are glued to the scoreboard.” Keep these five points in mind, and your probability of success will increase immensely. Good habits will eventually lead to superior results in whatever you do. The key is to figure out what works for you and stick to it. Your process will determine your future. Spend time developing it, and then enjoy your life.

Read next: 19 Secrets Your Millionaire Neighbor Won’t Tell You

More from NerdWallet:

MONEY

Why Rich People Think the Poor Aren’t That Poor

two couples on a yacht
Mike Watson Images—Getty Images

And why they don't see much need for wealth distribution.

When Jacob Riis published his study of New York tenement life in 1890, he called it How the Other Half Lives, as if people really needed to know.

More than a century later, many of us are still suffering from the same type of myopia, at least according to a recent study by psychologists in the U.K and New Zealand and reported in The Washington Post Tuesday.

The study of 600 Americans, conducted over the Internet, found wealthy people tended to report particularly high levels of wealth in their social circles. While that may not be surprising, that cossetting seemed to lead in turn to wealthier Americans over-estimating average wealth among the general U.S. population — as well as assuming “greater perceived fairness” in the economy.

In other words, the rich still think the most Americans are doing okay– or should be — because they and their friends are.

The results certainly have political implications. The authors suggest the rich might be more open to wealth redistribution if they had a truer sense of America’s income inequality and how the economic landscape appears to the poor.

Students of behavioral finance might also see the new research as the flip side of a behavioral tick that has long bedeviled anyone struggling to keep a budget. It’s long been established that having wealthy friends and neighbors tends to shift your lifestyle expectations: We all want to keep up the the Joneses. But that’s not necessarily healthy for your budget or your sense of well-being.

Read next: Rich People’s Biggest Money Regrets

TIME Personal Finance

How Much Money You Need to Save to Become a Millionaire by Age 65

money-stack
Getty Images

Put aside a set amount of money each day

If you want to get rich, start investing — and start as early as you possibly can.

“Becoming rich is nothing more than a matter of committing and sticking to a systematic savings and investment plan,” writes financial adviser David Bach in his book “Smart Couples Finish Rich.”

“You don’t need to have money to make money,” he writes. “You just need to make the right decisions — and act on them.”

To illustrate the simplicity of building wealth over time, Bach created a chart (which we recreated below) detailing how much money you need to set aside each day, month, or year in order to have one million dollars saved by the time you’re 65.

The chart assumes you’re starting with zero dollars invested. It also assumes a 12% annual return.

The simplest starting point is to invest in your employer’s 401(k) plan, points out Ramit Sethi in his New York Times bestseller, “I Will Teach You To Be Rich.” Next, he says, consider contributing money towards a Roth IRA or traditional IRA, individual retirement accounts with different contribution limits and tax structures.

While the numbers in the chart below are not exact (for simplicity, it does not take into account the impact of taxes, and 12% is a high rate of return), they give you a good idea of how coming up with a couple of extra dollars each day can make an enormous difference in the long run, particularly if you start saving at a young age.

Next time you consider running to Starbucks for a $4 latté, think about this chart and consider redirecting that coffee cash to your savings:

Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

This article originally appeared on Business Insider

More from Business Insider:

TIME Powerball

Why a Billion-dollar Lottery Could Soon Become More Common

A man purchases New York State Lottery tickets for the $400 million Powerball lottery in New York's financial district
© Brendan McDermid / Reuters—REUTERS A man purchases New York State Lottery tickets.

The odds will be in your favor.

The New York State lottery commissioners have agreed to a change that would alter the odds of winning the Powerball lottery, FiveThirtyEight reported Wednesday.

As the article notes: “If those changes go through, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot will go from about a 1 in 175 million chance to 1 in 292 million. Not great, right? Yes, but the chances of a Powerball win making some future player a billionaire are radically higher. Like, 7.5 times as high.”

The article goes on to say that the current odds of a jackpot getting to $1 billion are about 8.5% in a simulated five-year period. With the new, more difficult odds, there’s a 63.4% chance in that five-year period.

In other lottery news, New Jersey lawmakers have proposed legislation for a system in which those with student loan debt can enter a lottery system to have their loans forgiven — for a price.

MONEY consumer psychology

10 Reasons You’re Not Rich Yet

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H. Armstrong Roberts—Getty Images

#5: You’d rather complain than commit.

As a financial advisor, I have spent many years helping other people overcome financial stumbling blocks so they can become rich. Ironically, the one person I have had the most trouble helping is myself.

Being “rich” can mean different things to different people, but I believe it means having the financial freedom to achieve your goals and live the life you want. I am great at giving advice; I am not always so great at taking my own advice (know anyone like that?). So, when it came to helping my clients understand why they weren’t rich yet, the easy part was explaining the culprits, because I was all too familiar with most of them.

Regardless of our upbringing, education, profession or lifestyle, most of us are not where we want to be financially and our reasons are probably more similar than different. The good news is that it is never too late to become rich if you, like me, are ready to own up to the reasons you’re not and do something about it.

Want to know why you aren’t rich yet? Keep reading.

#1: You spend money like you’re already rich.

Sure, it feels good to buy expensive things, whether it’s a luxury car, designer clothes, a big house in the burbs, or a tropical vacation. Even if you don’t necessarily buy pricey items, if you consistently buy stuff you really don’t need, it still adds up fast ($300 trip to Target for toothpaste? AHEM). But the shopping high only lasts until the guilt and regret set in or the credit card bill arrives. Most of us are guilty of living beyond our means and using credit cards more than we should. The problem is that as long as we continue to spend more than we have, we can’t start building wealth. Chronic overspending and high-interest, revolving credit card debt are your worst enemies when it comes to financial success. Spend like you’re poor and you are much more likely to become rich.

#2: You don’t have a plan.

Without clearly defined short, mid and long-term goals, becoming rich will just seem like an unattainable fantasy. And that turns into your go-to excuse for why you shouldn’t bother saving or stop overspending. As we say in the financial industry: those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Creating a financial plan may seem overwhelming or intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you do-it-yourself or decide to work with a financial professional, the process simply starts with prioritizing your goals and writing them down. Put that list where you can see it on a regular basis. Visual reminders go a long way in helping us stay on track.

#3: You don’t have an emergency fund.

I know, you’ve heard it a hundred times: you need to have at least six months of income saved in an emergency fund. And yes, it’s much easier said than done. However, I’ve seen too many people (including myself) get hit with a major unplanned expense, whether it’s a car or home repair or a medical bill, or an unexpected job loss, accident or illness that’s led to a drastic reduction in income. When these things happen–and they do, more often than you might think–not having a financial safety cushion can make the situation much, much worse. If you’re forced to rely on credit cards, you’ll end up sinking deeper into debt instead of, yes, saving to become rich.

#4: You started late.

With every year or month that goes by without saving, your chances of becoming rich decrease. Time and compounding interest are your two best friends when it comes to growing money, so wasting them really hurts. Just like exercising, the hardest part of saving is starting. Even if you’re in debt, making little money or have a lot of expenses, you can still always save something — even if it is a small amount. The sooner you get yourself into the habit of saving — regardless of how much — the easier it will be for you to continue and eventually increase those savings. I like to think of saving as a muscle you have to work out and build with practice. Even if you start saving late, you can still become rich if you’re committed enough. But you need to start. Now.

#5: You’d rather complain than commit.

“Life is too expensive.” “I’ll never get out of debt.” “I don’t make enough money.” “Investing is too risky.” I’ve probably heard every excuse for why someone isn’t saving, investing or planning in general, and I’ll admit I’ve used a few of them myself from time to time. It’s easier to be lazy and let bad habits fester than to commit to –and follow through on — changing them. It’s no wonder obesity and debt are epidemics in our country, and that millions of Americans have had to push off retirement. As long as the complaining, excuses and finger-pointing persist, so too will not becoming rich. Instead, take responsibility for your bad habits and focus on what you can do to change them. Then do it.

#6: You live for today in spite of tomorrow.

I get it. It is really hard to think about retirement and other distant fantasies when we have needs and plenty of wants now. The bills have to get paid, the family must be fed, momma needs a vacation — and a new wardrobe to go along with it. The problem is that impulsive and overly-indulgent behavior commonly lead to credit card debt, spending money you might have otherwise saved and, yes, not becoming rich. Do yourself a favor: Ditch the “buy now, worry later” mindset and instead, adopt a “save now, get rich later” mindset.

#7: You’re a one-trick investor.

You might be lucky enough to become rich by betting all your money on one type of investment. Just like you might be lucky enough to win the lottery. But that’s not a strategy for getting rich (at least, not one I’d ever recommend).

One of the worst financial mistakes you can make is putting all your money eggs in one basket. Doing so puts you at too much risk, whether it is being too conservative or too aggressive. Sure, the stock market is on a run and real estate is on an upswing again, but are you prepared for when the tides turn? Because they will. And if you are invested in all fixed-income securities like CDs, bonds and annuities and think you’re safe, inflation should make you think again. Your investment portfolio needs to include a good mix of investments with varied levels of risk and return potential and liquidity (so you can get your money when you need it).

#8: You don’t automate.

Here’s the secret to saving: Automation. Saving is seamless when it’s automatic. Unfortunately, we are not born to be savers. We are impulsive and greedy by nature. Being responsible requires much more discipline. However, automation forces us to be responsible without too much effort. And all it requires is setting up regular transfers from a paycheck or bank account to a savings or investment account. Without it, we are much more likely to spend money we could be saving. Even if it is a seemingly small amount that you automate, those steady investments can make a big difference over time. Automate whatever you can whenever you can; just be careful to avoid overdrafting your account and try to increase your savings amount periodically.

#9: You have no sense of urgency.

You might think you don’t need to worry about getting out of debt or saving because someone, or something else will save you. Maybe it’s a pay raise, a new job, an inheritance, a rich spouse, or the lotteryyou’re counting on. Whatever “it” is, you use it as an excuse to put off taking steps on your own to become rich. The problem is that very little in life is certain. Who knows what will actually happen, or not happen, so why not focus on what you can control now? Save now and save yourself — just in case something, or someone, else won’t.

#10: You’re easily influenced.

Maybe you live with a chronic overspender or a typical day out with your girlfriends involves shopping. Or maybe it’s your inner “Real Housewife” that you sometimes can’t control. We all have negative influences in our lives that threaten our chances of becoming rich. The superficial, materialistic, sensational culture in which we live is probably the biggest one. The suffocating swirl of media that goes along with it makes it ten times worse. The trick is not giving in to temptation. How? Some of it is making conscious choices to avoid putting yourself in vulnerable positions. But most of it is having the willpower to keep the goal of becoming rich in the front of your mind, especially when you are tempted to sabotage yourself.

Read next: The 10 Richest People of All Time

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MONEY Wealth

Where are Most of the World’s Millionaires?

Here's a hint for North Americans: They're not necessarily next door.

According to the World Wealth Report released by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management, the Asia-Pacific region now has nearly 10,000 more millionaires than North America, but North America is still where the richest of the rich are. North America’s wealthy count for a combined $16.23 trillion while Asia-Pacific’s wealthy’s combined wealth is just $15.82 trillion. America and China alone are responsible for 52% of the growth in the world’s high-net-worth individuals. Strong economic and equity market performances are largely responsible for five of the six world regions. Last year, 920,000 people became millionaires.

TIME Economy

Asia Now Has More Millionaires Than the U.S.

HONG KONG-ECONOMY-PROPERTY
Alex Ogle—‚AFP/Getty Images This long exposure picture shows apartment buildings and office blocks clustered tightly together in Hong Kong's Kowloon district, with the famous skyline of Hong Kong island in the background, on October 28, 2013.

The one percent are eastward bound

The population of newly minted millionaires across Asian-Pacific nations has swelled to 4.69 million, bringing the grand total a hair above North America’s millionaires club, according to a new survey of the world’s high net worth individuals.

Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management surveyors estimate that the global economy produced 920,000 newly minted millionaires last year, who they define as anyone with investable assets exceeding $1 million in value. Asia-Pacific led the world with 8.5% growth in the population of millionaires, followed by North America’s 8.3%.

While the cumulative wealth of North America’s millionaires still led the world with $16.23 trillion in holdings, the study estimates that Asian-Pacific millionaires will hold a greater sum by the end of this year.

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