Here’s Why the Rich Have Multiple Streams of Income


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Self-Made Millionaires Build Their Financial Empire One Revenue Stream at a Time

In my study of the daily habits of the rich and poor, I learned that most self-made millionaires generated their income from multiple sources:

  • 65% had three streams of income
  • 45% had four streams of income and
  • 29% had five or more streams of income.

Having multiple income streams makes a lot of sense.

When one stream is negatively affected, for whatever reasons, the other streams can come to the rescue and help you survive the downturn, without dramatically affecting your lifestyle.

Some famous examples of this multiple income stream principle at work include:

  • Ashton Kutcher invested some of his Hollywood cash on Skype in 2009 when it was valued at just $2.75 billion. Microsoft purchased Skype for more than $8 billion, making Ashton enormously wealthy. (Source: Computer Business Review)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger gets most of his current income from real estate investments he made prior to becoming a famous film star.(Source: Book – Tools of Titans)
  • Warren Buffet – Through Berkshire Hathaway, Buffet is invested in 63 companies. That’s a lot of baskets kicking off a lot of income streams. (Source: Berkshire Hathaway)
  • Sir Richard Branson has over 200 businesses that kick off streams of income for him. (Source: Autobiography – Finding My Virginity)
  • Elon Musk has seven businesses that generate various revenue streams: SpaceX, Tesla, SolarCity, The Boring Company, Hyperloop, OpenAI and Neuralink.(Source: Wired)
  • Mark Zuckerberg, through Facebook, owns 69 other businesses that generate various revenue streams.(Source:

Most people have one stream of income – their job. If you do not save and invest your savings in assets that generate additional streams of income, and you lose your job, you could find yourself living with a relative.

Putting all of your eggs in one basket by being dependent on one stream of income is risky. If that basket breaks, what do you do?

Many of the 177 self-made millionaires in my study built their businesses while employed full time. If they can do it, so can you.

How do you create multiple streams of income? In our book, Rich Habits Poor Habits, co-author and self-made millionaire Michael Yardney explains exactly how he helped hundreds of ordinary individuals become self-made millionaires by creating multiple streams of income. Here’s a list of some of Michael’s top tips:

  1. Save, Save, Save – Save 10 – 20% of your net income every year.
  2. Learn, Learn, Learn – Develop new skills that you can eventually turn into a side business. Acquire knowledge that you can use to start up a side business or that can help you intelligently invest your money in assets that generate passive income. Passive investments include: residential rental properties, commercial rental properties, TICS, triple net leases, seasonal rentals (beach areas, ski resort areas, lake front areas), equity investments (stocks, bonds, mutual funds), annuities, permanent life insurance, royalty-generating property (timber, oil and gas), boat rentals etc.
  3. Invest, Invest, Invest – Invest part of your savings in a side business that will one day generate an additional stream of income.
  4. Reinvest, Reinvest, Reinvest – Once your side gigs begin generating cash flow, reinvest that cash flow to either grow the business or invest that cash flow in other side businesses or assets that generate passive income.

If you can’t do it on your own, partner with others and keep building your side businesses or passive investments. That’s what self-made millionaires do. Very few do it on their own.

Three streams of income seems to be the magic number for the self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study, but the more income streams you can create in life, the more secure your financial house will be and the more wealth you will create.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. You must have multiple income streams as an entrepreneur! If one if your income streams collapses then you will always have other ones to fall back on while you are rebuilding!

    Great article!

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