Respondents said hard work, focus, courage and determination were keys to their success, a release on the survey stated. Expected footholds such as education, personal contacts and intelligence were less often mentioned.
Survey leaders said the data suggest the newly rich keep their middle-class values after they become wealthy.
Harrison Group Vice Chairman Jim Taylor said the United States is undergoing a fourth wave of wealth creation with the recent era of the entrepreneur following the country's agrarian era, industrial era and corporate wealth era.
The survey was conducted for the Harrison Group and Worth magazine between March and August. Some 500 U.S. households with liquid assets of at least $5 million were queried. The margin if error is 5 percentage points.