FILE - In this undated file photo, provided by NerdWallet shows Liz Weston. Weston is a columnist for personal finance website NerdWallet.com. (Dylan Entelis/NerdWallet via AP, File)

In this undated file photo, provided by NerdWallet shows Liz Weston. Weston is a columnist for personal finance website NerdWallet.com. (Dylan Entelis/NerdWallet via AP, File)

The way most Americans build wealth is no secret: Save, invest, repeat. How average people keep their wealth, though, gets a lot less attention.

It boils down to how they handle risk. It’s hard to accumulate wealth without taking some risks, but there are perils that “next-door millionaires” seem to avoid.

Next-door millionaires weren’t born into wealth. They haven’t invented killer apps or won the lottery, exercised a pile of stock options or played professional sports. They’re the majority of millionaires, and they include teachers, small business owners and professionals who accumulate wealth gradually over time. They’re often in their 50s or 60s before their net worth ticks over to seven digits.

Research into how they think and act can give other regular folks some good insights. Here are some rules of thumb you might consider applying to your own finances.

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