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What do billionaires have in common? If you want to get really, really rich, you often have to operate in a market where there can only be one winner, says Sam Wilkin, economist and author of Wealth Secrets of the One Percent: A Modern Manual to Getting Marvelously, Obscenely Rich.

Do whatever it takes to win. You can't be troubled by the prospect of wiping out your competitors.

Be good at math, but not the kind of advanced math you think of. Numbers should speak to you, particularly the numbers of a balance sheet. "If you've looked at a corporate balance sheet and you thought you saw a little bit of poetry there," says Wilkin, "you may have what it takes to become a billionaire."