After the recession dragged down the stock market and real estate prices, millionaires felt the pinch as their net worth plummeted; however, just a few years later, membership in the millionaires club is increasing. Here’s some insight into their thoughts, backgrounds, and lives, provided by Fidelity Investments, Spectrem Group, BCG, and the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Investable Assets (stocks, bonds, etc.) – 66%
- Principal Residence – 16%
- Insurance and Annuities – 9%
- Investment Real Estate – 6%
- Privately-Held Business – 3%
The Path To Riches
While many individuals account for their success in very different ways, it’s interesting and motivational to learn about the experiences of those whose success we try to emulate. Below, find out how millionaires account for their monetary wealth and what traits helped them achieve it.
- Hard Work – 95%
- Education – 89%
- Smart Investing – 81%
- Frugality – 79%
- Luck – 42%
- Family Connections – 9%
Most Popular Fields Yielding Wealth
You can make money in any industry, whether it is the fledgling newspaper industry to starting your own accounting or legal firm. Nonetheless, some industries have a higher rate of success than others and focusing on a career in those fields will likely yield better results, even if you don’t venture out on your own and become a business owner. One thing my parents have always stressed to me is, despite our strong entrepreneurial roots, do not underestimate the value and power that comes with working for large corporations. A vice president at General Electric, General Mills, Kraft, or UPS, as well as a director at Goldman Sachs, an engineer at Exxon Mobil, or a product manager at Apple/Google will become a millionaire in due time, sans any major financial shortfalls or mistakes. Below, find a list of the top 3 most popular fields most millionaires fall into.
Note: Professional and technical includes engineers, scientists, lawyers, computer programmers, IT professionals, architects, etc – all fields that require a college degree.
Meet The Millionaires
Millionaires these days come in all shapes and forms, but most commonly have the following characteristics in common:
- 60% are male
- 81% are married
- 86% have college degrees
- 46% have graduate degrees
- 81% say their wealth was self-made, while 19% say it was inherited
- 47% are employed, while 46% are retired
That last statistic begs the question of age. The majority of millionaires around the world did not get rich building their own internet start-up, taking their company public, or creating the next big thing. The most common millionaires are people just like you and me, who have or had great careers, worked hard, saved money, invested intelligently and built their wealth over time. The fact that 47% of them are between the ages of 60 and 69 years old, while 25% are between 50 and 59, and only 8% are ages 50 and younger supports this thesis.
To me, this just means that anyone can get there in their lifetime, especially since nearly 8% of all U.S. households last year ranked among millionaire Americans. That 8% comes out to approximately 8.6 million households with a net worth of $1 million, excluding their primary residence.
Want to become a millionaire? Well, you are in the best country to do it. The United States accounted for 40% of the world’s millionaires, with Japan (13%), China (11%), U.K. (3.3%), and Germany (2.7%) comprising the majority of the rest.
Stay tuned for our 5 follow-up articles where I will highlight and analyze in depth the top 5 ways to becoming a millionaire, including real estate investment, stock investing, climbing the corporate ladder, owning a business, and saving/frugality.