• Nick Burgess

5 Things You Didn't Know About Millionaires

american cash and coins with a wallet
Millionaires are a different breed when it comes to money

Becoming a millionaire is hard, but maybe not as hard as it used to be. Access to technology has created more ways to wealth than any other time in history. Not to mention, more democratized access to investment vehicles like stocks, bonds and cryptocurrencies are allowing younger people to multiply their wealth faster, so I expect these numbers to tick up. But there may be some things you don't know about millionaires, until you become one. Let's take a look at the top 5 facts about millionaires, starting with...

#1. A vast majority of them are self-made

According to a 2019 report from Wealth-X, about 68% of millionaires are self-made, meaning their fortunes were not inherited. The report studied those with a net worth over $30 million, and found the number of self-made millionaires rose steadily year over year. Why? The emergence of new opportunities in technology provided for more avenues to make money. They also saw an increase in the number of "corporate millionaires." Big tech companies paying big salaries to regular employees means a greater opportunity for growth for the everyday office drone. Maybe there's hope for us out there yet.

#2. New ones are made every day (a LOT of new ones)

A 2016 report from the Boston Consulting Group shows that the United States has the highest concentration of millionaires on the planet, at around 8 million. That number is climbing steadily, at a rate of 1,700 millionaires every day. Why? Several reasons. The first is that the population is aging, and Baby Boomers have retired with sizable nest eggs and social security checks. Then, when those people pass on, they are passing down wealth to their kids with the same effect that a snowball has rolling down a hill. Each generation is continuing to compound the wealth. Combine this with the higher salaries in corporate jobs I mentioned earlier, and you've got a recipe for an accelerating number of millionaires.

#3. The average age of a first-time millionaire? 37

This one is cheating, because we can look at it a few different ways. The first way to look at it would be to say "what is the average age that someone cracks their first million dollars? That answer would be 37 years old, according to the Gentleman's Journal. But the average age of an American millionaire? That shoots all the way up to 62, according to Spendmenot.com. When you look at the numbers, only 1% of American millionaires are under the age of 35. Look at you you one-percenter you. Proud of you.

#4. You don't need college to be a millionaire, but it helps

We've all heard the stories about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and The Zuck. They dropped out of college to pursue a passion and ended up riding that passion all the way to billionaire status. But they are very much the exception, rather than the rule. And why do we never talk about the school they dropped out of? Harvard is one of the most prestigious universities on the planet, so getting in there means you're something special (or something rich). So while you don't need a college degree to become a millionaire, it definitely helps. Your chances of cracking $1 million with only a high school degree? Single digits, depending on your ethnicity. That number increases only slightly with an Associate's Degree. It really begins to jump once you get a Bachelor's Degree or beyond. A Caucasian person with a Bachelor's Degree has an 18% chance of becoming a millionaire. That number increases to 38% with a Master's Degree.

#5. Want to become a millionaire? Learn Finance, and quickly

I talked earlier about technology really opening up avenues for people to become millionaires, but the really rich and powerful are still deal-makers. Always be closing, and the top industries personify that ideal. The top industries to become a millionaire are:

  1. Finance and Investing

  2. Fashion and Retail

  3. Real Estate

  4. Technology

OK so no surprises here. Keep in mind that each one of these could require different degrees or certifications, so don't get your heart set on one until you do the research. Want to get into Finance? Get ready to get licenses, possibly get a CPA, then work 120 per week on pitchbooks and spreadsheets. Fashion could be more approachable, but it's the definition of boom/bust. You could be Kylie Jenner, or you could be Glossier.


Are you one of the 1,700 that broke $1 million today? Let me know in the comments below! And don't forget to sign up for my email list so you can get these in your inbox as soon as they post!







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