The Top 5 Millionaire Questions Answered
Defining How To Become A Millionaire
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 expect these numbers to tick up rapidly.
Despite their relative commonness today, however, millionaires still have a certain mystique in culture. The general population has quite a few questions unanswered, so let's today answer the top five questions about millionaires using data from actual millionaires!
#1. How Do You Become a Millionaire?
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!
This study also saw an increase in the number of "corporate millionaires." The rise of "big tech" companies paying big salaries to regular employees means a greater opportunity for growth for the everyday office drone. These companies also typically offer stock based compensation as a part of their employment packages, along with annual stock refreshers, that have seen standard office workers have skyrocketing net worths thanks to unprecedented stock price appreciation over the last decade.
There's also the incredible bull run in the stock market over the last 13 years that sadly (briefly) concluded in 2020 thanks to the onset of COVID-19. Inflation adjusted, since 2009 the S&P 500 has gained 316%, or about 11.15% annually. If you reinvested dividends (which you should be doing), then that number jumps to 13.84% per year. This incredible run of compounding interest in the major indexes created a lot of paper millionaires over the last decade. But how many exactly did it create?
#2. How Many Millionaires Are In The World?
There are currently 56.1 million millionaires in the world, with the largest concentration located in the United States.
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. What's The Average Age of a Millionaire?
The average age of a millionaire in the United States is 62 years old. The average age of someone who made their first million dollars in the United States is 37 years old.
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.
#4. Do You Need To Go To College To Become a Millionaire?
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. What Jobs Produce The Most Millionaires?
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:
Finance and Investing
Fashion and Retail
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.
Bonus: Finding Millionaires on a Dating Site
That's right! If you find yourself completely stuck, but still want to be on that millionaire path, then a final option could be to snag yourself a millionaire (man or woman! I'm not sexist). Lucky for you, there are quite a few options for you if you want to meet local millionaires in your area.
According to a ranking from Pocket-Lint, the most popular dating site for millionaires is "Millionaire Match." Millionaire Match claims to have 5.262 million users on their platform around the world, and they verify all of their information with government issued ID's and even paystubs/tax forms. However, this one is going to cost you: they offer monthly and yearly subscriptions to sign up.
The most objectively hilarious version of this industry is "Raya." First launched in 2015, the app is essentially a badly-kept secret. It's a dating app for the rich and famous that is invite-only, meaning you have to know someone already in the app to gain access. They also don't advertise their product, and they're extremely secretive in what happens on the platform, with anyone that shares internal conversations outside of the app getting removed immediately.
What does that mean, exactly? Well in May 2021, a woman matched with "Friends" star Matthew Perry and shared their conversation in a TikTok video that went viral. Raya filed a DMCA takedown request, getting the video removed, and then deleted the user from the app that same day.
This wasn't the first time Raya hit the headlines. In 2019, Ben Affleck confirmed reports that he was on the app in 2019, using the news cycle around the story to promote a mental health charity. He then was outed again on the app, this time by a fellow celebrity. Emma Hernan of the Netflix series "Selling Sunset" confirmed on camera that she matched with Affleck in late 2021, in an episode that aired shortly after Affleck got engaged to Jennifer Lopez.
There's actually a long list of stars that have admitted to using Raya after high-profile splits. Us Weekly compiled a lengthy list of the celebrities who have used the app, including:
Demi Lovato (musician)
Channing Tatum (actor)
Kiernan Shipka (actress)
Katie Thurston (Bachelorette alum)
Brandi Cyrus (musician)
Liza Koshy (comedian)
Meghan King (Real Housewives alum)
Lena Dunham (actress/director)
Olivia Rodrigo (musician)
Simone Biles (Olympian)
Niall Horan (musician)
There's also a weird cottage industry of claiming that you're either not on Raya, or used to be. Bachelorette alum Hannah Brown highly publicized that she could not get into Raya, "despite being on the waiting list for months," while singer Lizzo said she joined Raya to specifically match with John Mayer, "but couldn't find him."
The Bottom Line
So there you go! There are the most interesting facts about millionaires, as well as some pointers on how to achieve that status yourself. Good luck, and don't forget to cut me into the will if this article helped you out.