CNN Money has a piece that lists facts about millionaires. I thought I'd list some of their findings (in red) and my thoughts on them. Here goes:
About 7% of households have seven figures.
Whenever I write a piece about trying to become a millionaire, someone always makes a comment similar to, "Having $1 million is no big deal these days." Oh yeah? Well having $1 million puts you in the top 7% of net worths in the U.S. That sounds like a big deal to me.
14% of millionaires say their parents were wealthy.
In other words, the vast majority of millionaires didn't inherit their wealth.
My family was lower-middle-class for much of my young life (just me and my mom on a minimum wage salary), then middle class once my mom get remarried. But we were never, and they aren't now, "wealthy".
42% say they don't feel wealthy themselves.
I wonder what it takes to feel wealthy. I'm guessing a few million more than whatever you have. ;-)
How they got rich:
- 95% Hard work
- 83% Smart investing
- 81% Frugality
- 67% Risk taking
- 41% Luck
If I was listing these for my own life I would say:
- Hard work/education (see How I Made Millions Off a $5,000 Investment) which led to a great career
- Saving early and saving often (see Time, Time, Time)
- Frugality/spending less than I earned (which really leads back to saving)
- Luck (mainly not having any major sickness and being "in the right place at the right time" a few times in my career)
90% college grads and yet only 5% law degrees and 3% medical degrees.
Think the MBA is bigger than the other post-grad degrees? I'm thinking so.
Median price of car: $31,400
Almost the exact price of the last car I purchased.
$39,300 -- the amount they save or invest annually.
This seems a bit low to me, though perhaps it's still a good percentage of their income. I save a good amount more than this each year.
61% say they "still have a great deal to learn" about investing.
I've condensed investing down to this: save as much as I can as soon as I can for as long as I can. Get decent returns on these savings by using index funds. So, is there a lot I don't know about investing? Sure. Do I really need to know anything more about it to be successful? Nope.
$13,000 average annual amount millionaires with up to $5 million give to charity.
Seems really, really low to me. Even someone with "just" $1 million should give more than this, shouldn't they? Then again, many of them likely pay high taxes and would say they "give" that way (though I don't buy that argument.)