Chapter 1-How Most Millionaires Become Millionaires

Becoming a Millionaire

Money is just a tool not a goal. Money helps you achieve other life goals.


Mil·lion·aireSomeone whose assets are worth one million dollars or more.

More than Income

Being a millionaire is not just about income. If you earn a million dollars a year but spend 2 million dollars, you’re NOT a millionaire. You are just a big-time overspender.

Consider the saying out of Texas about such people:

Big Hat, No Cattle.

Big spenders have nothing to show for their income except things that go DOWN in value over time (e.g. cars, RVs, jewelry).

More than Fame

Being famous does not ensure long-term financial success either.

ESPN’s 30 for 30 Broke found that 60% of former NBA players and 78% of former NFL players were either bankrupt or financially stressed just five years after retiring from a professional sport whose minimum annual salaries neared $1M in 2023.

It’s not just former professional athletes who struggle either. Plenty of well-known actors, musicians, and YouTubers have blazed their fortunes in a hurry, too.

More than an Inheritance

Just 5% to 10% of American Millionaires became wealthy through an inheritance. The vast majority of millionaires become millionaires by some other means.

Most millionaires start from nearly scratch. A large percentage will be executives and top managers at medium and large businesses. As you might expect, about 40% are professionals (doctors, accountants, attorneys), with roughly half working for someone else and half owning their own practice or firm.

Another large percentage are small business owners, everything from landscaping, farming, and garbage collection to engineering and construction firms and dry cleaners.

The “All Others” portion will include teachers, professors and librarians, supervisors and front line workers, welders and plumbers, salespeople, law enforcement, and military servicemen and women. Because millionaires in this category typically earn less than those in other categories, they must usually focus more on saving, on making good investments, and on living frugally.

Actors, athletes, musicians, and YouTubers do not even register on the chart, making up less than one-half of one percent of all millionaires (probably less than 50,000).

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