Conclusions regarding new millionaires
Welcome back. This is the sixth and last part of the series on building and analyzing wealth in America. Today we focus on conclusions regarding new millionaires. But, before we get started, I would like to provide a quick recap of the series.
Part 1 explained the 5 key Dividends Diversify principles to Build Your Wealth. Part 2 introduced you to the research study. I call it the new millionaires. It provides the basis for the entire series.
Part 3 analyzed the millionaire demographics included in the study. And, compared the demographics to the famous book, The Millionaire Next Door. Part 4 analyzed their income, net worth and asset allocation. Finally, Part 5 examined their spending habits and free cash flow. And now, we wrap up with conclusions regarding new millionaires.
What is the point of this series? It is to see what we can learn from the current millionaire class. And, compare them to the households studied in The Millionaire Next Door? In addition, are their practices similar to the wealth-building principles in my article Build Your Wealth?
CONCLUSIONS REGARDING NEW MILLIONAIRES
I will organize my findings of this new millionaire class using the Dividends Diversify 5 keys to building wealth. After performing and documenting this research study, it is not a surprise that there are some common themes between the new millionaires and my recommended wealth building principles outlined in Part 1 of the series.
WHY BEING WEALTHY IS IMPORTANT
There were a few general themes from the new millionaire study group. They like their jobs and careers, but want to have a comfortable retirement. Financial independence is important to them. Both today and in the future. Most have desires to cut back work activities prior to the traditional retirement age to pursue other interests.
LASER FOCUS ON CAREER
Virtually ever millionaire I studied attributes their main source of wealth to their professional career. Most importantly, the compensation it has provided. Virtually all attribute hard work in their chosen field as one very important key to success.
As a group, they improve their skills, take on additional responsibility and network within their industry. And, they demand to be paid well. Some have stayed with one employer for many years. Others have changed jobs frequently to maximize their opportunities.
This group isn’t side hustling their way to wealth. Rather, they focus on their professional careers. Specifically, performing at a high level, increasing their compensation, maximizing annual bonuses and cashing in on company stock when offered.
As a group, they spend less than one-third of their incomes on living expenses. In addition, they know their spending levels, but don’t obsess over them. And, both spouses view spending in a similar light and work together to spend on what is important to them. In addition, most like to travel and do not skimp or travel hack.
They recognize kids are expensive but have no regrets about having children. They enjoy their homes and realize they are more of an expense than an investment. As a group, they are healthy and have employer-sponsored health insurance to minimize health care out of pocket costs.
HAVE A PLAN FOR EVERY DOLLAR OF FREE CASH FLOW
Few of them specifically calculate their free cash flow or call it by name. They just know they have it. Why? They make more than they spend. The common theme was they have a plan for it. They are diligent personal financial planners. And, they know money needs to be put to work. Many have spent free time self-educating themselves about investing and the financial markets. And to a lesser extent real estate investments.
Few in the group had debt beyond their mortgage. They generally avoid debt and used their free cash flow early on in life to eliminate it.
INVEST EARLY AND OFTEN
Most every millionaire in the study group emphasized how important investing at an early age was to their creation of wealth. They understand the power of compounding. And, know it takes time.
MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR
WHAT HAS CHANGED?
One primary objective of the series was to compare wealth as presented in the famous book, The Millionaire Next Door, where most of the participants were self-employed business owners. Not everyone has the ability or desire to start and run their own business.
My sample purposely excluded the self-employed. The study wasn’t intended to be a statistically valid representation of wealth in America. Rather, I wanted to examine a different type of millionaire than those of the ’80s and ’90s in The Millionaire Next Door book.
What’s changed in the last 30 plus years? Plenty:
- Death of the pension plan and rise of the 401k and IRA’s
- Mass availability of mutual funds and the creation of ETFs both providing instant diversification and/or professional money management
- Ease of access to investments through 401k’s and online trading accounts
- Access to crowdfunding investments for real estate, business start-ups, and direct loans
- Greater need to self educate as a saver, spender, and investor
- The increased cost of higher education and the need to leverage that education into substantial earnings power
Given all the change, it’s no wonder a new and different millionaire class has been created.
WHAT HAS STAYED THE SAME?
There has been lots of change. But similarities from the past still exist to become a millionaire today. Specifically,
- Maximize and grow your earnings capability over time
- Live below your means
- Educate yourself in ways to wealth, personal finance, and investing
- Start saving and investing early in life
WRAPPING UP- THOUGHTS ON MILLIONAIRES
There you have it. A brief summary of the conclusions regarding new millionaires and what those millionaires do to achieve their million(s). This concludes the 6 part series. What are your thoughts?
In case you missed all or part of the series, here are all the links for easy reference.
- Build Your Wealth | Part 1
- The New Millionaires | Introduction | Part 2
- The New Millionaires | Demographics | Part 3
- The New Millionaires | Income & Net Worth | Part 4
- The New Millionaires | Income versus Expenses | Part 5
- The New Millionaires | Concluding thoughts | Part 6
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30 thoughts on “Conclusions Regarding Millionaires | Part 6”
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Glad to see the fundamentals still are working! Thanks for providing the interesting case study, really enjoyed it!
Glad you liked it Mr. DS. Have a great day! Tom
Enjoyed the series Tom. I like that you focused more on employees in this version as I can relate to it. I feel that it’s easier to become a millionaire today than at any time in our history.
Hi Jason. Thanks for the kind words about the series. A lot of us go the corporate/employee route so it’s beneficial to see how others before us have done it. Tom
At least compared to what I observed growing up, it seems to me that the world has changed in that it now demands more of us. Like you mentioned, it seems that there’s now a greater need to self-educate, and an expectation that you’ll do it.
On the one hand, the increased availability of information is great. On the other, it seems that we’re all “working” more and more of the time.
Thanks Miguel. You bring up some wise and thoughtful conclusions. Not much more I can add. Tom
Nice series! Hopefully, people reading this can see how possible it is to reach millionaire status. You can be an ordinary person with no inheritances and no financial assistance. All you need is hard work and the desire to get to the first $1M.
Agree HP. I will add that even though this group was doing exceptionally well with their earned income, it can be done with lower earnings too. Tom
Hey Tom! Just want to send a quick hello and thank you for this awesome series!
The amount of effort one puts in…does eventually show up in results. It may not seem like much or anything at the time, but looking back on something that I did 10 yrs ago, shows where it helps now today.
Have a great rest of your week!
Thanks and you are totally right Mrs. DS. It’s all about putting in a good foundation that can be built upon and last for years to come. Tom
I think the emphasis of focusing on the career is important to hear for my generation. It is fine and FUN to have side hustles but they should add a little bit of money compared to the major inflow of your career.
Focusing on being great in your career can open doors and increase income in a big way.
I would add again and again and again that starting early and often is massive as well. Can’t believe the progress that can be made when you focus and stay disciplined.
DM, You are truly wise beyond your years. Tom
I swear I didn’t read DM’s comment above before reading your post this morning…but this is what’s copied on my clipboard that I intended to paste because it stuck out (and pasting it now…):
“This group isn’t side hustling their way to wealth. Rather, they focus on their professional careers. Specifically, performing at a high level, increasing their salary, maximizing annual bonuses and cashing in on company stock when offered.”
So much of what we see and hear today is “side hustling” or “gigs”. Understandably, there are many good ones out there, but there are also likely far more less effective ones. I don’t think there is anything wrong with side gigs (where one or many that someone turns into their full-time thing), but it’s the assumption of shortcuts and not putting in any work. – Mike
Hi Mike, You two guys definitely hit a hot button. I’m glad to see it’s not just me and a generational thing being a bit older than the average blogger. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with making some extra money through side gigs. But I think it gets over hyped on the internet as a path to wealth because there are such low barriers to entry. Basically anyone can flip their computer open and get into side gigs and see instant “results of some kind”. Which means making real money is hard and time consuming if everyone can do it. For my time, I’d focus on real career skills that have real value over the long run. The problem is that we have become an instant gratification society. Building those types of skills take years to develop and years to pay off. So, it’s not a sexy sell on the internet. But if you do it right, the prize is much bigger and rewarding. Tom
Tom, very good and interesting series, and wrap up. It looks it takes time and discipline to build the wealth. Investing early and often is great advice, especially for young folks. Managing spending is the tedious and right thing to do. Have a great weekend.
Hi Helen, You got it. I can’t add much more to what you say. And you have a great weekend too. Tom
Love one of the key takeaways that a few others have commented on – the focus on career. Too many messages today are telling people to create something themselves, or start a business that might pay off in a big way one day. This is NOT the clearest path to wealth – it’s a quick path for the rare few who can pull it off, but not the best general wealth building advice.
For years I felt I was on the ‘wrong’ path, sticking to my career and not taking a chance to go start something big, but looking back now, I can’t believe how my earnings have increased over time by being really good at something that a larger firm highly values.
Great work Tom – look forward to the ‘New Millionaires’ book release in the near future 😉
Your second paragraph resonates with me big time Frankie. It might as well be me saying it. I was really frustrated with my earnings level in the early years too. Tom
I haven’t been through all the series (yet) but sounds like sage advice Tom. It’s amazing that no matter how life changes, there are several financial principles that stays the same in order for the vast majority of people to get wealthy. I’m looking forward to going through all the series.
Change is constant and so much has changed since the mid 90s when the MND book was published DP. But agree, a few basic principles are timeless. Tom
Thanks for this series, it was very interesting and thought provoking.
You are welcome. Happy Mothers Day GYM!
You’re right Tom is that things don’t change much even if you think they do. The same things that worked thirty years ago probably work now too. It’s all about earning potential and generating free cash flow.
I look at myself just like a business. I mainly invest in business that generate a lot of free cash flow because I know those business can either use that money to expand(buy other companies), reinvest in the business to grow or share money with investors.
If i’m generating free cash flow when my income exceeds my expenses, I can invest in myself and/or invest in my future by buying good businesses and that’s a good set up for long term results.
That’s a perfect analogy Time. I think that way too. Tom
Great series and one observation from personal experience. Part 3 kind of skimmed this issue … The greatest wealth destroyer is divorce. It is much easier to maintain a fiscal growth trend when both parties are rowing together. 🙂
Totally right SR. Everything I could gather from the study is the participants universally commented about their spouse/partner being a big part of the wealth equation. And the flip side as you say, divorce is a wealth killer. Thanks for bring up that point. Tom
Thanks for this series. What’s surprising is that the basics of high income and living below your means still applies today. The formula works and has continued to do so over time and that’s reassuring.
Hi SMM, It’s a simple formula we all can follow. The hardest part I think is building the high income. That takes time, skills and continuous development. Have a great week! Tom
Really loved the info.
Glad you did. Thanks for visiting! Tom
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