How to be a millionaire? Once you have made that first million, you already start to have an idea what to do with it. It may well be different from what you originally had in mind - your million dollar dream - when you made your plan and started your journey. Or then again, it may be exactly the same.
Millionaires, like all people, come in many different shapes and forms, but most of them share certain characteristics that make them different from the vast majority of other people. Funny enough, to be a millionaire is in most cases rather different from what most non-millionaires expect it to be.
People commonly assume that most millionaires were born with their money or at least inherited it. The reality is very different: the vast majority of millionaires actually made their money themselves, while only about 20% of all millionaires inherited some or most of their fortune. We'll explain to you how most millionaires made their money and also tell a bit more about those few who inherited it.
The view people have of millionaires is distorted also because of the publicity bias: the millionaires the public knows tend to be either mega-millionaires - often billionaires - or publicity-driven millionaires who like to show off their wealth. Yet, mega-millionaires are only a small part of the total millionaire population (about half of all millionaires have net worth below $3M), as are the publicity driven ones (most millionaires shy away from making their wealth too visible). We will explain how spending patterns and other visual cues of the wealth of these visible millionaires are essentially different from the vast majority of millionaires.
Due to the publicity bias, the common perception on millionaires' professions is skewed. People typically assume most millionaires are either in the entertainment business, including professional sports, or stock market investors. Yet, reality is again different and somewhat more complex - we'll give you a more realistic idea of the typical professions of millionaires.
Another common misconception is that you need to make a lot of money in order to be a millionaire. In reality, most millionaires make their first million through a combination of reasonable - not necessarily very high - income and low expenses. While high income certainly helps, a much more important millionaire-making characteristic is to be able to live below your means in order to continuously accumulate savings which you can then invest. Most millionaires are known for their frugal spending habits, and most of them were even more frugal before they became millionaires. With this, these future millionaires were able to create a virtuous cycle: they just kept on investing their savings month after month and year after year, which eventually lead not only to high wealth but also to high income - from their investments!
Most millionaires are also a fair bit older than what you might expect. In a way this makes sense - enough time is a key ingredient for becoming a millionaire. Also, as most people have and raise their kids before they themselves turn 50, they also tend to accumulate the biggest share of their fortunes only after turning 50. In any case, the fact that the median age of millionaires is around 55 years explains at least some of the characteristics and priorities that millionaires tend to have in common. We'll soon give you more details here.
Whatever your dream or reasons behind wanting to be a millionaire, happiness is no doubt one of your key motives. While money doesn't buy happiness as such, it enables things that can increase your happiness. What exactly makes people happy varies wildly from a person to another. Yet, most such things seem to fall nicely into just a handful of categories. We'll show you here how wealth usually contributes to the happiness of millionaires.
No matter what millionaires typically are or do and no matter what others expect them to be or appear, here's the nice thing: you can be exactly like you want and do whatever suits you the best (as long as it's not against the law). They key is to find your own way - whatever makes you and the people around you happy. Every person - millionaire or not - is unique, so you are, too. Dreams are what drive us forward, and making some of these dreams come true can be one of the greatest sources of satisfaction for us. So, keep dreaming and making new plans, and don't stop finding yet more avenues for your happiness!