86% of Millionaires Are Self Made, You Can Do It Too!

Brent Pittman —  07/23/2012

Only 14% of millionaires inherit their wealth and 2% grew up with wealth.

Not all millionaires are trust fund babies. In fact 86% of millionaires are self made according to a recent study by Fidelity of 1,020 millionaires during March 2012.

That’s news to my ears! I’d like to reach millionaire status too, and this survey gives some clues about when and if I’ll reach that milestone.

What Does a Millionaire Look Like?

It may surprise you what a typical millionaire (both born wealthy and self made) looks like. Here are the results based on the 5th Fidelity Millionaire Outlook Survey

  • Average assets $3.05 million in assets.
  • Average age is 61 years old.
  • 61% are married and never divorced. The book The Millionaire Next Door also confirms this trend.
  • 57% are retired.
  • 61 % male, 39% female.

Self Made Millionaires are Different

The stats for self made millionaires differ slightly when broken down.

  • Average age is 62.
  • Average assets $2.89 million.
  • 69% use an advisor vs 75% of born rich millionaires.

How Did Self Made Millionaire Make Their Millions?

Based on this survey, self made millionaires made their money with investment/capital appreciation, compensation, and employee stock options/profit sharing.

What the survey didn’t reveal, is how many self made millionaires started their own businesses vs. being employees of company they didn’t start.

Top Investments Self Made Millionaires Added This Past Year

  1. Individual Domestic Stocks
  2. Money Markets, CD’s, Cash
  3. Individual Domestic Bonds
  4. Stock ETF’s
  5. Domestic Equity Mutual Funds
*This is not an endorsement to buy or sell, I’m just giving the facts.

What Do I Learn From this Survey?

The main thing I learn from this survey is to be patient, I’ve got a few decades till I’m the age of the average self made millionaire. Staying married is key to becoming wealthy. I bet it’s because they married smart spouses–I did!

I’m also encouraged that becoming a millionaire CAN be done. A million dollars won’t be worth as much due to high inflation, but I think it will be enough to start with.

Use this millionaire calculator to see when you’ll hit millionaire status.

Do you believe you’ll be a millionaire someday? How do you intend to do that? 

Photo Credit xbettyx (Creative Commons)

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Brent Pittman

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Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.
  • Guest

    The whims of a millionaire and the patience ..Talk about it and we all go in an endless tirade for the struggle we have to do for that accumulation of savings. But it’s a challenge in itself and Brent Kudos to you for the impressive observation coverage of the Millionaire’s .

    We also have to consider the way to the path they took & as said earlier conventional methods vs new methods seems to be the best combination for their success.

    In a Social era where you get what you want as long as you search especially when it comes to savings Saving Aggregator/Insurance aggregator sites can help the common man a lot in streamlining his saving/ term policies as per his age so that he can strategize on the savings and become a millionaire before the decades gets the better of him.

    Your Thoughts on the same Brent and Friends

    • Thanks for your response. Frugalness is an important part of personal finances.

  • Very impressive sir! Have they ever called you for one of these surveys?

  • I know this isn’t the most common way to become a millionaire by age 62, but it works and is available to anyone with the discipline, ambition, and opportunity: Save $500 per month starting at age 22 and earn 6% on it (which may sound unrealistic today, but who knows). You’ll have your million at age 62!

    • Kurt, I agree. I think discipline is an ingredient for building lasting wealth.

    The Millionaire Next Door series of books. I think most people will be surprised to find out they are just regular people like us, and that most people who act like millionaires really are giant posers. All along the plan has been to save, save, save with stable investments. But now I think I can turbo-charge this process by getting into ventures such as blogging, website creation, and maybe even taking on rental properties.

    • I think you’ll do it as long as your turbo charge isn’t too risky–doesn’t sound like it is.