We'd all like to have a bit more money in the bank, right? And because of that, we're always pretty curious as to how people with millions of dollars (or at least a single million) to their name made their money.*
*Unless you already have millions of dollars, in which case: PLEASE send some my way.
Well, thanks to some viral Reddit threads over the years, the upper echelon has shared how they actually earned the "millionaire" title, and it seems to have a lot to do with privilege, property, inheritance, money savvy, and luck. Read for yourself:
1."I am on track to being a millionaire by just investing in my 401(k). I started my career at 20 years old right after graduating from college and started investing the minimum to my 401(k). I never really thought much of it until I did those calculators and realized that since I started so young, the compound interest on any investment account with a decent return would be huge. I would recommend you just put anything away; everyone tells you to max your investments, but honestly, not everyone can invest $18K a year. Do the math of how much $200 a month will grow in 30 years. This might not be the exact answer, but this will easily get you to be a millionaire at some point."
2."Well, my fiancé's grandparents won a stupid amount of money in the lotto (double-digit millions). They were generous enough to share with the family."
3."In my 20s, I was a computer programmer just as the web started exploding in popularity. I could wire up websites and databases back when internet technologies were new, and tooling was still primitive. I never hit it big with a website like Facebook or Amazon, but I did charge a lot for programming services. I used that money to buy houses at first, and ultimately an apartment building in coastal California. I'm in my 40s now. I don't feel very wealthy, really. Oddly, I still check prices when shopping, and I plan to drive my old Jeep until it dies. When I travel, I often pay to fly first class, and I do enjoy the nicer hotels. But other than that, I live (and spend) rather simply."
4."I always saved up a lot of money (40% of my pay), and continually put it into stocks. Investment returns have outdone my savings for quite a while."
"That's if you make enough to afford to put away 40% of what you make."
5."I enlisted in the army when I was 18. I liked it. I asked to become an officer, and they let me. The army sent me to college and I graduated. My officer pay was way higher, and in the army, you don't have very many bills. I found I could save between $1,000 and $5,000 every month of my life. After my second deployment, I was sitting on about $200K. I hired a financial manager, and he did well for a few years. I've bought and rented out a couple houses. I've got 17 years in the army, and I'm creeping closer to a portfolio worth $2 million and a good pension in retirement. I'm about to make Lieutenant Colonel. I'm in my late 30s."
6."I worked at office jobs for a little over 30 years, starting right after college. Every year - every single year - I put 10% of my salary into a 401(k). Most years, my employers matched my contribution. I invested it in aggressive growth mutual funds in my 20s and 30s until my early 40s. That was when I put half of the money into funds that generate dividends and interest, and kept half in aggressive growth funds. When I was in my early 30s, my wife and I bought a house for about $275K and decided to get a 20-year mortgage instead of the more common 30-year mortgage. Today, the house is almost paid off. Today, my savings are worth slightly more than $2 million. In about a year, I can live rent-free and mortgage-free in my house that is probably worth about $700K."
7."I used to run an apple cart in NYC. I would buy an apple for 5 cents and sell it for 10 cents. Did this for 20 years. Then, my wife's father died and left us a chain of hotels."
8."I live in Eastern Europe. In 1990 I took out a huge loan and bought 10 apartments and furnished them. I rent them out to people, and with the money I earn from them, I pay off the loan payments. I do this every 10 years. I now have 30 apartments and one employee who I pay to maintain them and make sure payments and maintenance are handled. The key is finding good tenants and maintaining a good relationship with them."
9."My dad was the CEO of a hospital. He cleared $750K a year with bonuses. He passed away after a month in the ICU due to an accident. I'm a millionaire, but fuck the money. I make $45K a year and don't touch it. I'd give it all back for another day."
10."I became a doctor, paid off all of my loans, and saved half of my salary for five years."
11."I accomplished it through being frugal - not buying new cars, not caring about what others think - and saving and investing, and doing it again. Also, not making knee-jerk investments. Letting them ride long-term, and not freaking out at every market correction. For me it was a slow game, but fun to watch it take off."
12."I actually hit it big at a casino a while back. Not enough to where I can afford to quit my job and buy a mansion, but I'm comfy and so will be my son."
13."I sold 18% of my company for a large sum of money, and we worked together to expand."
14."I was born...it all came from my parents. I get a lot of crap from my friends in college. My parents, on the other hand, went from living in lower-middle-class India (born in late '50s, so basically studying hard and family bonds were what kept them going), came to California for their master's and PhD, and worked for massive tech companies for about 30 years. My dad went up to executive director or something. They invested a lot of money and bought houses in India and rented them out. The house they bought here in California went from $1.1 million to about $3.5 million."
Do you have any stories about how you achieved wealth or financial stability? Tell us in the comments.
Responses have been editing for length/clarity.