Doesn’t everyone want to reach 7 figures?
Becoming a millionaire has historically been a mark of great financial accomplishment. While it may not be quite the same grand accomplishment of days gone by due to the time value of money, millionaire status is something that many people would like to reach. However, there were apparently less millionaires in the U.S. in 2011 according this interesting CNN Money article.
The article reference data that estimated 129,000 fewer millionaires in the U.S., despite a global increase of 175,000. 4.3% of people were estimated to be millionaires, versus 17% in Singapore. Additionally, when looking at ultra high net worth people, the percentage in the U.S. did not make the top 15.
Surprised? Actually, I am a bit surprised.
Now, I do realize that there have been economic troubles here in the last few years, as I have personally felt some effects. However, there are people out there making money, as there are some technology companies we know and love (maybe) that have been in the news for making serious money. Plus, it seems like the barriers to entry for entrepreneurs have come down, with opportunities opening up for many.
Nevertheless, there are some parts of the country that have been hit so hard in recent years that it may be hard to recognize when living elsewhere. The extreme plight of someone in a rust belt city like Detroit might be completely lost on some people from, say, the San Francisco area, who are in the midst of growth and business creation and don’t see the utter devastation of a formerly prosperous area. Maybe to some people, this is hardly a surprise at all!
It gets me thinking about two things:
- Is it truly harder to get ahead these days versus in days past?
- Will the financial and lifestyle expectations of our kids and future generations will be different than they had been in the past?
You know, it seems as if there are still many opportunities to grow net worth. A starting point is getting a good education, as there is much evidence that education helps wealth (just be very careful with student loan debt). Beyond this, being disciplined and making good career decisions, saving a solid percentage of income, and discerning wants from needs can all help one reach aspirational goals. We can of course be derailed by bad health, bad luck, and other misfortunes – but making good decisions and following time-tested advice should help us go a long way, right?
According to the referenced data, 4.3% of the U.S. population is at millionaire status. While I’m in the other 95.7%, I still think that depending on where one lives and what choices are made, there are opportunities out there to succeed. I want to think positively
My Questions for You:
- Does the data on millionaires (less in 2011, plus lower percentages in the U.S. than other countries) surprise you?
- Do you think it’s harder to get ahead these days than in days past?
- Do you think the expectations of future generations might be lower than today or a generation ago?