The Number Of Millionaires In The World Is Exploding

According to Credit Suisse, the global number of millionaires expanded by 5.2 million to reach 56.1 million in 2020. That's a 9.8% increase in the number of millionaires since the pandemic began. In 2022, the number of millionaires in the world is likely closer to 60 million given how strong stocks, real estate, and other investments have performed recently.

As a result, an adult now needs more than $1 million to belong to the global top 1%. But to be in the top 1% in America, an adult needs to have more than $10 million. Investment gains and inflation have really pushed the number of millionaires in the world to record highs.

When it comes to wealth, everything is relative. Therefore, let's take a closer look at the millionaire data by country.

Change In The Number Of Millionaires By Country

To no surprise, the United States has the highest number of millionaires in the world at roughly 22 million millionaires. Not only do we have the most millionaires in the world, but we also saw the largest change ever in the number of millionaires in 2020, an increase of 1.73 million.

22 million millionaires in the United States out of a population of 332 million is 6.6%. Then if you drill down into the cities, places like San Jose, Bridgeport, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Napa, Boston, Princeton, Thousand Oaks, and Boulder all have millionaire populations of between 10% – 13.6%.

If you want to be a millionaire, you probably go where there are the most number of millionaires. Of course, going to retirement towns like Napa probably won't help.

Countries With The Most Number Of Millionaires

Despite having roughly 1.4 billion people, China comes a distant second with only about 5.28 million millionaires. Japan, with a population of about 126 million, has roughly 3.66 million millionaires.

Tough Times For Brazil And India And Its Millionaires

On the flip side, it's surprising to see Brazil's millionaire population declined by 34% from 315 to 207 thousand millionaires. Brazil's GDP fell by an estimated 4% in 2020 compared to only a 2.3% decline in the United States.

India has a population of roughly 1.3 billion, similar to China's. Yet, partly because India is a democracy, it hasn't been able to move things forward as quickly as China, which has a command economy.

I went to India and China many times for work. And it was always so striking how much more chaotic cities in India were compared to cities in China. The Indians I spoke to strongly believed in democracy as they aggressively tried to fight corruption. However, there was a constant frustration in the slowness of getting things done.

Think about how long it takes to pass legislation here in America. Now think about how difficult it is to move forward with a population 4X larger than ours that speaks 22 official languages. Luckily, America already has the infrastructure in place to tolerate long periods of government inefficiency.

Related: To Understand Capitalism, We Must First Discover Communist China

Mean And Median Wealth Per Adult By Country

Below is a chart that shows the country rankings by mean and median wealth per adult.

The United States has a mean wealth per adult of $505,420, up $41,870 from 2019. It's pretty impressive the average person in our country is a half-millionaire.

If the average American continues to grow their net worth by 7.2% a year for 10 years, then the average person will become a millionaire in America. Of course, some will complain that we shouldn't look at averages, despite having a population of over 330 million. Instead, we should look at median.

But you've got to ask yourself: Do you want to be median or do you want to be average? Personally, I want to be as far above average as possible! Therefore, I've got no problem using average as a net worth benchmark.

Switzerland Has The Highest Mean Wealth

To no surprise, Switzerland has the highest mean wealth per adult of $673,960, up $70,730 from 2019. Switzerland only has a population of roughly 8.6 million, but it is consistently one of the richest countries in the world. Their taxes are high and government support is sound.

The last time I went to Zurich, where Credit Suisse's world headquarters is located, I spent $10 on a Whopper at the train station. Of course, I also ate a lot of yummy raclettes. Even coming from San Francisco, Zurich felt very expensive.

If you haven't visited Lucern, Switzerland, you must go. Even though I had to leave my tick-infested hotel room at 3 am, I wandered around the area until I could see the sunrise over Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke). Always think positive! Great things can come out of bad situations.

The Number Of Millionaires In The World Is Exploding - Lucerne Bridge, Switzerland

Australia Has The Highest Median Wealth

Australia, impressively, has the highest median wealth per adult. This should mean that wealth inequality in Australia should be relatively benign given Australia's mean wealth per adult is $483,763.

Australia's high median wealth per adult can partly be attributed to its superannuation retirement system. It is mandatory for Australians to contribute at least 9.5% of their annual income to their “super.” By July 2027, the compulsory contribution will rise to 12%. In the U.S., employees have a FICA tax rate of 6.2% that caps out at $142,800 per person.

What's interesting about Credit Suisse's wealth chart is that the United States is not in the top 20 countries for median net worth. The latest data from Federal Consumer Finance Survey for 2020 says the median household net worth in America is $97,300. Credit Suisse, on the other hand, is measuring mean and median wealth per adult. The GDP per capita in America is roughly $65,000.

Therefore, with a mean wealth around 7.7X greater than the median wealth in America, there may be growing wealth inequality and unrest. Let's see if my assumption holds true.

Wealth Inequality By Country

To calculate wealth inequality, economists generally use the Gini coefficient. The Gini coefficient measures the inequality among values of a frequency distribution (for example, levels of income). The Gini coefficient is usually defined mathematically based on the Lorenz curve, which plots the proportion of the total income of the population (y-axis) that is cumulatively earned by the bottom x of the population. 

A Gini coefficient of zero (or 0%) expresses perfect equality, where all values are the same e.g., everyone has the same income). A Gini coefficient of one (or 100%) expresses maximal inequality among values e.g., only one person has all the income or consumption and all others have none.

Wealth Inequality By Country

Most Unequal Countries

Based on the chart above, Brazil (89%), Russia (87.8%), the United States (85%), India (82.3%), Germany (77.9%), and the United Kingdom (71.7%) are the top six most unequal countries in terms of wealth.

Russia's top 1% has the highest wealth share at 58.2% followed by Brazil at 49.6%. The United States is in the middle with our top 1% controlling 35.3% of total wealth.

The Gini coefficient for the United States hasn't changed much since 2010 (84% to 85%), despite numerous reports the wealthiest Americans have gotten much richer. Therefore, perhaps we're blowing the wealth inequality gap out of proportion as more Americans participate in the wealth boom.

Millionaire Growth By Country Forecast 2025

Now let's look at Credit Suisse's forecast for the number of millionaires by country. The United States still leads the way with the total number of millionaires by 2025 at 28 million and the largest absolute growth in the number of millionaires by 6.1 million.

However, what's most interesting is the percentage change. The higher the percentage change, perhaps the greater the opportunity to get rich quicker and lift the overall standard of living for a country.

Poland (98%), China (92.7%), India (81.8%), Denmark (82.4%), Canada (77.2%), (Brazil 74.4%), and France (70.1%) lead the way in terms of estimated millionaire percent growth.

Seeing China and India in the top seven fastest countries for millionaire growth is not a surprise. India should rebound given it lost so many millionaires during the pandemic.

Poland, Denmark, And Canada As The Fastest Growers Of Millionaires?

Seeing Poland, Denmark, and Canada, on the list of countries with the fastest growth in millionaires is unexpected. You seldom hear about these countries innovating on a global stage to command such growth.

Poland is the 6th largest economy in the EU. The largest component of Poland's economy is the service sector (62.3.%), followed by industry (34.2%) and agriculture (3.5%). The country's top export goods include machinery, electronic equipment, vehicles, furniture, and plastics.

Roughly 80% of Denmark's economy consists of the service sector and 11% work in manufacturing.

Meanwhile, Canada looks to be in a big housing bubble. The average Canadian wage is much lower than the average American wage. Smart Canadians are coming to the U.S. to work and then going back to retire.

Perhaps the reason for the high growth estimates is because the Poles, Danes, and Canadians already have high mean and median wealth figures per adult. Therefore, it's easier to become a millionaire if you already have a lot of money and a relatively small population.

Overall, Credit Suisse estimates the number of millionaires in the globe will increase by 27.93 million in 2025. By 2025, roughly 8.5% of North Americans will be millionaires. Not bad!

Related: The Best Life Hack For Americans: Take Advantage Of Canada

The More You Care About Money, The More You May Get

Ever since starting Financial Samurai, I've always believed in beating the mean and median net worth figures in America. To become financially wealthy, we must outperform.

I'm pleased to report a much higher percentage of Financial Samurai readers are millionaires than the current 6.5% in North America. Check out this massive net worth poll consisting of over 31,000 entries.

An astounding 35% of you reading Financial Samurai are millionaires!

How much is your net worth? (All assets minus all liabilities)

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Therefore, it sure seems like the more we care about money, the higher your chances of becoming a millionaire.

In fact, according to the Federal Reserve Consumer Finance Survey, the average American household is millionaire as of 2022! Of course, the median American household only has a net worth of $192,000, but it's still great progress from the 2019 survey.

For example, if you subscribe to my post e-mail distribution list and free newsletter like tens of thousands of people do, you can't help but pay attention to your finances.

We'll talk about everything from investing in stocks, finding a good deal in real estate, and strategies for reducing our tax liability. We'll even talk about family finances, retirement planning, and ways to lead happier and more fulfilling lives!

If you're listening to the latest podcast episode while going on a run, how can you not get motivated to improve your finances? Let's make becoming a millionaire an inevitability.

The Millionaire Mindset

As we come to the end of this post, I'd like to share with my millionaire mindset to help you build more wealth.

1) Belief. There is no monopoly on being rich. The amount of money in this world is endless. Believe you also deserve to be rich. Adopt a positive money mindset. If you've ever played competitive sports, you know that half the battle is believing you can win no matter how big of an underdog you are.

2) Grit. Never fail due to a lack of effort because effort requires no skill. This is a motto I came up with after getting in trouble during my senior year of high school. I wondered whether my future had been doomed due to teenage restlessness. However, I've since learned it's very hard to fail if you keep on going. You start looking at failures simply as setbacks on your way to inevitably achieving what you want.  

3) Time. There's a great Chinese proverb, “If the direction is correct, sooner or later you will get there.” Just make sure you have a healthy enough body and mind to last. We tend to underestimate how much progress we can make over a long period of time. In addition, we must delay gratification.

4) Community. If you can't surround yourself in person with highly motivated people who also want to build wealth, then you can easily do so online. Please rid yourself of the naysayers, doubters, and haters in your life. Let them project their dissatisfactions elsewhere. You're too busy taking action to complain about why the world isn't fair.

The number of millionaires in the world will continue to grow. I hope all of you are a part of it!

Become A Millionaire With Real Estate

Real estate is my favorite way to become a millionaire. The combination of rental income growth and capital appreciation is a powerful way to build real wealth over time. Instead of fighting inflation, ride it!

Real estate it is a tangible asset that is less volatile, provides utility, and generates income. By the time I was 30, I had bought two properties in San Francisco and one property in Lake Tahoe. After buying another property in 2020, real estate accounts for roughly 40% of my net worth and generates over $150,000 a year in passive income.

In 2016, I started diversifying into heartland real estate to take advantage of lower valuations and higher cap rates. I did so by investing $810,000 with real estate crowdfunding platforms. With interest rates down, the value of cash flow is up. Further, the “spreading out of America” is now a permanent trend.

Take a look at my two favorite real estate crowdfunding platforms. Both are free to sign up and explore.

Fundrise: A way for accredited and non-accredited investors to diversify into real estate through private eFunds. Fundrise has been around since 2012 and has consistently generated steady returns, no matter what the stock market is doing. For most people, investing in a diversified eREIT is the way to go. 

CrowdStreet: A way for accredited investors to invest in individual real estate opportunities mostly in 18-hour cities. 18-hour cities are secondary cities with lower valuations, higher rental yields, and potentially higher growth due to job growth and demographic trends. If you have a lot more capital, you can build you own diversified real estate portfolio.

More people around the world have become millionaires through real estate than any other asset class. Personally, I've invested $810,000 in real estate crowdfunding to participate in rent inflation and property price increases in the heartland. Real estate is the ultimate inflation hedge and has made millionaires out of many homeowners.

Invest In Private Growth Companies

Finally, millionaires love to build businesses and invest in private business. therefore, consider diversifying into private growth companies through an open venture capital fund.

Companies are staying private for longer, as a result, more gains are accruing to private company investors. Finding the next Google or Apple before going public can be a life-changing investment. 

Check out the Innovation Fund, which invests in the following five sectors:

  • Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
  • Modern Data Infrastructure
  • Development Operations (DevOps)
  • Financial Technology (FinTech)
  • Real Estate & Property Technology (PropTech)

Roughly 35% of the Innovation Fund is invested in artificial intelligence, which I'm extremely bullish about. In 20 years, I don't want my kids wondering why I didn't invest in AI or work in AI!

The investment minimum is also only $10. Most venture capital funds have a $250,000+ minimum. In addition, you can see what the Innovation Fund is holding before deciding to invest and how much. Traditional venture capital funds require capital commitment first and then hope the general partners will find great investments.

The Number of Millionaires In The World is a Financial Samurai original post. I hope every reader becomes a millionaire one day. Sign up for my free weekly newsletter where I've helped over 60,000 readers become millionaires since 2009.

64 thoughts on “The Number Of Millionaires In The World Is Exploding”

  1. Just start buying Bitcoin with every spare dollar and you won’t have to worry about retirement.

  2. John - Finance Guy

    Great post Sam, lots of interesting data. Didn’t realise 6.6% of the US population are millionaires, does make sense with real estate and stocks surging in recent years. However if I were asked to make a guess I’d have gone lower!

    Also interesting that Australia has median wealth. Just shows how regular investing through the superannuation can work wonders to an average portfolio!

    Keep up the great work! Cheers!

  3. Regarding Switzerland „Their taxes are high and government support is sound.„

    I’m surprised to read you think the taxes are high? As far as I’m aware the average personal tax rate in the US is north of 30%, here it’s around 20%.

    Also what an awful hotel you must’ve been in! There’s such nice places in Lucerne, didn’t even know they had something like you described

    1. Average effective tax rate in US is about 7% for Federal taxes excluding retirement stuff. You won’t hit 30% personal till you make about $700k as a married couple. Closer to $500k counting state.

  4. This post is delusional.

    The average income for a household in my town was $38,000 in 1981. Right now it is $28,333.

    These are nominal prices, not adjusted for inflation. So the average family here is making probably less than half of what they made 40 years ago in real dollars.

    1. Where are you getting your data? How are things going in your household?

      It is OK to think the data is delusional. But generally, I think it’s good to look at the data as a barometer and challenge.

  5. Happy Fourth of July! Also, I’d be really concerned if the number of millionaires WASN’T increasing. Seems to me like it’s becoming more and more common and thus being a “millionaire” isn’t all it used to be. If one lives in an HCOL area and plans on retiring, a million dollars may not be enough.
    Great post as always Sam! Keep up the good work.

  6. Sam, another great post!

    I appreciate the predictions for the future here as well. It gives me more motivation to work harder, and smarter.

    Thanks again!

    – Zach

  7. One thing I’m not sure these numbers take into account is the value of government provided services. For example, in many european countries healthcare costs are lower, as are higher education costs. Government funded retirement plans also reduce the amount of money that individuals need to amass. I wouldn’t be surprised if an american would need to have atleast $2-3million in net worth just to have enough to provide themselves the benefits that would come for “free” in other countries. It’s pretty easy to get to atleast $1m if you consider that I’ll likely have to budget about $25k in heathcare expenses when I retire. That’s $1 million (@ 3%) right there. So a european with barely any savings is likely better off than many American “millionaires”.

    1. My parents in their retirement in the US combine spend only about $3k a year total. Not sure why yours would be that much more, at least if you are on Medicare (or lot of folks in early retirement on medicaid or very subsidized ACA)

    2. Could be! Yes, you definitely don’t need to be as wealthy in many Europe companies thanks to a much larger social safety net.

      Hence, one idea is to retire in Europe, Canada, or Australia.

  8. 1 mill seems kind of average for a couple over 40 that owns a house in the city and 401k. Not enough to quit working or change lifestyle much. You are still a recession or sickness away from losing it all in the US.

  9. JustChecking

    Kinda taking some of the fun out of being a single-digit multi-millionaire.

    “A Gini coefficient of zero (or 0%) expresses perfect equality, where all values are the same e.g., everyone has the same income).”

    Sounds like perfect socialism (an oxymoron if there ever was one). Humans don’t do well under extreme socialism. Where there is insufficient motivation there is insufficient effort.

    Of course, at the other extreme we get something like feudalism, with a hereditary aristocracy owning virtually everything. Which is what estate taxes may actually have been intended to prevent but, if so, they have failed miserably.

    The problem being that, even if there were no funky tax dodges, the estate tax is not graduated. So even after a 40% hit, the heavy rollers only need a ten percent rate of return, compounded monthly to recoup that (before inflation) in just a bit over 5 years. And they probably do considerably better than 10%, with a much wider array of options before them.

    To actually have a chance of working, the inheritance tax on a 100 billion dollars would need to be about 99%, after a generous exclusion of, say, the first 30 million per inheritor (in today’s dollars). Of course, this might be problematical if medical science succeeds in extending human life by even a few decades beyond the current averages.

    Consider how crazy that would get, if average life expectancy increased to, say 140. Virtually anyone with a million or so at age 60 could easily become a billionaire before death — and after 80 years of not working a bit. Uh oh, maybe that’s why, in Logan’s Run, they started killing all the old people.

    In actuality, it would probably be similar to today, where tons of people say to themselves, “I’m still young. I’ll start saving later, when I have more money.”

    1. I don’t understand the caring about the Gini coefficient. Who cares? Would you rather live in a society where everyone makes $10k or a society where you make $60k and the median is $70k and the average is $120k? The answer is obviously the second which is what capitalism provides

      1. Capitalism provides nothing unless you’re born into a family with capital.

        I’d rather be equal to my fellow man. But I’m not driven by empty self interest and greed.

  10. Hi Sam,
    Thank you for mentioning Canada. I would say there are a couple of factors as to why there are so many new millionaires. First of all, you have to remember that our currency is not par with yours. $1 million Canadian is far less. Second, we are in the midst of an unprecedented increase in real estate values, in the neighborhood of 20% in many markets.
    It’s not like the valuations in San Francisco but it has skyrocketed, increasing in the net worth of many Canadians. We can attribute our own success to rental real estate. I saw an article last week that stated 20% of home purchases are investment buyers.

  11. I have lived and worked in Switzerland and I can confirm there is a lot of wealth in that country along with its small neighbor Luxembourg. I was never taught the history of how the Swiss became wealthy in my American education. I learned while abroad that their wealth was derived following the death of many wealthy Jews in WWII. The strict privacy-enforcing banks just pocketed the money of the wealthy Jews who had their money in Swiss banks (under the guise of privacy) and never let the family members gain access. Quite sad, really.

    Really there is a ton of wealth in the world including here in San Francisco. If you don’t have wealth, it seems many are trying to appear wealthy simply because the sheer volume of millionaires grows by the day. I do believe the latter will be the worst off in the case of a market correction.

    1. Wtf? Switzerland was already a wealthy, very stable and skilled country over half a century before WWII.

      NAZIs stole from Jews/other victims and already rich Swiss banks did business with NAZIs. This is not the same thing as Switzerland is rich because they stole money from Jews. Some people being greedy, morally corrupt and profiteering is not the same thing as a country of 9 million owing everything that have to robbing holocaust victims.

  12. Let’s face it, all of us who strive for success and financial independence are at least a little bit competitive. I’ve been nipping at the heels of becoming a 1%er for years, then every year the bar gets raised as the 1% bracket keeps growing their wealth. My goal is to make it to the 1% level before I retire. I’m 52 and my wife is 51. I’m well diversified: my wife is a W2 earner with a good 401k, I own my own business (going on 15 years) and contribute the max to my SEP IRA (next year, a SEP 401k). I have owned good rental properties for more than 20 years and we recently purchased a vacation home that will eventually become our retirement home (we’ve been AirBnBing it because people are paying crazy money for rentals in this post-Covid period). But it’s hard to outperform the top bracket. I also worry that the stock market will eventually correct (law of averages). Maybe that will finally put me in the 1% since our equities assets are only about 30% of our net worth.

    1. How far away from $10 million net worth are you (top 1% threshold)? If you enjoy what you’re doing, then keep on trucking. So many of us burned out after 20-30 years.

      1. I thought I was doing well at a little over $5.5 million. The last article I read on net worth brackets (maybe over a year ago?) had the 1% threshold at a little over $7 million. And you are right, you can only be 100% switched on for so long. I’ll admit that some temptation to enjoy the fruits of my labor has crept in over the last several years (for example, my wife and I now both drive proper German cars (certified pre-owned) and our definition of a good meal out has evolved a bit) but I’ve always been extremely goal oriented. I’ll probably need professional help to decompress once I sell the business and officially ‘retire’ lol

    2. I’m also competitive, but I know trying to get into the 1% probably won’t bring me happiness. Hedonistic adaptation is a real thing that makes most 1%ers very unhappy people… if the multiple divorces and strained relationships from always seeking more money doesn’t make you unhappy enough. My family is probably top 10%ers. Feel like a few of my fellow 10%ers made the leap to top 5% on crypto and Tesla stock alone the past few years. Keeping up with the Joneses and the rat race can be exhausting.

      1. Yes, the latest speculative investments these past several years have made a lot of people richer for sure.

        But I promise you, having more money than you already have since you are already in the top 10%, won’t make you happy for longer than a month.

        You’ll gain a satisfaction that you did it. But it doesn’t last if you don’t change your lifestyle. And it’s hard to change after so many years.

        It’s the best enjoy more of your money now.

  13. The Social Capitalist

    Interesting article and comments. I enjoyed the points about positive attitude toward wealth, effort and direction. Comments seem to overlook these.

    I do believe many Americans would be wealthier if they saved, but I also know that many cannot due to wealth inequality, medical bankruptcy, poor public education (another infrastructure item) etc. So. I see a two-fold issue in lack of millionaires.

    But most important, is talk about inflation. Does it erode current dollars- possibly, but only if we are less productive. Adding to the money supply only creates inflation if the money moves in the economy, and that effect can be transitory unless wages increase or the government can recapture and redistribute. The latter, isn’t always on taxes but in policy that promotes investment over spending, for example.

    Anyway, a bit wordy but I don’t see inflation sucking us all dry – I lived through stagflation and the 1982 recession. Believe me, going hungry when my parents had no job made me wish for the days of inflation when they did – even id I didn’t know it at time. Still, effort and direction paid off. I’ll work on the positivity!

    1. Inflation isn’t going to suck us dry immediately, but it tends to sneak up on us with our low rates so far.

      10 years from now, almost everything today will seem so affordable. Hence, why we need to continue to take some risks and invest.

      If nothing else, real estate is a great inflation hedge. People have to get neutral inflation by owning their primary residence at least.

  14. A million dollars when my career began was much more money than it is now. In fact a million dollars today only buys what $250,000 could buy then. So for someone just now starting their career aiming for a million dollars is kind of ludicrous. If they have a 40 year career then that million won’t be worth much. In fact it will be worth the same as $60,000 was when I began my adult working life. That was about three years of my starting salary back then, not very much at all. At some point we are going to have to quit talking about millionaires because everyone will qualify. Great post, and lots of interesting data.

  15. Gary Grewal

    So true about the Millionaire Mindset, has a lot to do with the message of The Millionaire Next Door book. More than once in the last year I’ve read article on the number of 401k Millionaires hitting records, thanks to our plush stock market and faster-than-expected post COVID recovery.

    Paying yourself first and dollar cost averaging is the most approachable way to this wealth, and I also agree that being entrepreneurial and reaching for unlimited upsides has it’s perks.

  16. David @ Filled With Money

    What?! The median net worth is under six figures in America while the mean is 500k+? Wow, that’s kind of ridiculous.

    I don’t know if the wealth inequality is because of a widening income inequality or because people just aren’t that financially literate. Savings rate of 4 – 7% historically is abysmal..

    People need to be a lot more educated about money than ever.

    1. Wealth inequality is due to most people being unable to manage money. If I make $80k and you make $80k and you spend $80k but I invest $50k then after 30 years I’ll have millions and you’ll have zero.

      Look at your neighbors. Everyone you know that you think is rich really isn’t. They are underwater on their mortgage on that $500,000 house. They bought their $70,000 Corvette on credit and they are paying it off over 7 years. Their 80 inch TV is costing them $4,000 in interest payments. They eat at Chipotle for $12 or some such on lunch every day instead of brown bagging for a few bucks.

      1. I’m not sure about that.

        I think there is way more wealth out there than people lead on. Our neighbors have way more home equity than we think, especially in this housing boom.

        Long-time homeowners often underestimate how much their homes are worth because inflation and compounding tend to sneak up on us over time as we are busy just leading our lives.

        And with my 1/10th rule for car buying, you may be surprised the owner of the $70,000 Corvette actually makes multiple six-figures a year.

        Related: Abolish Welfare Mentality: A Janitor Makes Over $200,000 A Year, Why Can’t You?

          1. It’s not the norm. But even if the norm followed a 1/5th rule to car buying, people would be doing pretty well.

            I do believe at the end of the day, everything is rational. We will take more steps to build more wealth if we want more wealth. And if we are happy with what we have, we will step off the gas pedal.

            Of course, not everybody’s opportunity, luck, connections, etc. will be the same. For the natural direction is to strive for more wealth to gain more happiness and freedom.

            1. I’m not convinced in Canada or the US anyone follows the 1/5 “rule”. I think most people decide they “need” a new vehicle and can afford X dollars per month then go find the nicest ride that fits that monthly payment. Most don’t understand the financing costs of their lease or 8 year car loan. To them it just costs X/month or per pay cheque so they can “afford it”.

    2. In the US it definitely is poor money management. The incomes are good enough that nearly everyone is able to take care of all of their lifelong needs, but consumer culture ends up with too much of that income.

      1. I’m just not sure if the personal finances of the average American is as bad as people make it out to believe.

        If you look at the data from the survey of consumer finances out from the federal reserve, it shows the typical American spending well, and has a decent amount of net worth. In fact, it shows that current people ages 25 to 40 more wealth then the previous generation at the same age, using inflation-adjusted dollars.

        1. I feel that is due to having knowledge available for free at our fingertips 24/7 (cell phones)
          We can get an answer to any question. I know that’s how I stumbled across FS at 22 in 2008 sitting in my cubicle eating my lunch .

        2. Sam – I think this would be a great topic to talk about. So many people are trained to focus on the negative and that achieving what their parents did in prior generations just isn’t possible. That’s what all the news stories focus on.

          Who would believe that two 28yo’s can buy a house in Oakland in this hot real estate market…on a teachers salary?!

          This Summer I had a great discussion with our daughter and her girlfriend about how they make much more than what they thought and how buying a house would cost almost the same as rent. With these ridiculously low rates, even if housing prices are sky high, monthly payments are crazy low. That gave them the confidence to go for it and they’re closing the purchase of their first home in about 2 weeks!

          I’m a firm believer that the next generation has so many opportunities if they only learn to ignore what they’re told isn’t possible and get out of their own way.

  17. Really like 9% of US Adults are millionaires. 22/250mm adults. Any idea of breakout by age group? I wonder how many of the 22 million are over 60.

  18. What great and motivating data! I hope more people continue to cross over into the millionaire net worth group. It’s a good sign that more people are saving and investing and caring about their financial health and wealth building goals. As someone who loves personal finance that makes me really happy to hear.

    1. It’s not caused by more people bing smart with money, it’s mostly caused by the value of the dollar dropping. We are due for about 10% inflation this year.

  19. I have investible assets just under $1,000,00.00. I have a house worth $850,000. Does that mean I am a millionaire? Does my home equity count in this equation?

    1. Matter of perspective. Some people think that if the value of your house is needed to get over $1,000,000, then you are a millionaire with a “m.” If you have assets over $1,000,000 not counting your house, then you are a Millionaire with a “M.” There is a point in not counting your house, because you need to live somewhere with all the expenses that entails, but it is also an asset when you sell it.

      1. I would consider home equity in net worth. Then, for my own knowledge, I would add up average yearly costs of maintenance, taxes, insurance, etc and see how that compares to renting in one’s local metro. If comparable it’s a wash. If there is a massive difference, adjust net worth and expenses accordingly.

        And remember, transactional costs on either end when selling a home and buying.

      2. Lost in the woods

        An interesting question. I think I could argue either side of it. When I was paying down my mortgage, I always included home equity in my net worth calculation. Otherwise the ‘investment’ i was making in lowering my debt would be ignored. Now that I am mortgage free however, I tend to exclude the value of my primary residence. Yes, I own it, and it is an asset. But I can’t really sell it without buying another, which would cost roughly the same. Including it in the calculation seems to overstate my ability to find a retirement. So I suppose I employ a hybrid measure which is ‘Paid-for house plus X financial assets’.

    2. In this Credit Suisse Report yes. But if there are two adults in a household then the household net worth will be divided by two in the report The mean household in Australia has around AUD 1 million according to government stats (USD 750k) but the mean is lower in this report because typical household has nearer two adults.

  20. I’ve been to China and India numerous times. Your comment “The Indians I spoke to strongly believed in democracy as they aggressively tried to fight corruption.” is interesting. It seems the Indians would have learned by now that their democracy is the root of their corruption. I invited an Indian friend to travel around China a couple of years ago and he declined stating that he had no desire to visit another over populated country similar to his own. India should follow China’s lead and thereby substantially improve their quality of life. One can look at China’s increase in wealth but also needs to look at their handling of health pandemics.India could learn much.

  21. I’ve been watching the impressive rise in asset prices like precious metals, real estate, equities, as well as things I’m less sure about (hello, cryptocurrencies), and find myself wondering how much of this is simply a response to inflation. It’s not that the asset’s intrinsic value is rising rapidly, but rather that the thing we’re using to measure its value — the U.S. dollar — is worth less.

    I’d like to believe that the federal government’s inflation numbers are accurate, but I’m pretty sure they’re not a true representation of the loss of purchasing power the average person will experience.


    1. Definitely a lot of liquidity which leads to a lot of speculation. As an investor, it’s strategic to recognize where there is speculative fever and partake, and then get out before things implode. One such story is $TITAN. Google that rise and instant fall.

  22. I think your Millionaire Mindset is spot on. The only other one I might add is delayed gratification. I don’t think you can become a millionaire without delaying gratification in some way. That doesn’t mean you need to be frugal, but that you will likely need to sacrifice in the short-term to crush it in the long-term.

    This means saving a large percentage of your income, taking the risk to start your own business that will pay off later, working hard for years before it all comes together, not going out and buying a new car every 3 years, etc.

    Part of this encompases grit, part smart frugality, but most of all just thinking long-term over short-term.

    1. For sure delayed gratification is key.

      And I don’t blame folks for wanting to live it up and not delay either. It’s only strange if you YOLO and then complain why you have no money. That would be incongruent thought and action.

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