Excerpts from the book The Millionaire Next Door (free PDF book below)
Who is the prototypical American millionaire? What would he tell you
• I am a fifty-seven-year-old male, married with three children. About
70 percent of us earn 80 percent or more of our household's income.
(* Our profile of the typical millionaire is based on studies of millionaire households, not individuals. It is, therefore, impossible in most cases to
say with certainty whether our typical millionaire is ahe or ashe. Nevertheless, because 95 percent of millionaire households are composed of
married couples, and because in 70 percent of these cases the male head of the household contributes at least 80 percent of the income, we
will usually refer to the typical American millionaire as "he" in this book.)
- About one in five of us is retired. About two-thirds of us who are
working are self-employed.
• Many of the types of businesses we are in could be classified as dull-normal.
We are welding contractors, auctioneers, rice farmers, owners
of mobile-home parks, pest controllers, coin and stamp dealers, and
• About half of our wives do not work outside the home.
• Our household's total annual realized (taxable) income is $131,000
(median, or 50th percentile).
• The typical (median, or 50th percentile) millionaire
household has a net worth of $1.6 million.
• On average, our total annual realized income is less than 7 percent
of our wealth. In other words, we live on less than 7 percent of our
• Most of us (97 percent) are homeowners. We live in homes currently
valued at an average of $320,000.
• Most of us have never felt at a disadvantage because we did not
receive any inheritance. About 80 percent of us are first-generation
• We live well below our means. We wear inexpensive suits and drive
• Most of our wives are planners and meticulous budgeters.
• We have a "go-to- fund." In other words, we have accumulated
enough wealth to live without working for ten or more years.
• We have more than six and one-half times the level of wealth of
our nonmillionaire neighbors, but, in our neighborhood, these nonmillionaires
outnumber us better than three to one. Could it be that
they have chosen to trade wealth for acquiring high-status material
• As a group, we are fairly well educated.
• Only 17 percent of us or our spouses ever attended a private elementary
or private high school.
• As a group, we believe that education is extremely important for ourselves,
our children, and our grandchildren.
• About two-thirds of us work between forty-five and fifty-five hours
• We are fastidious investors. On average, we invest nearly 20 percent
of our household realized income each year.
• We hold nearly 20 percent of our household's wealth in transaction
securities such as publicly traded stocks and mutual funds. But we
rarely sell our equity investments. We hold even more in our pension
plans. On average, 21 percent of our household's wealth is in our private
• As a group, we feel that our daughters are financially handicapped
in comparison to our sons.
• I am a tightwad.
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