Your odds of becoming a millionaire aren’t what they used to be—they’re better. A record number of U.S. households have reached that enviable goal: At the end of 2016, 10.8 million households had a net worth of $1 million or more, not including their primary residence, reports the Spectrem Group. In fact, there were 1.6 million more millionaires in the U.S. in 2016 than there were in 2007, just before the stock market crash. What the market took away, the current bull market has restored—and then some.
But stocks aren’t solely responsible for household wealth. In a survey of households with investment portfolios worth $3 million or more, U.S. Trust asked people how they had accumulated their wealth. More than half of those responding (52%) cited earned income from a job or business, 32% cited investments and 10% credited an inheritance. So it appears that the vast majority of the group are self-made millionaires who follow a straightforward formula of working hard and using their income productively. We outline five routes to success.
Live like a million bucks
Let’s start with the basics. One of the biggest barriers to reaching the $1 million milestone isn’t a stock market meltdown or even a brief period of unemployment. It’s something financial planners call “lifestyle creep”—buying a bigger house or nicer car every time you get a raise or bonus.