Just Your Average Millionaire

Physician's Money Digest, April15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 7

The Millionaire Next Door

In a survey conducted for (Longstreet Press; 1996), prototypical American millionaires tend to share several characteristics, including the following:

  • The average US millionaire is age 57, married with three children, and earns 70% to 80% of the household income.

About two thirds of millionaires still working are self-employed. Three of four self-employed millionaires consider themselves entrepreneurs, while many others are self-employed professionals, such as doctors or accountants.

  • About 80% are first-generation affluent, meaning they earned their money instead of receiving it through an inheritance.

Most have accumulated enough wealth to live without working for over 10 years.

  • Only about one of five are not college graduates. Many hold advanced degrees: 18% have master's degrees, 8% have law degrees, 6% have medical degrees, and another 6% have PhDs.

On average, they invest nearly 20% of the annual realized income per year. Around 79% have at least one account with a brokerage company.

  • Almost half didn't receive any money for college tuition from their parents or other relatives.