A new study from consulting group Capgemini reported 1.5 million people became first time members of the two comma club in 2016. This is an 8% increase in the number of people who became millionaires in 2015. Collectively, the amount of money owned by people with over $1,000,000 in assets (not including their houses) totaled $63.5 trillion.
This year that group is on track to accumulate $100 trillion, and if the growth rate holds (and it has) we will have another 1.24 million brand new millionaires in 2017.
While being a millionaire might bring to mind images of entrepreneurs working 16 hours a day, relentless in their pursuit of greatness, this is only one way to become a millionaire and it’s hardly the only way. Studies show 39% of millionaires get there by working for other people.
Being in a fast-growing industry helps though. Topping the list in 2016 with an 18% growth rate is computer systems and related services. Buildings and construction is a close second and third, however.
Not only is the amount of people alive reaching historical heights, the world is also being connected faster than ever before. What took years of studies and research in the past is now being done in a few hours with a few Google searches. Almost all traditional barriers of entry in business are being removed and any information you need can be found. This is the primary cause for the increased amount of millionaires today, along with the instant direct access to billions of people that the internet gives to anyone.
The truth is most people will come in contact with a million dollars in their lifetime. If you make $50 grand a year, for 20 years, you’ve made a million dollars. Or you can sell a $50 product to 20,000 people. What about a $1000 service to 1000 people? Do that in 1 year and you could join the two comma club too. The millionaire math is pretty simple once you actually sit down and do it.
Keep in mind, though, there is also more money in circulation than ever before. After the housing bubble of 2008, the US government printed over $2 trillion dollars just to stop everything from collapsing. So while more people are accumulating wealth, there is also more wealth to go around.
All this points to one interesting conclusion: Millionaires are the new middle class.