How Difficult is it to Become A Millionaire?

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Become a MillionaireWe all have different goals in life, especially when it comes to finances. I’ve not done any research into this, but I venture to guess that the desire to become a millionaire is relatively high on that list. However, many think it’s simply out of reach or something that can only be dreamt of. It doesn’t have to be that way though and can most definitely be accomplished by following a number of simple ideals. No, it likely isn’t easy but it is simple.

You’ve likely read or heard the story of Ronald Read over the past month or so. What made Mr. Read so interesting was that he had an estate worth roughly $8 million and the majority of those assets were donated to organizations near and dear to his heart last summer. What was his job when he passed at the age of 92?

A gas station attendant.

Prior to that he was a janitor. He also didn’t go to college, though was the first in his family to graduate from high school. At any rate, I’ve read a number of things which made me think it would make for a perfect post for Sprout Wealth, especially for those wanting to become millionaires. So, if you’re wanting to know what it takes to become a millionaire hopefully some of the below tips will help.

Never Stop Learning

This is something that stuck out to me with regards to Mr. Read. Friends report that he read the Wall Street Journal everyday. Now, something like the WSJ or The Economist might not be your cup of tea, but the point is he was always looking for ways to learn more.

Whether you want to become a millionaire or simply want to grow your wealth learning more should be your goal as well. I know learning new things can be overwhelming or intimidating, but don’t let that hold you back. If you want to learn more about investing, there are plenty of investing books for beginners to choose from that can help you get started. If it’s a new skill, there are plenty of ways to start. You likely won’t master most things overnight, but the point is to get started and the rest will go from there.

Look at Investing the Right Way

We speak a lot about investing here on Sprout Wealth. There is a reason for that – we believe it’s one of the best ways to grow your wealth. However, the model Mr. Read followed was one that we should emulate. He wasn’t chasing penny stocks and he wasn’t trading actively. Instead, he invested in largely dividend paying stocks and in what he knew.

Take a look at what was in his portfolio when he passed:

  • AT&T
  • Bank of America
  • CVS
  • Deere
  • General Electric

I challenge you to find someone who either doesn’t know these five companies or one that doesn’t pay a high dividend. That’s not to say that you should invest in these five particular stocks, but that the model he used is a hard one to argue against. This doesn’t begin to touch on his beliefs on timeframes, which we’ll get to below.

Invest for the Long Haul

Investing in index funds or dividend paying stocks is one thing, but time frame is vitally important as well. As I’ve read, Mr. Read was of the same opinion and invested with the end game in sight. Yes, the stock market goes up and down but we really shouldn’t give much thought to this if you want to become a millionaire. Rather, you should be looking at 10, 20, 30 years down the road.

One point to make in this is I know it can be difficult to even think long term when you have little to invest with. If you’re starting to invest with $1,000 or less you might think putting off investing for a few years won’t make much of a difference. I would argue differently.

By starting as soon as you can, even with little, you’re not only establishing discipline that’ll serve you well but you’ll also give your money more time to grow. That is what you want and unless you’re playing the lottery you likely won’t become a millionaire overnight and thus need all the time you can get.

Always Be Earning to Become A Millionaire

It would be easy to look at someone like Mr. Read and think that he should’ve enjoyed his golden years and not worked a minute. Instead, he worked part-time jobs. I’m not saying you should go out there and get a part-time job in order to become a millionaire as it likely won’t help you.

However, what we can see is that he didn’t rest on his laurels, rather he was making money until the end. As with learning new things, this should be our mindset when it comes to earning more.

We should think outside the box, offer services others don’t and network in order to increase our opportunities. Rather than just wasting our free time we should be looking for ways to monetize it so we can increase our earning efforts.

I’m certain there are other ways to become a millionaire but I believe it’s the basics (the blocking and tackling drills of finance as I call them) that can help catapult you the most. They may not be easy, but with the right mindset they’re most definitely simple.


What are some other ways you can think of to become a millionaire? What’s one thing you’d like to learn that would allow you to make more but have held yourself back? Do you think you’d like to continue working at some level even when you’re old and gray, to keep making money?



Photo courtesy of: Reynermedia

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  1. I have a very good friend who is now a millionaire from the networking world. His family was very poor and he didn’t even finish a bachelors degree. While he was working as an office clerk, he kept searching on how to earn more until finally he was invited for a new business opportunity. He told me that if he didn’t take a risk, he wouldn’t reach his success now, some of us are afraid to take a new venture or take a risk that’s why we are stuck in our current situation.
    Clarisse recently posted…Sometimes Buying Used Items isn’t SmartMy Profile

  2. I never used to realize that if you are a wise with your money you probably can become a millionaire. But if you can invest for the long haul the “extra” that other people spend, you can probably do really well over time. I love how books like The Millionaire Next Door and Rich Dad, Poor Dad point out how wealthy people think and spend like we’d expect poor or frugal people to think and spend, and often the opposite is true. It’s like the proverb that says “There is one who pretends to be rich but has nothing; Another pretends to be poor but has great wealth.”
    Kalie recently posted…Life is Not About Your PreferencesMy Profile

  3. John, it depends on perspective of people whether becoming a millionaire is difficult or not. For me, it’s not because, though I am not a millionaire yet, I keep myself optimistic that one day I’ll become like Steve Jobs to motivate me and work further. Freelancing, blogging, and selling crafts are what I do, but I am thinking of other ways in earning extra.
    Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted…New House UpdateMy Profile

  4. Not that I’m a millionaire, but from reading about them I’ve learned the importance of having a routine. Never forget that achieving a goal is based on creating routines. Say you want to write a 200-page book, that’s your goal. Your system to achieve that goal could be to write 4 pages a day; that’s your routine. Wishing and hoping won’t get you to a finished manuscript, but sticking faithfully to your routine ensures you reach your goal.

    Reaching your goals systematically puts you on the path to your financial goals.

  5. I like to look at the charts that show if you invest so much money you will have this much money by the time you retire. That kind of puts things into perspective.

  6. If you are not the type to start businesses or make a killing on penny stocks, you can still become a millionaire. Here’s how:
    1)Start early. Set your goal. Keep it in mind your whole life. It doesn’t have to dominate or even be a large part but it needs to be in there floating around somewhere.
    2) Always save something. Never touch savings that are specifically for your goal. Mine was a 401k/IRA.
    3) Be happy. If you aren’t happy, change something.
    4) Check your progress & adjust. It seems small for many years but toward the end it comes fast. Project your current balance out to your target date. Using the rule of 72, if you expect 6% your balance doubles every 12 years. When your projections don’t meet your target, change something, how much you save, spend or earn, your target date, target balance, etc. This is especially important when bad stuff happens. You’ll probably lose 30 – 50% more than once.
    This plan has worked at least once.


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