According to the Wall Street Journal, there are 2.7 million people in the United States with a net worth of $1 million or more, part of a 8.7 million worldwide population of millionaires. Americans with investment assets of more than $30 million top 30,000. And according to Forbes magazine, there are now more than 374 billionaires in America. The average millionaire is 57, and the average billionaire is only 59.
Contrary to older ideas, only about 20 percent are born into money. Most millionaires come from seemingly humble beginnings, and a few make it big by developing a revolutionary product or a breakthrough technique. But more are simply workaholics who start by owning a small business.
If you have prospected for millionaires in the past, you probably searched for social class and the trappings of wealth. Yet only half of these families own and occupy homes of $600,000 or more. Many people are more interested in appearing to be wealthy than developing the discipline necessary to achieve millionaire status. In fact, many salespeople are trained to hunt big game among those working in medical facilities. But often the lifestyles of physicians are defined by the expectations of society. Since they are in a prestige working position, they find themselves better credit customers than candidates for expensive real estate. They frequently live beyond their means.