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How many millionaires are self-made?

There are two types of millionaires, the ones that were born into wealth and those whose money was self-made. Millionaires have different sources of wealth. Research shows that most of the millionaires today did not inherit their wealth, rather they worked for it. According to a study carried out by Fidelity Investments, 88 percent of millionaires today are self-made millionaires. Today’s millionaires are multidimensional and to understand them, you need to study their path to wealth and their financial goal for the future, not just their outlook.

The market research firm analyzed that the world’s ultra-wealthy population are those whose net worth is 30 million dollars or more. 

In 2016, out of the world’s ultra-wealthy population, 66.4% were self-made, 21.9% were a combination of self-made and inherited, and 11.7% inherited their wealth.

In 2017, out of the world’s ultra-wealthy population, 21.7% were a combination of self-made and inherited wealth, and 10.9% inherited all their wealth. 

In 2018 data, the number of ultra-wealthy people rose by 0.8% to 265,490 individuals. Of which 67.7% were self-made, 23.7% had a combination of inherited and self-created wealth and 8.5% completely inherited their wealth.

The predominance of self-made wealth over inherited wealth is widely accelerated by new opportunities in technology and in emerging economies. The majority of wealthy people built their wealth from the scratch. In the 19th century, people like Andrew Carnegie, Jacob van Astor, Thomas Edison, Commodore Vanderbilt, J. P. Morgan, and others built their wealth from the ground up. In the 20th century, we have people like Bill Gates, Steve Case, Larry Ellison, Ross Perot, and Sam Walton. These people started with both and turned out to be wealthy people.

What do millionaires have in common?

Millionaires have various ways of making money. Despite this, they often share common traits:

• They set ambitious goals and act on them. Millionaires always pursue their dreams and goals with passions. They do not let anything or anyone hold them back or limit them.

• They have mentors. Millionaires know that they cannot do everything on their own, that is why they usually find someone to guide them and put them through the highs and lows of making money. • They are not scared of failing. Millionaires understand the importance of learning lessons through failure. However, they take risks that are calculated and well thought out. Once they are committed to a particular goal, they give their all to achieving it.

• They understand the value of time. Millionaires know how to manage their time, and they know that time should not be traded for anything in the world. They know the importance of time and do not joke about it.

What do millionaires do with their money?

Self-made millionaires are involved with impartial investments while those that inherited their wealth have more real estate investments. Millionaires invest their money in various places which includes their primary residence, retirement accounts, stocks, and mutual funds. All millionaires put their money wherever it will grow. They do not put their money on assets that will depreciate over time. A good example is cars.

Millionaires also save their money rather than spend recklessly. No matter how much they earn, they will always put their money in a place where it will grow. 

Best ways to become a millionaire.

The top 10 percent of income earners gain their wealth from business, self-employment income, or farm. About half of their income is from wages gotten through business while the other half is from capital gains, interests, and dividends.

One path to consider in building your wealth is to have multiple streams of income. If you want to earn more money, ensure all your income stream grows.

To become a millionaire, invest money every day. With this in mind, you know you have to work to make more money so that you can keep investing.

Another great way to become a millionaire is by saving. That is, when you get money, put it in savings, or some other investment account.

When you get paid, have a fixed amount go to some type of savings.

The Fidelity study showed that as regards their financial future, 30 percent of millionaires said that they were concerned with preserving their wealth while 20 percent were focused on growing their wealth. 

The Fidelity study was based on a survey of more than 1,000 millionaire investors.

Entrepreneurship is important in generating wealth. For everyone to be successful in entrepreneurship, it will require equality of opportunity which is nearly impossible.

Jason Ford is a good example of someone who had an opportunity. Jason Ford is a millionaire entrepreneur and investor. He once tweeted that he didn’t inherit his wealth, rather, it was self-made. He was able to make his money because of the serious help he had from people. Yes, he is very hard working but there’s more to that, although he came from a very humble background, he had access to quality education.

Ford said “Just as not everyone is qualified to be an astronaut, it takes a special kind of person to be an entrepreneur. You need discipline, intelligence, and extreme dedication. But the best astronaut in the world can’t fly to the moon unless someone gives them the rocket.”

Many of the world’s richest billionaires built their wealth from nothing. Self-made billionaires do not billionaire without first being a millionaire.

Rafael Badziag, the author of ‘The Billion Dollar Secret’ had to interview 21 billionaires before writing his book. He spent 5 years conducting face-to-face interviews with billionaire entrepreneurs around the world. In the interview, they told him how they all made their first millions. Most of them earned it through founding their own business and through investments. Others work for someone else’s company.

Here’s a list of the billionaires he interviewed, their net worth, and how they made their first millions. Enjoy!

1. Mohed Altrad: 

He made his first million in the scaffolding business. He is the founder of the Altrad group, he is also the chairman. Altrad group offers services and equipment for construction in more than 100 companies. He is a world leader in scaffolding. He has also written 3 novels. 

2. Tony Tan Caktiong: 

He made his first million from the foodservice business. He is the founder of Jollibee Foods which is Asia’s largest foodservice company. The company operates 13 restaurant chains and has more than 4,300 outlets in 18 countries all over the world. 

3. Jack Cowin:

He made his first million from fried chicken. He is the owner, chairman, and managing director of Competitive Foods Australia. This company is one of the country’s largest food processors. It is also the country’s largest franchiser of restaurants that introduced fast food to Australia. 

4. Cai Dondqing:

He made his first million-selling toy trumpets. He is the founder of Alpha group which is an animation corporation located in China. He is called the Walt Disney of China. He has a Spongebob Squarepants your line.

5. Tim Draper:

He made his first million with a venture capital investment company. He is a  Silicon Valley capitalist. He is one of the most connected investors in Silicon Valley.

6. Sergey Galitsky:

He is the founder and CEO of Magnit. Magnit is the largest food retailer and non-state employer. It has over 17,000 supermarkets, hypermarkets, and convenience stores.

7. Peter Hargreaves:

He made his first million with financial services. He is an industry leader in the United Kingdom’s financial services sector. His business manages assets of up to 120 billion dollars.

8. Frank Hasenfratz:

He made his first million through defense work. He is the founder of Linamar, a company that produces automotive powertrain systems and wind turbines. 

9. Naveen Jain: 

Naveen his first millions working for Bill Gates. He is the founder of Infospace which is now called Blucora. His company provides internet-related services; he is a founder of Intelius which is a public records business; he is the founder of Talent-wise which helps employers complete background checks; he is a founder of Moon Express which develops commercial lunar landers; he is the founder of Bluedot which is a tech company that provides location data and he is the founder of Biome, which is a biotech company. He is also the Vice-chairman of Singularity University and trustee of the XPrize Foundation.

10. Kim Beom-Su:

He made his first million through computer games. He is the founder of Kakao which is a South Korean internet company. His company operates the mobile messenger KakaoTalk which is used by almost all Korean smartphone owners. He is also the founder not the search engine Daum and the music streaming service Melon.

11. N.R. Narayana Murthy:

He made his first million with software. He is the co-founder and CEO of software giant Infosys who is the first Indian company to be listed on NASDAQ. His company had coined6 billionaires and over 4,000 millionaires. He is ranked one of the 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time by Fortune magazine.

12. Hüsnü Özyegin:

He made his first million by working as a bank president for 13 years.  He founded 75 companies in 12 countries. He is the founder of a university in Istanbul called Özyegin University. He also has real estate and hotels.

13. Lotion Albino Patisotto:

He made his first million with electronic retail. He is the largest investor in the Brazilian stock market. He is the founder of Videolar which manufactures audio, videotapes, floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray. He also has a petrochemical company and he manufactures plastic materials in Brazil.

14. Dilip Shanghai:

He made his first million from psychiatric medicines. He is the managing director of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. His company is India’s largest drugmaker by sales. He is the wealthiest person in the pharmaceutical industry.

15. Rom Sim:

He made his first million by selling household products. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of OSIM International which is a company that makes high-end massage chairs. Sim is also a stakeholder in China and Singapore malls. He also owns other companies like TWG Tee, Brookstone, Rich life, and GNC.

16. Michal Solowow:

He made his first million from construction. He started numerous companies in the construction, real estate development, retail, and production sector. He also sold some of these companies. His main assets are in ceramics and tiles, floorboards, and chemical industries. 

17. Petter Stordalen: 

He made his first million from a project nobody believed he could do. The project was in Trondheim where he connected three shopping centers into one. He is usually called the “King of Hotels.” This is because he has nearly 200 hotels. He is the brain behind the Nordic Choice Hotels chain. He also has a corporate group, he operates in real estate, finance, hotels, and the arts.

18. Frank Stronach:

He made his first million from selling automobile companies. He is the founder of one of the world’s largest auto parts suppliers called Magna International. He founded the leading racetrack owner and operator called Stronach group. He is one of the most successful horse breeders and owners in the world.

19. Manny Stul:

He made his first million from wholesaling innovative giftware. He is the chairman of the global toy manufacturer of Moose Toys which is one of the fastest-growing companies in the industry. The company has received nothing less than 40 awards worldwide.

20. Chip Wilson:

He made his first million from selling sports apparel. He is the founder and the ex-CEO of Lululemon Athletica. He is also the founder of Westbeach. The company specializes in stake, surf, and snowboarding clothes and is involved with Kit and Ace which specializes in technical casual wear.

21. Cho Tak Wong:

He made his first million by producing water meter glass. He is the founder of Fuyao Group which is the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive glass. He’s a great philanthropist and he is the most respected entrepreneur in China. 


Research has shown that millionaires don’t have just one source of income, they have multiple streams of income. About 65 percent of the millionaires have at least three streams of income.

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